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Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons

Everything you need to know about the Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons

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In this article, we will look at Alaskan Malamute pros and cons to find out whether this doggo makes a paw-sitive addition to your family. Keep on reading to know all about this fur person! The Alaskan Malamute is a strong and powerful canine with a muscular physique and strength.

This pup belongs to one of the most ancient dog breeds whose physical traits are not significantly altered. The pooch’s wolf-like appearance is taking animal lovers by storm around the globe. If you also wish to have something closest to a real wolf in your family, then Alaskan Malamute is your way to go. But before having any experience, it’s better to research a breed thoroughly.

Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons: Breed Overview

Alaskan Malamute is a high-energy pup capable of impressing anyone with his wolf-like markings, sturdy body, and a huge tail waiving with delight. But this pooch requires a very active lifestyle. Their exercise requirements are pretty high.

An Alaskan Malamute is not a dog you can leave behind and go to work for long hours. This dog breed is a sensitive fellow, and loneliness can develop anxious, destructive behaviors in them. If you can provide this lovely fellow with a lot of open space to burn off his energy, a cooler climate, and daily exercises, you will win an intelligent and highly trainable companion for life.

An interesting fact about these working dogs is that they are believed to be part wolf. Cool, right? You might see them playing a wolf on the big screen, but in reality, these lovable companions are nothing but loyal domestic dogs.

This intelligent and independent canine was initially sought to pull heavy sleds and for hunting purposes. Alaskan Malamute’s tremendous strength made him excellent for tasks requiring extreme energy and patience. However, their loyalty and ability to work in a team make them a significant part of any household environment.

Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons
Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons

The Alaskan Malamute has great endurance and strength and is very athletic. He’s designed to move big loads over large distances, not to race. He can be a pet but he also loves pulling a sled, jogging, swimming and back-packing with his owner. He has a coarse, thick coat and a plumed tail. The colour varies from black or light gray to red or sable. He often has facial markings such as a cap on the head and/or a mask/bar on his face.

Due to their strong appearance, many people think that Alaskan Malamutes can be excellent watchdogs. But this canine simply loves to make new friends. So, if you are looking for something big to scare the intruders away, this might not be the breed for you!

  • Alaskan Malamute History

 Alaskan Malamute is one of the ancient and strongest dog breeds. This majestic canine belongs to the spitz family of dogs. It is said that this dog breed is evolved in arctic regions, so their appearance and temperature requirements are shaped by climatic conditions. This lovely pal’s origin is still not clear, but the breed was highly praised by the Mahlemut people of Alaska. Yes, you got it right. Alaskan Malamute took their name from the Mahlemut people.

The Malamute was named after the Mahlemuts, an Innuit tribe living in Alaska. He’s used as a sled dog in the Arctic and is related to the American Eskimo dog, Siberian Husky and Samoyed. He needs daily exercise, occasional bathing and regular brushing of his coat. He stands at 25 inches tall and weighs 85 pounds. The females weigh 75 pounds and are 23 inches high.

To date, we are not sure how old the breed is, but statistics suggest that Alaskan Malamute has been serving as a working dog in Alaska for more than 5000 years. Pretty long duration of companionship!

Initially, these dogs served as hunting partners. They were great at bringing heavy loads back home. Alaskan Malamute was an essential part of Mahlemut people’s life, yet they were never treated as pets. In the 1700s, outside explorers started to visit the region, and they were impressed by this canine’s abilities and obvious attachment to its owners.

In 1896 gold was discovered in Alaska. It was the time when the sport of sled racing became popular with the flood of outsiders. The Alaskan Malamute was not a good match for this sport as the pooch was built for carrying heavy loads, not for speed. The native breeders started their attempts to develop a fast racer dog that could also help with the gold supply. It was a critical time for the breed as pure Malamute dogs were at risk of being lost.

During the 1920s, some New England dog breeders tried to breed the traditional Malamutes. The fluffy fellow’s repetition quickly grew, and the canine was called into service during World War II. In 1935 American kennel club recognized the dog as a pure breed, and since then, this fella is making our life bright as a show dog and a loyal friend.

