Top Rated National® Puppy Finder


What Makes the Alaskan Malamute So Special?

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

The Alaskan Malamute, pronounced ma-le-myoot, is defined as a sled dog of northern America.

However, this article will give you a much more in-depth study of this wonderful breed!

Yes, this breed is closely related to huskies which is obvious by their outward appearance.


Malamutes are very loyal and affectionate, they are also very hardworking and active.

A wonderful combination of traits!

Alaskan Malamutes have been given the fun nickname Mals!


This article will cover an array of topics varying from, how do you keep their fluffy coat looking beautiful?

What kind of exercise do Mals need? Are they hard to train?

Are they healthy dogs?

Where did they come from?

Will they suit my family and me?

And many more!

So get comfortable and enjoy learning about the Alaskan Malamutes!



Alaskan Malamute Appearance


Mals bear a strong resemblance to their cousins the huskies!

Assigned to the working class, this breed is extremely strong and healthy.

Standing anywhere from 23 to 25 inches and 75 to 85 pounds, they are very hardy!

Their working background is revealed by the deep chest, powerful shoulders, and weatherproof coat.

Despite their dignified build, their dark, small eyes will be enough to capture your heart!


Mals’ coats are diverse in color, some are solid white, others are combinations of white and gray, seal, red, black, or silver,

They have a thick double coat which aided in their many outdoor jobs in the past.

A Mal’s coat can have any number or type of random markings on its fur, which makes each one unique!


Their iconic spitz tail curves over their back, while the ears stand erect.

Mals are heavy boned and thickly built, even having what is called snowshoe feet.

Their build may be big but their heart is even bigger!

The pups’ loving personalities will be discussed in the next section!



Alaskan Malamute Personality

Loving, playful, and affectionate describe Malamutes perfectly!

Mals love family and are very loyal to them!

In general, Mals are very accepting of new friends, this trait however makes them poor guard dogs as they are more curious than suspicious.

However, they are very watchful and protective of their loved ones.


As with any dog, Mals should be supervised around young children; but overall they make a great playmate for your children!

These pups tend to be very careful around household objects and small items, this makes them great house pets!

Mals have a very soft nature, they are often used in therapy programs or visiting patients in the hospital.

Aside from being rather active pups, Mals love a good cuddle on the couch with their human!


Their many roles in history have given them a love of many activities!

They make a great running, biking, hiking, or walking partner!

More about their exercise needs will be discussed in the next section.



Alaskan Malamute Exercise

Physical activity is very crucial for Mals.

Mals were not bred exclusively for being pets but for hard work.

They were crucial in history for hauling heavy loads, dog sled races, and many other physically challenging activities.


While having a spacious room or fenced-in yard for your pup to romp is necessary, Mals require a more diverse array of exercises.

Being bred to get jobs done, Mals thrive on structured exercise.

Even simply letting your Mal accompany you on a walk or run, on a rigorous hike (on which he may carry your backpack for you), on a refreshing swim, or even pulling you on your skis!

The Mal can handle it all!


These dogs are definitely suited more for active individuals or athletic families.

Malamutes have boundless energy so activities that can quickly burn off that fuel is important.

As much as exercise is necessary to keep your pup healthy, it also forges a special bond between the owner and their companion.

It’s worth all the time and effort!



Alaskan Malamute Grooming

Some special upkeep is required to keep Mal’s fluffy coat looking beautiful.

The grooming process can easily be done by the owner, however, taking them to a professional is always an option.


Its thick waterproof double coat requires brushing several times a week if not once a day.

If brushing is ignored, mats can form, and if those are neglected, infections are inevitable.

Vacuuming their fur is also an opinion to keep them free of dirt.


Twice a year in the spring and fall, Mals shed their undercoat.

During this time, brushing once a day is definitely necessary.

Adding an undercoat rake to the process is also recommended.

Mals can go up to six or eight weeks without a bath, but bathing should be part of the regular grooming process.

Conditioner can be used if the coat is feeling dry.


Considering their immense amount of hair, investing in a lint roller for shedding isn’t a bad idea!

Remember to trim their nails regularly for their comfort!



Alaskan Malamute Training

As with every dog breed, training is crucial. More so, however, with the Alaskan Malamutes.

While very intelligent, Mals have a very strong will and tend to be very stubborn.

If not properly trained from a young age, Mals tend to be dominant over young children and other pets.

It is important that your pup knows who its owner is before they end up owning you!


Their independent nature is very prominent from a young age, this can easily make them strong-willed and controlling pups if not trained.

However, when properly trained, Mals are said to be very gentle, playful, and loving!


Mals were bred to work.

They will never back down from a challenge and they love to have tasks to complete.

Giving them jobs to do is a great form of training! It helps to keep them satisfied and happy.

Mals tend to excel in canine events such as agility sports or weight-pulling competitions.


Some behaviors are particularly difficult to train out of a Mal, such as their tendency to dig.

