SLEDOG ALASKAN MALAMUTES & GREENLAND DOGS
   Home      Research

ALASKAN MALAMUTE

The Alaskan Malamute is a direct descendant of the Northern or Arctic Wolf and is the largest and most imposing of the UK Kennel Club recognised sled dog breeds. A dog should typically stand 25–28 ins (64–71 cm) and a bitch 23–26 ins (58–66 cm) at the withers with their weight ranging from 85–125 lbs. (38–56 kgs).


Originally used by the Mahlemut indigenous tribes of Alaska, from where their name is derived, they were predominantly used as a freighting dog capable of hauling substantially loaded sleds over considerable distances, for long periods at a time. They could be referred to as the Shire horse of sled dogs.


The owner of an Alaskan Malamute today must be both patient and determined when training, particularly in the early months of a dog’s life, but will find the rewards wholly worthwhile. They are an independent and dominant breed and will challenge their owner so training must be persistent, patient and consistent in correcting the dog throughout it’s adolescence and into it’s maturity at around 3 years of age. This is essential for a dog of this size possessing immense power and strength.
 

The Alaskan Malamute is not a ‘one man dog’ showing no particular loyalty to a family member and also does not make for a good guard dog. Although their size and appearance could deter any potential burglar, they should not show aggression towards people. Their dominance however is more apparent with other dogs of the same sex; they may not start any trouble but they also may not back down.

The Alaskan Malamute has a waterproof double coat consisting of a dense, oily and woolly undercoat and a thick coarse guard coat. The double coat traps air close to the dog’s body thus keeping it warm with it’s own body heat in sub zero temperatures. The coat should be regularly groomed to be kept in good condition and this should start from a young age to get a puppy used to it. The coat should be brushed vigorously using either a strong pin brush or a slicker brush against the natural lay of the coat first which enables the brush to reach both coats down to the skin. The coat should then be brushed in the natural direction to finish off. Normally twice a year, the dog will shed it’s woolly undercoat and a rake should be used to remove this dead hair quickly and effectively. This coat shedding will last for around 2 to 3 weeks and bathing the dog at this time can also help, although they are not a breed that needs to be bathed regularly. The quicker the dead hair is removed, the quicker the new undercoat can grow back. The dog’s nails will also need to be trimmed from time to time and the occasional trimming of the hair around the feet may be necessary but the Alaskan Malamute is a natural breed which on no account should have it’s coat trimmed or clipped.


With this coat, which is common to all Nordic dogs, the Alaskan Malamute is equally happy to live inside or outside. However, this decision should be made at a very young age so that the dog can get used to it’s new home, as they will not take kindly to having to change this routine once it is established. Should the decision be made for the dog to live outside, adequate shelter from the elements should be provided to avoid suffering discomfort in the wind and rain, or from heat stroke. Regardless of where they are living, they must have sufficient stimulation to keep them occupied. They are a highly intelligent yet stubborn breed which not only makes them a challenge to train, but also they can become easily bored. This could lead them to become destructive, take to digging or excessive howling. They may of course do any of these to challenge the owner from time to time which must be swiftly and consistently corrected to show the dog who is in charge. They are a pack animal and will respect a hierarchy once it is established.


It is very important that a mature Alaskan Malamute is exercised every day. It is equally important however that a young puppy is not over exercised as the breed’s heavy bone structure can be irreparably damaged by doing this. Instead, a puppy’s exercise should be built up slowly and steadily for as little as 10 minutes each day for one around 3 months of age, as they are already using up considerable levels of energy in play. In the same manner, it is vital not to under feed a puppy as it is this large intake of food at an early age that helps them develop their bone structure. You can always take excess weight off a puppy at a later stage but can never put bone on if it is not there.


STUART WINTERTON © 2003

 
 

Breed Standard

Last updated  December 2014

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Heavily boned, powerfully built, not too compact and never appearing short on the leg.

Characteristics

A freighting sled dog capable of surviving in Arctic conditions and of pulling heavy loads at steady speeds.

Temperament

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 and Skull

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.

Eyes

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

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.

Mouth

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.

Neck

Strong and moderately arched.

Forequarters

Shoulders moderately sloping; forelegs heavily boned and well muscled, straight as far as pasterns which are short, strong and almost vertical viewed from side.

Body

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.

Hindquarters

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.

Feet

Large and compact, toes close, well arched, pads thick and tough, toenails short and strong. Protective growth of hair between toes.

Tail

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.

Gait/Movement

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

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

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

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.

Faults

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.

Note

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


CLICK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE


ALASKAN MALAMUTE CLUB OF THE UNITED KINGDOM  

KENNEL CLUB


GREENLAND DOG

 

The Greenland Dog originates from the coastal area of the Arctic regions of Northern Siberia Alaska, Canada and Greenland and is one of the oldest breeds in the world. Remains have been found in the New Siberian Islands that have been carbon dated to around 9,000 years old. It is known that the dog first reached Greenland with the Sarqaq people around 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. The breed has been known in the past by a variety of names including Eskimo Dog, Husky, Inuit Dog, Esquimaux and settled on it’s current name Greenland Dog in 1990 to fall in line with the rest of Europe where it is known as the Gronlandhund. Unfortunately, due to the decline of dog-drawn transport, they have suffered a great fall in numbers since the turn of the last century. This trend has not been helped by the success of more domesticated and eye catching sled dog breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and the Samoyed for racing, exploration, dog showing and as pets.


