Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

The Alaskan Malamute is a purebred companion dog deemed one of the oldest breeds whose original looks have not been significantly altered. Alaskan Malamutes come from a time when people needed stronger and faster sled dogs with high endurance levels. The Alaskan Malamute features a sturdy, powerful body built for strength and stamina. They were originally bred as working dogs for bear and seal hunting and hauling supplies on sleds.

Malamutes, known as Mal and Mally, are large-sized dogs with weights varying between 70 and 95 pounds, with a life span of 12 to 15 years. The Alaskan Malamute is a calm and friendly type of dog. Mallies love spending time in the company of their families, and they are relaxed around children. Alaskan Malamutes are playful and adventurous. They are ideal companions for outdoor enthusiasts and families with active lifestyles.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute? 

It is hard not to envision an Alaskan Malamute as a wolf, but with a sweet, proud expression Mals are playful and love spending time outside, running, and playing with their family. Malamutes are not good watch dogs because they love everybody and welcome anyone who comes to their home. 

Mallies can weigh up to 95 pounds and stand up to 27 inches high. If appropriately socialized, these large lovable dogs will pose no problems around old and young family members. Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent and obedient, making them easy to train.

Are Alaskan Malamutes Pack Animals?

The Malamute was bred as a pack dog. However, Mallies are equally content with their human pack as with other dogs. Their inbred pack instinct makes Malamutes accept their human families as their packs. Therefore, someone in the household must take the role of pack leader while the Mally pup is young. If they don’t, the Malamute will see itself as the pack leader.

What are the Ideal Living Conditions for Alaskan Malamutes?

The ideal living conditions for Alaskan Malamutes depend on location and climate. Malamutes are very active and might be better off in a large fenced-in backyard. They can spend the daytime hours getting rid of pent-up energy outside and sleep indoors. Some Malamutes are unhappy to sleep away from their family.

Malamutes have dense double-coats to keep them safe in icy conditions; however, those who live with families in warmer climates might overheat. Therefore, their human owners must ensure adequate shade outside and air conditioning indoors on hot days. Equally important is providing enough drinking water, placed in the shade to keep it cool. They could even fill a kiddie’s pool with water for the Malamute to cool down. 

What is the Type of the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute dog breed is a specific strain that was purposely bred to perform particular tasks, such as guarding, herding, and hunting. When distinguishing type from breed, the overall rule is that a breed always “breeds true.” The Malamute has been identified as a basal breed predating the emergence of the 19th century’s modern breeds. Alaskan Malamutes compare well with other arctic, spitz, and husky breeds such as the Samoyed, Greenland Dog, the Siberian Husky, and the Canadian Eskimo Dog. 

What is the Average Litter Size of the Alaskan Malamute?

The average size of an Alaskan Malamute little is four to ten puppies. The gestation period is 6o to 64 days. The breeding is limited to once per year to prevent health harm to female Alaskan Malamutes. However, puppy mills disregard the damage and cruelty of high volume breeding because every puppy born improves the bottom line.

Do Alaskan Malamutes Love to Dig?

Alaskan Malamutes love to dig. It is typical of heavy-coated spitz-type dogs, like Chow Chows and Huskies. Mallies dig pits that help them stay cool in hot weather conditions. However, boredom is often the culprit. When a Mally is bored, digging up the yard can help pass the time waiting for the rest of the pack to return home from work, school, etc. Mals of all ages get bored quickly, but most frequently, it is adolescents.

How Do Alaskan Malamutes Interact with Families?

Alaskan Malamutes love the interaction with their human families. Mallies are very affectionate, typically close to the family and other people they know. Malamutes are protective of the people they regard as members of their pack. Alaskan Malamutes have inbred pack instincts, and their working dog mentalities make them accept their masters as pack leaders.

Alaskan Malamutes love everyone, even strangers who come to their homes for the first time. That is why Malamutes don’t make good guard dogs. Alaskan Malamutes as pets do best with active families. Although Mals are gentle, younger ones could be pushy and bouncy when excited. They might unintentionally knock small children over with their sturdy bodies. Most behavioral problems can be eliminated or prevented with early training.

How Does the Alaskan Malamute Interact with Other Dogs?

Alaskan Malamutes interact well with other dogs, with some exceptions. Their inbred pack instinct is strong, having been bred to work closely with other dogs and people. Mals are gentle with people and crave contact with their human families, making them excellent companion dogs. Malamutes are sociable with other dogs, especially if they grew up together. The inbred pack instincts of Mallies could cause jealousy if another dog appears to challenge for leadership.

How are Alaskan Malamutes with Older People?

Alaskan Malamutes are commonly okay with older people, but they are not the recommended breed for seniors. Malamutes’ size and hyperactivity might overwhelm older people. They require lots of playtime and exercise. Insufficient exercise typically causes boredom in Malamutes, and boredom leads to destruction.

How are Alaskan Malamutes with Children?

Alaskan Malamutes love the interaction with kids, and if that means extra playtime and attention, so much the better. However, a Mally is a large dog and not the optimal choice for a household where small children are often unsupervised. Malamutes are friendly and have good-natured personalities, helping them get along with everyone, including children of all ages.

How are Alaskan Malamutes with Neighbors or Guests?

Alaskan Malamutes are friendly toward neighbors and guests. They love just about everybody, whether they know them or not. Malamutes would enjoy the attention and even play with guests who don’t have dogs at home. Alaskan Malamutes are considered ideal family dogs because they are so affectionate.

