History of the Great Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is probably among some of the first dogs to ever be domesticated. The Mal has such a rich heritage they are believed to be bred true for centuries if not millennia. Sculpted by its arctic homeland and the people who lived there. The Malamute takes it name from native Eskimos, or Inuit's, these people were known as the Mahlemuts. The Mahlemuts relied on the dogs for survival, and the dogs relied on the Mahlemuts. They were hunting partners! The dogs would haul large game home over vast expanses of frozen tundra. The dogs that fulfilled this duty had to be powerful and muscular with impeccable instincts, stamina, and endurance, attributes far more critical than speed! No other arctic dog can compare to the strength and endurance of the Alaskan Malamute!
Around the time of 1890 - 1900, there were gold seekers in Alaska. Most prospectors sought the services of freighting dogs so the Malamute became very valuable to them. Many prospectors began to fill their idle hours pitting their dogs against each other in weight pulling contests, another Malamute calling. Then they started to use the dogs for races. The Alaskan Malamute earned the title of Alaska's premier freighting endurance dog. However, Racing was better suited for smaller, lighter dogs. Consequently the Malamute bloodlines were used to develop what would become the favored racers, Siberian Husky's and Alaskan Huskies.
The Malamutes reputation for strength, loyalty, courage, and endurance spread to the lower 48. The Alaskan Malamutes were among the recruits of Admiral Richard Byrds expeditions to the South Pole. The successful explorations would not have been accomplished without the dogs! The same could be said for the Malamute's contribution to America's efforts in WWII. Because of their natural talents Malamutes were used to pull sleds in snow covered areas that were inaccessible to other more mechanical means of transportation. They were used as pack animals to carry weaponry and ammunition across the frozen ground. They were also used as search and rescue dogs. Most of the dogs used for the explorations of the South Pole and the War perished in the line of duty, a sad fate in which the Malamute had long been accustomed.
There has always been a belief that the Alaskan Malamute must be part wolf. Their instincts and looks may remind you of a wolf, but the bond and respect they share with their families and children will convince you that the Alaskan Malamute is the best pet ever! Those of us who have had a Malamute know exactly what I am talking about. If you are thinking of getting a Mal you will soon know. There is nothing like an Alaskan Malamute! NOTHING!
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion, playful, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.
The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable. Their noses are black, however a pink strip is acceptable. Usually you will only see the pink strip in the winter, turning black again in the spring.
Size (AKC Standards)
There is a natural range in size in the breed. The desirable freighting sizes are males, 25 inches at the shoulders, 85 pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. Any Malamute over 100 lbs. is considered a giant Malamute.
Remember Malamutes are bred to haul heavy loads. They can pull people pretty well too. You have to make sure that you take your Malamute for a walk instead of him taking you! Again training is important.