Alaskan Malamutes “Mals”
We Love Our Malamutes . . . Make Sure You Will Too!
The Alaskan Malamute breed was developed by an Inuit tribe called Mahlemuts (hence the name). They were hunters and fishermen needing strong, hardy dogs able to fulfill the roles of hunting companions, camp guards and, at times, beasts of burden. The climate was harsh and only a hardy breed of dog could survive.
As we mentioned on our home page, the Malamute is not the breed for everyone.
Talk to any Mal owner and they will likely tell you:
… they have a certain way about them … sure they are absolutely gorgeous and energetic … but they can also be headstrong, opinionated and demanding … We love our malamutes but not everyone is suited to a life with a malamute. Be sure you do lots of research before you get one!
Is The Alaskan Malamute the Right Breed for You?
Need help to determine whether or not an Alaskan Malamute suits your lifestyle? The facts and questions to follow will help you to understand what to expect from an Alaskan Malamute and aid in making the right decision.
A Few Facts to Consider
The Alaskan Malamute was originally bred to survive and perform in extreme winter conditions. This required tremendous strength, endurance, intelligence, independence and natural instinct. Although noble characteristics, these traits can pose a challenge for many Malamute owners and our modern lifestyles. Considering the evolutionary need for mental and physical stimulation, it is not difficult to understand how the lack of either could result in slight disaster! Especially during adolescence.
The Alaskan Malamute can thrive in a family with an active, outdoor lifestyle – regardless of the season. They clearly make excellent “nature exploring” companions. But watch out for those squirrels!
A Malamute is often guaranteed to attempt to challenge the family for the “alpha” role. You must learn from the beginning how to properly handle these situations and teach your Mal who the pack leader is. Your puppy will rely on you for every need. Do not spoil your puppy. Regardless of how adorable they are as youngsters, an adult Malamute can become most unmanageable if not properly raised from the beginning. The success of your relationship depends on it!
Malamutes have a natural athletic ability that demands proper and regular exercise. Although malamutes might hog your entire couch for an afternoon nap, generally they are not couch potatoes.
Before committing to the heart stopping adorability of a puppy, be prepared emotionally and financially to have this dog as an integral part of your family for 12 or more years.
WE HAVE THIS WARNING IN MORE THAN ONE AREA OF OUR WEBSITE BECAUSE IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
Which ever breeder you decide to work with, please ask them to show you the Dam & Sire’s registration papers, pedigrees and health certificates. Unfortunately some breeders are not forthcoming with paper work. If a breeder has not shown you all the correct papers, we urge you to work with a breeder who will.
At Howling Pines we guarantee you access and copies of all appropriate information.
Please ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are your living arrangements ?
Renters & Those with Roommates : Will such a large shedding dog be welcomed or allowed in the home? With a dog who has the potential of exceeding 85 pounds, and can fill several green garbage bags in one grooming, it is very important to clarify this in advance.
Homeowners : Do you have a fenced in yard? If not, are you willing to fence your yard? You will need to provide a safe, adequate environment where your Malamute can get plenty of exercise. Tying your dog is not an acceptable, nor humane, arrangement.
2. Are all family members comfortable with the addition of a LARGE dog ?
Believe it or not, an animal can sense when they are not accepted. Everyone in the household must recognize that your cute little fluffy pup will grow rapidly and become very powerful, exhibit great energy, require tons of attention. On a lighter note, in return he or she will offer endless, unconditional love.
3. Do you have small children ?
Small children and growing puppies require dedication, patience and a lot of your time. Together they can be very overwhelming. It is imperative however, that proper training and socialization takes place between puppy and each family member, for the benefit of everyone involved.
Instilling good manners is as important for a developing puppy as it is for a developing child. Children should be taught to love and respect all living things. Having a puppy/dog to care for, can be a fun and exiting way to learn about responsibility, respect and nurturing. Everyone in the household has a role in making this a success. These key points can help establish a unique bond like no other, between your puppy and each family member.
4. Can you spare the time for an Alaskan Malamute ?
Time and patience are requirements to owning an Alaskan Malamute. Without them you will not be a satisfied mal owner. With time and patience, the results will be unmistakably rewarding. Reasonable time is necessary for exercise, play, training, grooming, feeding and last but NOT least socializing. Guaranteed, this will be time well spent!
5. Can you handle FUR? Lots and lots of FUR?
The Alaskan Malamute has a course outer coat and a thick woolly undercoat, which are well suited to the harshness of Northern winters. They are very well equipped for outdoor living year round. Despite their aptness for handling extreme cold, the Malamute adapts readily to house life (provided they are given ample exercise). Having said this, you can expect shedding almost continuously, and can count on them “blowing coat” at least twice a year. You will not regret spending the money on taking your mal to a professional groomer on a regular basis to help minimize the fur in your home.
Giving careful consideration to these facts about The Alaskan Malamute will lead to an educated decision with regards to whether this is the breed for you. Depending on your lifestyle and willingness to commit your time and energy, an Alaskan Malamute can bring great joy and spirit into your home – or be a complete nightmare. Help everyone involved by doing your homework!