What are the Differences Between the Alaskan Malamute Sexes?

Males and females of the Alaskan Malamute breed differ significantly, although the differences are mainly physical. 

Malamute males weigh 80 to 95 pounds, while female Malamutes weigh between 70 and 85 pounds.

Malamute males measure 24 to 26 inches at the withers, compared to 22 to 24 inches in females.

Both male and female Malamutes make good pets, and house training them is not a problem. The choice of gender is the preference of the potential owner. Males typically mark their territory, and females go through two Heat Cycles per year, which could be a problem if they are not spayed.

What are the Alaskan Malamute’s Physical Traits?

The physical traits of the Alaskan Malamute type dog are listed below:


Alaskan Malamutes fall into the large dog category

Weight Range

Males – 80 – 95 pounds

Females – 70 – 85 pounds

Height at the


Males – 24 – 26 inches

Females – 22 – 24 inches


Wide head with erect ears

Eyes: Medium-sized, almond-shaped, obliquely placed, meaning the outer corners are higher than the inner corners.

Eye colors: Dark brown — blue eyes are a fault according to the breed standard 

The feet are large, snowshoe type with tough pads

The tail is plumed and held over the back


More than 60 minutes of vigorous daily exercise


Two walks of 45 minutes combined with dog sports or playtime in the backyard

Life expectancy

About 12 -15 years


Thick, double coat, 1 to 3 inches long

Coarse, dense outer coat and soft undercoat 

Coat Colors

Grey, White, Black and, in some Mals, colors range from light gray to intermediate shadings of black, grey, sable, and shadings of sable to red


What is the Size of an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are classified as a large dog breed. Although the weights and heights of Mallies vary, their average weight is between 70 and 90 pounds. The average height of Malamutes, measured at the withers is between 22 and 26 inches.

How to Feed an Alaskan Malamute?

When feeding Alaskan Malamutes, it is essential to understand the dog’s needs. Consider their high energy and agility, metabolism, size, age, and food quality. Mallies need high-quality foods rich enough in calories to sustain their exceptional energy levels. The ideal for maintaining energy and vigor is between three and five cups of dried dog food every day. It is best to divide this into two separate meals.

Alaskan Malamute puppies are more active, require more food than adults, and spread over three meals per day. To avoid the dogs experiencing bloating or other health complications, they should not receive it all at once but at intervals throughout the day.

Their food requirements are listed below.

  • Adult Alaskan Malamutes require between 2100 and 3600 calories daily. Older, less active Malamutes need fewer calories.
  • Owners of Alaskan Malamutes should ensure their dogs’ diets include 22% protein to keep their joints and muscles healthy and no more than 8% fat to optimize energy levels.
  • For overall health, the diets of Alaskan Malamutes should include vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish. Alaskan Malamutes love to eat fish, especially salmon, which forms a significant part of the diets of sled dogs in Alaska. However, avoid giving them raw salmon, which could contain parasites and small bones.
  • Six to eight cups of high-quality dry dog food, split into two meals, are typically enough for a Malamute per day. Malamutes must always have access to fresh drinking water.
  • High-quality commercial kibble brands typically include beneficial plant proteins like peas and lentils.
  • Alaskan Malamutes typically eat less than one would expect from such large breed dogs. However, they tend to gulp the food up too fast. That can cause bloating. Mallies tend to become overweight if their owners overfeed them.

How Many Cups of Food Should an Alaskan Malamute Eat Daily?

Alaskan Malamutes should eat six to eight cups of high-quality kibble per day, spread over two feeds. As they age and become less active, the amount of food should be adjusted to avoid weight gain.

The average number of calories per cup of dry kibble is 350. However, any treats offered to a Mally must be included in calculating how many cups of food they need. Treats must never exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake.

The table below shows how to calculate how many cups of food a Mal needs based on averages. However, most Malamutes eat less than allowed, and owners can take their cues from how much remains in the dog bowl to reduce the serving size. 


Alaskan Malamute weight

Ave. 35 Calories per pound

Required per day

Balance after 10% subtracted for treats

Cups of kibble per day

75 pounds



6 ¾ Cups

80 pounds



7 Cups

85 pounds



7 ½ Cups

90 Pounds



8 Cups

95 Pounds



8 ½ Cups


What is the Daily Cost of Food Consumption of Alaskan Malamutes?

Determining the daily cost of food consumption for Alaskan Malamutes involves variables like the dog’s size, age, health, and energy needs. Similarly, different food brands and food types will influence the average daily food costs.

Consider the following to determine the food consumption of Alaskan Malamutes.

The average weight of an Alaskan Malamute is 80 pounds — usually between 70 and 90 pounds, needing about one 50 pound bag of kibble per month. That equals about 600 pounds of dry dog food per year. Considering different kibble qualities and bag sizes, the average price for a pound of kibble is $2.19 Therefore, the average cost of kibble for an Alaskan Malamute is $1300 per year or $3.50 per day.

How Much Should an Alaskan Malamute Puppy Eat?

Fast-growing puppies eat more than adult dogs. Alaskan Malamute puppies should eat three to five times per day during their first year. After that, they can be fed twice a day like adult dogs.

