ALASKAN MALAMUTE APPEARANCE:
Their breed standard calls for a weight of 75 to 85 pounds (34-38.5 kg) and a height of 23 to 25 inches (58-63.5 cm) but much heavier individuals (120 to 140 pounds) are commonly seen. The coat is a dense double northern dog coat, somewhat harsher than that of the Siberian Husky. The usual colours are various shades of grey and white, sable and white, black and white, red and white, or pure white. The physical build of the Malamute is compact and heavy bone is called for.
The Malamute is a descendant of dogs of the Mahlemuit tribe of upper western Alaska.
For a brief period during the Gold Rush, the Malamute and other sled dogs became extremly valuable to recently landed prospectors and settlers, and were frequently crossbred with imported breeds. This was often a misguided attempt to improve the type, or to make up for how few true Malamutes were up for sale. This genetic dilution seems to have had no long standing effect on the modern Malamute, and recent DNA analysis shows that Malamutes are one of the oldest breeds of dog, genetically distinct from other dog breeds. .
The Malamute dog has had a distinguished history; aiding Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole, and the miners who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896. This dog was never destined to be a racing sled dog; instead, it was used for heavy freighting, pulling thousands of pounds of supplies to villages and camps.
Health issues in the Malamute are hip dysplasia, inherited polyneuropathy, and the usual northern-breed eye problems (particularly cataract and progressive retinal atrophy).
Their dense coats mean that Malamutes do not go well with hot weather. When the weather gets hot, they—even more than other dogs—need plenty of water and shade.
The Malamute temperament is friendly and affectionate by reputation, but they are known among dog drivers for their readiness to scrap with other dogs.