I rarely see much written about the beautiful Alaskan Malamute, so i thought i might try to give some information here. My experience is not as extensive as some, however I have had the wonderful pleasure and privilege of owning one of these amazing dogs.
Often times they are confused with a Husky. Also, there are many who are convinced that they are cross bred from wolves, which is completely untrue. I've come across the situation where a (blue eyed, one or both)Malamute/Mix or Husky is tried to be passed off as a purebred Malamute. A purebred Malamute will NEVER have blue eyes, not one or both. This breed is a large breed, but not a giant breed. Giant Malamutes are not natural of this breed.
This breed also needs room to run! They need a large, fenced in yard, so as to keep them out of trouble because they get bored very easily and they are very smart, yet very stubborn.
They love and thrive on human interaction and tend to be wonderful with children. They have big hearts and really are (surprising to most) big softies.
When it comes to other dogs, the Malamute is a leader and will want to dominate "his pack". They are not aggressive, yet the Malamute will dominate if confronted and forced to fight and they will fight to the end. The heavy scruff below their neck was for protection against predators in Alaska. If they were attacked, (and most animals go for the neck), they have added protection that would prevent a life threatening injury. In a multi-pet household, It is necessary to have all pets neutered/spayed. If your male is not neutered, it is recommended to not have any other intact male dogs in the house, as this creates tension.
Malamutes have their own mind and are not easily trained. They tend to like to do things when they feel like doing it, not when you necessarily want.
They require more patience when it comes to training them.
They are very strong animals. Remember, they are sled dogs! A Malamute can pull up to 15 times his body weight!! They love to pull and they love the physical challenge. This breed requires a lot of exercise and a lot of grooming! Because of their coat, they can withstand very cold temperatures. Those beautiful coats shed, a lot!
This is not a breed for someone who lives in an apartment or who does not have a lot of time to devote to the needs of this dog. Because of their conditioning and breeding, they have slow metabolisms that help them to survive the harsh winters of Alaska when food is limited. They actually require less food than most large breed dogs. They can gain weight quickly because an owner may not be aware of this. They are not barkers, but they howl and "talk". However, not overly. They are a quieter breed than most others.
They may look intimidating, however this is NOT a guard dog. They are very friendly and tend to want to make friends with everyone, they love people. They are very alert and inquisitive. This is a breed that really needs to be researched before a person decides to acquire one.
I must mention, these are prey driven animals and are NOT farm animals. It is in their blood, because of their Alaskan climate where they would have to hunt for food. It is instinctual. They are very strong and can take down just about any prey. They may be taught, at a young age, to tolerate farm animals, yet they can never be broken of their true instinct.
Listed below are two links with the most comprehensive information (in my opinion) available anywhere. http://www.akc.org/breeds/alaskan_malamute/http://omalmalamutes.com/omal/homepage.htm