Showsight Presents The Alaskan Malamute

Another Look at the ALASKAN MALAMUTE By Sharon Weston

T his is a test…close your eyes; someone says Alas- kan Malamute. What do you see; power, sub- stance, athletic, beauty? Th at’s a good start! Our breed standard is a simple one spelling out what makes the “ideal” Malamute. We don’t use a lot of fancy words that send you to Spira to f ind out what we mean. You don’t need a degree in geometry because we don’t use a lot of numbers or percentages to describe how the breed should be made. There is only one disqualif ication. Blue eyes. However, because the Malamute is a natural breed there is a range of variety that often confusing to judges. We are going to explore these areas. There are 3 words I share with peo- ple to help them put the standard into perspective. TYPE is the f irst and most important. To have breed type there can be no question the dog looks like a Malamute; not a Siberian, not an Akita. Next the dog must possess all the physi- cal attributes necessary to do its work. The combination results in breed type. Second and very important is BAL- ANCE. This breed is not extreme. All parts must blend together so that no part overtakes all others. The third

word is STYLE. When Malamutes walk into a ring you may think they all look like a Malamute but they can look quite different from each other. That’s where style comes in. It’s the look! It can be face markings, coloring, size to some degree, coat length, etc. In order to understand the reasoning behind our standard one must remember what the breed was bred for. The Mala- mute is the powerhouse of sledge dogs. His job is to haul a heavy load over a long distance at a moderate speed unlike the Siberian who hauls a light load. He is

asked to do this under the most extreme conditions and often on a very limited diet. The Standard refers to moderate several times; therefore, extremes are not in keeping with the ideal Alaskan Malamute. With this in mind how do we f ind the best exhibit before us on any given day? Your f irst look at the lineup will include noticing size variances. The only numbers our standard articulates are those relating to size and weight. Size should never outweigh all the oth- er attributes necessary to proper breed

“There are 3 words I share with people to help them put the standard into perspective: TYPE, BALANCE, AND STYLE.”

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