Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

The Kennel Club

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute


ORIGIN

:
FCI
U.S.A.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
14.08.1996.
KC
February 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Sledge dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 5Spitz and primitive types
Section 1Nordic Sledge Dogs
Without working trial

UKC
Northern Breed
KC
Working

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
UKC
The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sledge dog breeds. It was named after the native Innuit tribe called Mahlemuts that settled along the shores of Kotzebue Sound in the northwestern part of Alaska. The origins of the native people and their dogs is unknown, but it is certain that they were in the region for generations prior to the Asiatic sailors coming to Alaska and returning home with stories of native people who used dogs to pull sledges. When Alaska was settled by white men, the Arctic dogs were mixed with outside blood, but when the sport of sled racing became popular interest in maintaining a pure strain of Alaskan Malamutes rose and since 1926 the breed has been maintained in its original state. The Alaskan Malamute was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1947.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and substantially built dog with 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 and 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 tail is well furred, carried over the back, and has the appearance of a waving plume. The gait must be steady, balanced, tireless and totally efficient. He is not intended to compete in speed trials. The Malamute is structured for strength and endurance, and any characteristic of the individual specimen, including temperament, which interferes with the accomplishment of this purpose, is to be considered the most serious of faults.
UKC
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerfully built, substantial dog with a deep chest, strongly muscled body and a thick, double coat that consists of coarse guard hairs that protect a wooly undercoat. He must have heavy bone, sound legs, good feet and all the other physical characteristics that are necessary for strength and endurance. The Malamute stands well up on his feet, giving him the appearance of activity and alertness. His gait is steady, balanced and tireless. He is not meant to be a speed dog; instead he is a dog that must be capable of pulling heavy loads for long distances at a reasonable pace. When judging the Alaskan Malamute, their suitability for sledge hauling in the Arctic must be given first consideration, and the degree to which a dog is penalized should be in direct proportion to how much the particular fault would hamper the dog from doing his job.
KC
Heavily boned, powerfully built, not too compact and never appearing short on the leg.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

The depth of chest is approximately one half the height of the dog at the shoulders, the deepest point being just behind the forelegs.
The length of the body from point of shoulder to the rear point of pelvis is longer than the height of the body from ground to top of the withers.
KC
A freighting sled dog capable of surviving in Arctic conditions and of pulling heavy loads at steady speeds.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

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FCI
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a « one-man » dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion, playful in invitation, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.
UKC
An affectionate and friendly breed, the Malamute is not a one-person dog. He is a loyal and devoted companion, playful when young and impressive in his dignity when mature.
KC
Affectionate, friendly, loyal, devoted companion but not a ‘one man’ dog, playful on invitation, generally impressive by his dignity after maturity but tends to show dominance to other dogs.

HEAD

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FCI
The head is broad and deep, not coarse or clumsy, but in proportion to the size of the dog. The expression is soft and indicates an affectionate disposition.
UKC
The head is broad and deep, but never coarse or clumsy. It should be in proportion to the rest of the dog.
KC
Head broad, powerful, not coarse, in proportion to size of dog. Skull broad between ears, gradually narrowing to eyes, moderately rounded between ears, flattening on top as it approaches eye, rounding off to moderately flat cheeks. Very slight but perceptible stop. Muzzle large in proportion to size of skull, scarcely diminishing in width or depth from stop. Nose black except in red and white dogs when it is brown. Pink streaked ‘snow nose’ acceptable.

CRANIAL REGION

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Skull

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FCI
Broad and moderately rounded between the ears, gradually narrowing and flattening on top as it approaches the eyes, rounding off to cheeks. There is a slight furrow between the eyes. The topline of the skull and the topline of the muzzle show a slight break downward from a straight line as they join.
UKC
The skull is broadest between the ears, and moderately rounded. It narrows and flattens towards the eyes and rounds gently to moderately flat cheeks. There is a slight furrow between the eyes and a shallow stop.

Stop

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FCI
Shallow.

FACIAL REGION

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Nose

:
FCI
In all coat colors, except reds, the nose, lips, and eye rim pigmentation is black. Brown is permitted in red dogs. The lighter streaked « snow nose » is acceptable.
UKC
Black, as are the eye rims and lips, except in the red dogs, where brown pigment is acceptable. Snow nose is not a fault.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Large and bulky in proportion to the size of the skull, diminishing slightly in width and depth from junction with the skull to the nose.
UKC
The muzzle is large and bulky in proportion to the skull. It tapers just slightly in width and depth from stop to tip. The lips are close fitting.
KC
Upper and lower jaws broad with large teeth, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Lips

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FCI
Close fitting.

