Dog Breed Facts: Alaskan Malamute

1. The Alaskan Malamute was Developed by a Tribe of Native Americans

The Alaskan Malamute was created by a tribe of Native Americans called the Innuit. The specific tribe that created this dog was called the Mahlemuts. This gives the dog part of its namesake of being a Malamute, and the tribe was found in Alaska, giving the rest of the namesake.

The dog was bred to be used to help in hunting and pulling goods. It was important for the dogs to be able to deal with extremely cold temperatures and snowy weather. It is believed that prehistoric, primitive dogs were used for breeding the Alaskan Malamute.

2. The Gold Rush Almost Ruined the Alaskan Malamute

The Gold Rush saw the need for many working dogs to come to assist in transporting individuals to California. This occurred at the end of the 1800s. One breed that was utilized and bred with other dogs was the Alaskan Malamute.

This breeding almost led to the end of the Alaskan Malamute. Thankfully, the Mahlemut people in Alaska still had a great number of purebred Alaskan Malamutes. They had the only purebred ones who were left in America.

3. The Alaskan Malamute May Be Part Wolf

The Alaskan Malamute may be part wolf. Many individuals do believe that a wolf is part of the ancestry of this beautiful breed of dog. This dog does look like a wolf, but most scientists believe that this rumor is not true.

There is still confusion about the wolf background of this breed of dog, though. Many assume the dog is part wolf as they are used to portray wolves in movies and since they have such as a close resemblance to wolves. It is important to remember that this breed is a domestic pet, though.

4. The Alaskan Malamute Has a Water-Resistant Coat

The coat on the Alaskan Malamute is double-layered. This is very similar to a seal or another sea mammal’s coat. It is resistant to water and can keep the dog warm in the coldest of temperatures.

An Alaskan Malamute’s skin will always be warm and dry under this coat, preventing any sickness or hypothermia. Each one of these dogs does come in a wide range of colors with a distinctive look to each. Each does have white markings in some form, though.

5. The Alaskan Malamute Sheds a Lot

The amount of shedding that an Alaskan Malamute does is a lot. They shed more than many other dogs. It is an excessive amount that is sure to line your home and line your clothing, requiring additional care and cleaning.

An Alaskan Malamute must get blown out every week. When doing this, you will have enough leftover hair to fill up multiple grocery bags. This is just in a week too. That is a lot of extra furs that have to be taken care of on an Alaskan Malamute’s coat.

6. The Alaskan Malamute is the Leader of the Pack

The Alaskan Malamute is a very dominant breed. They are not aggressive in any way, but they do see themselves as the leader of the pack, even if the pack is your family. They are great with children, however.

Despite this dominance, Malamutes are extremely loyal and affectionate. They want to be with their owners and protect them at all costs. They also want to please their owners, though they can be stubborn with learning tricks and commands at first when starting training.

7. Alaskan Malamutes are Best Suited for the Cold

Alaskan Malamutes were bred to survive the coldest temperatures. Their double coats help them to stay healthy and warm even amongst high winds and extreme cold. They were made to work in Alaska initially, where it stays extremely cold.

More specifically, Alaskan Malamutes can survive and thrive in temperatures that are as low as 70 degrees below zero. This is extraordinarily cold. Their fur allows them to endure the added cold from winds, snow, ice, and cold water as well. The skin will remain dry through the double layer.

8. Alaskan Malamutes are Not Sled Racers

Many assume that Alaskan Malamutes can race in sled racing competitions just as their closely related cousin, the Husky. They would be able to be a competitor in a sled racing competition, however. They are just as agile, strong, and full of stamina.

Alaskan Malamutes are not able to perform in these types of competitions due to their size, however. There are other competitions that these dogs can excel in, however. These include competitions in weight pulling or obedience and agility courses depending on your dog’s strengths.

9. The Alaskan Malamute is Prone to Certain Health Conditions

Unfortunately, it is very common for the Alaskan Malamute to get canine diabetes. This condition is very common among dogs who live in cold and Arctic environments. The diagnosis will often not appear until the dog is middle-aged.

No one knows why Alaskan Malamutes are so prone to this disease or why any Arctic-loving dog is. Many assume it is due to the environment in which they live, however. The environment has a lot to do with what they can eat, as well. A diagnosis can be provided by the time the dog is seven years old, at least.

10. The Alaskan Malamute is Very Popular Due to Books by Jack London

Jack London wrote two very popular books involving owners and their dogs. These books are called White Fang and The Call of the Wild. The dog characters in these books are Alaskan Malamutes.

Rudyard Kipling also showcased these types of dogs in his books. The dogs are frequently used in Hollywood as well through T.V. shows, and movies as the dogs are popularly used to portray wolves. They will continue to be utilized, as well.

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