The nutritional needs of an Alaskan Malamute puppy are listed below:

  • Alaskan Malamute puppies’ protein needs are about 21% to 23% more than adult dogs to grow and support strong bones. Yet, overfeeding protein can cause too rapid development of joints and bones, weakening the skeleton.
  • Watch the calcium content of the Alaskan Malamute puppy’s food. It should be limited to 3 grams for every 1,000 calories.
  • An Alaskan Malamute puppy’s system would also require Vitamins A and D and minerals like zinc, manganese, and copper.

What are the Breed-Related Health Problems of Alaskan Malamutes?

Breed-specific health concerns to which Alaskan Malamutes are predisposed include some often linked to large dogs, and some are hereditary conditions. Alaskan Malamutes are mostly healthy with powerful resistance to illnesses. The long list of diseases listed below could affect Malamutes, but the majority occur rarely.

  • Chondrodysplasia: A short-legged phenotype causing dwarfism in Malamutes and other Spitz-breeds.
  • Thrombopathia: An inherited bleeding disorder that affects blood clotting and other blood-related issues in Alaskan Malamutes.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: A platelet disorder affecting blood clotting in Malamutes.
  • Hypothyroidism: Insufficient production of thyroid hormone, causing hair loss, dry skin and coat, and susceptibility to other skin diseases in Alaskan Malamutes.
  • Gastric Torsion: Known as bloating. A life-threatening disorder that happens when a Malamute’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted.
  • Inherited Polyneuropathy: Causes coordination issues, falling, or an unstable gait, depending on the severity of the Malamute’s condition
  • Hip Dysplasia: A hip joint malformation. The most common skeletal condition in Malamutes and other large breed dogs.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: The most common cause of lameness in the forelimbs in large and giant breed dogs like Malamutes.
  • Epilepsy Seizures: This is an inherited condition, most commonly afflicting Alaskan Malamutes
  • Hemeralopia or Cone Degeneration Disease: Day blindness in Malamutes caused by degeneration of cone-shaped cells in the retina, responsible for sight in bright daylight. 
  • Corneal Dystrophy: A condition causing opaqueness or cloudiness in the corneas of Malamutes.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in older Malamutes.

This extensive list of health conditions is breed-related and possible but not highly probable. Responsible breeders can eliminate potential health problems.

What are the Health Tests an Alaskan Malamute Should Take?

Owners or potential owners of Alaskan Malamute puppies are typically advised to have a veterinarian run tests to check for thyroid, vision, and hip dysplasia issues. Although hip and elbow dysplasia are not genetic in the Alaskan Malamute breed, many large dog breeds are predisposed to dysplasia.

The most important health tests are listed below:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Polyneuropathy DNA Test

Purchasing an Alaskan Malamute puppy from a reputable breeder practicing responsible breeding and screening pups for common conditions and diseases could ensure bringing a healthy Mally home.

Hip Dysplasia, the most prevalent condition in large dogs like Alaskan Malamutes, involves the hip joint with ball and socket formation abnormalities, causing painful arthritis as the Malamute dog ages. The deformation occurs and develops as puppies grow. Hip dysplasia causes loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Mally grows and becomes heavier.

Symptoms of dysplasia are listed below:

  • An Alaskan Malamute could show signs of sore and stiff legs.
  • Mal may be reluctant to participate in play or exercise activities.
  • Mallies might have difficulty standing on hind legs and climbing stairs.
  • When both hind feet move together like in a bunny-hop motion, and if Malamutes limp or move on wobbly legs, chances are they have hip dysplasia.
  • The Malamute might be unwilling to rise if it is lying down or sitting.

Are Alaskan Malamutes Hypoallergenic?

No, Alaskan Malamutes are not hypoallergenic. For people who are prone to allergies, Alaskan Malamutes might not be a suitable choice. This breed is known to cause allergic reactions in many people. The belief of most people that dogs’ hair or fur causes allergies is not valid. The true source of the allergic reactions is small skin flakes called dander and the protein in dogs’ saliva. Fortunately, Alaskan Malamutes do not drool a lot.

What are the Exercise Needs of an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are high-energy canines needing vigorous exercise. Daily walks exceeding one hour are essential, and if the owner is a jogger, taking the leashed Malamute along would be even better. Two 45-minute walks followed by dog sports and physical play sessions in a fenced-in backyard could provide additional exercise benefits on days when it is impossible to take long walks. 

Alaskan Malamute owners should not lose sight of the risks of overheating when exercising the Malamute in warm weather. Mallies are better suited to colder climates. Avoid outdoor exercise when the sun is blazing down. Mals could overheat and experience heat stress or heat stroke. However, exercise is still important even when the weather is hot. Reschedule it for cooler times of the day.

What is the Activity Level of the Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamute dogs have high activity levels. Mals’ families must help keep them busy by ensuring they have a job to do. Malamutes are more suited to family members who are mountaineers, hikers, or runners than those whose idea of exercise is long leisurely walks. If Mallies live inactive lives, boredom will have them digging and howling.

Structured play can add further benefits. There are many fun ways to play with an Alaskan Malamute. Examples of games include tug of war, chasing after something, hide and seek objects, fetch, and even exploring games. When home alone, several enjoyable toys can help a Mally vent pent-up energy instead of becoming destructive, like howling and digging.

What are the Nutritional Needs of an Alaskan Malamute?

The nutritional needs of Alaskan Malamutes must be met to ensure strong overall health. Adult Alaskan Malamutes require between 2100 and 3600 calories daily. Older, less active Malamutes need fewer calories per day, and active Malamutes that participate in sled races or pull freight sleds need more.

