THE BREED STANDARDS
WHAT IS A BREED STANDARD?
can dare say it's a description of an ideal representative of the breed. The AKC
Alaskan Malamute standard is the original standard that influences cynological
organizations in other countries like the FCI or AKC. The land of origin of the
breed is almost always the biggest source of information about that breed.
AKC (American Kennel Club)
STANDARD - Country of Origin Standard
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
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.
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 (63,5 cm) at the shoulders, 85 pounds (38,5 kg); females,
23 inches (58,4 cm) at the shoulders, 75 pounds (34 kg).
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.
Height / Length = 9/10
correct head, ears placement & eyes.
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 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 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.
Correct head & muzzle
Neck, Topline, Body:
The neck is strong and moderately arched.
The chest is well developed.
compactly built but not short coupled.
The back is straight and gently sloping
to the hips.
The loins are hard and well muscled. A longloin that may weaken the
back is a fault.
The tail is 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
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.
Correct front and legs
|The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled through the thighs; stifles
moderately bent; hock joints are moderately bent and well let down.
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 (2,5 - 5 cm) 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 breeching and plume. Alaskan 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. The only solid color allowable is
all white. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and
trimmings. White is always the predominant color on underbody, 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 to the forequarters.
forequarters receive the drive from the rear with a smooth reaching stride.
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
of the body.
A stilted gait, or any gait that is not completely efficient and
tireless, is to be penalized.
In judging Alaskan Malamutes, their function as a sledge dog for heavy
freighting in the Arctic must be given consideration above all else.
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, cowhocks, 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
Approved April 12, 1994
Effective May 31, 1994