A dog with a rich history and magical demeanor, the Alaskan Malamute has an irresistible charm. With their skills and strength, this breed is also warm and welcoming towards their owners.
But there is more to this breed than their “giant fluffy ball” appearance. If you are in doubt about adopting Alaskan Malamutes, this is a guide that will clear all your doubts!
|1-2 hours daily
|Playful, Prey-driven, Family dogs
Origin of the Alaskan Malamute
Whenever there was trouble in the Alaskan wilderness, guess who came to the rescue? Our hero- Alaskan Malamute! Their roots can be traced back to the ancient days when their ancestors traveled from Alaska to North America.
It is not any other breed, but it was very vital for the survival of tribes. Malamutes hold great cultural relevance as they represent art and folklore in rituals, ceremonies, etc. In addition, they were soon recognized as loyal companions that could do more than play a utilitarian role. They earned their reputation in North America among common folks; well, everyone had their hearts melted.
Moreover, primarily Alaskan Malamutes were bred (by the native Inuit tribe of Alaska) for their strength and endurance to carry heavy things, which led to the smooth transportation of goods to Arctic people. Their qualities and devotion to their owners have evolved more strongly, which makes them even more lovable.
Appearance and Personality
When you look at the Alaskan Malamute dog breed, you first notice their impressive build. Besides this, there are other ways these dogs stand out:
1. Gentle giant
These muscular dogs stand up to 23-25 inches while weighing 57-100 pounds. Moreover, this dog breed is often compared to huskies, but let’s clear it here—Alaskan Malamutes are heavier than Huskies. If you notice closely, you’ll be able to differentiate between them.
2. Total goofballs
Coming to the personality traits of the Alaskan Malamute, they do have an exciting personality that they can win hearts with. They, indeed, are the cutest little fur balls in their early age. They are like goofy balls that will hop around your house, playfully searching for treats and cuddles!
As these dogs grow up, their personalities seem more prominent. One of their dominant personality traits is their independent thinking and spirit. Alaskan Malamutes can be great companions with a hint of stubbornness that can be challenging for a newbie-dog parent.
Malamutes also show strong loyalty to their human families and owners like other dog breeds. They have powerful guardian instincts that make them excellent guard dogs who are always ready to shield their owners from potential predators or threats.
5. Family friendly breed
Moreover, Alaskan Malamutes are also famous for their warm personality that surpasses their majestic appearance. They blend very well with children, family members, and friends if they are taught socialization skills from the very beginning.
Hence, if you plan on adopting an Alaskan Malamute, ensure they are pre-trained for social situations. Their other impressive personality traits include the following:
1. Adventure lovers
If you are a traveler who loves to spend years trekking, rafting, or relaxing on beaches—the Alaskan Malamute is the perfect buddy for you. They are always ready to hit the road. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not so “serious type” and always love a party.
With their heavy thick white fur, the Alaskan Malamute is giant enough to be your best cuddle buddy! They are a big-size dogs with really soft, warm, and comfortable fur.
3. Dramatic Alaskan Malamutes!
Alaskan Malamutes are dramatic. There we said it! They have the expressions, flare of elegance, and confidence that exude drama. If you are also a dramatic person, you and the Alaskan Malamute can be potential besties!
Like humans (but better), Alaskan Malamute has selective humor that they show with their quirkiness and uniqueness in their unexpected actions that will burst you into laughter.
Grooming Needs of the Alaskan Malamute
As you can tell by the looks, the Alaskan Malamute boasts the hallmark of their heritage—a double furry coat. No one can deny how cuddly and warm their fur is, but maintaining that smoothness is not so easy!
1. Diligent brushing
For their fur and brushing, Alaskan Malamutes require diligent 2-3 times grooming and brushing as they have a “shielding from villains” coarse outer coat and a soft, cozy undercoat. The coat is so thick that it will shed enough to cover all your clothes in their shed.
They mostly shed in shedding seasons, so it is essential to regularly brush to maintain proper hygiene and keep the coat’s natural luster.
2. Require oral care
In addition, brushing their coats is not enough. These canine babies need regular dental care with dog-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and bathing. Although, bathing can be skipped for 1-2 weeks easily.
So yes, Alaskan Malamute is a high-maintenance dog that might not be suitable for new dog parents. This dog breed requires professional grooming sessions to check their skin health, remove fleas and ticks, and maintain the dog’s overall hygiene.
DID YOU KNOW?Contrary to their size, Alaskan Malamute can be excellent lap dogs like—”giant furry teddy” dogs!
Temperament of the Alaskan Malamute
Before adopting any dog, it is essential to understand its temperament and if that suits your personality and temperament well. So let’s dive into the temperament of the Alaskan Malamute dog breed.
To add charm to their rugged demeanor, Alaskan Malamutes are admired for their playful nature. They can take things light-heartedly and express enthusiasm during games and playtime. The Alaskan Malamute dog breed enjoys playing with children around them, as they can engage with and protect them. Their temperament and nature shine through during games like fetching, romps, running, etc.
