THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE
by SHILON BEDFORD
W hen describing the Alas- kan Malamute, nothing stands out in my mind more than the descrip- tion in the summary paragraph of our breed standard. “In judging the Alaskan Malamute, their function as a sledge dog for heavy freighting in the Arctic must be given consideration above all else.” The Alaskan Malamute came to us from the Mahlemut Inuit tribe that lived in the Norton Sound area of Alaska. They were hard working dogs yet affection- ate to those who provided them care. In the early development of the breed other similar lines were added to form the dogs you see today. For this reason you will see a variety of styles in this breed and all are acceptable. The Alaskan Malamute’s function is to haul heavy freight over long dis- tances. Your first impression of the
Malamute should be one of a powerful, well muscled, athletic dog. They stand well over their pads showing alertness and a proud carriage. Rarely do they stand like statues as they are always ready for what comes next. The ideal freighting size of the Alas- kan Malamute is 25” at the shoulder for males and 23” for females. The standard clearly states that “Size consideration should not outweigh that of type, pro- portion, movement and other function- al attributes”. You will see a range of heights in the ring but please remember that bigger is not better. Body lengths are longer than tall and compactly built but not short coupled. Dogs should be well muscled and in excellent condition with no excessive weight. The head of the Malamute is broad and deep and should be in proportion to the size of the dog. Their eyes are
obliquely placed, almond shaped and preferably dark brown. The only breed disqualification is blue eyes. The ears are of medium size though they often appear small due to their standoff coat which covers the base of the ears. The ears are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tip. The ears are placed on the outside back edges of the skull and point slightly forward. They are placed wide apart with the outside edge of the ear in line with the outside cor- ner of the eye. This placement is a dis- tinct difference from the Siberian Hus- ky. The muzzle is bulky and tapers very little from skull to the nose. Pigment is black in all colors except red dog where brown is acceptable. A snow nose is often seen in winter and is acceptable. The jaws should be broad with large teeth that meet in a scissors grip.
398 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2018
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