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Alaskan Malamute
~~~AKC Breed Standards
The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest
and strong, well-muscled body. The Malamute stands well over the pads, and this stance gives the appearance of much
activity and a proud carriage, with head erect and eyes alert showing interest and curiosity. The head is broad. Ears
are triangular and erect when alerted. The muzzle is bulky, only slight diminishing in width from rood to nose. The
muzzle is not pointed or long, yet not stubby. The coat is thick with a coarse guard coat of sufficient length to protect
a woolly undercoat. Malamutes are of various colors. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a
cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask. The tail is well furred, carried over the
back, and has the appearance of a waving plume.
The Malamute must be a heavy boned dog with sound legs, good feet, deep chest and powerful shoulders, and have all
of the other physical attributes necessary for the efficient performance of his job. The gait must be steady balanced,
tireless and totally efficient. He is not intended as a racing sled dog designed to compete in speed trials. The
Malamute is structured for strength and endurance, and any characteristic of the individual specimen, including
temperament., which interferes with the accomplishment of this purpose, is to be considered the most serious of faults.
There is a natural range in size in the breed. The desirable freighting sizes are males, 25 inches at the shoulders, 85
pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type,
proportion, movement and other functional attributes. When dogs are judged equal in type, proportion, movement, the
dog nearest the desirable freighting size is to be preferred. The depth of chest is approximately one half the height of
the dog at the shoulders, the deepest point being just behind the forelegs. The length of the body from point of
shoulder to the rear point of pelvis is longer than the height of the body from ground to top of the withers. The body
carries no excess weight, and bone is in proportion to size.
The head is broad and deep, not coarse or clumsy, but in proportion to the size of the dog. The expression is soft and
indicates an affectionate disposition. The eyes are obliquely placed in the skull. Eyes are brown, almond shaped and
of medium size. Dark eyes are preferred.
Blue Eyes are a Disqualifying Fault. The ears are triangular in shape and
slightly rounded at the tips. They are set wide apart on the outside back edges of the skull on line with the upper
corner of the eye, giving ears the appearance, when erect, of standing off from the skull. Erect ears point slightly
forward, but when the dog is at work, the ears are sometimes folded against the skull. High set ears are a fault.
The skull is broad and moderately rounded between the ears, gradually narrowing and flattening on top as t
approaches the eyes, rounding off to cheeks that are moderately flat. There is a slight furrow between the eyes. The
topline of the skull and the topline of the muzzle show a slight break downward from a straight line as they join. The
muzzle is large and bulky in proportion to the size of the skull, diminishing slightly in width and depth from junction
with the skull to the nose. In all coat colors, except reds, the nose, lips, and eye rims' pigmentation is black. Brown is
permitted in red dogs. The lighter streaked "snow nose" is acceptable. The lips are close fitting. The upper and lower
jaws are broad and large teeth. The incisors meet with a scissors grip. Overshot or under shot is a fault.
The neck is strong and moderately arched. The chest is well developed. The body is compactly built but not short
coupled. The back is straight and gently sloping to the hips. The loins are hard and well muscled. A long loin that may
weaken the back is a fault. The tail is moderately set and follows the line of the spine at the base. The tail is carried
over the back when not working. It is not a snap tail or curled tight against the back, nor is it short furred like a fox
brush. The Malamute tail is well furred and has the appearance of a waving plume.
The shoulders are moderately sloping; forelegs heavily boned and muscled, straight to the pasterns when viewed from
the front. Pasterns are short and strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side. The feet are of the snowshoe
type, tight and deep, with well-cushioned pads, giving a firm, compact appearance. The feet are large , toes tight fitting
and well arched. There is a protective growth of hair between the toes. The pads are thick and tough; toenails short
and strong.
The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled through the thighs, stifles moderately bent, hock joints are moderately
bent and well let down. When viewed from the rear, the legs stand and move true in line with the movement of the
front legs, not too close or too wide. Dewclaws on the rear legs are undesirable and should be removed shortly after
puppies are whelped.
The Malamute has a thick, coarse guard coat, never long and soft. The undercoat is dense, from one to two inches in
depth, oily and woolly. The coarse guard coat varies in length as does the undercoat. The coat is relatively short to
medium along the sides of the body, with the length as does the undercoat. The coat is relatively short to medium
along the sides of the body, with the length of the coat increasing around the shoulders and neck, down the back, over
the rump, and in the breeching and plume. Malamutes usually have a shorter and less dense coat during the summer
months. The Malamute is shown naturally. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of
The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red.
Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all white.
White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. A white blaze on
the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the mape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken
colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable.
The gait of the Malamute is steady, balanced, and powerful. He is agile for his size and build. When viewed from the
side, the hindquarters exhibit strong rear drive that is transmitted through a well-muscled loin to the forequarters.
The forequarters receive the drive from the rear with a smooth reaching stride. When viewed from the front or from
the rear, the legs move true in line, not too cloxe or too wide. At a fast trot, the feet will converge toward the
centerline of the body. A stilted gait, or any gait that is not completely efficient and tireless, is to be penalized.
