Getting Involved with Your Malamute


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Conformation is the traditional "dog show".  Handlers show their dog to a judge who is comparing that dog to the breed standard to see how well the animal conforms to that standard.  Dogs are not competing against each other but against this standard.  The best conforming dog is awarded best of breed.  In larger shows, this dog then moves onto a group competition, for malamutes the working group.  In this competition, each dog is still being compared to their breed standard to see who is the best representation of the breed.  The winner is crowned best in show, where at even larger shows they move on to the best in show competition.  Here each group winner competes to see who best represents their breed standard to be crowned best in show.


Each year AMAEP host the AMCA Mid-East Specialities and Supported Entries at the Blue and Gray Cluster.  This cluster includes AMAEP's weight pulls, trick dog and CGC testing, and conformation up to Best in Show every night!  


Weight Pull

Weight Pull is an event where dogs are trained to pull a certain weight 16ft in under 60 seconds.  In AMAEP pulls we use AMCA rules that HarrisburgWeightPull 309safeguard the health and safety of competitors.  From the AMCA website:

"The Alaskan Malamute is by nature and conformation a draft animal. His very size and weight lend to heavy pulling. The sport of weight pulling is popular, because it can be practiced at home in the back yard or urban park, it is something even the one-dog owner can participate in.

Weight pull competitions consist of a dog pulling a given weight a given distance in a set amount of time. Weights are increased for each round, with dogs dropping out when they fail to make the pull. The competitions are divided into weight classes. There are several sets of weight pull rules used, the most common being those of the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) and those of the Alaskan Malamute Club of America (AMCA). These rules now call for a dog to pull a load a distance of 16 feet in one minute and give you the option of calling the dog from the far side of the finish line or driving the dog from a position behind the dog. Weight  pulling may be done with sleds or carts. Rules do change from time to time so it is best to become familiar with the rules before you enter a competition.

You may begin training for weight pulling when your dog is six months old; however, most competitions require that dogs be a year   old to participate. Basic obedience training is helpful before getting started because the dog will have learned some basic commands such as stay and come. Start out with light weights on snow, dirt or grass. Make sure the harness is properly fitted and that the weight you are using does not make a lot of noise or that it is not so light that it might hit the dog should the dog spook and start running. A small tire makes a good weight to start with."                                                                                                                                                  Photos from Member Kenji Ackert

AMCA weight pull rules -


      Each AprilHarrisburgWeightPull 28, AMAEP hosts the mid-east region weightpull during the Blue and Gray Cluster.  This is a malamute-only weight pull that tests the breed's        ability to do what they were bred to do, in an indoor environment.  Being in PA the ability to sled all year is limited so weight pull, dry land rigs, and            bikejoring are great alternatives. 

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Photos from Member Kenji Ackert


Other Event Options

There are many other options that your malamute may succeed at with a bit of training. Malamutes may be predisposed to events like weight pull but that doesn't mean they won't give it their all in many other events

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Member Breana backpacking

with her male Kieran

  • Agility                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • CGC                                                          
  • Backpacking
  • Bikejoring
  • Barn Hunt
  • FastCAT
  • Fetch
  • Obedience
  • Rally
  • Scent Work
  • Sledding
  • Trick Dog
  • And More!