The essential nutrients for Alaskan Malamute are listed below:

  • Protein: Alaskan Malamute dogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain that are essential for their health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein also provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Alaskan Malamute’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adult dogs and senior dogs need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Alaskan Malamute sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though; too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Alaskan Malamute puppies, and develops cognitive development in puppies, and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Alaskan Malamute dogs.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for the promotion of strong joints in Alaskan Malamute are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for Alaskan Malamute dogs’ growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Alaskan Malamutes.

What is the Shedding Level of an Alaskan Malamute?

Shedding is a natural process in the hair growth cycles of all dogs. Alaskan Malamutes have double coats, and they are undoubtedly high-shedding pooches who need plenty of grooming to keep their coats healthy. A good brushing two or three times a week will remove loose and dead hair to avoid getting the Malamute’s hair all over the furniture. 

As they prepare for the changing weather of summer and winter, they shed excessively, with the soft undercoat fur coming out in clumps. During the shedding seasons that happen twice per year, a daily brush could keep the loose hair in control. Frequent brushing also helps keep the coat shiny, and Malamutes love the extra attention they get when their owners brush them.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of an Alaskan Malamute?

Grooming an Alaskan Malamute is challenging. Mallies are high-maintenance. They have a lot of hair and regular brushing, at least 2-3 times a week, is essential. They shed a lot twice a year, and daily grooming with a metal comb and pin brush is crucial. Neglecting that task will cause the undercoat fur to mat and harbor hot spots and fungus which could become infected. 

Although owners of show Malamutes bathe their Mallies weekly, pet Mals need bathing every six to eight weeks. Owners of Alaskan Malamutes should never shave their dogs’ fur. Even if it seems sensible to help the Malamute cool down in hot weather, it will do more harm than good. The Alaskan Malamute’s coat allows the dog to regulate body temperature. Shaving it will remove Mal’s ability to do that. Furthermore, without its regular coat, the Malamute risks severe sunburn. Furthermore, seasonal tick and flea treatment are necessary.

What is the Drooling Level of the Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes do not drool excessively. However, drooling in dogs is natural. It is an entirely normal and necessary process for a dog’s good health. The saliva of dogs is an oral mucus secretion that is closely linked with their digestive systems and stomachs. It facilitates swallowing and anticipates and prepares for digestion, with various circumstances triggering the mucus secretion.

Frequent cases of natural drooling in your Alaskan Malamutes are listed below.

  • Feeding-related drooling: When a Malamute knows it’s time to eat, smelling the aromas of food, or seeing their owner handling the bag or storage container with kibble typically causes drooling. It is called the “Pavlov reflex.”
  • Excitement: Mallies are clever, and they will know when a walk or game session is imminent. Stress and anxiety: Any unusual situations like unfamiliar thunderous noises or being approached by a large, aggressive-looking dog could trigger excessive drooling.
  • Sexual: A male Mally’s excitement when seeing a female could also cause drooling. Likewise, a female experiencing her first heat might drool if she picks up the smell of male dogs.

What is the Coat Type of the Alaskan Malamute?

The thick, waterproof double coat of the Alaskan Malamute is ideal for working dogs that spend many hours in harsh weather conditions. As a working dog bred for harsh Arctic conditions, the Alaskan Malamute has a beautifully adapted coat for harsh conditions. Malamutes have a top layer of hair, between one and three inches long, and an undercoat of soft fur. Each layer serves a crucial purpose in regulating the Malamute’s body temperature and protecting its skin.

What is the Coat Length of the Alaskan Malamute?

The coat length of the Alaskan Malamute breed is one to three inches long.

What is the Coat Density of the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute breed’s outer coat and inner coat are dense.

What is the Coat Texture of the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute breed’s outer coat is coarse, but the undercoat is soft.

What are the Possible Coat Colors of Alaskan Malamutes?

The Alaskan Malamute breed’s coat can be any of several colors as listed below:

Grey, White, Black, and, in some Mals, colors range from light gray to intermediate shadings of black, grey, sable, and shadings of sable to red.

What is the Brushing Frequency of the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamutes’ need for frequent brushing makes this a high-maintenance breed. Mals shed a lot, and need thorough brushing two or three times a week to control the loose hair. The tools required for this task are a pin brush and a metal comb. 

Alaskan Malamutes have two shedding seasons per year when the volumes of dog fur are significantly more. During that time a grooming rake is necessary to prevent matting, and daily brushing is vital. Owners of Mallies must understand that neglecting to brush and remove matted fur could cause serious fungal infections on a Malamute’s skin.

What are the Social Traits of the Alaskan Malamute Breed?

The social traits of dogs in the Alaskan Malamute breed are affectionate, friendly, gentle, cheerful, and lovable. They crave constant attention, and it is not uncommon for them to forget their size and climb into their owner’s lap. They are highly intelligent, curious, lively, and independent. Other social traits are listed below:

  • Child Friendly: Alaskan Malamutes are kid-friendly, but they could be nippy with small children.
  • Family Friendly: Mallies are affectionate with their human families and submissive to the master, whom they see as the pack leader.
  • Stranger Friendly: Malamutes love everybody, including strangers, making them unsuitable as guard dogs.
  • Dog Friendly: Alaskan Malamutes have an inbred need for being part of a pack, and they are typically happiest in dog-loving families.
  • Seniors Friendly: Mals are friendly with seniors, but they might be too active and exuberant to live with older people. 

How Do Alaskan Malamutes Interact with Strangers?

