© 2014 Saints Sled Dog Rescue

Registered Charity Number 1179637

in England and SCO44070 in Scotland

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© 2014 by Saints Sled Dog Rescue proudly created with husky pulling power

 

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Owning a Alaskan Malamute?

History?

 

In some accounts, the Alaskan Malamute is described as a descendant of dogs of the Mahlemut (now known as Kuuvangmiut or more commonly Kobuk) group of Inupiat in upper western Alaska. These dogs had a prominent role with their human companions – as a utilitarian dog, working, hunting, and living alongside humans. The dogs were renowned for their excellent hunting abilities and were used to hunt large predators such as bears. They also aided their owners in finding seals by alerting to seal blow holes. The interdependent relationship between the Mahlemut and their dogs fostered prosperity among both and enabled them to flourish in the inhospitable land above the Arctic Circle.

For a brief period during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, the Malamute and other sled dogs became extremely valuable to recently landed prospectors and settlers, and were frequently crossbred with imported breeds. This was often an attempt to improve the type, or to make up for how few true Malamutes were available to purchase. This seems to have had no long-standing effect on the modern Malamute, and 2004 DNA analysis shows that Malamutes are one of the oldest breeds of dog, genetically distinct from other dog breeds. A study in 2013 showed that the Alaskan Malamute has a similar east Asian origin to, but is not clearly related to, the Greenland Dog and the Inuit Sled Dog (Canadian Eskimo Dog), but contains a possible admixture of the Siberian Husky.

(AKC) "Breed recognition came in 1935, largely through the efforts of Mrs. Eva B. Seeley. At that time many dogs were of unknown ancestry. Those who appeared purebred were used for breeding, others weeded out. After a few years the registry was closed."

"Losses from service in World War II all but eliminated the breed. In 1947 there were estimated to be only about 30 registered dogs left, so the stud book was reopened. Mr. Robert J. Zoller became involved in the breed and took this opportunity to combine M’Loot and Hinman/Irwin dogs with selected Kotzebues to create what became the Husky-Pak line. All modern Malamutes are descended from the early strains, and show combinations of characteristics in greater or lesser degree. Thus the natural differences we see today."

The Malamute dog has had a distinguished history; aiding Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole, and the miners who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896, as well as serving in World War II primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland, although also used as freighting and packing dogs in Europe. This dog was never destined to be a racing sled dog; it was used for heavy freighting, pulling hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of supplies to villages and camps in groups of at least 4 dogs for heavy loads.

The Alaskan Malamute is a member of the Spitz group of dogs, traced back 2,000 to 3,000 years ago to the Mahlemuits tribe of Alaska.

In 2010 the Alaskan Malamute was named the official state dog of Alaska.

 

Right Breed for You?

 

The Alaskan Malamute is a big dog, weighing around 38-50  kilograms.  Their purpose is to pull sledges with cargo and therefore are very strong, often not aware of their enormous strength.  They needs physical and mental challenges or they could become destructive like the Siberian Husky.  His owner needs to be prepared to invest time into training.  The Malamute has a thick, coarse outer coat and a woolly undercoat so is happy in very cold weather.  They definitely do not suit a warm climate and on warm days will need to be kept cool as they can overheat very easily.    Grooming is challenging and this dog needs grooming frequently as again like the Siberian Husky they blow their coats twice a year for 6 months each time.

 

The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly, loving and loyal family dog. Being so good-natured with people means they are not suited to guard work. However, they are not recommended for the first time dog owner because, despite their good nature toward people, they are not an easy breed. Being confident and strong-willed, they tend to be very dominant and require early obedience training and socialisation. Malamutes must never be given the opportunity to rule the family 'pack'. Malamutes also respond very poorly to harsh methods. Hitting or screaming at a Malamute will, at some point, result in it responding adversely. Malamutes need lots of love and lots of discipline. They are very intelligent so you need to be extremely firm and consistent but never harsh.

 

Positive Traits

  • Intelligent -- extremely intelligent

  • Entertaining (expect surprises)

  • Loving

  • Generous

  • Loyal

  • Playful

  • Tireless (great on hikes)

  • Companionable

  • Absolutely stunning

  • Huggable (can get lost in all that glorious coat)

  • Excellent work ethic

  • Strong and powerful

  • Although generally good natured with all people, its imposing looks may be an effective deterrent.

 

Malanutty Traits

  • Countersurfs at will

  • Raids the trash (opportunistic)

  • High prey drive (may dispatch livestock & other small animals)

  • Can be dog aggressive (especially with same sex dogs)

  • Demolition experts (expect holes in the yard)

  • Untrustworthy off leash (NEVER allow one off leash)

  • Brings new meaning to the term: "sheds"

  • Requires LOTS of training (obedience & agility are excellent choices with this breed)

  • May be loud, obnoxious and destructive when bored