Hey, I've been thinking about getting a new dog, within the next couple years, and the Alaskan malamute breed sounds pretty good to me, but there are a few things I'd love to clear up;
I want to get another dog to accompay ny labrador retriver, will a malamute be OK with another large dog?
I live in the UK, so temperatures are not like Alaska :), will it be OK for the malamute?
Do they have a very strong prey drive?
Do they like swimming/retreiving?
Would it be OK to leave one alone for about 3 hrs, then lunch, then 2/3 hours (with the lab)?
Sorry for so many questions, but I just dont want to rush into anything!
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
What's good about 'em
What's bad about 'em
If you want a dog who...
* Is large, rugged, and furry, with a wolf-like appearance
* Loves the great outdoors and thrives on vigorous activities, especially in cool climates
* Looks imposing, so makes an effective deterrent, yet is usually good-natured with everyone
An Alaskan Malamute may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
* A very large dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
* Vigorous exercise requirements
* Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
* Destructiveness and howling when bored or not exercised enough
* Aggression toward other animals
* Escaping from your yard in search of adventure
* Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
* Extreme possessiveness of food -- children and other animals should not approach an Alaskan Malamute who is eating
* Heavy shedding
An Alaskan Malamute may not be right for you.
If I were considering an Alaskan Malamute...
My major concerns would be:
1. Providing enough exercise. Alaskan Malamutes MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by howling and destructive chewing. Bored Alaskan Malamutes are famous for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a moonscape of giant craters.
Unless you specifically want a large dog for sledding, carting, weight-pulling, or other outdoor-related activities, preferably in a cold climate, I do not recommend this breed. Alaskan Malamutes were never intended to be simply pets. Trying to suppress their "hardwired" drive to work, without providing alternate outlets for their energy, can be difficult.
2. Bounciness. Young Alaskan Malamutes (up to about two years old) can be bulls in a china shop. When they romp and jump, they do so with great vigor, and things can go flying, including people.
If you have small children, or if you or anyone who lives with you is elderly or infirm, I do not recommend Alaskan Malamute puppies. The temptation to play roughly is too strong in many young Alaskan Malamutes.
3. Animal aggression. Most Alaskan Malamutes will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Most Alaskan Malamutes have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures, including deer and livestock. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.
To keep your Alaskan Malamute in, and to keep other animals out, fences should be high, with wire sunk into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks. Many Alaskan Malamutes are clever escape artists who will go over, under, or through fences in search of adventure.
4. The strong temperament. Alaskan Malamutes are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative, and many are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Malamute to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Alaskan Malamute Training Page discusses the program you need.
5. Heavy shedding. Alaskan Malamutes shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops -- even in your food. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. Make sure you're REALLY up for this.
6. Noise. Unless you live way out in the boondocks and have no neighbors, Alaskan Malamutes should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. Their deep voice carries a LONG way and the mournful howling will have your neighbors calling the cops to report the nuisance -- or quietly letting your Alaskan Malamute out of his yard so he'll wander away.
Frankly, most Alaskan Malamutes are "too much dog" for the average household. This is a serious working dog with tremendous strength. Very few people really have the knowledge, facilities, or skills necessary to manage this breed, or to provide the types of activities that keep him satisfied.
Not all Alaskan Malamutes are alike!
* There are energetic Malamutes, and placid Malamutes.
* Hard-headed Malamutes, and sweet-natured Malamutes.
* Serious Malamutes, and good-natured goofballs.
* Introverted Malamutes, and Malamutes who love everyone.
If you acquire an Alaskan Malamute puppy, you can't know for sure what he or she will grow up to be like. Because a good number of purebred puppies do NOT grow up to conform to the "norm."
If you're considering an adult Alaskan Malamute...
There are plenty of adult Alaskan Malamutes who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics. If you find such an adult, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you.
When you acquire a puppy, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important. But when you acquire an adult, you're acquiring what he already IS."
- 5 years ago
Do some research. Start with the AKC page and the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. There is a lot of information online and some great books out there. Don't base your decision on an online forum! That being said: Mals are great dogs, but they were developed to be an arctic breed where they had to think for themselves. They are not easy to train, especially for novice owners. Trying to force one into doing something will backfire. Use positive methods and make the dog think it was his idea all along. Unlike some breeds, the Mal will be more likely to think for himself instead of trying to do whatever it is you want. They are smart enough to train you instead of the other way around! Many tend to be dominant. Mals need a lot of grooming and exercise, and you must use great care during warmer weather. This is not a breed that you can leave alone in the yard or kennel all day. They will dig, bark, chew, and become extremely destructive if bored. You need to involve your pup in the family, not leave it by itself. Mals will jump or climb fences just to prove they can. Some tend to be dog aggressive. Many view smaller animals as prey and will hunt and/or kill rabbits, birds, squirrels, cats, etc. They are also prone to health problems if purchased from unreputable sources. Take a few weeks (or more) and do your research. Call and talk to some breeders. Make sure you buy from a REPUTABLE breeder instead of from a newspaper ad or a pet store. Such a breeder will be willing to visit with you and let you know the pros and cons of the breed and assess whether this would be a good fit for you. Anyone who tells you this is the perfect dog for everyone and that there are no bad things about it does not have your best interest or the pups' in mind-- they are merely trying to make a sale.
- Jessie QLv 51 decade ago
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful, substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, compact body. They are the oldest of the Arctic dogs, a native to Alaska and according to stories this dog is a descendent of wolves. Whether or not that is true they have good stamina and the speed of wolves ,though they are mainly built for power. Their body is slightly longer then their height which moves their center of gravity back, giving them more pulling power. Malamutes come in a range of colors, with mostly the same pattern. They can be anywhere from light grey to shades of black or from gold to shades of red and all the way to liver. They highly resemble what most people perceive as Siberian Huskies, but Malamutes are larger in size. The Alaskan Malamute is clean, quiet, and an affectionate companion, though they need a firm owner to show them who is boss. Alaskan Malamutes are family oriented and love to be with people. They make a wonderful companion and they do well with children. They are well suited for colder climates, and do not like hot or humid weather. The Alaskan Malamute is happiest drawing a sled or a wheeled cart.
With Children: Yes, they get along well with children, but supervise them with young children.
With Pets: No, Alaskan Malamutes have a high aggression towards other dogs. They are not recommended in homes with other small pets.Source(s): http://puppydogweb.com/alaskanmalamute.htm
- 1 decade ago
Malamutes are extremely territorial and have a history of inbreeding/linebreeding, which can (arguably) cause issues with a dog's physical and/or mental health.
They are a rare dog to encounter, but people I know who have run across them (myself included, having had one in my family for 10+ years) have all had unpleasant stories to tell involving Malamute attacks on adults, children, and other animals.
I would probably caution you against getting a Malamute with another dog in your household, purely on the basis of never being completely sure that your Lab would be safe.
P.S. - a lot of Malamutes love the heat and water just as much as the cold and snow :)
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Alaskan malamutes are really soppy dogs and they love playing with other dogs, it takes them over 3 years to go from puppy-hood into adulthood