Jaws/Teeth

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FCI
Broad with large teeth. The incisors meet with a scissor bite. Overshot or undershot is a fault.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite. Faults: Overshot or undershot bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Moderately flat.

Eyes

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FCI
Obliquely placed in the skull. Eyes are brown, almond shaped and of medium size. Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault.
UKC
Almond-shaped, brown in color, moderately large and set obliquely. The expression is soft and indicates an affectionate disposition.
KC
Brown, almond-shaped, moderately large, set obliquely. Dark eyes preferred, except in red and white dogs where light eyes are permissible. Blue eyes highly undesirable.

Ears

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FCI
Of medium size, but small in proportion to the head. The ears are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at tips. They are set wide apart on the outside back edges of the skull on line with the upper corner of the eye, giving ears the appearance, when erect, of standing off from the skull. Erect ears point slightly forward, but when the dog is at work, the ears are sometimes folded against the skull. High set ears are a fault.
UKC
Medium in size, but small in proportion to the size of the head. They are triangular in shape, slightly rounded at the tips, and set wide apart at the back of the skull. When erect, the ears should point forward. When the dog is working, the ears are often folded against the skull.
KC
Small in proportion to head. Triangular in shape, slightly rounded at tips, set wide apart, at back of skull. Ears forward when erect. When dog is working sometimes folded against skull.

NECK

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FCI
Strong and moderately arched.
UKC
Strong and moderately arched.
KC
Strong and moderately arched.

BODY

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FCI
Compactly built but not short coupled. The body carries no excess weight, and bone is in proportion to size.
UKC
In proportion, the Alaskan Malamute is slightly longer than tall. He is compactly built, but not short coupled. The breed should carry no excess weight. The chest is deep and well developed. Its depth is half the height of the dog, with its lowest part being just behind the elbows. The back is straight and slopes gently towards the hips. The loin is hard and well muscled, not so long as to compromise the strength of the back.
KC
Strong and powerfully built, chest strong and deep; back straight but not level, sloping slightly downwards from shoulder to croup. Loins well muscled, never so short as to interfere with movement. No excess weight.

Back

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FCI
Straight and gently sloping to the hips.

Loin

:
FCI
Hard and well muscled. A long loin that may weaken the back is a fault.

Chest

:
FCI
Well developed.

TAIL

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FCI
Moderately set; follows the line of the spine at the base. 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.
UKC
The tail is set following the natural line of the spine. It is well coated and plume-like, carried over the back when the dog is not working. The tail should not snap or curl tightly against the back.
KC
Moderately high set, following line of spine at start then curving gently upwards. At rest may hang straight down. Well furred and carried over back when dog is working, not tightly curled to rest on back, nor short furred and carried like a fox brush, but giving appearance of a waving plume.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

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FCI
Forelegs heavily boned and muscled, straight to the pasterns when viewed from the front.
UKC
The shoulders are powerful and moderately sloping.
KC
Shoulders moderately sloping; forelegs heavily boned and well muscled, straight as far as pasterns which are short, strong and almost vertical viewed from side.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Moderately sloping.

FORELEGS

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UKC
The forelegs are heavily boned and well muscled, indicating unusual strength. They are straight down to the pasterns, which should be short, strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side.

Pastern

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FCI
Short and strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side.

FEET

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UKC
The feet are large, tight and deep with well cushioned, tough pads and arched toes, giving them a compact appearance. There is a protective growth of hair between the toes.
KC
Large and compact, toes close, well arched, pads thick and tough, toenails short and strong. Protective growth of hair between toes.

Forefeet

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FCI
Of the « snowshoe » type, tight and deep, with well-cushioned pads, giving a firm, compact appearance. The feet are large, toes tight fitting and well arched. There is a protective growth of hair between the toes. The pads are thick and tough; toenails short and strong.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

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FCI
The rear legs are broad. When viewed from the rear, the legs stand and move true in line with the movement of the front legs, not too close or too wide. Dewclaws on the rear legs are undesirable and should be removed shortly after puppies are whelped.
UKC
The hind legs should be broad and powerfully muscled through the thighs.
KC
Hindlegs broad and powerfully muscled through thighs; stifles moderately bent, hock joints broad and strong, moderately bent and well let down. Viewed from behind, hindlegs vertical, standing and moving true, in line with movement of front legs. Legs indicate tremendous propelling power.