Alaskan Malamutes are friendly with strangers. They will even welcome complete strangers who come to their homes for the first time. Mallies have specific sounds and body gestures to communicate with their families and strangers to show their affection. A Malamute welcomes strangers by wagging its tail. They might even hold the person’s hand in their mouth, without biting down to show acceptance and love. Sometimes, a Mally might use a bit of howling to communicate the welcome. While strangers will likely not understand the Malamute’s language, its family will learn and understand it without too many problems. 

Are Alaskan Malamutes Playful?

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes are playful dogs. They have inborn pack characteristics, and rambunctious outside play with older children and other dogs makes them happy. Playtime with their adult family members includes going on hunting trips, or just hiking in the mountains. Allowing a Mally to join the kids on trips to the beach will be special. Alaskan Malamutes are enthusiastic athletes requiring marathon fetch games and other fun exercises.

Are Alaskan Malamutes Protective?

Alaskan Malamutes were bred to protect their human packs in Alaska from wild animals. Mals have not lost those inborn traits, and they will still protect their people from other animals. However, their overwhelming friendliness toward anyone they encounter shows that they see no need to protect their families from other humans.

What is the Adaptability Level of Alaskan Malamutes?

Alaskan Malamutes get five stars for adaptability. They love everyone and can adapt to any changing circumstances, just as long as the changes go along with the love and affection of their families. Relocating, like moving from place to place, causes minor problems, and they bounce back quickly. However, they are not suitable for apartment living. 

Alaskan Malamutes hail from Alaska, where temperatures can drop far below freezing. Their double coats serve as protection in extreme cold, and it regulates the dog’s body temperature when it is not so cold. Husky breeds can live in slightly warmer and humid regions. However, Alaskan Malamutes have a difficult time thriving in regions with warm climates.

What are the Personality Traits of Alaskan Malamute?

The personality traits of Alaskan Malamutes include their happiness to be a part of a family they see as their pack. Mallies have no problem accepting a human as the leader of the pack. Alaskan Malamutes are usually very affectionate dogs and loyal to their owners. Because of their cold-weather background, Mals are inclined to be unusually ‘cuddly’ at home. 

They crave the company of their human and canine pack and might assert that need by jumping on people out of affection and not dominance. They have been developed as pack dogs and so do not tolerate isolation well. 

  • Malamutes require a lot of exercise.
  • Mallies will develop destructive behaviors when they aren’t given enough exercise and activity to burn off excess energy and combat boredom.
  • Mals are not ideal for first-time dog owners because of their size and dominant personalities.
  • Alaskan Malamutes vie for ‘leader of the pack’ at home, so they require consistent training to ensure their owner holds that position.
  • Mallies are prone to digging.
  • Their strong prey drive makes Malamutes dangerous to small animals.
  • Mals are prone to overheating in hot conditions.
  • Alaskan malamutes shed heavily.

Can Alaskan Malamutes be Aggressive?

Alaskan Malamutes are not prone to aggressiveness. Malamutes are intelligent, affectionate, and fiercely loyal. They are gentle and friendly without showing possessive tendencies that are common in guard dogs. Alaskan Malamutes are never overly suspicious of other dogs and strangers. However, certain circumstances could cause the Alaskan Malamute to be aggressive. 

Can Alaskan Malamutes be Dangerous?

No, Alaskan Malamutes are not dangerous by nature but certain circumstances could lead to dangerous reactions. Mals were listed among the world’s top five most dangerous dog breeds in the late 90s, but other breeds now fill those spots on the list. Owners should note that the high energy and lively temperament of Malamutes don’t make them the safest dogs around small children. Mallies must be given a lot of attention and have proper discipline. If not, they can develop bad behaviors, which could prove dangerous.

Do Alaskan Malamutes Ever Attack?

No, Alaskan Malamutes attack, but incidents occur rarely. They are known for their friendly and affectionate attitude towards people. However, exceptions exist, and any dog that is provoked might attack. Mistreatment of physical punishment might also cause Alaskan Malamutes to build up aggression and attack when they reach boiling point.

Can Alaskan Malamutes Kill Humans?

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes can kill humans in situations that make them feel threatened, abused or provoked. However, statistics indicate that Malamutes have killed humans in the past. In 1979, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12 fatalities caused by Alaskan Malamutes in preceding years. Although the Alaskan Malamute is known for its love and affection for all, it might be wise never to leave a small child alone with a Malamute.

How do Alaskan Malamutes Cope with Being Left Alone?

Alaskan Malamute dogs can cope with being alone for a few hours per day as long as they have sufficient space to play and suitable toys to keep them busy. However, Alaskan Malamutes crave social interaction with their human families, and they might act up if left in isolation too often. Mallies who get enough exercise tend to cope with isolation best. Ensuring the dog is in a securely fenced area with no means of getting out when left alone is crucial because they have the skills to make a plan to get out, even if they have to tunnel their way out below the base of the fence.

Can I leave my Alaskan Malamute at home?

Yes, a Malamute can be left at home, but they don’t relish being left alone. Mallies will become destructive if they are left alone for half a day or a full day. Mals can be alone for a few hours as long as they are well exercised beforehand. Never leave your Mal in the yard unattended. They are escape artists that will find a way to dig under or jump over the fence if they feel abandoned.

Can Alaskan Malamutes be left alone for 8 hours?

