Alaskan Malamute – Dog Breed of The Month

The Alaskan Malamute features a powerful, sturdy body built for stamina and strength

When you first see an Alaskan Malamute, it’s easy to be impressed by his large stature, wolf-like facial markings, and huge plumed tail waving at you. It’s often believed that Malamutes are part wolf. They might play a wolf on TV or in the movies, but in truth they’re all domestic dog.

The Alaskan Malamute possesses tremendous strength, energy, endurance, independence, and intelligence. He was originally sought to pull heavy sleds over long distances as well as to hunt seals and polar bears. Now chosen primarily for companionship, Alaskan Malamutes succeed in several dog sports, including conformation, obedience competition, weight pulling, skijoring, backpacking, and recreational sledding.

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:Working Dogs
Height:1 foot, 11 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch tall at the shoulder
Weight:75 to 100 pounds
Life Span:12 to 15 years

Highlights
  • Not recommended for the first time dog owner as their intelligence combined with stubbornness can make them a challenge for someone not savvy in dog behavior.
  • Malamutes will challenge for alpha or top position in the household. Everyone who lives with the dog must be able to properly deal with this and clearly establish all family members as higher ranking than the Malamute.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are notorious diggers. Any fencing should be buried so they cannot dig out of their yard.
  • Alaskan Malamutes are a powerful, independent dog who, if not properly trained or exercised, can become destructive or bored.
  • With early socialization and training, Malamutes can learn to get along with other dogs and indoor cats. They’ll view outdoor cats and other small animals as fair game.
  • Their high prey drive can cause a Malamute to stalk and kill small animals, including birds, squirrels, cats and even smaller dogs. They need to be properly socialized and introduced to other companion animals.
  • Alaskan Malamutes shed heavily twice a year. Their thick double coats are not suited for hot climates.
  • Generally a quiet breed, Malamutes rarely bark. They do hold conversations with you, vocally expressing themselves with “woo woo” sounds or loud, extensive howls.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
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