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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Alaskan Malamute – Gracious Dog

September 15, 2010 by  

The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as an Alaskan sled dog. It is sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact is quite different in many ways.

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The American Kennel Club  (AKC) breed standard calls for a natural range of size, with a desired freighting size of 23 inches and 75 pounds  for females, 25 inches  and 85 pounds for males. Heavier individuals  and dogs smaller than 75 pounds  are commonly seen. There is often a marked size difference between males and females. Weights upwards of 120 pounds are occasionally seen, but this is uncommon and such dogs are produced primarily by breeders who market a ‘giant Malamute.’ These large sizes are not in accordance with the breed’s history or show standards.

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A few Malamutes are still in use as sled dogs  for personal travel, hauling freight, or helping move heavy objects, some however are used for the recreational pursuit of sledding also known as mushing, also skijoring, bikejoring, and canicross. However, most Malamutes today are kept as family pets or show dogs or performance dogs in Weight pulling Dog agility or packing. The Malamute is generally slower in long-distance dogsled racing  against smaller and faster breeds and their working usefulness is limited to freighting or traveling over long distances at a far slower rate than that required for racing. They can also help move heavy objects over shorter distances.

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The Malamute retains more of its original form and function than many other modern breeds. If a dog owner cannot cope with a dog that will not comply with the owner’s every command, a more compliant breed should be selected. This dog has a long genetic foundation of living in the harshest environment imaginable, and many of its behaviors are evolved to conform with “survival of the fittest.” Independence, resourcefulness and primitive behaviors are common in the breed. While intelligent, they are widely believed to be one of the most difficult dogs to train. However, if the training is kept fun for the dog and not repetitively boring, success is within reach.

pixel Alaskan Malamute   Gracious Dog

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