No, Alaskan Malamutes should not be left alone for eight hours. Leaving Mals alone while the owners are at work could cause anxiety and destructive behavior. To avoid such behavior, it might be a good idea to hire a pet sitter or dog walker. Some Mallies seem to deal with the isolation if their family owns another dog since Alaskan Malamutes tend to gravitate towards having the company of humans or dogs.

How to Train an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are difficult to train due to their high intelligence level. Owners should start training young Malamute puppies from the first day they bring them home. The Alaskan Malamute is a stubborn breed, not very recommendable for new owners. The best way to train a Mally puppy is with consistency, patience, and positive awarding.

Alaskan Malamute owners must assert leadership when teaching their dogs commands to clarify that the master is the pack leader. Socialization and obedience training is necessary to prevent Malamutes from becoming aggressive towards children or other animals or dominant over adults to assume leader status.

How Frequently does an Alaskan Malamute Bark?

Alaskan Malamutes don’t bark a lot, but they use other sounds to communicate with other dogs and humans. When Mallies bark, they could be conveying territory-related messages or welcoming someone home, or showing affection. However, Alaskan Malamutes use whining and howling to communicate with their owners.

Does Alaskan Malamute Howl? 

Alaskan Malamutes often ‘talk’ with their family members by using a distinct “woo-woo” noise, or an incessant howl. Mals thrive when play and work keep them active. Insufficient exercise throughout the day could push Mallies to howl excessively and become destructive.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of an Alaskan Malamute?

Mental stimulation is essential for an Alaskan Malamute to function optimally. Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent dogs that need mental and neurological stimulation. Providing mental enrichment for an Alaskan Malamute is quite simple, but the benefits are significant. It is anything that activates, enriches, and stimulates the Malamute’s mind. Mental stimulation could be external, using the environment or internal thought. This can include using toys, puzzles, and other interactive toys, and games like scenting games involving hiding treats to be sniffed out. Hide and seek is another perfect way to stimulate Alaskan Malamutes.

The benefits of mental enrichment for the Alaskan Malamute are listed below:

  • Assists and stimulates the Malamute’s brain growth
  • Improves a Mally’s problem-solving skills
  • Builds a Malamute’s social skills and confidence
  • Allows the Mal to engage in natural and instinctive behaviors
  • Mental stimulation allows for happier and more balanced Malamutes, reducing risks of depression

Overall, mental stimulation prevents boredom and resulting destructive behavior, excessive barking, and attempts of Mallies to escape.

What are the Breed Standards of the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute is recognized as a pure breed by the American Kennel Club and multiple other organizations.

Some of the breed standards are listed below:

Coat Color:

Shades from light grey through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. 

Size Classification:


Eye Color:

Eyes are brown, almond-shaped, and of medium size. Dark eyes are preferred. Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault.

Average Weight:

Males 85 pounds, Females 75 pounds

Average Height:

(at the withers)

Males 25 inches, Females 23 inches 

Average Lifespan:

10 to 14 years


What is the General Information about the Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute, a spitz-type, is an extraordinarily strong, heavy-duty worker. Malamutes are affectionate and crave cuddles. They are loyal and playful but dignified and recognizable by their furry plumed tails carried over their backs. Everything about Mals shows their origin as arctic sled dogs. Their heavy-boned, powerful shoulders, deep chest show their Arctic ancestry. 

Where to Buy or Adopt an Alaskan Malamute?

Choosing a reputable Alaskan Malamute breeder is essential. Potential Alaskan Malamute owners must know that they will get a healthy dog that will not develop problems years later.

Some of the breeders recommended by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc are listed below:



State or Country



Washington USA


Honey Harbour

Ontario CANADA


San Zenone

Milano ITALY


San Diego

California USA


Keystone Heights

Florida USA

The recommended steps would be to use the guidance of reputable breeders when choosing an Alaska Malamute.

What are the Average Puppy Prices of Alaskan Malamute?

Usually, the average price of an Alaskan Malamute puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,200 and $2,000, while a top-quality Alaskan Malamute puppy can cost as high as $3,000. Their price depends upon the pup’s age, sex, quality, pedigree, and breeder’s location.

The average price of Alaskan Malamute puppies is determined by various aspects.

Factors that play roles in the prices for Alaskan Malamute puppies include:

  • The breeder’s locale.
  • The sex of the puppy
  • The pedigree and attributes of the puppy’s parents
  • The age of the puppy
  • The puppy’s quality

The prices charged for Alaskan Malamute puppies by reputable breeders range between $1,200 and $2,000.

However, top-quality Malamute puppies could cost as much as $3,000 or more.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Alaskan Malamutes?

Rescue Clubs for Alaskan Malamute are organizations that help Malamutes in need of new homes. A few examples are listed below:

  • Polaris Alaskan Malamute Rescue Colorado 
  • Alaskan Malamute Rescue Hawaii
  • Illinois Alaskan Malamute Rescue
  • Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection (CHAAMP) New Jersey
  • Alaskan Malamute HELP League British Columbia Canada
  •  Saints Sled Dog Rescue Boarding & Rescue Centre England and Scotland

Which Dog Breed Organizations Recognize Alaskan Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute was recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1935. Other dog breed organizations that recognize the Alaskan Malamute as a purebred breed are listed below:


American Canine Association Inc.

ACR – 

American Canine Registry

AKC – 

American Kennel Club


America’s Pet Registry, Inc.


Canadian Kennel Club

CKC – 

Continental Kennel Club

DRA – 

Dog Registry of America, Inc.

