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Affectionate and playful, Alaskan Malamutes, also known as Mal or Mally, are heavy-duty arctic dogs originally bred to pull heavy cargos. Sometimes confused with Siberian Huskies, these sled poochs are the official state dog of Alaska in 2010.
See the fact file below for more information on the Alaskan Malamutes or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Alaskan Malamutes worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY AND ORIGIN
- One of the oldest Arctic sled dog breeds, researchers assumed wolf-dogs were the ancestors of Alaskan Malamutes. These wolves stayed with the Paleolithic nomads that walked on land bridges of the Bering Strait and went to North America 4000 years ago.
- Alaskan Malamutes were believed to be bred by the nomadic Inuit tribe, Mahlemut, of the Kotzebue Sound of northwestern Alaska. These dogs were originally used to hunt seals, fend off polar bears, and haul heavy loads filled with food or camp supplies at low speeds over great distances. Compared to the Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes were freighters rather than racers.
- The native people developed different strains of the Malamute breed.
- The gold rush of 1896 led to the inflow of Alaskan dogs, which were developed into many sizes and breeds who could withstand the cold weather. Since the Mahlemuts settled in remote areas, the Alaskan Malamutes remained pure breeds and their original looks were not altered.
- Arthur T. Walden started breeding Alaskan Malamutes in his Chinook Kennel in New Hampshire. Milton and Eva Seeley co-breeded with Walden, producing many Malamutes for the Byrd Antarctic expeditions in the 1930s.
- They also started to breed dogs in the Norton Sound area of Alaska.
- These Alaskan Malamutes that they have bred are called the “Kotzebue” strain.
- In the 20th century, Paul Voelker Sr. developed a different line, known as the “M’Loot” strain. Some of these Malamutes were used in World War I and II and by Admiral Byrd’s second excursion.
- During World War II, registered Alaskan Malamutes were borrowed since they make great sled dogs; however, most of these dogs died during their expedition to Antarctica during this deadliest war in history.
- The American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledged the Kotzebue line in 1935. This same year, the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was established.
- Rowdy of Nome, from Chinook Kennel and Eva Seeley, was the first dog registered in AKC.
- Alaskan Malamutes stand at 23 to 25 inches, and weigh 75 to 85 pounds.
- They have powerful shoulders, wide chests, and weatherproof
coarse coats, suggesting they were once sled dogs.
- Cousins to the Samoyed of Russia, Siberian Husky of Asia, and Eskimo dogs of Greenland, Alaskan Malamutes have broad heads, almond-shaped brown eyes, erect and triangular ears, bulky muzzles, compact bodies, and curved fluffy tails.
- Alaskan Malamutes have thick guard coats, and oily and wooly undercoats. The face markings are also a distinguishable feature of this breed, such as a cap over the head, and the face can be all white or marked with a bar and a mask.
- The standard for the Alaskan Malamutes states “the usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings.”
- Alaskan Malamutes don’t bark much, but they are talkative and vocal breeds. Some owners can convince them to sing too.
- Since they are pack animals, Malamutes should not be left alone, as they would feel lonely or bored and will often howl. They are sensitive and need plenty of attention and companionship.
- They are persistent diggers so it is important for their owners to train them as early as possible.
- Since they were originally used to go long distances, Malamutes have the tendency to roam around in an open space, making them not suited to apartments.
- They are also trusting breeds; they may even go with strangers, so they do not make good watchdogs. They get along with other dogs and cats.
- They are very intelligent yet stubborn as well, making them difficult to handle for owners not used to dealing with dog tantrums.
- Malamutes have high prey drive, causing them to kill small animals like birds, squirrels, cats, and even smaller dogs. Early and proper socialization is needed to avoid this type of behavior.
HEALTH AND CARE
- Some malamutes are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia (a bone condition which gives the dog discomfort and pain), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), and von Willebrand’s disease (hereditary blood-clotting disorder).
- They might also suffer from cataracts (eye condition which could lead to blindness), chondrodysplasia (genetic disorder which is also known as dwarfism), inherited polyneuropathy (lack of coordination and instability), and hemeralopia (day blindness).
- Malamutes have thick coats so they need plenty of grooming, especially during their shedding season that happens twice a year.
- They are highly active breeds. Owners should take them for walks regularly to burn their energy. They also need to run, play, and exercise. Some of the activities malamutes enjoy include hiking, bikejoring, skatejoring, skijoring, carting, sledding, and some agility classes.
- Since they are arctic dogs, they are highly sensitive to heat. It is best for owners to give their malamutes plenty of shade, fresh water, and air conditioning during the summer.
- Brush their teeth at least two or three times a week, and trim their nails once or twice a month. Their ears should also be checked every week to avoid bad odor, redness, or any infections.
Alaskan Malamute Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Alaskan Malamute across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Alaskan Malamute worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Alaskan Malamutes, also known as Mal or Mally, which are heavy-duty arctic dogs originally bred to pull heavy cargos. Sometimes confused with Siberian Huskies, these sled poochs are the official state dog of Alaska in 2010.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Alaskan Malamute Facts
- Super Sled Dogs
- Breed Standard
- Facts About Mally
- Spot the Hidden Mally
- Mally’s Coat Colors
- Malamute and Huskies
- Arctic Breeds
- Take Me to the Vet
- I Want One
- Eight Below
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Link will appear as Alaskan Malamute Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 9, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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