The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed dog that was originally bred for hauling heavy freight, which their strength and endurance made them prime candidates for.
The males tend to be between 24 and 26 inches tall, weighing in between 80 and 95 pounds. The females are slightly smaller, falling between 22 and 24 inches in height, weighing between 70 and 84 pounds.
They have an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years. The Alaskan Malamute temperament has been described as playful, affectionate, friendly, dignified, devoted, and loyal. Similar breeds include the Samoyed, the American Eskimo Dog, and the Siberian Husky. You can find Malamutes in a variety of color patterns, all of which feature white. You can find the following color patterns in pure bred Malamutes:
- Black and white
- Brown and white
- Gray and white
- Sable and white
- Seal and white
- Red and white
More recently, Alaskan Malamutes have been used as sled dogs, along side similar breeds.
In today’s world, they are less commonly seen as working dogs, and more commonly seen as household pets. Although these dogs are extremely smart, training them can be difficult as they tend towards a stubborn temperament.
Proper motivation, however, is very useful in the successful training of Malamutes. Another downside is that Malamutes may tend towards being aggressive to smaller animals as they have retained natural hunting instincts. One interesting fact is that one of the original reasons for breeding Malamute’s, besides for hauling freight, was to babysit the children of an Inuit Tribe called Mahlemut (hence the name) when they were out on hunts. This is one reason they are very good family dogs.
Although they tend to be quiet dogs, seldom barking, when they do vocalize it often sounds like a wolf, coyote, or as though they are saying ‘woo woo.’ Malamutes are prone to a variety of health issues, including: hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, epilepsy, congenital heart problems, kidney problems, and skin disorders.
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky
Although the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky have many things in common, they are very different breeds of dogs. Before we delve into what makes them different, let’s take a look at how they are the same:
- Both are northern breeds
- Double Coats
- Bred for similar activities
- Prey-driven, and will go after small animals
- Pack Oriented
- Born to run. Both breeds will run for hours.
Despite the traits that they share, Malamute’s and Huskies are two very different breeds. The differing characteristics between them are as follows:
- The Malamute is larger by 30 to 50 pounds.
- Malamute’s always have brown eyes, while the Husky can have brown, blue, or dual brown/blue eyes.
- Huskies have a longer life span, living between 1 and 3 years longer on average then the Malamute.
- Huskies tend to be less bold and more laid back.
- Siberians are better with homes with more animals then the Malamute’s are.