How to groom an alaskan malamute

How to groom an alaskan malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The Malamute is a heavy, well-boned dog which was originally bred for strength – rather than speed – to pull heavy sledges in some of the harshest conditions in Alaska. They are intelligent, dominant characters who when handled and trained correctly develop kind personalities.


The Malamute has a very thick, coarse guard coat which is soft to the touch. The undercoat is dense and can range from 2.5cm – 5cm deep, providing them protection from harsh weather conditions in their native Alaska. It is normal for the coat to be thicker around the shoulders, neck and rump.

Professional groomers have the equipment to ensure that the coat is thoroughly dried after bathing, which is very important to reduce chances of skin infection. Due to the thick, deep double coat, it can be very difficult to dry the coat without a blaster and finishing dryer  

Coat Type

Double Coated / Harsh

Grooming Requirement

Bathe & Brush Out

Grooming Notes

If the coat is not dried thoroughly it is common for bacteria to form and cause an unpleasant odour

  • As a double coated breed the Malamute sheds throughout the year but tends to shed more heavily in the Spring and Autumn
  • Ensure coat is thoroughly dry after bathing, to prevent the growth of bacteria and development of sores/skin infection

Grooming Guide

  • A blaster can be particularly useful at all stages of grooming for this breed. Use the blaster prior to bathing to help lift skin dander, debris and loose coat. Use a blaster after bathing to help remove excess moisture from the coat
  • Use a slicker, rubber curry or undercoat rake and de-matting tools to remove any loose hair
  • Coat in the chest, shoulder and rump areas tends to be thicker and can have an excess of undercoat. Pay close attention to these areas, but avoid repetitive/heavy handed brushing to prevent brush burn
  • If necessary edge ears with detailing/safety scissors, with the tips of the scissors pointing towards the tips of the ears. The tips of the ears should be slightly rounded
  • Thoroughly comb/brush the entire dog, there should be little/no loose hair being removed in a medium/firm slicker when finished. You should also be able to sink a wide-toothed comb into the coat, down to the skin and pull it free with no tangles
  • Use a #15 – #40 blade or safety scissors to trim paw pads if necessary
  • Back brush the hair between toes and trim with thinning scissors to prevent discomfort and matting
  • Trim hocks and pastern with thinning scissors or using a #4F (in reverse) if necessary
  • Use a soft bristle brush regularly to remove loose hair and distribute the natural coat oils around the coat
  • Apply a fine mist of coat polish to bring up the natural shine of the coat

Grooming Tool Recommendations

Other Health Recommendations

Clipper Blade Recommendations

Shampoo Recommendations

For everyday use, mild/hypoallergenic shampoos are recommended. You can also use coat specific shampoos depending on the coat requirement, such as shedding treatment, deep clean, speed dry or itchy skin relief.

Conditioner Recommendations

A conditioner is essential for this coat type as it adds ‘slip’ to the hair, helping to release loose undercoat with a blaster/brush. There are some shed treatment conditioners which would be perfect for this coat type.

Coat Care Recommendations