How are Alaskan Malmutes with small children?
I have small children and want to get an alaskan malmute as a puppy. If the dog is treated right will it treat my children right?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
While Alaskan Malamutes are big strong dogs, they can also be capable of amazing gentleness. I had a Malamute that was raised from a puppy, he grew to be 140lbs of pure muscle, and yet was so gentle that he could play with small children without hurting them.
This does not mean that all Alaskan Malamutes share the same qualities. They are big dogs, and sometimes they don't seem to realise exactly how big and strong they are.
If your children are very young, (toddler or younger. Less than 6 years) a Malamute is probably not the best dog to start out with. You need a child who's capable of understanding that a Malamute is a big dog, and that while the dog does not mean to knock one of them over, it will happen.
Having a child able to take part in the training of the puppy is also important. Malamutes have a 'pack' mentality. The dog must learn that it is at the bottom of the totem pole. You and your family must teach the dog through training and such that you are the 'alphas and betas' of the pack. Otherwise, you're going to end up with a huge dog that thinks that he is the alpha and you and your family are below him in the totem pole of authority.
If you've got your heart set on getting a Malamute however, it would be a good idea to be very picky when choosing your puppy. Hopefully you're getting your Malamute from a breeder, thus you should be able to visit their kennels and interact with the puppy's parents to get an idea of their temperment. You should also be able to visit the litter of puppies at least twice before deciding on which to take home. Take careful notice of the pups temperment, character and play habits. If he's running around jumping on to the other pups and 'play-fighting', that's not a pup you want to bring into the household with a small child. Go for the one who's more relaxed, yet still interested and curious. You want the pup to be outgoing and curious about you without showing signs of fear behavior.
An easy way to check the pups temperment is to gently roll him/her onto their back, or scoop them into your arms and hold them as your would a newborn baby. If they squirm and bite, it means that the pup is very dominant, and training will be harder. If they merely relax in your arms (no shaking or whimpering or any sort of fear) and try to lick your face, that's a good sign. They've got a good temperment, and aren't dominant.
I think the key would be to teach the puppy early on that overly rough play (biting and such) is not acceptable. Also, as puppy grows, extra attention will need to be paid in order to make sure that he doesn't accidentally harm the children. He won't realise that he's gotten bigger at first, especially during the growth spurt phase.
There is some good information at the link below. Including a very helpful pdf brochure titled 'So you think you want a Malamute' and another about choosing the right breeder.
- 1 decade ago
You got some great advice from lashanainferno! Also:
Generally, Malamutes are great dogs with kids. But they are large, powerful dogs that must be trained early, or they will drag you everywhere. Like Siberian Huskies, they were bred for thousands of years to do one thing - PULL! They are usually very sweet, but I've met a few who were nasty. Most of them are very clean and easy to housebreak. Their biggest problems as pets are the constant heavy shedding and being much harder than average to obedience train. If they get loose? Sayonara! They usually won't come back. And they don't make very good watchdogs - which is fine if you've got kids. They are usually fun dogs for the kids to run around with and they DO need strenuous daily exercise.
Find a good breeder by going to www.akc.org or talking to people at dog shows. You can also find info about the breed clubs on the akc site - they probably have a rescue group where you can get an older dog for less money. The best breeders will be members of their breed club, promoting healthy dogs with great temperaments. They should ask you a bunch of questions to make sure their puppy will be getting a good home. If all a "breeder" seems to care about is whether your check will clear, you can be sure he won't care a week later when the pup is dying from distemper or parvo and you want your money back.
Whatever you do, DON'T go to a pet shop, a flea market or buy one sight-unseen off the Internet!!!! You'll pay top dollar for what is usually a poor quality puppy mill dog. And you'll be supporting one of the cruelest industries in the country. The breeding animals are often kept in deplorable conditions - spending their entire lives in small wire-bottomed cages and the puppies are often unvaccinated and sick.
BEFORE you get any dog you should read some great books on training. (Try not to pick books randomly - there are a lot of bad books out there also!) These are some of my favorites and you can get them on Amazon.com
What All Good Dogs Should Know - Volhard
Good Owners, Great Dogs - Brian Kilcommins
Dog Tricks : Eighty-Eight Challenging Activities for Your Dog from World-Class Trainers by Haggerty and Benjamin
Don't Shoot the Dog - Pryor
Training Your Dog: The Step by Step Method - Volhard
Dog Problems - Benjamin
Cesar's Way - Cesar Millan
Also, watch the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. Cesar Millan is the best trainer I've ever seen on TV.Source(s): 28 years exp.
- tlctreecareLv 71 decade ago
These may not be the best choice as a childs pet.
They were bred to pull a sled all day and sleep outside in the snow. They are very very high activity dogs and needs tons of exercise. More than a child could ever give them.
They are escape artists. If they are not getting enough exercise they will dig, jump, tunnel, go over, or thru almost any type of fencing so they can be loose and run.
They also have som grooming requirements. They "blow coat" twice per year and they SHED alomst all the time. NOt a little but large clumps when loosing the coat and hairs all the time.
They are an independant type of dog used to being a working dog so they are not really super affectionante with kids.
There are many better choices for a pet for your kids.Source(s): I am a dog trainer
- Bob DLv 61 decade ago
Most dogs will form life long relationships in their first 8 weeks of life. Malmutes grow into large dogs but even the smallest of dogs can seriously injure small children. If a malmute is the breed you most desire, find a puppy, get it when they are 4-6 weeks old, finish weaning it yourself if necessary, and they will accept your small children as part of their "pack". Please watch your children carefully the first few months, never leave them alone unattended and if your new puppy displays aggressive tendencies, , think of your children first, dogs can be replaced, kids cannot. A gentler breed of dog may also be a better choice for a first dog, golden retriever, Great Pyrnees are very loyal family dogs(gorgeous as well). Good luck and any dog can be great with small children, as well, any dog can be harmful. Good owners take nothing for granted, work your dog, teach gentleness and make sure they know who is boss.Source(s): Life long dog owner
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
The Alaskan Malamute is like a rambunctious puppy. Extremely loyal and intelligent, sweet and most affectionate toward it's master. Great with children who are old enough to play with him safely. Generally they mature into a dignified and mellow adult dog.Source(s): www.dogbreedinfo.com
- 1 decade ago
Alaskan Malamutes are great with children. It may depend on the size of the dog and the size of the child. A Malamute would never purposely harm a child, but they may unwittingly cause harm with their large size and energetic disposition.
- groomingdiva_pghLv 51 decade ago
As a grandmother of a small child, I would not have a large dog. Even the best dog can be provoked. Why risk injury or worse to your children? Unless you can watch every minuet, you may want to opt for a smaller breed.
- Drama QueenLv 61 decade ago
My 4th grade teacher had Alaskin Malamutes and sometimes she would bring them in for presentations and they were great. If you treat any dog right it will treat anybody right. They are so cute.
Good luck if you do get it!
- 1 decade ago
A little birdie told me that they like to eat children for breakfast.
- Anonymous4 years ago
well let me start out first that siberian huskies are slimmer than the malmutes an malmutes have a heavier coat then huskies but siberians are faster but malmutes are stronger so if you look at the siberian it looks slim but if you look at the malmute they look buff and fluffy