The upper western part of Alaska is the natural home of the Alaskan Malamute. It is a harsh, cold place. The tribe of native peoples there was called the Mahlemuts, which eventually became Malamute. The Malamutes took care of their dogs because they were partners in work. The large dogs pulled heavy sleds across snow and ice. This was the only system of transportation possible for trade and the necessities of life.
The Malamute is a heavy-set dog. He is powerful and needs lots of exercise. Joining his family hiking or sledding are favorite ways for him to spend his time. The Malamute has a thick outer coat and a dense undercoat that is soft, woolly, and oily. The undercoat sheds out twice a year, and must be brushed frequently during shedding season.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Designed to haul heavy freight, he should be heavy-boned, powerful, and tireless. Carries himself proudly with alert head and eyes. Playful and devoted.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, approximately 25 inches at the withers; females, approximately 23 inches. Weight--males, approximately 85 pounds; females, approximately 75 pounds.
The Alaskan Malamute is the native Alaskan sled dog. The Siberian Husky is a smaller, quicker dog that originated in northeast Asia. The Alaskan Malamute's purpose was, and still is, to haul heavy sleds. Champion Malamutes can pull over 1,000 pounds.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.