FCI – 

Federation Cynologique Internationale


Kennel Club of Great Britain


North American Purebred Registry, Inc

NKC – 

National Kennel Club


New Zealand Kennel Club

UKC – 

United Kennel Club

What is the Alaskan Malamute History?

The Alaskan Malamute is the north’s heavy freighting dog. For thousands of years, Malamutes have pulled heavy loads at a slow pace. Mallies are not racing dogs. The harsh environments Alaskan Malamutes endured, and the Inuit lifestyle led to the development of the breed characteristics. The North American Arctic coasts, Northern Canada, and regions of Greenland are where the Inuit live. 

Malamutes played an essential role in the survival of this indigenous group of people. The Arctic Malamutes did more than pulling sleds. In the summer, Mals also carry the Inuit’s backpacks, and other duties include exploring coastal ice to locate seal breathing holes, and they helped the hunters by distracting Polar bears.

Is Alaskan Malamute the Oldest Dog Breed?

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest breeds. Malemutes are a ‘basal’ breed, an ancient canine type that predates modern breeds. Malamutes are close relations of wolves. Mallies are descendants of dogs living and working with an ancient Inuit tribe, the Mahlemuts in the coastal region of northwestern Alaska. Malamutes protect hunters by warding off Polar Bears. Mallies also helped locate seals and haul heavy loads of supplies on sleds. To show their appreciation for the important role Malemutes played in the survival of the Mahlemuts, Mallies were treated as members of the families they served. 

Which Ancestry does Alaskan Malamute Belong to?

The ancestry of the Alaskan Malamute began 4,000 years ago, believed to have started with domesticated wolves. Paleolithic hunters migrated to North America via the Bering Strait land bridges accompanied by their domesticated wolf-dogs. The ancient Inuits settled their culture from the Greenland coast, spanning to the Alaskan coasts. Due to the significant distance from one end of the Inuit settlement to the other, the wolf-dogs were crossed with various other canine types developing different Malamute strains.

In 1935, the American Kennel Club recognized the Kotzebue strain of Malamute. The breed risked extinction after WWII when very few Malamutes were registered. This prompted the AKC to include two more strains, the Hinman and M’Loot, during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The AKC established a studbook for the Alaskan Malamute, now bred from four strains in the gene pool. The one dog that united all of these lines is Ch Toro of Bras Coupe. He represented the father of the Alaskan Malamute breed for many years.

What is the Date of Origin of the Alaskan Malamute?

The date of origin of the breed named the Alaskan Malamute is 1935. That was the year in which the American Kennel Club registered the Kotzebue strain of the Malamute. However, native Alaskan dogs were crossed with various mixed breed dogs that came to Alaska with Gold Rush prospectors in the latter part of the 1800s. So much cross-breeding occurred that the Malamute just about disappeared.

However, relatively pure Malamutes were discovered in a very remote region where other dogs did not play a role. That was where Arthur T. Walden encountered several relatively pure Malamutes in the 1920s. He brought some of the Mallies homes to New Hampshire and established a breeding program that provided sled dogs for Antarctic expeditions. The Malamutes Walden bred were powerful enough to work as freighters of supplies during both world wars.

What is the Origin of the Alaskan Malamute?

The origin of the Alaskan Malamutes began about 4,000 years ago when stone-age hunters brought domesticated wolf-dogs to Alaska and Greenland coastal areas. Then between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, Mongoloid people who migrated from Siberia to Alaska brought more breeds. This Inuit tribe, the Mahlemut Eskimos, settled there, and they raised and cared for these amazing snow dogs. For thousands of years, the domesticated wolf-dog descendants were the sole source of transportation in the Nordic regions.

For What Purpose is the Alaskan Malamute Used?

The purpose of breeding Alaskan Malamutes was as work dogs from the onset. Their endurance, strength, and willingness to serve made them one of the most valuable possessions of Arctic families for thousands of years. Malamutes are freight dogs that transport heavy loads over long distances. Their strength rather than their speed is their main attraction. 

The Alaskan Malamute has an excellent sense of smell and direction, along with tenacity. Mallies have participated in multiple polar expeditions, and they proved to be equally valuable to serve in World War I and II.

Is Alaskan Malamute a Freighting Dog?

Yes, the Alaskan Malamute dogs were bred to serve as freight carriers. They worked as part of a pack for thousands of years to transport cargo and people across the frozen Alaskan tundras.

What are the Other Names of the Alaskan Malamute?

The other names for the Alaskan Malamute are Mal and Mally.

What are the Common Nicknames of the Alaskan Malamute?

The most common nickname for Alaskan Malamutes is Mally.

What is the Scientific Name of the Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamute Scientific Classification is Listed Below:

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris














What is the Average Maintenance for the Alaskan Malamute?

The cost of owning an Alaskan Malamute is not straightforward math because a number of things must be taken into consideration. These include the cost of the dog itself, food, veterinary expenses, supplies, training, licensing, insurance, grooming, and more. However, there are averages to work on.

An Alaskan Malamute puppy is likely to cost between $500-$2,500 with an average of $975. 

First-year expenses are around $4,275 and after that, it will be about $1,850 per year or $154 per month.

Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning an Alaskan Malamute is $24,625.

The first year of an Alaskan Malamute’s life is more costly because of more veterinary care. However, vet care costs could be higher throughout an Alaskan Malamute’s life than any other expenses.

