The Alaskan Malamute is most commonly known as the Arctic sled dog. It is the oldest breed of sled dog in the world today. It displays great power and build, making it a suitable breed for sled pulling. Its chest is deep and strong, and it has a body that is more muscular than most of the other breeds of dogs. If you live in the colder climates or regions and you need help in pulling loads, you will find the Alaskan Malamute a helpful companion. Of course, the fact that it is affectionate and loyal makes it very suitable as a family pet as well.
The Alaskan Malamute possesses a firm and imposing stance. With its broad head held straight up, it displays the attributes of an energetic dog. It has alert eyes that radiate interest and curiosity, and its triangular ears show the same alertness, sharp and attentive. With its coarse coat, the Alaskan Malamute can withstand the harshest winter conditions. Possessing heavy bones, an Alaskan Malamute has the ability to withstand the strenuous task of pulling loads under extreme conditions for long periods of time. With strong feet and muscular legs, an Alaskan Malamute can overcome the trickiest terrains of snow. The strength of its legs is exceptional, since this breed of dog has an extensive history as a sled dog. These are the physical attributes that make the Alaskan Malamute such an excellent sled dog.
With regards to its gait, the Alaskan Malamute moves in a balanced, steady, and tireless manner, making it a very efficient sled dog. Throughout the years, the Alaskan Malamute has been bred to be a dog of great stamina, and it can pull a fully loaded sled for very long distances. Alaskan Malamutes were used as sled dogs during Richard Byrd's expeditions to the South Pole, and the explorations would not have been successful without them. They were also used in World War II to transport weapons and ammunition, and many of them died in the line of duty.
If your Alaskan Malamute shows splay-footedness, ranginess, light bones, coqhocks, straight shoulders, and stilted gait, then most likely it will not be a suitable sled dog or a competitor for a dog show. In most dog shows, the Alaskan Malamute is judged on its functionality as a sled dog. The more it deviates from the descriptions of an ideal sled dog, the more it will be penalized.
When you choose your Alaskan Malamute, it's important to look out for the attributes that determine its effectiveness as a sled dog. If you get an Alaskan Malamute with good working abilities, you can rest assured that you will get a great helper as well as a loyal companion.