The Alaskan Malamute may only rank 65th on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of the most popular dog breeds, but these sled-towing tail-waggers have pulled themselves into the first place position in the heart of any person who has been fortunate enough to welcome a member of the breed into their home. We’ve fetched a few interesting facts about the Alaskan Malamute!
National Alaskan Malamute Day
This Arctic dog is so beloved that National Alaskan Malamute Day is celebrated with its own pet holiday on January 7 each year!
Launched by The Woof Book Group in 2020, the day highlights this special breed and their rich history. Charlet C. Sterling, Director of Customer Services, notes, “Many people mistakenly believe that Malamutes are used for sled dog racing. But they are not racing dogs. Their talent is in their ability to pull heavy loads over long distances, not speed.”
Fun Facts About Alaskan Malamutes
The Alaskan Malamute was named the official dog of the 49th state on April 18, 2010, thanks in part to children at Polaris K- 12 School in Anchorage.
Did you know that dog lovers fondly refer to the Alaskan Malamute by such cute nicknames as Mal or Mally?
The name Malamute comes from the people with whom the breed lived, the Malamiut Inupiaq people.
The dogs who portrayed Buck and Shadow in the Disney movie Eight Below were Alaskan Malamutes! The other six members of the dog sled team were portrayed by Siberian Huskies.
Not only have Alaskan Malamutes won the hearts of dog devotees, one member of the breed named Nanuke’s SnoKlassic No Boundaries (Costello) won Best in Show at the 2006 American Kennel Club National Championship.
Long live the Alaskan Malamute! The Alaskan Malamute lifespan is an estimated 10 – 12 years.
There are striking similarities between the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky, and the two breeds are commonly confused. The primary difference lies in the dog’s size, with the Malamute standing at 25 inches and the Siberian Husky 22 inches in height, and the Malamute weighing 85 pounds for a male and 75 pounds for a female, with the Siberian Husky weighing approximately 45- 60 pounds for a male, 35 – 50 pounds for females.
Malamutes in History
Although Siberian Huskies Balto and Togo gained fame for performing this heroic feat, the packs of more than 150 sled dogs that charged through treacherous conditions on the last leg of a life-saving mission from Nenana to Nome, Alaska to deliver a diphtheria serum back in 1925 included many Alaskan Malamutes.
During the Gold Rush, Alaskan Malamutes were employed to haul precious metal. The Woof Book’s Sterling notes, “Alaskan Malamutes are heroic dogs and were faithful companions to the Klondike gold miners who came to Alaska in 1896. They helped Rear Admiral Sir Richard Byrd in his quest to reach the South Pole and served as rescue dogs in Greenland during World War II.”
Leaving their native Alaska, 450 Malamutes played a vital role in the first World War by bringing supplies to the troops in France.
During the second World War, Alaskan Malamutes courageously transported weapons, sniffed for mines and helped to rescue injured soldiers.
Adopting An Alaskan Malamute
Does Alaskan Malamute Day have you pondering the prospect of welcoming a member of this breed into your heart and home?
You can find the dog of your dreams at an Alaskan Malamute-specific dog rescue (which are located throughout the United States), or check any rescue group in your area.
You can search for adoptable Alaskan Malamutes online at: