While you may think of the usual grey or black when you imagine a sledding dog like an Alaskan Malamute, they actually occur in a wide variety of colors.Many different influences can affect the color of an adult Malamute, however, the pattern is still primarily the same. A mantle of hairs over the topline of the body and head is comprised of stiff "guard hairs" which are tipped with color. Below the colored area is a shorter or longer area of white on base of each guard hair.
Alaskan Malamute Coat
The Malamute has a thick, stiff guard coat. which varies in The undercoat is dense, from one to two inches in depth, oily and woolly. The guard coat varies in length, but must be coarse, never soft. The coat is relatively short to medium along the sides of the body, with the length of the coat increasing up to 6" around the shoulders and neck, down the back, over the rump, and in the breeching and plume.
Malamutes usually have a shorter and less dense coat during the summer months. Shedding time can produce several paper bags full of exceptional down which some people spin and use like wool. It washes clean and has no doggy smell when prepared as yarn.
Genetics is a long and comlicated study, but basically Malamutes have two colors: Black and Red/Liver. So Malamutes can be black shades, red shades or a combination of the two. Additionally there is a "diluting gene" which lightens the overall coat color to produce the infinite shades of Malamutes.
Environment and feeding can also have a profound affect upon the ability of a Malamute to express the genetics given by its parents. There will be seasonal differences the Malamute's coat grows and sheds. You may notice that with some feeds you dog has a better quality coat, this can control the colors that you will see in the dog's coat as well.
If you have a photo of your Malamute to donate please let us know.
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