Alaskan Malamutes are supposed to be big dogs, right? Maybe you are wondering if your malamute is the correct size. If you think your malamute is smaller than usual, this article is for you.
Your malamute can be smaller than average due to a number of reasons. The most common reason being genetics, followed by eating habits and diet, exercise, or other undiagnosed health conditions.
Let’s explain each of those in full detail, and whether or not you can help your malamute gain some physical size.
How Big Are Malamutes Supposed To Be?
Before worrying too much about the size of your malamute, it’s a good idea to check the average height and weight ranges.
It could be that your malamute is actually falling within the standard size range!
According to the AKC, Alaskan Malamutes are considered a large breed with the following weight and height ranges:
⭐ Average height and weight for adult MALES
● 25 Inches in height
● 85 Pounds in weight
⭐ Average height and weight for adult FEMALES
● 23 Inches in height
● 75 Pounds in weight
*These are averages, it’s possible that your malamute is a few inches/pounds above or below these figures.
Alaskan Malamute Growth Timeline
FEMALE Alaskan Malamute Growth Timeline Averages
|2-4 Months||25-30 lbs||12-14|
|4-6 Months||30-40 lbs||14-16|
|6-8 Months||40-50 lbs||16-18|
|8-10 Months||50-60 lbs||18-20|
|10-12 Months||60-65 lbs||20-22|
|14-16 Months||70-75lbs +||23 +/-|
MALE Alaskan Malamute Growth Timeline Averages
|2-4 Months||30-35 lbs||12-14|
|4-6 Months||35-45 lbs||14-16|
|6-8 Months||45-60 lbs||16-19|
|8-10 Months||60-70 lbs||19-22|
|10-12 Months||70-75 lbs||22-24|
|12-14 Months||75-80 lbs||24-25|
|14-16 Months||80-85 lbs +||25 +/-|
From around 4 months to 10 months there will be a growth spurt where weight and height will increase at a quicker rate.
After around 10 months, the weight and height will continue, but at a much slower rate.
Although the chart stops at 16 months, weight may continue to increase for another year (at a much slower rate) while muscle mass is gained.
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Why Is My Alaskan Malamute Small? Likely Reasons
Let’s cover the main reasons why your Malamute may be smaller than average. Each reason will come with a solution (if there is one!)
Genes will play a huge role in the size of your Malamute.
If you still have contact with your breeder, try obtaining some basic height and weight measurements of the parents of your Malamute (although this is a long shot).
Physical traits are often carried down, so if the parents or grandparents of your malamute were a little smaller than average, there’s a good chance your malamute will be too.
What’s the solution? ⭐
There isn’t one. If your malamute is destined to be small by genetics, there isn’t anything me, you, or any veterinarian can do. But, as I will be saying throughout, as long as your malamute is healthy, happy, and full of life, his overall size does not matter at all.
2. Eating Habits and Diet
Eating habits and overall diet are crucial, especially throughout the growth and development stage. And fortunately, there are things you can do with this one. So let’s get into it.
First of all, your malamute should be receiving a high-quality diet, and if you’re opting for kibble, using a premium brand is a must.
Kibble varies greatly, all the way from very low quality (with nasty ingredients) all the way up to human-grade dog food (yep).
Premium kibble is more expensive for a reason. The ingredients are fresher, wholesome, there are fewer fillers, by-products, chemicals, additives, preservatives, and the overall macronutrient breakdown usually leans heavily towards protein and fat, with low carbohydrates. This breakdown mimics the kind of nutrition that dogs would have consumed in the wild, therefore their bodies are better able to digest their meals.
Aside from kibble itself, it’s crucial that your Malamute is actually eating his meals. And it’s true to say that using a premium kibble doesn’t automatically mean it will work for him. Trial and error may still be required.
What’s the solution? ⭐
Ensure your Malamute is on a dog food made for large breeds. Large breeds need a lot of calories (from protein and fat) to grow as they should.
It’s always recommended to follow the food packaging label, or even better, visit your veterinarian for their guidance with portion sizes.
Apart from the kibble itself, make sure your Malamute finished his meals, and if he doesn’t you’ll need to address that issue quickly.
Fortunately, I have an article all about why your Malamute may be refusing his food. You should check it out.
3. Receiving Too Much Exercise
Alaskan Malamutes are known for their unquestionable work ethic, and ability to go for miles upon miles in grueling conditions.
Not only are they physically capable, but they are mentally strong, and they crave A LOT of exercise.
Malamutes should be receiving around 2 hours of exercise per day.
However, when we are talking puppies (less than 1 year) their exercise amount needs to adjusted. And it’s crucial not to be over-exercising your puppy.
Puppies need more rest than exercise and it’s through rest when they grow in size and become stronger. Insufficient resting could lead to stunted growth.
Over-exercising puts extra stress on their bones, joints, and ligaments (that aren’t yet developed) and it will increase their caloric expenditure.
Calories in versus calories out will dictate their weight and ability to grow.
What’s the solution? ⭐
If you have a malamute puppy that’s under 1 year old. Stick to the 5-minute method. This requires you to stick to 5 minutes of dedicated exercise per day, per month of age they have… So at 2 months old, 10 minutes per day, at 3 months old, 15 minutes per day. And so on. This reduces the chances of over-exercising.
This section is mostly addressing malamute puppies, but If you have an adult already. Then ensure you cap the exercise at 2 hours.
4. Other Health Concerns
There may be existing health issues, or a previous health issue throughout his puppy months, which could have stunted his growth.
While this is fairly unlikely, you should always rule out health issues if you are concerned about the safety or well-being of your malamute.
What’s the solution? ⭐
If you suspect there to be something hindering your malamute from the correct growth projection, then, by all means, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Don’t Get Mixed Up With GIANT Malamutes
There is a chance that you’ve seen one of many viral videos of a giant malamute standing up to be significantly bigger than their owner. This certainly raises a few eyebrows…
Giant malamutes are not a separate breed, but they are a different breed variety.
Giant malamutes are extraordinarily big and are far taller and heavier than a normal Alaskan Malamute.
Giant malamutes literally look like bears…
These videos do seem to take the limelight so perhaps you’re comparing your Alaskan Malamute to a Giant Malamute.
Giant malamutes are developed through selective breeding. So they do actually come directly from Alaskan malamutes.
The biggest from each litter will be bred with a Malamute that was also the biggest from a different litter, and the process continues until you’re breeding extra-large malamutes with each other.
Is Your Malamute Small Or Skinny?
It’s also important to make a clear difference between being small and being skinny.
When we talk about small, we are referring to oversize and height.
But if your malamute is skinny, then this is a weight issue and needs to be dealt with differently.
Malamutes are naturally thick dogs that have a lot of muscle mass. So it’s quite easy to see when a malamute isn’t where they are supposed to be.
If your malamute doesn’t fall within the normal weight ranges for their age, then it’s recommended to speak to a veterinarian first before trying any tips or tricks.
It’s never a good idea to waste time trying tips, when there could be a small chance of an underlying health issue, getting health concerns ruled out first is always the best thing to do.
I have an article about why your Malamute may not be eating, and within this article, you’ll find tips to help encourage him to finish his meals.
If Your Malamute Is Healthy, Size Doesn’t Matter
As long as your malamute is healthy, happy, and full of life, then his overall size doesn’t matter.
It’s easy to compare our dogs to other dogs we see in the park, or even online when scrolling Instagram (I’m guilty of it too!).
If your malamute is smaller than normal, it’s absolutely fine, as long as you’ve ruled out health concerns with your veterinarian.
Your furry friend can live a happy life just like any other malamute out there.
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