Frequently confused with both the Alaskan and Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest dog breeds.
Even though the Alaskan Malamute is a highly intelligent breed, without proper training and leadership, the dog can become challenging to handle.
If you’re considering adopting one, be aware that they can often be needy and sensitive. Many experienced pet owners who are familiar with the breed advise first-time pet owners to consider an alternative.
An Alaskan Malamute is never well suited for apartment life because of his large size and double coat, which will leave a lot of fur in the shedding season. Warm environments are not the best choice for them either.
The Alaskan Malamute requires an owner with a certain level of experience with dogs, a large yard to help burn off his energy, and a relatively cold environment. You also will need to consider using a pet sitter or doggy daycare because Alaskan Malamutes are well-known for destructive behavior if bored.
Alaskan Malamute personality
Alaskan Malamute is one of the most playful breeds, always full of energy and ready to go. Despite their large stature and wolf look, the Alaskan Malamute is extremely friendly even to strangers, so don’t count on them to guard the house.
Malamutes are loyal as they are pack animals, so they are more than willing to participate in any activity with their human pack.
If you’re considering adopting an Alaskan Malamute, you likely want to get him as a puppy so you can use training and socialization to help shape him into a friendly, loyal, obedient, and sociable pal.
Thanks to their large size and similarities with wolfs, Alaskan Malamutes usually play wolf roles in movies. Males are generally 25 inches in height at the shoulder and weight up to 100 pounds. Females are around 23 inches’ height and usually weight up to 80 pounds. Both live for about 15 years.
There are rare exceptions when a Malamute reaches 140 pounds – he is then called a giant Malamute, yet they aren’t formal structures to categorize excess weight.
Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy, but like many purebred dogs, they are prone to several health conditions.
Common Alaskan Malamute health conditions:
- Hip dysplasia
- Chondrodysplasia — a genetic disorder that affects cartilage and bone development
- Inherited polyneuropathy — a nerve disorder that can cause rear leg weakness or paralysis
- Hypothyroidism — low thyroid function, which can cause excessive shedding, thin or dull coat, and weight gain
- Day blindness — a congenital disorder that causes the dog’s vision to be blurry in brighter light
Caring for an Alaskan Malamute
Taking good care of your Alaskan Malamute is a tricky task, especially if you’re not familiar with the psychology of this breed.
The dogs are born seekers. They are always ready to receive an assignment and to complete it using focus, energy, and a lot of passion. The breed enjoys hikes, long walks, running, playing, and cuddling.
When it comes to shelter, your dog can sleep outside because his thick coat will protect him even during the coldest times. Even so, if you leave your dog out, be sure he has adequate shelter.
An Alaskan Malamute can be kept clean and fresh without a lot of hassle. Because the breed has a double-coat, you’ll need to brush your dog at least twice a week. Most of the clean-up will require vacuuming the hair that’s left behind.
You should bathe your dog whenever he’s filthy or every two to three months. The rest is pure basics – trim his nails (once a month), brush his teeth daily, and monitor his ears, the eyes, and mouth.
Feeding an Alaskan Malamute
Because the Alaskan Malamute is continually moving, jumping, and running, his nutritional needs are critical to his health and wellbeing.
Consult your vet or do your homework before making any decisions.
Consider the size of the portions, the ingredients, and the frequency of the meals according to your dogs’ lifestyle and preferences.
The Alaskan Malamute is one of the most beautiful and intelligent breeds. But before you adopt one, be sure you’re prepared for the responsibility.
Alaskan Malamutes are needy and energetic dogs. They are diggers and hunters who need constant grooming to stay healthy.
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