7 Facts About Alaskan Malamutes

two alaskan malamute puppies in hats playing

Alaskan Malamutes are sweet, loyal, and gorgeous dogs that can be wonderful companions for anyone who has experience raising and training dogs. This dog breed was bred to travel in larger packs and pull large loads through the frozen tundra. They are high-energy, athletic, and intelligent dogs that can achieve amazing feats. Here are some more facts about Alaskan Malamutes:

1. Alaskan Malamutes are Prone to Digging

One of the reasons why dogs dig is that it can be instinctual. Some dog breeds, especially those with a high prey drive, are just more prone to digging than other dog breeds. The Alaskan Malamute is one of the dog breeds that is prone to digging. Although instinctual behavior is harder to stop or redirect, Malamutes will dig for a variety of reasons.

Digging as a destructive behavior can be one of the signs your dog is bored. If it’s a solvable problem, like being too hot or boredom, you can work with your dog to solve the issue and curb the behavior.

If it’s instinctual, you may be better off trying to accommodate your Alaskan Malamute’s desire to dig by sectioning off a portion of the yard for them or making them a sandbox. This can be one of the ways to create a dog-friendly backyard, especially if your dog loves to dig!

2. They are Talkative

Alaskan Malamutes may not be known for their barking, but they are talkative. These dogs will howl in low notes and make “woo woo” noises that sound like they are trying to communicate with you conversationally.

Over time, they may do this more or less depending on the reactions they get from it. Or, they may only do it when they want food, affection, or because they are bored.

3. Alaskan Malamutes Almost Disappeared

Alaskan Malamutes almost disappeared as an established breed during the Gold Rush. Many different dog breeds arrived in Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896 and native dogs interbred with them. So much so, that the pure type began to disappear and was almost lost.

One of the original settlement tribes, the Mahlemuts, were relatively isolated, which helped keep their line of Alaskan Malamutes relatively intact. Because of this, the Alaskan Malamute survived better than other breeds in the area and this is the purest line of Malamutes in existence.

4. They Served in War

These dogs served in World War I when they were sent to France to deliver supplies to mountain outposts. The American Kennel Club recognized the Alaskan Malamute the same year that the Alaskan Malamute Club of America formed, which was 1935. Shortly after, World War II broke out and there was a demand for sled dogs.

So, many of the Alaskan Malamutes that were registered at the time were called to serve on war duty. As part of the war effort, they pulled sleds of supplies, carried weapons, worked in search-and-rescue, sniffed for mines, and more.

After serving in the war, many of them were relocated to work on an expedition to Antarctica. Unfortunately, this particular expedition did not go well and most of the sled dogs were lost. Thankfully, enough of the original lines remained to allow the breed to continue.

5. Alaskan Malamutes are Task-Oriented and High-Energy

These dogs are high-energy working dogs that are happiest when they have a job to do. They love long walks and are known to enjoy hiking with a dog backpack. They have even been trained and used for carting, sledding, and pulling someone on skis.

Although they have a lot of energy, these dogs are also versatile and can adapt to a ton of different activities. They are considered one of the sturdy dog breeds for outdoor adventures. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with different things to discover what your Alaskan Malamute enjoys doing the most!

6. They are the Official State Dog of Alaska

Based on the name, it may seem obvious that the official state dog of Alaska is the Alaskan Malamute. However, the breed did not obtain that title until 2010.

It was only thanks to the hard work of some schoolchildren who were working on a class project and petitioned the effort through the Alaska Legislature that the Alaskan Malamute was recognized as the state dog.

7. Alaskan Malamutes Love the Snow

As one of the fluffiest dog breeds and a well-known cold-weather breed, it should come as no surprise that the Alaskan Malamute LOVES the snow. These dogs were built for not only surviving, but also for thriving in arctic conditions.

Any Malamute owners know that they tend to melt into lazy puddles of fluff in the summer and roll around endlessly in the snow in the winter. Like Siberian Huskies, Mals are known to stay out in the snow for hours and even dig snow dens to take naps in. As one of the classic dog breeds that love winter, you may have a hard time getting your Mal to come inside once there is snow on the ground.

Are You Ready to Add an Alaskan Malamute Puppy to Your Family?

These are just a few facts about Alaskan Malamutes. The Alaskan Malamute is one of the snow dog breeds that can be a great fit for experienced owners and families that can handle their high energy and give them the attention and exercise they need.

If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and check out the available Alaskan Malamute puppies. Who knows? You could find your new best friend!