Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League


Home  |  Site Map

Malamute Information
Did you know?
  • The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, was named after the native Innuit tribe called Mahlemuts, who settled along the shores of Kotzebue Sound in the upper western part of Alaska. The Mahlemuts are believed to have developed the breed to pull sleds and as a pack animal.
  • The Alaskan Malamute is the native Alaskan Arctic breed, cousin to the Samoyed of Russia, Siberian Husky (Kolyma River Region), and the Eskimo dogs of Greenland and Labrador.
  • The Malamute is a true pack animal with the natural instinct to "lead or be led", thus training and a strong pack leader are an absolute requirement to living with this breed.
  • Click here to read the January 2005 Dog World article on Malamutes - No sugar coating, the straight facts about living with this adorable but sometimes difficult breed

Malamute Color Classifications - "General colors" for the Alaskan Malamute:

  • Gray/White - Can be so light to look silver or very dark. Can also have buffy/brown undertones. Can have an open face or shadowing under the eyes and down the nose - face markings are not as dark as the black/white.
  • Wolf Gray/White - This is an old term used by breeders to describe a gray/white with buffy undertones. Breeders and rescue have gotten away from using this color description, for obvious reasons! "Wolf Gray" is only intended as a marking reference, and has no relation to wolves or wolf genetics.
  • Black/White - You will seldom see a black/white that does not have a solid bar down the nose and some sort of eye shawdowing.
  • Seal/White - Also an old term used by breeders. Not typically used with the general public as it does not define a color (lighter under coat - usually gray), instead this color is called a black/white. This color also has a black bar and some sort of shadowing under the eyes.
  • Red/White - Will have no black factor in coat or pigment - nose, lips and eye rims are liver or brown color. Mals of this color will typically have a yellow or very light brown eye color.
  • Sable/White - Looks like a red/white only they have black pigment and their coat is tipped with black.
  • White - This is the only breed standard solid color. Can some times have "biscuit" colored face markings.

Exercise - General exercise requirements for the Alaskan Malamute:
Malamutes are a working breed. They need to expend large amounts of energy to keep trim (like most of us) but also to be happy. Anyone that has ever witnessed a malamute or other working breed performing the duties they were breed for can see not only the excitement but the enthusiasm displayed when they are doing what they do best. Malamutes like to walk, chase things (tho not fetch typically), hike, sled, whatever. As long as they are moving or pulling they are happy. One of the easiest ways to quickly and easily exercise your malamute is with a "Springer". A springer is a dog jogger, or rather a device you attach to your bicycle and to the Mal that allows them to run along side, letting them set the pace. The Mal will typically run anywhere from 5-15 miles per hour. It's important to let them work up to distances if they have been otherwise sedentary recently. Consider what would happen to a human if they sat on the couch for a year as a couch potato and then went out and tried to run 5 miles. Yeah, that wouldn't be pretty. ;) You'll also want to inspect the pads of their feet if running on roads or asphault so that you make certain they don't get blisters. Mals will be so happy to be working, they won't stop. It's up to you to make certain they are OK. If they overdue it at first back off on the distance and work up to it. Start at possibly as little as a half mile and work up. If they are sore a few hours later, and they very well might be, you can give them a childrens asprin (80mg) to ease their weary joints and bones. This is a sign that it was too much. Back off and work up slowly. They might need a while to get accustomed to working, but boy will they love you for it! Some people try running or jogging with their mals, and this may work, but when compared to the speeds and endurace of a conditioned Malamute, most humans fall far short of what our companions are truely capable of.
Springers can be viewed and purchased at many locations. We've had great success with buying from http://www.dog-training.com/

Want to know more? Read further!

What You Should Know Before Adopting
This is a must read for anyone considering adopting an Alaskan Malamute. What you should know about this wonderful and loving working breed. This is a wealth of information about their virtues and their faults. Mals are NOT labs or collies, and there are a number of things one MUST know before owning a mal like their personality, pack order, intelligence, prey drive, digging, weight management, coat and hair, and their wonderful and expresive 'talking' just to start...

