The Alaskan Malamute, a Spitz-type cousin, is built for long heavy hauling, a marathoner, not a sprinter. He's a dignified, hard-working dog, intelligent and athletic. But he's also a great companion, especially for active families who take him swimming, jogging or hiking. He can be playful and affectionate and is gentle with kids. Malamute puppies, with their sweet eyes and fluffy coats will grow up to be strong (and strong-willed) dogs, so loving, early training will help him be a balanced and happy family member.