|So you want
an Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute History
Alaskan Malamute evolved from the ancient dogs that
accompanied prehistoric man in his migrations from Asia,
across the Arctic to Greenland and back. The migrations,
covering thousands of years also produced a natural
evolution of species that varied from the long coated
varieties found in Greenland to the lesser coated, longed
legged varieties found in the forest and lake areas of
northern Canada : Read full
history of the Alaskan malamute
kind of temperament does the Alaskan Malamute have?
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog,
not a "one man" dog. They are not watch, or
guard, dogs. The standards say, "He is a loyal,
devoted companion, playful in invitation, but generally
impressive by his dignity after maturity." I'd like
to add that maturity takes a long time to arrive. And
even after they are mature, they can still be goofy.
They are stubborn, and seem to want to know 'what's in it
for me' as opposed to doing something just to please
their owner. They respond better to food as positive
reinforcement, than they do punishment.
Malamutes aren't stupid, but are independent. An owner
must consider the breed's background. They haven't been
domesticated for a long time compared to many other
breeds, and in their original environment independent
thinking often meant survival. When they worked in a
team, it was always under human supervision, and when
left to their own devices, they quickly established a
hierarchy. There is a saying: "Nature abhors a
vacuum". Malamutes abhor a vacuum in leadership, and
if a human isn't going to provide leadership, then they
will. Therefore, you must be prepared to be tested, and
be resolute in ensuring that you are the boss.
is the best living accommodation for a Malamute?
You need a fenced-in yard. Alaskan Malamutes are quite
suited to life in kennels or in houses but they will not
be able to live successfully in any situation where they
cannot get plenty of exercise. A fenced-in yard AND
taking your dog for regular walks is the best way to
ensure that your dog will have a safe environment to
burn-off energy, and not be able to run away.
Malamutes originated in a land of open spaces, and they
still consider boundaries as a silly human concept. They
will hunt, and they will chase, so they aren't suited to
life with livestock without restraint.
Malamutes like to dig. It might just be in summer to
obtain a more comfortable spot to lie down, or it might
be any time that the ground isn't frozen. We suggest that
you provide an area in your yard, where the Malamute is
allowed to dig. By providing such a zone, you can keep
the rest of your yard safe.
much time and attention does a Malamute need?
Alaskan Malamutes require quite a bit of time, energy,
and input from their owners, especially during their
growth years. Among the things you need to provide every
day are exercise, play, training, grooming (brushing and
combing), feeding, and socializing. Malamutes will be
fine if their owners are away at work during the day as
long as they get enough quality time in the evenings and
weekends to meet these needs. If you are at work all day,
and out again most evenings, the Alaskan Malamute is not
the breed for you.
In spite of their independence, Malamutes can get lonely,
and may make noise. Some of them are worse for this than
others. While the mother of this litter is generally
quiet, the father doesn't like to be alone, and will make
a racket. (Now you know why we live in the country!)
Malamutes good with children?
Normally yes, if the dog has been raised with children.
Children must be taught to be kind to dogs AND no child
under the age of 6 should be left alone with any dog. It
is important to socialize you Malamute to children of all
ages. If you have children or grand children, make sure
that they know how to treat the dog and what rules must
be followed with the dog.
Malamutes should always be 'good' with people. While
Malamutes require socialization to ensure they are good
with other dogs, they should always be 'good' with
people. A Malamute that is not friendly and outgoing,
should be regarded with suspicion.
Endless Dog Hair Everywhere be a problem?
Alaskan Malamutes are large and quite hairy dogs
they shed regularly. There is a fine undercoat near the
skin and a longer, coarser outer coat. You will find both
coats in your home regularly - but twice a year they will
have a major shed when you can actually see the hair
tufting. Be prepared to vacuum your home regularly. If
the thought of dog hair on your floor/carpet is a big
concern consider another breed.
much do Malamutes eat?
It will depend on the quality of food that you feed your
dog. We suggest Orijen food. Once an adult, your malamute
will eat from 1 1/3 to 2+ cups twice a day (more in the
winter and if they spend a lot of time outside). Puppies
eat smaller amounts more often because they have smaller
stomachs and they are growing. You should feed your dog
whatever amount keeps him looking healthy and trim. Do
not let him get overweight, a fat Malamute is not healthy
nor is one that is too thin. If you are unsure about his
health or weight talk with your vet. There is a
cute expression: "If your dog is overweight, you are
not getting enough exercise."
equipment do I need to get to prepare for my new
Feeding: Your dog will need a food bowl and a water dish.
Both should be heavy so he cannot tip them over or push
them across the floor while eating or drinking.
Collar & leash: He will need a buckle collar for
walking and holding his licence / tags AND a 6-foot
leash. They should be made of leather or cotton webbing.
Dont bother with a chain leash, they are hard on
your hands and only as strong as the plastic handle at
Kennel/crate: You also need a crate you can start
with a small one, if you have one or can borrow one
but remember, your malamute will be 23-25 inches
tall at the shoulders and weight from 65-90 pounds, you
will need a large crate as your puppy grows. A crate the
same size as a Vari-kennel 500 will be adequate it
can be wire or plastic.
Grooming: You will need a steel comb and a pin brush. You
will also need a nail clipper, a guillotine style works
very well choose the style of clipper you are most
comfortable BUT use it every week!
A bath and grooming will help remove the extra hair at
shedding time, but consider one of the 'blasters' that
dog grooming supply places sell. Blasters are like super
powerful reverse vacuum cleaners which literally 'blast'
the loose hair from the dog. A word of caution; don't use
it in the house.
kind of veterinary care does my malamute need?