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a "one man" dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion,
playful in invitation, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.
IMPORTANT: In judging Malamutes, their function as a sled dog for heavy freighting in the Artic must be given
consideration above all else. The degree to which a dog is penalized should depend upon the extent to which the dog
deviates from the description of the ideal Malamute and the extent to which th particular fault would actually affect
the working ability of the dog. The legs of the Malamute must indicate unusual strength and tremendous propelling
power. Any indication of unsoundness in legs and feet, front or rear, standing or moving, is to be considered a serious
fault. Faults, under this provision would be splay-footedness, cowhocks, bad pasterns, straight shoulders, lack of
angulation, stilted gait )or any gait that isn't balanced, strong and steady). ranginess, shallowness, ponderousness,
lightness of bone, and poor overall proportion.
Blue Eyes

Approved April 12, 1994   Effective May 31, 1994
Malamutes are a large breed dog that was bred mainly for pulling freight sleds for a tribe of Inuits in the late 1800's. The breed
gets its name from a distinguished group of Eskimos known as the "Mahlamuits" that first settled along the shorelines of the
Kotzebue Sound. Their very existence depended on their dogs for hauling food, supplies and necessary provisions for their

In the beginning the Malamute with the Inuit was forced due to harsh conditions to hunt polar bears, moose, wolves, walruses
and any other large, fierce predators that attempted to interfere with their long journeys needed for food. The Malamute had the
ability to work as a team in the killing of these large predators. It is told that the Malamute assisted the Inuit by locating
blow-holes where air-seeking seals were situated. The Malamute can withstand temperatures dropping below -40 degrees. Recent
DNA testing has shown that the Malamute is one of the oldest breeds of dogs, and genetically distinct from other dog breeds.

The Malamute averages around 23-26 inches in height at the shoulder, and the average weight for a female is 75-90 lbs. with the
male weighing in 90-125 lbs. The MAL stands over his shoulders and is a well built, compact dog (height to length ratio is slightly
longer than tall), with large bulky bone structure. Its curled tail serves a purpose by keeping the dogs nose and face protected
from the sub zero temperatures when they sleep outdoors in the snow.

Malamutes get along well with their humans, and make good house pets being sure footed in and around children and furniture
(caution they can chew wood furniture). MALS are not big on barking, but do enjoy "talking" they make a sound that resembles
Chewbaccas vocalization from George Lucas's "Star Wars". George loved his Malamute named Indiana (where he was from)
hence the name for his movie "Indiana Jones". Indiana went everywhere with George, restaurants etc.
George if you read this
please send me a picture of  you and Indiana ...
don't wait too long I am already 70+.....

Yes, yes...Here are old and current photos of George Lucas
with Indiana. Aren't they a handsome pair...
A'Star Wars' photo of famed Chewy is also shown.
Meka was born with rare red Agouti
Facial Markings
CHASE HIS TALE.....It is perfectly normal for a playful dog expending excess energy and enjoying
the sensation of free-wheeling, happy playfulness in a prey-centric fashion which is undeniably
entertaining...BUT..if constantly done could indicate flees, allergic dermatitis or anal gland problems.

ALWAYS LICK ME.....A sign of affection, you are the 'sun & moon', their silky tongue would have
you know...and guess what...you taste good too.

DIG.....It's so much fun for them to have your yard look like a moth-eaten sweater. By nature paws
are designed for digging behavior, making cool dens, get prey, get under/out. It relieves boredom and
stress which is exacerbated by inadequate exercise or mental stimulation.

EYES GLOW IN THE DARK.....A ghoulish green glow by night...Canine possess a light-reflecting
surface known as the tapetum lucidum located between the optic nerve and the retina. It operates
like a mirror reflecting the light allowing the rods/cones to pick up the limited amount of light
available for night active animals ie cats, cattle, deer, horses & ferrets.

STARE AT ME.....Dogs can and do stare at their owners for plenty of non-food issues or anything a
dog might want that a human can provide could be the source...from seeking attention, waiting
praise or direction to a fun game of fetch to a ride in the car or long run. Typically a good thing,
trainers encourage dogs to stare at their owners while waiting their cues....your the boss.

WALK IN A CIRCLE BEFORE LYING DOWN.....exact reason not certain...create a soft level
surface...scratch at bedding/carpet...dig a hole to keep cool/warm...all ancestral behavior.
Cause for concern...if restlessness persists, signs of discomfort or even pain could indicate arthritis or
neurological problems.

DIG IN WATER BOWL.....fresh water they want to play with something, see watery reflections etc.
At play canines, wolves (wild canids) engage in water-based  play by pouncing into streams,
breaking thin ice and swatting at their own watery reflection...so give them a mirror to look into
instead...ha still playing in dish.....lol
Recent DNA Testing/Research has shown that the Malamute is
one of the oldest breeds of dogs, (their Alleles/gene marker
variations) are genetically distinct from other canine breeds.
Also do not be alarmed 'The Survival Trait' has not been passed
on in todays Malamute.
Frequently Asked
Characteristics &
Care, Training & Housing
Special Medical Problems
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