ABOUT THE BREED - BREED STANDARD
United States of America
Sledge dog for heavy freighting
The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body. The Malamute stands well over the pads, and this stance gives the appearance of much activity and a proud carriage, with head erect and eyes alert showing interest and curiosity. The head is broad. Ears are triangular and erect when alerted. The muzzle is bulky, only slight diminishing in width from root to nose. The muzzle is not pointed or long, yet not stubby. The coat is thick with a coarse guard coat of sufficient length to protect a woolly undercoat. Malamutes are of various colors. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask. The tail is well furred, carried over the back, and has the appearance of a waving plume.
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a "one man" dog. Eskimo people used to share their dogs and that's the reason why Alaskan Malamute have been loyal and devoted work partners through the years and now have become beautiful companions inside the household.
The head is the first thing you notice; it indicates an affectionate disposition. It is large and impressive in proportion to the size of the dog, must show intelligence. Small atypic or unproportioned big heads are to be penalized.
The eyes are obliquely placed in the skull. Eyes are brown, almond shaped and of medium size. Dark eyes are preferred. Blue Eyes are a Disqualifying Fault. We also think that yellow-amber eyes should not be tolerated even in red-coated dogs.
The ears are of medium size, but small in proportion to the head. The ears are triangular in shape and slightly arrow-shaped at the tips, not large and rounded. They should not be set high, like Siberian Husky, or too low off the baseline of the skull. Big ears are a fault since they would loose too much heat and would be hard to fold against the skull when the dog is at work.
The muzzle is large and bulky in proportion to the size of the skull, never long and pointed like Collies, diminishing slightly in width and depth from junction with the skull to the nose. In all coat colors the nose, lips, and eye rims' pigmentation is black, also preferred in red-coated dogs. The lips are close fitting. The upper and lower jaws are broad with large teeth. The incisors meet with a scissors grip. Overshot or undershot is a fault.
Has to be deep, strong and slightly curved. Usually a well-balanced neck means solid front-pulling with good rear push. Dogs that have smaller head-feet angle tend not to have very well-defined necks, while those that have bigger angle tend to have longer necks. The back has to be straight-lined. A Malamute that falls in line from the head down tends to overload the rear with sliding results on the front.
The tail is moderately set and follows the line of the spine at the base. The tail is carried over the back when not working. It is not a snap tail or curled tight against the back, nor is it short furred like a fox brush. The Malamute tail is well furred and has the appearance of a waving plume. We think that the tail factor is to be considered least important when judging a Malamute.
The gait of the Malamute is steady, balanced, and powerful. He is agile for his size and build. When viewed from the side, the hindquarters exhibit strong rear drive that is transmitted through a well-muscled loin to the forequarters. The forequarters receive the drive from the rear with a smooth reaching stride. When viewed from the front or from the rear, the legs move true in line, not too close or too wide. At a fast trot, the feet will converge toward the centerline of the body. A stilted gait, or any gait that is not completely efficient and tireless, is to be penalized.
The Malamute has a thick, coarse guard coat, never long and soft. The average coat depth runs from relatively short to medium along the sides of the body, with the length of the coat increasing around the shoulders and neck, down the back, over the rump, and in the breeching and plume. The undercoat is dense, oily and woolly. Long-coated Malamutes are to be penalized since back to their original environment they would tend to freeze because of this defect; long-coated puppies are easily recognizable because of longer hair on the muzzle, ears, feet and neck. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of feet.
The average male stands about 62-64 cm at the shoulder and weighs about 38 Kg; the average female stands about 58-60 cm at the shoulder and weighs about 35 Kg. Anyway, since there has always been a natural evolution in the breed, dogs that come closer to the average range are to be preferred. Personally I think females have to look more gentle and tender than rough and strong males.