Dog Photo Gallery Of Alaskan Malamute Dogs


About Our Malamutes


I began my love affair with Alaskan malamutes over 10 years ago. I now own three of them, all with their own unique history and personality.

In this photo gallery, you'll see a lot of pictures of Griffin, our 2-1/2-year-old wooly or long-coat mal and our almost 10-month-old mal who happens to be Griffin's niece.

However, sprinkled throughout are pictures of our 10+-year-old rescued malamute, Denaya who has been kind enough to let these two whippersnappers into her kingdom and has been very instrumental in their training. She is not as "playful" or as "inventive" as my 2 young bounders and never has been, probably as a result of her early life unspeakable traumas and abuse. Yet, she is one of the main reasons that our two youngsters have been very successful and pretty well adjusted.

While a lot of work on a daily basis and an ongoing work in progress, these three dogs have brought many things into our lives.

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"Wake up, Griffin - time to play"
"Wake up, Griffin - time to play" | Source


The Thing About Malamutes


While I own three of these magnificent dogs, I have to add this disclaimer from the outset. Hopefully if you do not know the breed and you are looking at these pictures and thinking to yourself, "OMG, what beautiful dogs," and you happen to get the notion that you want one, you will read on and consider very carefully before getting one.

Malamutes are not for everyone. Trust me on this! The most associated word that comes up on the Internet with the word "malamute" is the word "rescue." Sad but very true.

Many people get these dogs as puppies or as adults and find within days or weeks that they simply had no idea how much work was involved. Or how much consistent, constant training they require. I emphasize the word constant most of all here.

Alaskan malamutes are one of the oldest breed of dog in existence today. Their origin has been traced to a tribe of native Inuits called the Mahlemut. They served as freight pulling dogs flourishing in harsh weather yet coexisting as part of the tribal family.

Malamutes were a vital part of the tribe's life as they depended on the dogs to move huge loads of freight across ice and snow. In turn, the families respected the malamute for their great courage and endurance and welcomed them into their human "pack."

Malamutes were also used as search and rescue dogs during the war in later decades or as pack animals because of their great strength and ability to go for long distances.

The AKC finally recognized the Alaskan Malamute in 1935. The Alaskan malamute today is said to be one of the few breeds that is very close to its original form.

Standard malamutes usually weigh up to 75-80 pounds for a female and 85-95 pounds for a male. There are now giant malamutes which weigh in at roughly 150 pounds but I do not believe that these are recognized as a registered breed. Our females are topping out at about 75 though Gabby is still not full grown. Again, our Griffin is a long coat or wooly and he is weighing in at about 95.

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Griffin at 3 months old - a wooly malamute
Griffin at 3 months old - a wooly malamute
Gabby - a standard mal -  2 months  & worrying her teeth
Gabby - a standard mal - 2 months & worrying her teeth

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Alaskan Malamutes Can Be Challenging


Like any northern breed dog, malamutes have extensive requirements to keep them healthy and happy. Alaskan malamutes are not low maintenance dogs. The rewards are outstanding but the pure and simple fact is that this breed of dog is way smarter than the average dog.

Offering them every opportunity you can to experience life in many venues can lead to a well-adjusted dog. This is true of any breed but especially important for malamutes.

Left to their own devices, they can become bored and a bored malamute can be a disaster. It is ideal to start early on when they are pups and are open to many new experiences.

Socialization and positive experiences are the recommended bullet points to hit. Keeping them "intact" or not neutered can be quite a challenge. Consult a breeder or a vet to determine when the best time to neuter your malamute in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies but to assure that the dog has time to close his or her growth plates. Since they are a large breed dog, this is very important and also reduces chances of certain cancers.

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But malamutes can enjoy......(to name but a few)

Griffin as a puppy learning about water
Griffin as a puppy learning about water
Gabby really enjoying the water!
Gabby really enjoying the water!
Denaya and Griffin snowshoeing
Denaya and Griffin snowshoeing
Romp in the snow - Denaya & Griffin
Romp in the snow - Denaya & Griffin
Hiking with friends (Denaya, Griffin and Molly after hiking Smith Rock)
Hiking with friends (Denaya, Griffin and Molly after hiking Smith Rock)
Griffin in training - Denaya leading the way
Griffin in training - Denaya leading the way
Having a run in the dog park (Griffin)
Having a run in the dog park (Griffin)
Mushing - Gabby in training, Griffin demonstrating
Mushing - Gabby in training, Griffin demonstrating

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Grooming And The Alaskan Malamute


Many people are under the misconception that malamutes require constant grooming. In fact, the opposite is true. Most breeders and groomers will tell you that they should not be bathed more than twice per year. The reason for this is their remarkably clean coat and the fact that malamutes are generally odor free. Even if a malamute picks up dirt and mud, it somehow literally bounces off their fur in a matter of minutes and they are as clean as they were before.

