In modern dog breeding, more and more new breeds appear every year. However, this does not prevent dogs, whose history goes back more than a century, from remaining at the peak of popularity. And this category includes one of the oldest breeds – the Alaskan Malamute. Beautiful, powerful, proud – that’s all they are, northern beauties, which can’t leave anyone indifferent. What is known about this breed today?
The origin of the Alaskan Malamute breed
It is not known for certain when the Alaskan Malamute dog breed appeared, but its ancestors were the pets of the Malemut tribe that inhabited the shores of Alaska. They were powerful, hardy animals, covered with a thick and dense coat. They were used to drive and carry heavy loads under rather harsh climatic conditions.
At the beginning of the XX century there was a period of “gold rush” which could not but affect the development and distribution of Alaskan malamutes. After all, to get to the rich deposits was possible only with the sledges of these powerful dogs. Many gold prospectors wanted to get a similar “transport” for their use, which significantly affected the number of this breed.
But this phenomenon had a downside – people eager for untold wealth, tried to cross Malamutes with other breeds to get even more sturdy, fast and unpretentious dog. Such activity has led to the fact that purebred animals were very few.
But the “gold fever” was replaced by a sporting fever and gambling fans of harness racing began to revive the purebred northern breed, investing in this process huge amounts of money. After all, it was only possible to win with purebred malamutes.
Only by the 20s of the last millennium was it possible not only to stop the extinction of this breed, but also to increase their population. Then the process of breeding Alaskan Malamutes rose to a professional level. In 10 years this breed had received worldwide recognition, appeared a special club and defined the standard.
However, during the war period, there was a significant extermination of Malamutes, which led to a reduction in the number, numbering no more than 30 specimens. After the war was over, “titanic” work on the restoration of the Alaskan Malamutes was carried out, and by the 60s, there was no question of their disappearance. In today’s world, these dogs are among the twenty most popular and sought-after breeds in the world, and in 2010 they became the symbol of the state of Alaska.
Descriptive characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute breed
To date, there are two species of Alaskan Malamute – M-Lut and Kotzebue. The first species is distinguished by its more powerful skeleton, large size, mobility and aggression. It is possible to meet dogs of this species of various coloring – from black with gray to silvery-blue in combination with white. Kotzebue, despite the obligatory presence of wolf coloring, are inferior in size and have a more malleable nature.
To this day modern breeders do not cease to argue about what kind of breed is real, but it is worth remembering that, nevertheless, thanks to nature, these proud and beautiful pets appeared.
According to the standard, Alaskan Malamutes must meet the following requirements:
- The dog must have a powerful skeleton, a strong build, a deep chest. But, despite this, its torso must be compact.
- Malamutes’coat shall be rigid on the outside and soft undercoat on the inside. This phenomenon is due to the origin of the dog. In addition, the coat is covered with moisture-proof fat.
- Theheight of males ranges from 60 to 63 cm, females in the range – 57-59 cm.
- Thebody weight of the pets by norm should not be less than 35 kg, but also not more than 38.
- The head of the dog is wide, proportional in size to the body.
- The muzzle of the Malamute is quite voluminous, its sharpening or elongation is unacceptable.
- Theears of the animal are triangular with rounded ends, standing and have wide set.
- The jaws of the dog are imposing, with large, sharp teeth.
- The lips must necessarily fit.
- The bite in Malamutes is of the scissor type.
- The eyes are small, almond-shaped, slightly slanted, the iris is brown in color, in this breed blue eyes are considered a serious defect.
- The nose of the pet is predominantly black, only in red-colored dogs it can be brown.
- Malamutes’appearance is enviable – their back is straight, the loin is covered with elastic muscles, and the chest is broad.
- The tail by nature has a perky curl and even in a quiet state rises above the back.
- The paws are powerful and bear-like.
The life cycle of Malamutes is on the average 13-15 years. Females most often bring litters with 5-6 Alaskan Malamute pups.
Character of Alaskan Malamutes
Malamutes are characterized by increased friendliness and excessive kindness. They are not loners at all, and need a close, trusting relationship whether with a canine pack or a human family. They are great for large families with small children. These dogs know how to play with children, and can always play the role of a caring nanny.
They tend to become attached to their owners, but they must be reminded that they are important and necessary members of the family. Despite all the affection, these pets just need their freedom. A closed enclosure and constant loneliness can be detrimental to their character and they may lose trust and respect of the owner.
By their nature, Malamutes are not those dogs that are ready to serve only one master, no matter what. As soon as the man ceases to be an authority for the pet, the dog immediately becomes interested in other people. We cannot call it betrayal, because this behavior is connected with natural stubbornness and high intelligence. These four-legged friends can easily get tired of monotonous activities. If they are forced a hundred times a day to bring slippers, the dog may interpret this as disrespectful attitude and for a long time to remember.
Such features of the character allow us to conclude that the Alaskan Malamute is a dog exclusively for experienced dog owners who understand the breed.
Stubborn character is also a stumbling block in the process of training, although their lively and sharp mind allows them to understand and remember absolutely all the commands from the first time. They can even execute them and repeat them, but no more than twice. Then the dogs interest in these actions disappears and they may refuse further training at all.
If a person suddenly had an idea to buy a Malamute as a guard (after all, dogs have impressive size and serious appearance), then nothing will come out of this idea. Representatives of the breed are very kind to everyone who does not show obvious aggression towards them and family members.
Malamute can become an angry dog, but only due to circumstances – after a psychological trauma received in childhood, improper education, abuse from people and other reasons that can embitter this peace-loving animal.
Alaskan Malamute care
There will be no problems with washing the pet, as these dogs just love to bathe. The main thing in bathing is to remove all detergents from the thick coat. To make the coat look smooth and well-groomed after the procedures, it should be dried and brushed at the same time.
During moulting periods combing out the down is an obligatory procedure, otherwise the pet may get pangs, and the down in the apartment will fly around, not worse than the cottonwood.
The dog’s claws need regular trimming, his eyes should be wiped every 5-7 days. Ears should be cleaned once a month.
As for residence, the ideal place for a free life will be a country house or cottage. In an apartment Alaskan Malamute will be very cramped and uncomfortable. But you just need to take care that the pet will not be able to make a dig and escape.
Also read about what to feed the Alaskan Malamute.
Photos of the Alaskan Malamute
Take a look at these great photos of the Alaskan Malamute.
We recommend watching the video about the Alaskan Malamute.
How much do purebred malamute puppies cost
Of course, it is better to buy a pet from experienced breeders, but not everyone can afford such a “pleasure”. Approximate prices for Alaskan malamute puppies are as follows:
- For $1000 you can buy a puppy Alaskan malamute, not having a pedigree;
- Around $1500 – $2500 are puppies with pedigree.
- Above $3500 – this is elite offspring from parents-champions.
When buying a puppy it is necessary to look through the documents, to examine it (it has to be active and cheerful), and to assess if it is sick and its behavior is adequate. If possible, it is desirable to look at the parents of the future champion. Alaskan Malamute is an ideal choice as a beloved pet.