Immunization: Your puppy has started on his first series
of immunization for distemper, hepatitis, letospirosis
and parainfluenza. The puppy will also have had at least
one, possibly two immunizations for parvovirus. We will
provide you with an immunization record that tells you
when your puppy was immunized and when they are due for
their next shots. You will need to continue
the puppys immunization.
Worming: Young puppies almost always have worms. Though
we have wormed the entire litter, you will probably be
need to worm again. It is best to use worming treatments
provided by your vet. Your vet can advise you as to an
appropriate worming treatment and schedule.
Other stuff: Other than these basics, your common sense
OR concern over your puppy will dictate when to take your
puppy to the vet. Obvious symptoms of illness such as
diarrhea, vomiting or listlessness warrant a call to your
vet right away.
what age should I begin training my Malamute?
Puppies can begin training almost as soon as they can
stand up. There are a number of things to keep in mind
when training a puppy (or even an adult dog). The people
in the dogs life need to be consistent a
rule for the dog does not change from person to person.
For example, it is not okay to jump up on 12-year old Tom
if it will not be okay to jump up on anyone else. Also,
everyone should use the same words to tell the dog what
to do. A family should agree on a set of puppy
rules that will be important when the puppy grows
to be 90 pounds in weight. Nothing is as cute when it has
a 90-pound impact.
Today, most training is positive, however, that does not
mean that there are no consequences to unsafe actions by
the puppy. It is easier to train and nurture a puppy than
to fix an adult dog. So, positively train
your puppy for all the RIGHT behaviours. You and every
adult in the puppys life is in charge (the boss) of
the puppy he never gets to decide that he wants to
be in charge.
Puppies can attend kinderpuppy classes as
early as 3 or 4 months old. You can talk to us about
local training facilities that will provide such classes.
There are a number of good books listed on our website.
are the different colours of Malamutes?
Malamutes come in a wide variety of colours. The usual
colours range from light grey through intermediate
shadings to black, sable (black, cream & tan) and
red. Colour combinations are acceptable. The only solid
colour accepted is all white. White is always the
predominant colour on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and
part of face markings. A white blaze on the forehead
and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and
these 'Giant' Alaskan Malamutes?
No. The 'Giant' Malamute is incorrect, and a result of
misunderstanding on the part of their breeders. Malamutes
were bred to work in the Arctic, and are the largest of
the Northern sled dogs. If you consider the build of the
Inuit versus the build of the Zulu Tribe in Africa,
you'll get an understanding of why bigger is not better
in the North. Zulu tribes people are tall to dissipate
heat, Inuit are short and stocky to retain heat. What is
easier to heat in winter, a large sprawling house, or a
compact one? Which will require less fuel to maintain at
a comfortable temperature? Remember, Malamutes weren't
fed a great deal, and if times were hard, they didn't get
fed often. A large dog requires more food to maintain
than a smaller one.
Basically, the 'Giants' are a consequence of the dilution
of the 'pure' Malamute breeding stock that was polluted
by dogs brought in for the gold rush. They are incorrect,
and should not be bred.
is the average lifespan of the Alaskan Malamute?
With proper care, your Alaskan Malamute could live as
long as13 or 14 years. The average lifespan is between 10
and 13 years. I have seen Malamutes as old as 16.
If I dont want a dog with papers would
it cost less?
No. By Federal legislation (The Animal Pedigree Act) it
is illegal to advertise, and sell, an animal as purebred
without providing registration papers. It is also illegal
to charge extra for the registration process. All or our
puppies are sold with registration papers.
The Canadian Kennel Club registers purebred Alaskan
Malamutes in Canada. Breeders are not allowed to sell
puppies without registration papers from the CKC
as a result, reputable breeders will not offer discount
pricing for puppies without registration papers.
Alaskan Malamutes have any genetic / health problems?
Yes. All dogs, purebred and cross-bred alike, can have
some genetic or health problems. Malamutes have a
recessive gene that causes 'dwarfism'. The parents of
this litter do not carry that gene.
Like most large breeds, Malamutes can also have hip
dysplasia. The parents of this litter have been tested
and graded 'good' by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for
Malamutes, like most northern breeds, can have problems
with their thyroid gland. The parents of this litter have
both been tested, and their thyroid function is normal.
I get a male or a female Malamute?
Which sex you buy is a matter of personal preference and
circumstances. If you are interested in breeding,
naturally you would have to buy a female of breeding
quality. If you are not planning on having a litter, it
makes sense to have a female dog spayed to eliminate her
coming into season every six months or so.
Male Malamutes lift their legs to urinate, and if you
have prize-winning flowers in your yard, you may not
appreciate that. As with a female, if not being used for
breeding, it is best to neuter a male dog.
As far as personality differences between the sexes, the
Malamute as a breed has a variety of different
personalities and temperaments and each do is an
individual. There is no hard and fast match between
gender and temperament. Much of your dogs
personality will depend on how you raise him or her, what
you expect, encourage and discourage in terms of
behaviour and the kind of environment the dog
I breed my Malamute?
Our puppies are sold on a Canadian Kennel Club
non-breeding contract. That means that you agree not to
breed your dog. In the future, if you are interested, and
we agree that your dog is of breeding quality we could
lift the non-breeding contract so you could breed the dog
and register the puppies with the CKC. To be of breeding
quality, a dog should clearly meet the breed standard.
Also, it is important to consider the process as an
opportunity to improve the breed not simply an
adventure for your family to experience a birth and
puppies in your lives. Dogs lives are not more complete
by being bred and having a litter, so that is not a sound
reason to breed.
can I learn more?
Alaskan Malamute History
The Alaskan Malamute Club of
Alaskan Malamute Breed Standard
are some books that you will find useful