Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent, hard-working, active, and usually friendly. These traits in addition to their dense coat made the Alaskan Malamute breed well suited for its original use as sled and pack dogs. Historically Alaskan Malamutes were also good hunters due to the scarcity of resources in the artic environment, which now has led to their use as search and rescue dogs. However, as with other working breeds, the stamina of the Alaskan Malamute requires physical and mental stimulation in the family environment. Dog sports such as sled, cart, or freight racing; weight pulling; packing; skijoring (where a dog pulls a skier); pulk sledding (pulling a small sled called a pulk); agility; and obedience as sport provides this stimulation while allowing the dog to bond well with the family.
The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient breed that was named after a native tribe in Alaska. The tribe began breeding Alaskan Malamutes around 1000 BC and the breed is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs in existence. During the period of 1909 through 1918, breeders experimented by breeding the Alaskan Malamute in crosses with other Arctic dogs. They hoped to produce an even stronger and more resilient breed that would be better equipped to survive in the hostile environment of the Arctic. In 1926, an effort to protect the bloodline was initiated and the American Kennel Club recognized the Alaskan Malamute in 1935.