It is recommended not to keep malamute undercoats wet for long periods of time as they can develop skin irritation or infections.

They do shed twice a year generally and that can be a bit overwhelming especially dealing with a long-coat or a wooly malamute. However, it is a short period of time and you can actually collect the fur and use it for spinning yarn for sweaters or other things. The fur and hair is that clean! We donate ours to a local group who spin it.

Brush a malamute at least once per week, more for long coats, and shedding will be kept to a minimum.

Malamutes actually shed less than smooth coated dogs.

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Beautiful wooly Griffin
Beautiful wooly Griffin


Temperament, Behaviors And Training


The smart malamute owner has done his or her homework and knows what they want in their dog's temperament. That said, seeking out a qualified AKC breeder who breeds for temperament is the best way to get a dog you can live with.

We got our 10-year-old rescued malamute from the Washington State Malamute Association. Through that experience, I later got Griffin and then Gabby from a reputable breeder who was the same person who allowed us to adopt Denaya.

Malamutes are being crossbred with wolves and other breeds and the results are not so good. Hybrids have been found to be highly unstable and since there is no breed per se to link these dogs to, bite statistics are being assigned largely to malamutes. Finding the best tempered dog you can find is essential in taking on any breed dog but paramount when it comes to malamutes.

Behaviors

There are behaviors specific to Alaskan malamutes that any owner should be aware of and take steps to deal with from the beginning. Some of the most salient are:

  • They are by and large NOT watchdogs - because they are too social! If they bark, it's best to pay attention right away because they usually don't
  • Malamutes love to dig and can be fantastic escape artists - bricks or wire buried in the ground, an invisible or electric fence if needed can deter this
  • Most breeders and trainers advise NOT to let malamutes run free simply because they will go along with anyone who pays attention to them or they will find trouble
  • Bored or investigating malamutes can do a lot of damage
  • Some malamutes can be ravenous eaters making them prone to bloat so teaching them early to slow down is a best practice - put food on cookie trays or in bloat bowls. In some rare cases of excessive gluttony, hand feed
  • Howling is not unusual for malamutes for ANY reason - they routinely "talk" to express themselves - teaching them "quiet" is important if you don't like howling
  • Malamutes have a "pack" mentality so if you have more than one or other dogs, there will necessarily have to be an alpha but the top alpha has to be an adult or adults!
  • Prey instinct is something that can kick in and often triggered by small animals and fast movement. However, lots of malamutes coexist with cats and other small animals but training is essential by training them NOT to react
  • Children are favorites with most malamutes BUT one should never leave children unsupervised with ANY large dog due to the size of their teeth and their build. Food can sometimes be a trigger for any breed dog but simply due to their propensity to "inhale" food at times, kids waving food around them is probably not wise

Training

Enrolling in puppy classes as soon as you can with your malamute puppy will save you a lot of heartache and frustration down the road. Malamutes are naturals at dog training though they always have their own little twist to bring to the exercise. They tire easily of repetition so it's important to work with them in multiple short sessions throughout the day and vary the training.

Malamutes are particularly adept at agility training. They love the challenge of engaging their mind. They love playing games of mental puzzling such as hide and go find it. They by and large are not dogs that love to play fetch although our Gabby loves playing ball and even bats it about to herself.

While a lot of mals do not "take" to the water, we have both sides of the coin in our household pack. Griffin started out loving the water and now is a bit shy of it. Gabby on the other hand is literally head over heels about it. Denaya can step in and step out but isn't really overly fond of it!

Training malamutes to pull is a natural talent for them. No matter what age you are, you can engage the trained malamute to pull freight in contests of strength, to scooter, to sled, to skijor (cross country skiing with dogs), to bikejor (riding bikes with dogs), to snowshoe, to backpack, to hike and walk.....just about any creative dog sport you can think of, you can train a malamute to do. Well, except maybe things like Frisbee, etc....but you never know!

