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 earsare 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 join. The muzzle is largeand 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 tailis 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 breaching 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 under body, 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 tothe 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 center
line 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, cow hocks, 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

Blue Eyes

Approved April 12, 1994
Effective May 31, 1994 is a PDF file you can open to view the standard in whole.