Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

is an alaskan malamute right for me?

large family

i live in a nyc suburb

few children

1 other dog


pretty cold all year round

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I owned a Malamute when I was a boy growing up on a farm (we were in Virginia so much warmer). What an amazing, great dog he was. We used him to help pull out tree stumps. I was the person he bonded with and I swear he always seemed to be smiling whenever he and I made eye contact.

    Here is what I can tell you about Malamuts:

    1. Double-coated. Shed like they have radiation sickness. Be prepared to vaccum 2-3 times a week if this is an indoor dog.

    2. A big dog. And even stronger than it looks (and it looks strong). These are great dogs for weight pulls. It is essential that you get this dog trained because it can pull a 200 pound man on his belly across the street by leash if it decides to chase a squirrel.

    3. A Malamute is a much mellower and family-focused dog than a Siberian Husky. I've been told they like to dig but on a farm it's kind of hard to say so I can't comment on that first hand.

    4. This is an athletic dog that needs a workout. If someone in your family is a serious runner, this is a great dog for you. OTOH, if your idea of a good workout is taking two 30 minute walks every day, that probably won't cut it with this dog. Our dog also had free roaming rights on a 50 acre spread which he patrolled regularly. He didn't wander off but every day he'd go on patrol a couple of times to keep the farm clear.

    5. Our big dog was a gentle giant with our family. Loved to play and rough-house but never hurt me or my younger brothers. But he also nipped two distant relatives that he didn't have much contact with (ie: quasi-strangers). Played very well with two other dogs we had at the time. However, he was introduced to both of those dogs as a puppy. And he was very protective of turf, farm and family from strange dogs roaming or vermin--aggressive, tough and very willing to go after them if they ventured on our farm.

    When I think of our Malamute, my eyes still get misty. Out of the 16 dogs I've owned or my family owned, all of them were great but he was one of the top 3-4 for me (and I'm a dog person). What a tremendous dog he was. But Malamutes aren't for everyone. It's critical you train this dog well and be in charge--it will respect you and love life accordingly (just think: Malamutes flourish as sled dogs where order and direction is everything). And man do they need a workout. I recall pulling a stump as a teenager in July, he did all the "heavy lifting" and once we got that bad boy out of the ground, I was slumped over trying to catch my breath. I was so beat I had sweated all the way through my jeans. And our Malamute just looked at me grinning as if to say "whatcha waiting for--we've got more stumps--let's go get 'em!"

    If you get a Malamute, work that dog like crazy and train it constantly. And you'll have a happy, well-behaved, gentle, fun, family dog. But give it 30-60 minutes of walks, skimp on the obedience training and you'll have a destructive dog that is out of control and constantly testing you. A Malamute is not for everyone.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well NY is not cold all year so I don't know what you are talking about there. Malamutes are very difficult dogs to own. They require a tremendous amount of exercise. You can't just let them loose in your backyard and expect that to do it. You need to seriously run these dogs on a daily basis. They are incredibly stubborn and most will challenge your authority constantly. I highly suggest you give your new dog a job of some kind as if you don't, it will figure out its own job and usually those are destructive. They also like to dig, so if you treasure your backyard, this is not the dog for you. Lastly, these dogs are ridiculously strong so don't plan on having your kids walking it. I suggest just going to your shelter and seeing what they have there. You are more likely to find a great dog there than going to a breeder.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ok coming from having a little experience with mal's, there will be things you need to do. Since its pretty cold all year round that is a huge plus. You will need to walk/run/ bike with them a lot since they have a huge amount of energy that needs to be displaced. Unless you like dog hair everywhere (there will be some no matter what) you will have to brush them every day and whatever you do, DO NOT shave them! This will mess up their coats causing them not to keep them cool/warm properly. Lastly, make sure when you decide to choose a dog it is right for your family. Since you have children and another dog, make sure the new pup is already good around children and dogs before you permanently bring them home.

    Good luck

    Source(s): personal experience
  • 1 decade ago

    When my mom got remarried the man that she married had a malamute. We actually still have her, but she's very old now.

    They're great dogs; ours is always calm, greets you when you come home and is very affectionate. But they're so huge, it would be best if they were in an environment with a huge yard to roam. Also, they shed like you wouldn't believe. I have to clean with my mom every other day to keep the house free of hair balls.

    The malamute that we have is very tolerant of everyone including children and is the sweetest thing, but she's so huge that I find myself tripping over her a lot.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They require a lot of exercise every day. If you've had large dogs before and can give at least an hour of walking a day, then you could definately consider one. They are not back yard dogs who are fine walking the perimeter of a small yard. This breed just needs to be taken out and about.

  • 1 decade ago

    what does hyper mean, your an active family? if your willing to walk this dog everyday maybe even twice a day depending on breeding than this dog would be fine for you. a dog can fit into any lifestyle if you give it the exercise and training it needs to stay low key in the home setting.

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