Thigh

:
FCI
Heavily muscled.

Stifle

:
FCI
Moderately bent.

HIND LEGS

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UKC
The stifles are moderately bent. The hock joints are broad and strong, moderately bent and well let down. When viewed from behind, the hind legs should be vertical standing, and move true in line with the movement of the front legs, not too wide or too close at any gait. Dewclaws on the hind legs are undesirable and should be removed.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Moderately bent and well let down.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
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 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.
UKC
The gait is steady, balanced and powerful, showing agility for a dog of this size. From the side, there is strong drive from the rear and the forequarters have smooth reach. From the front and rear, the legs move true, not too close or too wide, though at a fast trot the feet will converge more towards a center line. A gait that is stilted or inefficient in any way is to be faulted.
KC
Single tracking at trot is normal but movement not too wide or too close at any gait. Easy, tireless, rhythmic movement, produced by powerful drive from hindquarters.

COAT

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HAIR

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FCI
The Malamute has a thick, coarse guard coat, never long and soft. The undercoat is dense, from one to two inches in depth, oily and woolly. The coarse guard coat varies in length as does the undercoat. The coat is 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 croup and in the breeching and plume. Malamutes usually have a shorter and less dense coat during the summer months. The Malamute is shown naturally. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of feet.
UKC
The Malamute is double coated, with a thick, coarse guard coat (which must never be overly long or soft) and a dense, oily, wooly undercoat that is one to two inches in length. The guard hairs vary in length, usually being the longest around the neck, down the back, over the croup, on the breeching and the tail. The coat tends to be shorter and less thick in warm climates. The coat is untrimmed except for the feet.
KC
Thick, coarse guard coat, not long and soft. Dense undercoat, from 2.5-5 cms (1-2 ins) in depth, oily and woolly. Coarse guard coat stands out, with thick fur around neck. Guard coat varies in length as does undercoat, but in general coat of medium length along sides of body, increasing somewhat around shoulders and neck, down back and over croup, as well as in breeching and plume.

COLOUR

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FCI
The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shading of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all-white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable.
UKC
Colors range from light gray through the intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points and trimming. Always with white on the underbody, parts of legs, feet and part of face markings. The markings should be either cap-like or mask-like on the face. A white blaze on the forehead, white collar or a spot on the nape is acceptable and attractive. Broken color extending over the body in spots of uneven splashing is undesirable. The only solid color allowable is all white.
KC
Range is from light grey through intermediate shadings to black, or from gold through shades of red to liver, always with white on underbody, parts of legs, feet and part of mask markings. Markings either caplike or masklike on face. Combination of cap and mask not unusual. White blaze on forehead, white collar, or spot on nape permissible. Heavy mantling of unbroken colour acceptable, broken colour extending over body in spots or uneven splashings undesirable. Only solid colour permissible is all white.

SIZE

:
FCI
There is a natural range in size in the breed. However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes. When dogs are judged equal in type, proportion, movement, the dog nearest the desirable freighting size is to be preferred. The desirable freighting sizes are:
UKC
The ideal freight size and weight for males is 25 inches at the withers and 85 pounds; for females it is 23 inches and 75 pounds. However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion and function. When all else is equal, the dog nearest the ideal freight size is preferred.
KC
The preferred sizes at the shoulder are: Dogs: 64 cms (25 ins), 39 kgs (85lbs); Bitches: 58 cms (23 ins), 34 kgs (75lbs). Consideration of size should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and any other functional attributes.

Height at withers

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FCI
Males: 25 inches at the shoulders (63,5 cm); Females: 23 inches at the shoulders (58,5 cm)

Weight

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FCI
Males: 85 pounds (38 kg); Females: 75 pounds (34 kg).

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI
In judging Alaskan Malamutes their function as a sledge dog for heavy freighting in the Arctic must be given consideration above all else. The degree to which a dog is penalized should depend upon the extent to which the dog deviates from the description of the ideal Malamute and upon the extent to which the particular fault would actually affect the working ability of the dog. The legs of the Malamute must indicate unusual strength and tremendous propelling power. Any indication of unsoundness in legs and feet, front or rear, standing or moving, is to be considered a serious fault. Faults under this provision would be splay-footedness, cowhocks, bad pasterns, straight shoulders, lack of angulation, stilted gait (or any gait that isn’t balanced, strong and steady), ranginess, shallowness, ponderousness, lightness of bone and poor overall proportion.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Blue eyes.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme viciousness or shyness. Albinism. Blue eyes.
Eyes: Blue eyes.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.