Alaskan Malamute At-a-Glance

People often mistake the Alaskan Malamute for a Siberian Husky, but they are a completely different breed. The Malamute is larger and more muscular, and much more stubborn! Fortunately, they are highly intelligent and proper training can keep that stubborn streak under control.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 85-95
Female: 70-75
Height (inches)
Male: 26-26
Female: 23-24
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Protective Nature
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Good General Health
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Shedding
  • Likes to Play
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Low Amount of Barking

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

General Overview

The Malamute looks a lot like a wolf and is larger and more muscular than a Siberian Husky, although both were originally bred as sled dogs. The main characteristics of a Malamute include agility, endurance, speed, strength, and independence. They are also known for having tremendous appetites, so care must be taken to see that they don’t become overweight.

Speaking of independence, you should know that Malamutes can be pushy and will attempt to show dominance if they aren’t socialized early, along with proper obedience training. As such, they are not ideal dogs for novice owners. Their natural inclination is to be the alpha and if you don’t assert dominance over them early, they will end up training you.

However, they are highly intelligent dogs, which makes them easy to train if you start early and do it right – or hire a professional trainer who will do it right for you! The good news is that as puppies, they are known for being easy to potty train.

Malamutes are affectionate and gentle with their families, including children, and are also friendly towards strangers. While very protective of their families, they don’t make particularly good guard dogs, as they don’t bark a lot as a rule. But if they perceive a threat, they will stand in front of their family against all intruders.

These are high-energy dogs that require a lot of running and playtime, so they do best in a house with a large yard. Without enough play time and exercise, or if left alone for long periods of time, they will become bored. This will lead to destructive behaviors.

Overall, Malamutes are very healthy dogs. Another positive is that, like Siberian Huskies, their coats are odorless. That’s right – no doggie smell!

You should also be aware that Malamutes are not naturally friendly towards other pets, particularly other dogs of the same sex. However, they will tolerate other pets in the house if introduced to them at an early age.

If you have the ability and patience to properly socialize and train your Malamute, you will be rewarded with a loyal and protective family dog.

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