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Alaskan Malamute Appearance
The AKC Alaskan Malamute breed standard calls for a natural range of size, with a desired freighting weight of 75 to 85 pounds (34-38.5 kg) and a height of 23 to 25 inches (58-63.5 cm). Heavier Alaskan Malamute individuals (100+ pounds) and dogs smaller than 75 pounds are common--there is often a marked size difference between Alaskan Malamute males and the Alaskan Malamute females. Weights upwards of 140 pounds or more are occasionally seen; Alaskan Malamute dogs are uncommon and are produced primarily by breeders who market a "giant" malamute. These "giant" sizes are not in accordance with the breed's history or the AKC standard. The Alaskan Malamute coat is a dense double northern dog coat, somewhat harsher than that of the Siberian Husky. The usual Alaskan Malamute colors are various shades of grey and white, sable and white, black and white, red and white, or pure white. Eyes are almond-shaped and brown; blue eyes are sometimes found, but will disqualify the Alaskan Malamute dog in shows. The physical build of the Malamute is compact with heavy boning. In this context 'compact' means that their height to length ratio is fairly even, unlike dogs like Great Danes which are longer and lankier in their ratios. One of the more serious faults in Alaskan malamutes is the tail carriage, you should be able to fit your hand through the circle created by the tails curl, it should not lie flat against the body of the dog or hang down one side.
According to the American Kennel Club, the primary criteria for judging the Alaskan Malamute in a show is its function to pull heavy freight as a sled dog; everything else is secondary. As many an owner has found out, the pulling power of a Alaskan Malamute is tremendous, and if this trait is lacking in a show dog, it is enough for a disqualification.
Alaskan Malamute Characteristics
Although still in use as sled dogs for recreational mushing, most Malamutes today are kept as family pets or show dogs. They are unable to compete successfully even in long-distance dogsled racing against smaller and faster breeds and their working usefulness is limited to freighting.
The Malamute is one of the most "unaltered" of breeds, retaining its original form and function. Responsible breeders will want to preserve this heritage of the Malamute's working abilities. They are widely regarded as handsome, affectionate toward humans, intelligent, resourceful, and hardworking.
While they may bark like other dog breeds, Malamutes normally tend to "talk" by vocalizing a "woo woo" sound (the characteristic vocalizations of Chewbacca in the Star Wars films are based upon a Malamute named Indiana, once owned by George Lucas). They may howl like wolves or coyotes when feeling excited, sad, or lonely.