Below is a list of averages:

  • Typical veterinarian expenses when owning an Alaskan Malamute: $45 – $85 per month, including a once-off neutering or spaying bill, which is $50 to $400.
  • The Alaskan Malamute’s vet bills will also include vaccines, $15 to $30.
  • A Malamute’s food requirements are between $53 and $95 per month (see: Best Dry Dog Foods).
  • Alaskan Malamute training costs from $240 to $600 for private training or $50 to $125 for group training; both refer to a 4 to 6-week course.

How to Name an Alaskan Malamute?

Naming an Alaskan Malamute might require different criteria than new Mally parents might expect. It is never the actual name the Alaskan Malamutes respond to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said.

The Building Blocks necessary include tone and syllables as listed below::

  • Alaskan Malamutes respond best to two-syllable names because they are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like sit, come, and down. However, they are not long enough to become puzzling. Simple examples include Sadie, Cupcake, and Buster.
  • Mal owners set on a specific single-syllable name can go with it, but find a way to stretch the sounds to sound like two, such as “Zack” stretched into “Zaa-hack” and using two different tones when calling him.
  • Malamutes respond most positively to high-pitched, excited, and happy sounds when calling them and soothing, quiet sounds when they get nervous or overzealous.
  • Some Mally parents find their Malamutes respond and recognize their names better if they say it in a sing-songy voice.

What are the Most Common Female Alaskan Malamute names?

The top 10 Alaskan Malamute girl names are as perfect as they are, fun, and with the potential for parents to put their own unique pitch or tone to it. The top female Alaskan Malamute names, and their meanings, are listed below:

  • Nukka – Little Sister
  • Miska – Little Bear
  • Nini – Porcupine
  • Sakari – Sweet
  • Shila – Flame
  • Tanana – Hills
  • Aga – Mother
  • Eska – Creek
  • Kima – Candy
  • Suka – Fast

What are the Most Common Male Alaskan Malamute names?

The top 10 Alaskan Malamute boy names are also mostly two-syllable names. The top male Alaskan Malamute names, and their meanings, are listed below:

  • Chinook – Warm Wind
  • Miki – Little
  • Nanook – Cute
  • Pakak – One That Gets Into Everything\
  • Atka – King
  • Kaskae – Chief
  • Amak – Playful
  • Pukak – Snow Smart
  • Siku – Ice
  • Yaktag – Cape

What are the Different Types of Alaskan Malamutes?

Although there are three types of Alaskan Malamutes, bred from different strains, they all go by the same name – Alaskan Malamute.

The three basic breeds of the Alaskan Malamute are listed below:

  • The Kotzebue strain
  • The Hinman strain
  • The M’Loot strain

In 1935, the American Kennel Club recognized the Kotzebue strain of Malamute.

The breed risked extinction after WWII when very few Malamutes were registered.

This prompted the AKC to include numbers two and three on the list in the studbook during the late 1940s and early 1950s, all three known as Alaskan Malamutes.

What are the Similar Dog Breeds to Alaskan Malamutes?

Similar dog breeds to Alaskan Malamute are listed below:

  • Siberian Husky: Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are both worker dogs, but the Malamute is a freight dog hauling heavy loads while the Siberian Husky is a sled racer. Both are classified as large dogs. The Malamute could weigh as much as 25 more than the Siberian Husky, and stand about 4 inches higher at the withers. Both breeds are friendly and see their human families as their pack. The Mally has American origins, and the Siberian Husky comes from Siberia. They both have the same lifespan and similar litter sizes. know more about Siberian Husky Social life care & diet information.
  • Akita: Alaskan Malamute originated from the United States, but Akita originated from Japan. The Akita can stand 2 inches higher than the Malamute and weigh 33 pounds more than the Mally. Both Alaskan Malamute and Akita have the same life span and the same litter size. Alaskan Malamute requires high maintenance, but the Akita requires low maintenance. know more about Akita’s Social life care & diet information.
  • Samoyed: The Samoyed is a purebred dog originating from Mongolia, while the Alaskan Malamute has North American origins. Both are sled dogs, and they share the same height. The Malamute weighs about 20 pounds more than the Samoyed. Both Samoyed and Alaskan Malamute have a similar life span, and the Samoyed’s average litter size is a maximum of 10 but only 6 for the Malamute.
  • St Bernard: St. Bernard originated from Switzerland, but the Alaskan Malamute originated from the United States. St. Bernard may stand 3 inches higher than the Mally and weigh as much as 113 pounds more than the Alaskan Malamute. The Mally is a large dog, and St. Bernard falls in the Giant class. The Mal’s average life span is 5 years more than the Siberian Husky. Both St. Bernard and Alaskan Malamute have similar litter sizes, and both are high-maintenance dogs.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: The Alaskan Malamute originated from the United States, but the Bernese Mountain Dog originated from Switzerland. The Bernese can be about 2 inches higher and weigh 35 pounds more than the Malamute. The life span of the Malamute can be seven years longer than the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Bernese have more puppies per litter. Both breeds are high-maintenance dogs. know more about Bernese Mountain Dog Social life care & diet information.

What are the Similar Maintenance Dog Breeds to Alaskan Malamutes?

Some of the dog breeds with similar maintenance needs as the Alaskan Malamute are listed below:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog 
  • Samoyed
  • Chow Chow
  • Poodle

What are Similar-sized Dog Breeds to Alaskan Malamutes?

Dog Breeds of similar size as the Alaskan Malamute breed are listed below:

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.