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 Malamute must be a heavy boned dog with sound legs,
good feet, deep chest and powerful shoulders, and have all of the other
physical attributes necessary for the efficient performance of his job.
The gait must be steady, balanced, tireless and totally efficient. He
is not intended as a racing sled dog designed 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.
Size, Proportion, Substance
There is a natural range in size in the breed. The
desirable freighting sizes are
Dogs 25 ins (63.5 cm)*
at the shoulders - 85 lbs (38.5 kg ) *Items
in green added for reference only
Bitches 23 ins (58.5 cm) at the shoulders
- 75 lbs (34 kg )
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
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. The body
carries no excess weight, and bone is in proportion to size.
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. 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.- The ears -are
of medium size, but small in proportion to the head. The ears are triangular
in shape and slightly rounded at the 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.
The skull is broad and moderately rounded between the
ears, gradually narrowing and flattening on top as it approaches the
eyes, rounding off to cheeks that are moderately flat. 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
The muzzle- is 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. In all coat colors, except reds, the nose,
lips,- and eye rims' pigmentation -is black. Brown is permitted in red
dogs. The lighter streaked "snow nose" is acceptable. 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.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is strong and moderately arched. The chest
is well developed. The body is compactly built but not short coupled.
The back is straight and gently sloping to the hips. The loins are hard
and well muscled. A long loin that may weaken the back is a fault. 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.
The shoulders are moderately sloping; forelegs heavily
boned and muscled, straight to the pasterns when viewed from the front.
Pasterns are short and strong and slightly sloping when viewed from
the side. The feet are 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.
The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled through
the thighs; stifles moderately bent; hock joints are moderately bent
and well let down. 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.
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 rump, 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.
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 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.
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 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.
IMPORTANT: In judging
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 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.
Approved April 12, 1994
Effective May 31, 1994