Stemming from their ancestral background, Alaskan Malamute has a prey-driven temperament. They have instinctive urges to chase and catch small animals like rodents and squirrels.
But this temperament can also be problematic, so you should take the necessary precautions as a responsible pet parent. Like when your dog Alaskan Malamute is off-leash in an open space, you should train them and keep them under observation to manage these urges.
3. Warm and friendly
Alaskan Malamute possesses warmth and nurturing abilities that show their ways of bonding with people around them. They have the morals of friendship and gentleness inherited from their ancestors, as they have always been a loyal companion to Alaskan tribes.
They can be exceptionally welcoming to family and guests if trained to be in social situations at an early age and raised in a positive environment.
Exercise and Training Needs
Evolving from the harsh weather conditions of Alaska, Alaskan Malamutes have worked as sled dogs which justifies their high energy levels and muscular bodies.
1. Regular training
Alaskan Malamute requires 1-2 hours of tough daily training to improve their fitness and longevity. This majestic breed loves to do rigorous physical activities that keep its body fit. For their physical health, you can do these exercises:
- Dog Walking
- Agility training
- Dog sports
2. Mental stimulation
Just like every dog, the Alaskan Malamute also needs mental stimulation. As they are naturally independent thinkers and pose the qualities of problem solvers, they need their minds engaged with activities that promote their mental health, such as:
- Interactive toys,
- Puzzle games
- Problem-solving training
3. Use positive training
Moreover, as Alaskan Malamute LOVES TREATS AND REWARDS, positive reinforcement training can do wonders for them! Giving them incentives for every command followed by them, or for behaving well or completing a task, will motivate them to obey and listen to your instructions.
As their stubbornness can come in the way, it requires a professional hand to dominate them.
4. Used to routines
Last but not least, Alaskan Malamute are like those main characters living in a movie who want everything around them to have variety and be in a systematic order.
They love following a routine that includes food, training, cuddles, playing with kids, and so on! But make sure that it is not monotonous but engages them daily with an exciting punch!
3 Essential Things You should Know Before Adopting an Alaskan Malamute
- The surprising part about Alaskan Malamute is that they can simultaneously be laid back and an energetic breed. It depends on the qualities you nurture as a parent. You must provide physical and mental exercises like daily walks, agility training, puzzles, etc., to keep Alaskan Malamutes active and avoid their laid-back and lazy behavior.
- These dogs already have friendly personalities that should be promoted by putting them into various social situations where they have to interact with hoomans and behave in a civilized manner. As they also have an “I am a boss” personality, training them for social interactions can be challenging, but not giving them such experience can lead to behavioral issues.
- As Alaskan Malamute are sensitive and very fond of their owners, you should not leave them alone for more than 3-4 hours a day. They can get separation anxiety if they do not receive emotional touch from their owners. Hence, spending time with your dog and making them feel comfortable is essential. Also, you can train them to spend time alone, as separation anxiety is treatable (article).
To conclude, the Alaskan Malamute is a high-maintenance breed that requires constant grooming and excessive training. In addition, they are great family dogs and can spend their life being a loyal companion.
Lastly and most importantly, if you are a new dog parent, a large breed can be challenging to handle as they require rigorous training and lifestyle changes. If you still have your heart stuck on them, you can take the help of professionals to groom and train them regularly to keep Alaskan Malamute fit and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Alaskan Malamute are not known for being aggressive but can be highly protective of their owners and human families. They have a strong prey drive and instincts that may seem bold and aggressive. Still, Alaskan Malamute can be friendly, affectionate, and show leadership skills. However, every dog has a unique temperament that one should no stereotype, but if your dog shows aggression issues, you can train them.
Absolutely! Alaskan Malamutes love to spend time with their human families and kids. They are very playful and happy-go-lucky individuals who are always ready to bond with people. Alaskan Malamute can learn to channel their emotions to bond and cherish companionships with proper socialization training. This dog can be very nurturing and gentle with its loved ones.
Unfortunately, Alaskan Malamute are not hypoallergenic. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to allergies, this breed may not be for you. Alaskan Malamute has a double thick coat of about 2 inches that sheds a lot throughout the year, specifically during the shedding season. This will not eliminate the issue, but to avoid the excessive shed triggering allergic reactions in humans, you can groom and brush them regularly, which will remove the allergens and dead hair strands.
Yes. If you own an Alaskan Malamute, you can trust them to protect you from threats. These dogs are muscular and well-built, with impressive skills to fight off predators. If you are alone with this dog breed, you should only worry about what worse Alaskan Malamute will do to the thieves! As they were initially bred for transportation and protection purposes, they have evolved to be alert and independently assess the surroundings while attacking if necessary.
Having similar physical features and being sled dogs can confuse people to recognize who is who. But if noticed closely, there are differences in their size and body build as huskies are sleeker while Alaskan Malamutes are bulkier. Another differentiator is that while Husky is known for their speed and stubbornness, Alaskan Malamutes are famous for their Strength and friendliness.