The Alaskan Malamute dog breed is categorized as a spitz. They are very similar in appearance to another spitz breed the Siberian Husky. Sometimes it may be somewhat difficult to identify the differences between the two dog breeds. The main difference between the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute is that the Alaskan Malamute tends to be heavier. Both dogs were bred to pull sleds during the cold and harsh winter conditions.
The history of the Alaskan Malamute didn’t start in Alaska but actually started in Siberia. This is one of the main reasons for their thick coats of fur to get them through the harsh cold weather. In Siberia along with pulling sleds they were bred to help with the hunting for these small groups of people. They crossed the Bering Strait in very ancient times and were brought to Alaska. Based on their history they are definitely dogs for colder climates. However, some have adapted to warmer climates as well.
Is the Alaskan Malamute for you?
This is a dog breed that can create an extremely strong bond with their owner. However, it takes the proper training especially in the early formative years of their lives. They will take over your household if you allow it to. This is one of the reasons that we don’t particularly recommend this breed for novice owners. Their past which included chasing away polar bears and hunting carries over with the breed today. If you do select this dog breed you need to introduce them to other animals and people early in their lives. If you don’t train them properly it could lead to aggressive behaviors such as growling or biting.
Additionally, the Alaskan Malamute doesn’t tend to bark as much as the Siberian Husky. They will howl sometimes if they feel lonely. This could be signs of separation anxiety for more on this check out our blog Dog Separation Anxiety – Problems, Causes, and Solutions. Overall, the Alaskan Malamute is open to being trained and tends to be friendly around people. They do not make great watchdogs for this reason. If you are fine with some shedding, have time and ability to train a dog then the Alaskan Malamute could be for you.
Based on these characteristics, we give the Alaskan Malamute a rating of 5 out of 10 on our Athenas Pets Household Pet Ranker.
The Athenas Pets Household Pet Ranker takes into account several characteristics of each breed. Items considered are:
- Willingness to be Trained
- How Comfortable they are around People
- Ability to live in a Household Environment.
The Alaskan Malamute that most people know and love are black and white in color. However, they are not all black and white. While they always will have some form of white in their fur they don’t always have that classic black mixed in. Other colors that the Alaskan Malamute may contain are gray, red, or even a chocolate color. Like I briefly mentioned earlier the Alaskan Malamute is somewhat larger than the Siberian Husky. The Alaskan Malamute will range anywhere between 22 and 26 inches. Comparing this to the Siberian Husky that is only 20 to 24 inches when standing on all fours.
For the Alaskan Malamute’s weight you will quickly recognize that they are quite big dogs. This dog breed will typically range between 70 and 95 pounds. When we look at all dog breeds this definitely places them as heavier dogs. They are also one of the larger of the spitz breed as well.
The Alaskan Malamute tend to love people especially the ones they become close with. If you treat them properly you can have one of the strongest bonds possible with a pet. They have a history of this when you take a look at some of the heartwarming sled dog stories. While the Alaskan Malamute can be somewhat of a challenge at times if you show compassion and have a good training regimen they very well could be the breed for you.