Taking classes and enrolling a malamute in training where there is interaction with other dog breeds and situations is vital to the overall "good citizenship" of the breed. It is possible to take malamutes anywhere.

For instance, we make it a habit to take ours to sit outside at restaurants, to walk in crowded public places where there are other dogs and people, to scooter, to hike and stroll on forestry roads or hiking trails, to snowshoe and play at snow parks. It exposes them to situations that they need to know how to behave in.....such as people approaching them or children wanting to pet them. Or other dogs barking at them, horses pawing the ground or quail running across the path. Or snowmobiles coming over hills down the road or deer running across the trail.

All that said, our Griffin at 2-1/2 years is still in need of constant reinforcement in training situations. We've just enrolled in another set of classes to keep his social skills up and make sure he is being the best dog citizen he can be.

It bears repeating...training a malamute is an ongoing, constant thing. They thrive on being connected with their human counterpart and are tireless in their desire to perform on some level. That makes training worthwhile as with perseverance, there is a huge reward.

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Use your head when choosing a malamute (Griffin, Gabby, Denaya)
Use your head when choosing a malamute (Griffin, Gabby, Denaya)

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Alaskan Malamutes Are Unique


Over the years, I've adopted many a dog, saved many a dog but I have to say hands down, my favorite breed of all time has to be my malamutes. As I get older, I do find that their requirement for exercise and constant stimulation is a bit of a challenge. However, in spite of that, they do keep you young at heart and always thinking of something to do with them.

I would not trade my years with this magnificent breed for all the tea in China. They are unbelievably interesting and smart.

They are also exceptionally social and if left outside, they usually come and sit in "their" chairs to look in at us waiting to interact.

They are kind and sweet, affectionate and gentle as the pictures show. They can be demanding and are always listed on the dangerous dog list. However, my contention is that owners should be listed on the dangerous dog owners list in almost all cases.

Having a malamute (or in our case three malamutes) has been the ride of a lifetime....literally. Riding behind them on a scooter and watching their long limbed steady gait is a thing of beauty.

Listening to their soulful howl on a dark winter night is like music to your soul.

Cuddling next to a wooly mammoth called Griffin is like having your own living, breathing teddy bear.

I would not trade my gentle giants for anything. However, they require your whole heart and your whole head to coexist with. They are a such brilliant dog breed that I would not expect them to accept anything less.

They had me at first howl.

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The human factor - Bob, Griff & Denaya
The human factor - Bob, Griff & Denaya
Double howl - Denaya & Griffin
Double howl - Denaya & Griffin
Absolute trust - Gabby & Griff
Absolute trust - Gabby & Griff
The family that chews together....Gabby & Griff
The family that chews together....Gabby & Griff
Gabby amusing herself with her new friend Beethoven the beetle
Gabby amusing herself with her new friend Beethoven the beetle
Griff & Gabby talking strategy for their next play
Griff & Gabby talking strategy for their next play
Did you hear the one about 2 poodles who go into a bar?  (Griff, Gabby and Denaya)
Did you hear the one about 2 poodles who go into a bar? (Griff, Gabby and Denaya)

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Training Gabby to Pull

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Comments 35 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Sharyn - Amen and that is my whole life's work I think where mals are concerned. It sounds like preaching but with so many dog breeds, it is so vital that owners know what they are getting into but especially with mals. They are wonderful but they can be a real challenge for the 'casual' dog owner.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

What a beautiful hub AK. Thanks for all the information. I especially appreciate when you say that not all dogs are for everyone. It's so important for people to realize this before they add a new family member. Great work!

Sharyn


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks, Steph - the bliss and bane of my existence, the infamous malamutes~~~ Kinda sorta like family...can't live without 'em and can't live with 'em....it is a constant work in progress but hey - I'm in doggie love so there you go!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Gorgeous dogs - you obviously know the Alaskan Malamute breed well! Perfect models for photography, too :) Rated up, beautiful and everything else across the board!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

Alaskan Malamutes sure are beautiful dogs!! I love these photos!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thank you so much for stopping in Prasetio - glad you learned something about the infamous Alaskan malamutes - they are a wonder and a source of much laughter (and patience) at my house!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

This was great hub. I learn many things from you about "Alaskan Malamutes". I had never knew before. I really enjoy all pictures here. Thanks for share with us. Vote up and have a nice weekend!

