Why you shouldn't shave your Malamutes
White band of color
encircling the neck
Alaskan Malamute Breed Standard
Working Group
General Appearance
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 males, 25
inches at the shoulders, 85 pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. 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

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 join. 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.