23-28" (58-71 cm) 75-85 lb (34-39 kg) Thick coarse outercoat. Dense, oily wooly undercoat. Solid white, mostly white with shadings from light grey to black, sable, red.
Some 4,000 years ago, when the Bering Strait provided access from Siberia to Alaska, an Inuit tribe known as the Mahlemuts came to North America, bringing along their Alaskan Malamute packs. Strong, hardy and exceptionally suited to harsh northern conditions, these dogs hauled sleds and carried packs, allowing the Inuit to travel where food was most plentiful. The dogs were prized and never sold to non-Inuit homes but when the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 brought American prospectors to Alaska, greed overcame sensibility, and good dogs sold for hundreds of dollars. Many attempted to “improve” the breed by crossing it with smaller, faster dogs for racing, or larger dogs for weight pulling or fighting. The results could have decimated the breed, but the strong Arctic Spitz type was prepotent, and most poor traits were bred out within two or three generations.
It’s speculated that the humane care typically given to the Alaskan Malamute has given him a better temperament than some other Spitz breeds, but it’s important to remember he is a pack animal whose entire history is based on survival of the fittest. He is a friendly dog who loves all people equally and does not bond particularly closely. Early socialization and training will teach him where he stands in his family’s pack. Bred to work hard, the Alaskan Malamute needs lots of exercise, and a large fenced yard is a necessity.