Prasetio


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Sending you a couple of virtual hugs - Denaya is not much of a hugger just a clinger...she loves to put her head in your lap or under your hand or just generally stay glued to your side.

Gabby on the other hand is a neck scarf. She loves to drape her head over your neck while licking your face and bumping her head against yours - maybe she's sending me a cosmic message.

Griffin on the other paw I should say is in fact one giant cuddly teddy bear. He is happiest on his back beside you in bed, all 4 feet in the air. There is nothing quite like cuddling up these furry babies though Griff takes the cake for sure with all that soft hair. I actually love it when he jumps up on the bed and lays with his back to mine as it feels SO good - or his head on my feet. I think this could be the start of dog massage therapy for humans....and it's a VERY good thing we have a king-sized bed!!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Awwwwwww so cuddly! (both the malamutes....and Bob!) LOL.....These photos are gorgeous. I really want to give them a big hug. Voted wayyyyy up! :)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Nice to see you, too Nell and thanks so much for the birthday wishes - that was yesterday although the older I get, my birthdays tend to go on for 3 days!

Yes indeed, Griff is the star of the show it would seem with all his 'antics' but the other two (especially Gabby) are equally a handful at times. Entertainment 24/7~!

Glad you liked!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, Audrey, nice to see you back, I love Griffin and his buddies, especially the photo of the puppy staring into the other ones face, never realised about the inuit indians, amazing! Oh and happy birthday, think I got it about right! lol


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for stopping by, Holle - they are amazing animals to be fortunate to work with and live with!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia

Beautiful - just beautiful!! I'm seriously impressed! Voted up.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thank you, hyphenbird for stopping by - and indeed they are beauties but inside as well. Glad you liked my pictures and the information!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

These dogs are just gorgeous. I never knew much about the breed and appreciate all of your information. Thank you. Again, the photos are lovely.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Gail - I think it was methane gas - or it could have been carbon monoxide....as Rosanna Danna would have said...I thought I was a gonna die...I think he burned my corneas with that little episode! Noxious fumes indeed. I won't go into what came OUT for the next few days. I only thank the good lord that I DID NOT add the chocolate chips it called for!!!

He is a stinker (ha - excuse that pun) and I have now taken to tempting him with things left on the counter i.e. dog treats while I sit reading at the dining room table only to catch him in the act right before he gets it. Sad but true - gotta teach the wee BIG lad!

Randomcreative - You are SO right on. People look at puppies and think about any breed they are SO cute - but they fail to take into consideration what the breed was meant to do and what they need to do to keep them out of trouble. If I had a wish, it would be to teach and train dogs all the time - and keep them busy and their owners happy!! Thanks so much for stopping by - I so appreciate it.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This hub is such an awesome resource! It's great for potential owners to know so much about a breed before adopting. It's easy to adopt puppies, especially when they are as adorable as this breed, but it's so important to know what you're in for down the road. Thanks for all of the great information.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

You're cracking me up! The pumpkin muffins sound great. I'll have to check it out.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks again, Gail - but my dogs are truly amazing. Even if I lose my temper with them every so often for just being "mals", I fall in love with them all over again as soon as the drama is past~~ I did forget to also mention my 2 are horrible counter cruisers so that is another work in process. There is another hub on here about sauerkraut and pumpkin muffins which I made - of which I might add my husband and I got ONE - because Griffin ate the other 11. It was NOT a pretty experience~ The gas cloud that night in our room could have killed us both!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

I agree. This hub is amazing!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Ah indeed - all but Griffin though would probably do "okay" - they are remarkably resilient to the heat here in summertime though they definitely prefer the cooler weather. In the heat, we routinely run Griffin in and out of the AC when the mercury gets to 95 or above just to keep him cool. We also run fans year 'round in our bedrooms and keep the house at a balmy 55 or so at night....I guess we could become eskimos if we keep this up~

Thanks as always for stopping by and your cute comments~ I guess I definitely am the last of the dog women~~


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Audrey - You could easily title this hub as the only Malamute Encyclopedia a potential malamute owner will ever need. So much realistic and worthy information and the photos are outstanding.

