Alaskan Malamute


One of the oldest sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute evolved in Alaska. There they hunted with native peoples for seals and polar bears, and then hauled the catch back to the village. The arrival of white settlers brought mixed breeding until the 1920s, when people interested in sled dog racing began to breed the traditional malamutes. A noted contributor to Admiral Byrd’s trek to the South Pole in 1933, the AKC recognized the breed in 1935.


Large; females 23 inches, 75 pounds; males 25 inches, 85 pounds.


Light gray to black, red, or sable with white markings, also all white; brown eyes (unlike the blue eyes of its Siberian cousin).


Affectionate, friendly, playful, and loyal. Behaves well if given enough exercise; can be territorial with other pets.

Energy level:

Low to medium.

Best owner:

Active owner with time for adequate exercise (long walks, runs) maintaining firm, consistent methods of training.


Daily doses of vigorous exercise, daily brushing, cool climate.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.