About a Malamute
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The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest and largest sledge dog native to North America. Unlike his racing "cousins", the Malamute is specifically built for heavy freighting. His strength and endurance is second to none. It has often been said that the Malamute would work to the death for his master, thus explaining his self-confident, strong-willed personality.
Adult Malamutes range in size from 22" to 27" at the shoulder, weighing 70 to 100 lbs. or more. Their double coats are thick and coarse, enabling them to withstand severely cold temperatures. The oily, water-repellant texture needs little maintenance except during shedding, when the under-coat must be removed to promote healthy skin. Malamutes can tolerate most climates, though extra care is necessary to keep them comfortable in hot weather. They come in a variety of colors, the most common being gray and white and black and white. Distinctive and varying facial markings make each a unique specimen.
Malamutes are affectionate, friendly dogs, unsuitable for guard work, although their size alone will discourage intruders. They are happiest as outdoor dogs when given sufficient companionship, but many thrive as house pets. They demand attention, and failing to receive enough, will become nuisances, howling and digging holes that would put any back hoe to shame. Malamutes are patient with children but, like all large dogs, should be supervised during play. For athletic people, Malamutes are ideal. They are skilled in hunting and fishing, love backpacking, hiking and sledding, and excel in weight pulling. They do well in obedience even though their greatest joy in life is to entertain the audience with a series of comedy antics.
The Malamute is an animal with the natural instinct to "lead or be led"; therefore, training must begin as early as 3 to 5 months of age. This breed cannot be allowed to grow up lacking controlled socialization with humans and animals, as they can become domineering over people they don't respect and quite quarrelsome with other dogs of their same sex. A sensible combination of love and discipline will net the Malamute owner a devoted and trustworthy companion.