The Alaskan malamute is a member of the spitz family of dog breeds and was bred by the Inuit to pull their sleds. They look similar to the Siberian Husky, but when next to each other, the giant fluffy Malamute makes the Husky turn pale.
This breed is friendly, intelligent, and full of energy, making it the perfect pet for an active family. However, they have a bit of a stubborn streak, so owners need to establish themselves as leaders early on with gentle but consistent training.
Alaskan Malamutes love to hang out with people, including strangers, so they are not good watchdogs. Their high energy and almost constant need for attention can make caring for a malamute a bit of a hassle, but with time and patience, this breed will make a wonderful companion for people of all ages.
Alaskan Malamute Appearance
Alaskan Malamutes are sturdy, muscular dogs whose breed was created for pulling sleds. They have medium-sized dark eyes and small triangular ears.
The most striking feature of this breed is the distinctive markings on their faces, which are mostly white with a colored bar or mask near the eyes. Their thick fur comes in a variety of colors, such as black and white, gray and white, or red and white, and their beautiful fluffy tails curl delicately on their backs.
Size and Weight
Alaskan Malamutes are great working dogs. They weigh 75-100 pounds and stand 23-25 inches tall at the shoulder. Males of this breed tend to be slightly larger than females.
Alaskan Malamute vs. Siberian Husky
The most noticeable difference in appearance between malamute and husky is their size, with the malamute being much larger than the husky. Huskies have smaller heads and their ears are closer together than the malamute.
They are also well known for their bright blue eyes, while malamutes, like most other breeds, have brown eyes. Both breeds have a variety of coat colors, such as black, gray, or red markings on white bodies, but only the Siberian Husky can have an agouti coloring.
Common Health Issues
Like many other large breeds, the Alaskan Malamute is often a victim of hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also prone to clotting problems due to an inherited condition called thrombopathy. Hereditary polyneuropathy is another inherited disease that breeders need to detect in their breeding animals. This disease can cause paralysis of the face and limbs, spatial disorientation and slower heart rate. Malamutes can also face health problems such as chondrodysplasia (dwarfism), hypothyroidism, day blindness, and von Willebrand’s disease.
As with any purebred animal, the key to reducing these complications is responsible breeding. Make sure your new puppy comes from a reputable breeder and have him evaluated by a vet to make sure he has a certificate of good health.
In summary, the biggest health threats of the Alaskan malamute are:
- Hereditary polyneuropathy
- Hip dysplasia
- Day blindness
- von Willebrand’s disease
Alaskan Malamute Temperament
Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, intelligent, and energetic. This breed will not make a good watchdog; He would rather befriend strangers than defend his home against them. Although the malamute was bred as a pack dog, it is just as pleased with its human pack as it is with other dogs.
Unlike the other breeds in the Spitz family, Malamutes are fairly calm dogs. They “talk” to their owners and occasionally let out a howl, but they are not annoying thieves.
Alaskan malamutes have a strong prey drive, so they are not suitable for families with small animals. They must also be insured at all times; Even well-trained malamutes can run away from their masters if they feel like it.
How To Take Care
Food and Diet
The Alaskan Malamute has no particular dietary issues and should be able to stay healthy with high quality dog food. As with any breed, be sure to feed your malamute according to her healthy weight maintenance needs, making sure to include her treats when calculating her daily calorie intake.
Alaskan Malamute Insurance
Like other large dog breeds, Alaskan Malamutes are susceptible to hip dysplasia and their breed status leaves them at risk for various hereditary ailments, so it’s important to find an insurance company that covers these types of conditions.
Therefore, it is a good idea to purchase comprehensive pet insurance when you bring them home. The younger they are, the less likely they are to have pre-existing conditions that could disqualify them from coverage.
Alaskan Malamute Maintenance
Alaskan Malamutes are low maintenance dogs. They do not have a strong odor and only need a bath every 6-8 weeks. Their coats don’t require any special trimming, but they need to be brushed a couple of times a week to reduce hair loss. These dogs shed all year round and go through a whispering season twice a year. During the blowing period, you will need to brush your puppy daily to prevent hair from accumulating in the house.
Beyond the grooming, its maintenance routine is simple. All you need to do is brush his teeth and clean his ears frequently and trim his nails every month to keep your Malamute happy and healthy.
You should start training your malamute puppy as soon as you bring him home. It is very bright and will take your orders quickly. Due to their intellect, these dogs can be quite stubborn, so owners should establish themselves as leaders soon.
Without proper training, your malamute will dominate you and not the other way around. Consider enrolling your puppy in an obedience class to help him develop a calm personality.
Before you bring your Alaskan Malamute puppy home, you need to protect your home from puppies. This breed is notoriously destructive when bored or energetic, and puppies frequently fit into both categories. To release some of his puppy energy, you’ll need to get some safe toys to play with your malamute. You will also need a safe sleeping space; Therefore, cage training is highly recommended.
As this breed is highly intelligent, training can begin as soon as you bring your new puppy home. From 8 to 9 weeks, you can start learning basic commands like sitting and staying in a controlled environment. This light but constant training will help you bond with your new puppy and show him from the start that you are his leader. As soon as she is old enough to receive the required vaccinations, you should consider enrolling your puppy in puppy daycare to help him with proper socialization and obedience training.
Alaskan Malamutes And Children
Thanks to their kindness, playfulness, and loving nature, Alaskan Malamutes get along wonderfully with children. As such, they are fantastic family dogs. As with any large breed, it is important to teach both the dog and the child how they can interact safely with each other.
Remember, no matter how well your dog behaves, to avoid accidental injury you should never leave him unattended with children.