What To Expect From Your Adopted Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies were bred to pull sleds in the artic.

Modern homes who consider a sled dog as a pet must understand that everything about Malamutes and Siberians stems from this one overwhelming characteristic. Fussing, railing, or despairing about these characteristics -- trying to change them -- is like training a retriever to not chase or trying to train a cat to not stalk.

Malamutes and Siberians are born travelers and can never be trusted off leash. They are often escape artists. They are high-maintenance, time-consuming, and expensive to keep safe and healthy. They can be small animal and livestock killers. They shed profusely twice a year and prefer to be housedogs. They are unpaid and unskilled landscapers. They are noisy and useless as watchdogs. They are inherently stubborn, curious, and energetic -- obedience training is usually necessary, always a challenge, & must be approached with a strong sense of the ridiculous.

Many people meet a Malamute or a Siberian and decide they want a "pretty sleddog" without knowing just what sort of trouble they are borrowing. Most people who have never lived with one think this is exaggerated. Until it happens to them. The movie Snow Dogs has come out recently. They are just like that - destructive, loud, energetic, rambunctious, obstreperous, willful, and flight risks. And you must love them because of, not despite, all those things.

You might have watched them on TV, in the movies, or have been to a dog show or two. Maybe you just met a pair in the park or a puppy in a pet store and said to yourself... "I want a Malamute!" Now that you know what you like, you need to do yourself and your potential new pal in life a big favor and ask the hard question: "WHY?"
Click here to read all about it!

WAMAL Malamute Gear
The WAMAL Cafe Press online store
You can find everything like cups, sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, hats, cooking aprons, whatnot... can all be found here.

All proceeds (between $2 and $3 per item) goes directly to WAMAL Rescue Mals

AMAL Bookstore

If an order is placed from one the book links below,
AMAL will earn a 15% commission from Amazon.com.

The Alaskan Malamute, Yesterday and Today - Click for book details and pricing
The Alaskan Malamute, Yesterday and Today

by Barbara A. Brooks, Sherry E. Wallis
Find out more at
  Click shopping cart for book details and pricing
New Owner's Guide to Alaskan Malamutes - Click for book details and pricing A New Owner's Guide to Alaskan Malamutes

- by Al Holabach, Mary Jane Holabach
Find out more at
  Click shopping cart for book details and pricing
Everything About Alaskan Malamutes - Click for book details and pricing Alaskan Malamutes: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Breeding, Behavior, and Training

- by Betsy Sikora Siino (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
Find out more at
  Click shopping cart for book details and pricing
This is the Alaskan Malamute - Click for book details and pricing This is the Alaskan Malamute

- by Joan McDonald Brearley
Find out more at
  Click shopping cart for book details and pricing
Alaskan Malamutes - Click for book details and pricing Alaskan Malamutes

- by Bill Le Kernec
Find out more at
  Click shopping cart for book details and pricing

Alaskan Malamute FAQ
The Alaskan Malamute is a large and powerful sled dog. They can weigh over 100 lbs and stand up to 30 inches high at the shoulder, though 25 inches high is regarded as the preferred height for freighting. They are an impressive looking dog, quite beautiful and dignified. Do you have questions about them, then look no further because here is a wonderful source of information:
The Alaskan Malamute Frequently Asked Questions (from rec.pets.dogs).

AKC Malamute Page
The Alaskan Malamute was recognized for AKC registration in 1935. Read all about them for breed standards and history on:
The American Kennel Club - Malamute Page.

Homepage This RingSurf Alaskan Malamutes Net Ring
owned by WAMAL.

Want to join the Alaskan Malamute Net Ring?
[Skip Prev] [Prev] [Next] [Skip Next] [Random] [Next 5]
[List Sites] {Previous 5 Sites] {Index]

WAMAL is a non-affiliated non-profit 501c3 organization and works in co-operation with
and within the guidelines of the Alaskan Malamute Assistance League (AMAL).