It is believed that the first Greenland Dogs were brought into the UK in around 1750, and they were first exhibited at one of the earliest dog shows at Darlington in 1875. The breed was recognised by the Kennel Club at it’s foundation in 1880.

Despite the increasing use of Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds from the early 1900s, many explorers continued to use the Greenland Dog. In fact, the Antarctic surveyors and explorers appeared to favour the qualities of the Greenland Dog. Roald Amundsen recorded the earliest known data for Greenland Dogs being used as working dogs and it was his use of the dogs that is widely credited as giving him the edge over Scott in capturing the South Pole in his expedition of 1910-1912.


The owner of a Greenland Dog today must be both patient and determined when training, particularly in the early months of a dog’s life, but will find the rewards wholly worthwhile. They are an independent and dominant breed and will challenge their owner so training must be persistent, patient and consistent in correcting the dog throughout it’s adolescence and into it’s maturity at around 3 years of age. This is essential for a dog of this size possessing immense power and strength. The Greenland Dog has the independent and stubborn nature shared by all of the Spitz breeds but they are adaptable, intelligent, good natured and affectionate, and are known to be happy extroverts. They are a breed for the experienced and enthusiastic dog owner rather than the novice, but are by no means impossible.


The Greenland Dog is not a ‘one man dog’ showing no particular loyalty to a family member and also does not make for a good guard dog. Although their size and appearance could deter any potential burglar, they should not show aggression towards people. Their dominance however is more apparent with other dogs of the same sex; they may not start any trouble but they also may not back down. The Greenland Dog is a pack animal and much closer than other Spitz breeds to the wild state.


The Greenland Dog, like the Alaskan Malamute, has a waterproof double coat and should be cared for in the same way. The Greenland Dog is a natural breed which on no account should have it’s coat trimmed or clipped. With this coat, which is common to all Nordic dogs, the Greenland Dog is equally happy to live inside or outside. Should the decision be made for the dog to live outside, adequate shelter from the elements should be provided to avoid suffering discomfort in the wind and rain, or from heat stroke. Secure fencing is essential, therefore a 6ft fence turned over at the top and sunk into the ground to prevent digging out is essential. Regardless of where they are living, they must have sufficient stimulation to keep them occupied. The Greenland Dog is a highly intelligent yet stubborn breed which not only makes them a challenge to train, but also they can become easily bored. This could lead them to become destructive, take to digging or excessive howling. They may of course do any of these to challenge the owner from time to time which must be swiftly and consistently corrected to show the dog who is in charge. They are a pack animal and will respect a hierarchy once it is established.


It is very important that a mature Greenland Dog is exercised every day. It is equally important however that a young puppy is not over exercised as the breed’s heavy bone structure can be irreparably damaged by doing this. Instead, a puppy’s exercise should be built up slowly and steadily for as little as 10 minutes each day for one around 3 months of age, as they are already using up considerable levels of energy in play. In the same manner, it is vital not to under feed a puppy as it is this large intake of food at an early age that helps them develop their bone structure. You can always take excess weight off a puppy at a later stage but can never put bone on if it is not there.


STUART WINTERTON © 2003

 

Breed Standard

Last updated  September 2016

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Powerful body and heavy coat, striking appearance. Marked contrast in size between dogs and bitches.

Characteristics

A working sledge dog, primarily assessed for freighting capacity in Arctic conditions, adaptable, distinctly independent, alert and bold. Bitches more amenable.

Temperament

Sound, dignified, intelligent, good-natured, affectionate.

Head and Skull

Head well proportioned, broad and wedge-shaped with moderate stop. Skull strong and flat; powerful jaws. Nose and lips black or brown. Muzzle medium length, gently tapering to nose.

Eyes

Dark brown or tawny. Placed slightly obliquely, neither prominent nor too deep set. Expression alert and fearless.

Ears

Short and firm, well set apart. Carried shapely erect and facing forward. Internally protected by fur.

Mouth

Teeth large, strong and uncrowded. Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaw.

Neck

Rather short, heavy and muscular, with loose skin.

Forequarters

Shoulders broad, big boned and muscular. Forelegs perfectly straight and vertical in stance, powerful and heavy-boned.

Body

Chest deep and broad with well sprung ribs. Body strong and well muscled, with level back, presenting a well balanced and compact appearance. Length of body slightly greater than height at shoulder.

Hindquarters

Thighs broad, strong and heavily muscled. Stifles well bent, hocks well let down. Heavy bone. Legs straight when viewed from rear.

Feet

Rather large and strong, with strong nails. Thick pads with protective growth of fur between toes.

Tail

Large and bushy. Set high, curled loosely over back and falling either side.

Gait/Movement

Strong drive, limbs moving parallel, back held level.

Coat

Thick double coat consisting of an impenetrable undercoat 2.5-5 cms (1-2 ins) long, uniform over body, with well protruding outer coat of coarser longer hair, which is quite straight. Outer coat at its longest on neck and withers, breeches and underside of tail. Underbelly also well covered. Hair on head and legs rather short.

Colour

All known dog colours, or combinations of these colours. Merle is not acceptable.

Size

Height: dogs: 58-68 cms (23-27 ins) at shoulder; bitches: 51-61 cms (20-24 ins) at shoulder. Weight: dogs: 34-47.5 kgs (75-105 lbs), bitches: 27-41 kgs (60-90 lbs).

Faults

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.

Note

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

 

CLICK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE GREENLAND DOG

GREENLAND DOG CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN

KENNEL CLUB