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December 6, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 1

Alaskan Malamute

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

The ultimate sled dog! The Alaskan Malamute is high energy, loyal, and friendly! Find out if this breed is for you!

Bred to pull sleds, this breed was developed over 3,000 years ago by the Inuit tribe in North America. Their main purpose is to haul supplies, not to race. This breed was bred to tolerate extreme cold weather conditions and has been used on many famous arctic expeditions.

Cool Climates Preferred

A Northern Breed, the Alaskan Malamute is not fond of warm climates. They do best when they live in colder areas year round. If you experience warm weather, it is imperative you take precautions to prevent them from over-heating. Do NOT shave them during the summer months. Their coat is designed to keep them warm and cool.

This breed enjoys being outside in winter. Providing them with proper shelter and regular companionship will make the outdoor living manageable for this breed.

Like many Northern Breeds, the Alaskan Malamute is known to be very vocal dogs - howling! They also LOVE to dig. If a landscaped yard is important, you may want to reconsider this breed.

Boredom is Their Worse Enemy

The Alaskan Malamute will enjoy running, hiking, and daily walks. This breed is perfect to carry a dog backpack. A dog should not wear a backpack until they are 1 year old to prevent injuries to developing joints. The backpack provides a dog with a job, as well as helps to drain energy much quicker. Consider using one every time you take your dog for a hike or walk.

They do make great running partners, however, because they are a Northern Breed, do not run them in warmer climates. If you live in a cold climate, the Alaskan Malamute will enjoy skijoring, pulling a sled, or just playing outside in the snow with the kids!

This breed will enjoy a large fenced in-yard to romp around with their family members. If you live in an apartment/condo do not consider this breed.

Boredom is not the Alaskan Malamute's friend. If they get bored, they become extremely neurotic, destructive, and out-of-control. Physical and mental exercise is a must for this breed. They are considered highly intelligent, and if rules, boundaries, and training are not provided behavioral problems such as: counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, nipping, digging, and much more will surface.

Great With Kids and Other Dogs

This breed LOVES everyone! They thrive in an environment surrounded by people and other dogs. This is truly a "pack" dog. Because they are bred to work as a team with other dogs, they will do best in a home with another dog. Socialization is very important at a young age for this breed. If you work long hours, Doggy Daycare is the perfect alternative to leaving them alone all day.

The Alaskan Malamute is a BIG dog! They can accidentally knock over small children when playing, but they also have a high tolerance for rambunctious behavior.

Cats are NOT their friend. The Alaskan Malamute typically will chase and torment a household cat, unless raised with them.

If Fur is Not Your Friend

Don't consider the Alaskan Malamute if you have allergies. Their abundance of fur is constantly shedding throughout the year. They will require a daily brushing to help maintain their gorgeous coat. This is a clean and odorless dog so bathing should be infrequent. Regular nail trimmings should be done every 8 -12 weeks.

Health Concerns

Health issues the Alaska Malamute can have are: bloat, chondrodysplasia (dwarfism), hip dysplasia, skin problems (parasites like to hide in their massive coat), and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (eye disease)

The average life span of the Alaskan Malamute is 12 - 16 years.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for an Alaskan Malamute, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


 Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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