I would get one of these beautiful animals for myself if I lived in a house ... with a yard ... in other than a sub-tropical environment.

Give my fondest to Denaya, Griffin and Gabby . . . and Bob.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Flora - Thanks for stopping by - and I love all animals too though like you, probably won't do a photo gallery on spiders...although Gabby had her little friend Beethoven the beetle...could have had a photo gallery there....bless her heart, she didn't even eat him! Let him walk away and go home to his family!! Yuck - kinda~


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

These are gorgeous dogs and photos. I'm a cat lover myself, but I love animals in general (well, not spiders...)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks so much writer 20 - I am soooo lucky - they are wonderful dogs and love sharing them with folks! Thanks for enjoying them with me.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

your photos are amazing and your dogs are so beautiful.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Cresentmoon - Thanks so much for stopping by and I agree with you - these guys are simply amazing~ They are the light of my life now that my kids are grown. Appreciate your votes up!

Eiddwen - Thanks again for your kind comment. They are indeed part of the family as all our dogs over the years have been. These guys are really, really special and as hard as I try, I cannot say they 'are only dogs'. They are great companions to both Bob and I and provide us with a LOT of laughter...and sweat~~~ Thanks for stopping in!

Barb - Better that people know what they are getting into that's for sure with mals.....they are tremendously stubborn and lucky for me, I'm just as stubborn~~ We rub along pretty well together most of the time though and definitely the key is to keep them engaged constantly. A bored malamute is the devil's workshop or something like that~~~ Thanks so much for stopping in!

Gail - Thanks for your knowledgeable comment as well. Indeed, I have my days when I want to throw in the choke chain or something like that especially with Griffin right now who is 95 pounds and feeling his oats again even though he is neutered! Something probably about Gabby having been in season and them trying to figure out their spot in the pecking order but wow.

My left arm is about 5 inches longer than my right and my fingers on my left hand are pretty tight and sore but training goes on. They are just too dang smart for their own good most of the time but with some more spot on work, I have no doubt that even his male ego will work itself around to being the sweet affable thing he usually is!

Good points to make though - folks don't think sometimes about the breeds that they select and that is one thing I'm very adamant about. Malamutes require special owners and not that we are special - we just have to work at it - just like them~~~

Many thanks for the visit!


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 4 years ago from Caledonia, MI

What a well written hub about Alaskan Malamutes. I really enjoyed reading it as well as seeing those beautiful picture. Your dogs are amazing. Voted up.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Wow what an absolutely beautiful hub ,I love your dogs and they look pretty lucky to be members of your family.

I have to vote this one up up and away.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Eiddwen.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

Audrey, this is a fabulous hub about some fabulous dogs. I was totally unfamiliar with this breed, but your Malamutes are beautiful. I could never own one, though, and you've shown me all the reasons why I shouldn't. For this hub I clicked all the buttons and voted it up. Outstanding.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Wow! What a beautiful photo gallery of your malamutes. Their personalities seem to shine through even in the photos and one can almost "hear" them howling and playing together.

I also loved the way you managed to pack so much information about choosing, raising and training these magnificent but apparently high maintenance dogs because it's easy to see how people would be tempted to adopt them without any comprehension about how much care and attention they take.

Thanks so much for sharing this information and the fabulous photos. Voted up across the board except for funny.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Truthfornow - Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I wish that it was that simple. It is an ongoing daily thing keeping these guys happy and out of trouble~ They are a joy most definitely though and I'd not know what to do without them. They are so social that I think that is what keeps me in the 'game' with them. Glad you enjoyed my group - they are a lot of fun!


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

These dogs are gorgeous. Did not realize the work that goes into have this breed of dog. You have a wonderful hub full of useful information. You look like you have raised some truly great dogs who are much loved. Good for you for teaching others how to properly train and care of Alaskan Malamutes.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Ardie - thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind remarks and vote up~ They are a passion of mine in particular since they are often misunderstood and improperly trained. Mine are a work in progress but I'm so grateful for the time spent with these gentle giants. They have indeed taught me so much and continue to still teach me every day~


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Wow, you really put a lot of time and effort into this and it shows! You are very knowledgeable about Alaskan Malamutes. The pictures are a perfect addition to the information. I am not a dog lover but now even I want one of these genius beauties. Voting up

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