The Alaskan Malamute was created by the Mahlemut, an Inuit tribe from the northern part of Alaska and it is a descendent of the Artic wolf. It was bred to pull sleds, haul heavy loads of food, equipment and to endure harsh temperatures. This dog is more suitable for hauling than for sleigh races.
It is the largest of the Artic dogs, hefty, brawny, with strong legs and snowshoe-like paws, which keeps him from sinking in the snow. The head is wide, a bit rounded between the ears. The muzzle is big and strong, with a nose that can be black, brown or white. The eyes are medium-sized, almond shaped and dark brown. The ears are small, triangular, round-ended and erect. The tail is medium-sized, bushy and kept over the back. The Alaskan Malamute has a double-coat, the first layer is fluffy and thick (5 cm) and the second layer is composed of shaggy, thick hair, longer at the rear of the body. The colors of the coat can vary from simple white to combinations of grey, black, dark grey or reddish, with white areas (belly, legs and muzzle) and a dark mask or cap.
It is a very resistant, dynamic, intelligent dog, but it can also be stubborn and dominant, and can think on its own. It is affectionate and devoted to its master, friendly and playful with children even with strangers, that’s why it isn’t a very good watchdog. It gets along well with other dogs, because it was bred to work in a team, where a hierarchy is formed, just like a wolf pack. The males can be sometimes aggressive in the presence of other dogs of the same gender. If they are socialized at an early age with other animals from the household, there will be no problems.
The fur of this dog must be combed during the shedding period to remove dead and loose hairs.
Malamutes are happiest living outdoors, in a colder climate, next to an active master. They can also get used to living in a flat, but they need daily exercise and intense activity. It needs socializing and training.
It is a friendly dog but stubborn, and with a mind of its own. In this case, the training must be done by an experienced person, able to understand its character. The training must be firm, well-balanced, consistent, pretty varied, because the Alaskan Malamute is an intelligent dog and understands easily. It can also participate in agility contests, even though it wouldn't be the best there.
In some areas it is still used for sleigh hauling, but more frequently it is used as a companion dog.