If the pup is kept in a fenced-in yard, it is important that the fence continues to the ground to insure they don’t run away.

Housebreaking is always a challenge with any breed but remember to have patience!

Firm but loving training will transform your Mal into a great companion for you and your family!



Alaskan Malamute Health

Bad health isn’t a big concern for the Alaskan Malamutes.

Your breeder should have a health evaluation of your pup for you.

However, there are always some things to look out for in all pups!


Elbow and hip dysplasia is a condition to watch for in young pups as their bones mature.

Some Mals struggle with day blindness, meaning that they have a hard time seeing clearly outdoors or in brightly lit areas.

An underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism affects the body’s natural hormone regulation and slows metabolism. This is also something to watch for.

Zinc deficiency is somewhat common in Malamutes, the result is skin infections or coat problems.

Keeping your puppy’s ears clean and their teeth brushed are also important steps to keeping them healthy.


It is necessary that this breed have a good quality diet, given their active lifestyles.

Mals are somewhat prone to overeating or developing Bloat from ingesting their food too quickly.

A good recommendation is to feed your pup several smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to two large meals.

Your vet can help you plan a consistent diet for your Malamute!


It is imperative to be aware of possible health risks and common problems with your breed.

Don’t be a stranger to the vet and make sure to have a scheduled checkup!

Your pup’s health is crucial for their happiness and for yours!



Alaskan Malamute History

Alaskan Malamutes are one of the oldest sled dog breeds of the arctic!

Their name is derived from the Mahlemiut, Inuit people who dwelled in northwestern Alaska.


Bred to be primarily a sled dog, mainly hauling loads back and forth, the Mals also had many other jobs.

These dogs aided in carrying packs in the summer, locating seal-breathing holes in the ice, and distracting bears on hunts.

In contrast with their husky cousins who were used mostly for racing, Malamutes are freighters.

Some packs of four Mals are stated to have hauled hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds to and from villages and camps.


Malamutes have many ties to diverse people and places throughout history.

One Mal accompanied Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole.

Others were brought to Alaska by miners during the Gold Rush of 1896.

Some served as search and rescue dogs in Greenland in World War 2.

In Europe, they were used as freighting and packing dogs.


The first strain of the Malamute breed was recognized by the AKC in 1935.

In 2010 the Malamute became the official dog of Alaska!

As you can tell this is a special breed that was used to play so many roles in history, and they could play an important role in your life too!


Where Can I Find an Alaskan Malamute?

Where Can I Find an Alaskan Malamute

There are many places and websites to begin your search for your own Malamute.

It can feel overwhelming to begin searching from scratch, so this section will give you some tips on what to look for!


Reliable breeders are the most important thing to find.

They can be identified by their willingness to answer your questions and how much they know about their breeds.

Good breeders will do a screening of their pups and will make you aware of any health problems for you to watch out for.

Make sure their breeding practices are up to standard and satisfy your wants.


Scams and puppy mills are not uncommon so be sure to steer clear of those places!

You want to buy from a breeder who cares about your future pup as much as you do!

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their breeds and learn of any unique habits or certain traits of your pup.


Make sure you find the breed that suits you best!

This all takes time but it is so worth it to find your lifelong buddy!

Try spending some time with your pup before adopting, be sure you can bond with them!

Lastly, if you are on the hunt for your own Malamute, they can be found right here at Vip Puppies!

Take a look at these loveable pups today!



Q: Is an Alaskan Malamute a Good Family Dog?

A: Alaskan Malamutes can make excellent family dogs for the right person. These dogs require considerable exercise, grooming, and training to live well-adjusted lives, so it’s important for potential owners to prepare for commitment. With the right care, this breed is incredibly loyal and affectionate towards adults and kids.


Q: Is Alaskan Malamute an Intelligent Dog Breed?

A: Yes! Malamutes are decently intelligent canines. They have great learning and thinking skills and they are placed in the top 50 in the list of smartest canine breeds present today which contains almost 200 distinct dog breeds.


Q: Is the Alaskan Malamute Stranger Friendly?

A: Yes! Alaskan Malamutes are immensely friendly and warm with other people. These canines love to socialize with new people and they are always happy to see a new face. They remain comfortable in the company of a new stranger and are known to be cordial with them. This is a great breed for outgoing and very social people as these canines are also equally unreserved in nature. 


In Closing

Alaskan Malamute

So, now that you are more educated on this wonderful breed, what are your thoughts?

Are you up for an adventure with these doggos


Malamutes can appear to be an intimidating breed but with sufficient training, these pups can have you smitten with their loving and loyal character!

Always ready for their next task and with enough energy for you both, this pup is ready for any kind of hectic lifestyle!

These fun-loving Mals could be just the sidekick you need!

Could this be the right addition for you?



American Kennel Club. (2022). Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed. Retrieved from the American Kennel Club:



Tails Buddy .(2019). Retrieved from Tails Buddy:

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Why Our Customers Love Us!

Read Reviews

As Seen On