Are Giant Alaskan Malamutes Real? Everything You Need to Know

The Alaskan Malamute has a rich history deeply rooted in the native Alaskan culture. They were bred by the indigenous Inuit people, who relied on these dogs for transportation, hauling heavy loads, and even as companions. These dogs played a crucial role in their survival in the harsh Arctic conditions.

1.2 Early Use and Role

During the Alaskan gold rush in the late 19th century, Alaskan Malamutes gained popularity beyond their native land. They were used in sled dog racing and expeditions, showcasing their incredible strength and endurance. The breed’s ability to thrive in extreme cold temperatures and navigate treacherous terrain made them invaluable working dogs.

2. Understanding the Breed Standard

2.1 Physical Characteristics

The breed standard for Alaskan Malamutes outlines the physical characteristics that define this majestic breed. They are large and powerful dogs, with a well-muscled body, deep chest, and a thick double coat that provides insulation. Their expressive almond-shaped eyes and erect ears give them an alert and intelligent appearance.

2.2 Temperament Traits

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their friendly, affectionate, and outgoing nature. They are highly sociable and enjoy being part of a pack, whether it’s their human family or other dogs. However, they also possess an independent streak, which can make training a challenge for inexperienced owners. Early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement training are key to managing their strong-willed nature.

3. Common Misconceptions about Alaskan Malamutes

3.1 Size and Weight Misconceptions

One common misconception about Alaskan Malamutes is their size. While they are indeed large dogs, some people mistakenly believe that they are giants. However, according to the breed standard, Alaskan Malamutes typically weigh between 75 and 100 pounds, with males being larger than females. It’s important to note that size and weight can vary within this range due to factors such as genetics and individual differences.

3.2 Differences between Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies

Another misconception is often the confusion between Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies. While they may share some physical similarities, they are distinct breeds with different traits. Alaskan Malamutes are larger, have a more robust build, and are bred for heavy work, while Siberian Huskies are smaller and built for endurance running. Understanding these differences can help potential owners make an informed decision about which breed is the right fit for them.

4. Giant Alaskan Malamutes: Fact or Myth?

4.1 The Concept of Giant Alaskan Malamutes

Now let’s address the question that brought us here: are giant Alaskan Malamutes real? The term “giant” Alaskan Malamute is not recognized by official breed standards. However, some breeders and enthusiasts use this term to describe Alaskan Malamutes that fall on the larger end of the size spectrum. These dogs may exceed the average weight range mentioned earlier but are still within the realm of the breed’s natural variation.

4.2 Exploring the Genetic Possibilities

The size variation in Alaskan Malamutes can be attributed to genetics, as different bloodlines may produce dogs that are slightly larger or smaller. However, it’s essential to note that responsible breeders prioritize breeding for overall health, temperament, and adherence to the breed standard rather than solely focusing on size. Ensuring the well-being of the breed should always be the priority.

5. Understanding Size Variations in Alaskan Malamutes

5.1 Standard Size Range

As mentioned earlier, the standard size range for Alaskan Malamutes is typically between 75 and 100 pounds. However, it’s not uncommon to find individuals that fall slightly outside of this range. Some dogs may weigh less than 75 pounds, while others may weigh over 100 pounds. These size variations do not make them “giant” Alaskan Malamutes but rather reflect the natural diversity within the breed.

5.2 Factors Influencing Size Variations

Various factors can influence the size variations observed in Alaskan Malamutes. These include genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. However, it’s important to remember that size alone should not be the sole determining factor when considering adding an Alaskan Malamute to your family. Temperament, compatibility with your lifestyle, and commitment to their exercise and grooming needs should also be taken into account.

6. The Controversy Surrounding Giant Alaskan Malamutes

6.1 Criticisms and Concerns

The controversy surrounding giant Alaskan Malamutes stems from concerns about breeding practices and potential health issues associated with extreme size variations. Some argue that selectively breeding for larger sizes may compromise the breed’s overall health and well-being. Additionally, the term “giant” can mislead potential owners and contribute to unrealistic expectations about the breed.

6.2 Advocates and Supporters

On the other hand, advocates and supporters of larger Alaskan Malamutes argue that size variations are a natural occurrence within the breed and that responsible breeders can produce healthy and well-adjusted dogs regardless of their size. They emphasize the importance of ethical breeding practices, health screenings, and maintaining the breed’s working ability and temperament.

7. Pros and Cons of Owning a Giant Alaskan Malamute

7.1 Benefits of Giant Alaskan Malamutes

Owning a larger Alaskan Malamute can have its advantages. These dogs often have a robust and impressive presence, which some people find appealing. Their size can also provide added strength and capability for certain activities such as pulling carts or participating in weight-pulling competitions. However, it’s important to consider the potential challenges that come with owning a larger dog.

7.2 Challenges of Owning a Giant Alaskan Malamute

The challenges of owning a larger Alaskan Malamute can include increased food and medical costs due to their size, the need for ample space to accommodate their exercise needs, and potential difficulties in finding suitable transportation options. Additionally, training and handling a larger dog may require more experience and expertise.

8. Responsible Breeding and Ethical Considerations

8.1 Breeding Practices and Standards

Responsible breeders prioritize the health, temperament, and adherence to breed standards when breeding Alaskan Malamutes. They perform health screenings to minimize the risk of hereditary conditions and ensure that their breeding dogs are physically and mentally sound. Ethical breeders also focus on producing well-rounded dogs that are suitable for various lifestyles and environments.

8.2 Health Implications and Screening

Size alone is not necessarily an indicator of health issues in Alaskan Malamutes. However, it’s crucial to prioritize health screenings to identify potential concerns and minimize the risk of hereditary conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups, genetic testing, and responsible breeding practices are essential to maintain the overall health and well-being of the breed.


In conclusion, while there is no official recognition of giant Alaskan Malamutes, the size variation within the breed is a natural occurrence. Responsible breeding practices, adherence to breed standards, and prioritizing the health and well-being of the dogs should always be the focus. Whether you are considering a standard-sized Alaskan Malamute or one that falls on the larger end of the size spectrum, it’s essential to understand the breed’s characteristics, temperament, and exercise needs to provide a loving and fulfilling home for these magnificent dogs.

ThePetFaq Team