  • Malamute Personality

If we say Alaskan Malamutes are fluffy inside out, it won’t be unjust. This mate will win your heart with his playful gestures and outgoing temperament. Alaskan Malamutes have a lovely personality, and they adore everyone. You will find your Alaskan doggo greeting everyone in a friendly manner. The pup even makes strangers fall for him with his delightful and friendly charm. They are not suitable as watchdogs, but these fidos are incredibly loyal to their friends and family. Since they are pack animals who love to work in a team, Malamutes enjoy spending time with a pack of other animals and humans. You simply cannot keep the pup away from your activities. No, No, no personal space, hooman. 😉

Alaskan Malamutes don’t have a tendency to bark a lot. Yes, they do howl, but they are famous for making “woo woo” sound.

  • Alaskan Malamute Temperament

Your Alaskan fido’s temperament is affected by numerous factors such as genetics, proper socialization, and training. These puppies are usually curious, fun-loving, and willing to approach people.

If you are a first-time dog owner will suggest you adopt a curious and willing-to-be-held puppy instead of a puppy who is having a sibling rivalry or the one who is hiding away from you.

Just like any other dog breed, your Alaskan Malamute puppy also needs early socialization to be comfortable in any environment. It helps them to become well-rounded dogs in the future. You can enroll your puppy in a kindergarten class for better socialization. Letting the puppy meet new people and animals is also a great start to polish their social skills.

  • Children and other pets

Malamutes are friendly companions with a mild temperament. They love to play with children and get all the attention they can. But you need to keep in mind that energetic Alaskan Malamute puppies are usually super excited. They can easily knock over a kid under 5 years old. Therefore, the pup is not recommended for a newbie or busy pet owner.

Early socialization and positive training help your Malamute to get along well with children and other pets. Due to the hunting nature, your pup may chase small animals (cats). You will need to teach the canine not to do so.

Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons
Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons

Alaskan Malamute Colors

Many of us have this misconception that Alaskan Malamutes can only have grey and white coats. But the interesting fact is these canines can have a wide variety of colors. Identifying the official colors of this breed and differentiating between them can be tricky, so we are here to make it handy.

AKC breed standard on Alaskan Malamute colors

Alaskan Malamute appearances have a significant variation. To find which coat color pup is a pure breed and which reflects cross-breeding is really hard. The best way to figure out a pure breed Alaskan Malamute color is by looking at the American kennel club’s breed standard.

According to the American kennel club’s standards, Alaskan Malamute colors range from:

  • Light grey
  • Intermediate shadings to black
  • Shadings of sable to red
  • Sable

It is essential to know that white is a predominant color for Alaskan Malamute underbody parts, including legs, feet, and face.

However, you can expect some other color variants within Alaskan Malamute breed not specially specified by breed standards. Well, don’t worry, we are here to help!

  • Grey and white

Grey and white Alaskan Malamutes have dark grey guard hairs. Their undercoat or lower body coat has a light grey, white, or creamy color. You may also find some occasional black hairs on their back few and far between. But no red hairs are noticeable.

If we talk about the category of grey and white Malamute, you may find variations in the shades of grey. However, from a distance, the canines appear grey. This coat color is prevalent within the breed and is generally used to represent the whole breed.

You can quickly identify a grey and white Alaskan Malamute with its clear coat and white face. Usually, these puppies have prominent white eyebrows.

  • Silver and white Alaskan Malamute

This coat color is very similar to the grey and white Malamute coat in appearance. The only thing differentiating this coat from a grey and white Malamute coat is that the guard hairs are pretty lighter. Other than that, Alaskan Malamute dogs with silver and white coats also have a solid white undercoat.

Alaskan Malamute puppies with silver and white coats may appear white at birth, but their coat color changes as they grow. This coat color is not very common.

  • Red and white Alaskan Malamute color

As the name implies, red and white Alaskan Malamute has shades of red guard hairs. The pups with this type of coat don’t have any visible black hairs, and their undercoat can be cream, white, or pale reddish. Variation in the shades of red is also possible.

This coat color is not very common. In fact, it’s amongst the pretty rare Malamute colors.

Identifying a red and white Malamute is not tricky at all. You just need to look at its pigmented areas such as the nose, eye rims, and lips. All these areas will appear to be red or brown rather than black. Eyebrows and white masks are clearly visible on their face.

  • Black and White Malamute colors

Like red, silver, and white, Alaskan Malamutes with black and white coats have black guard hairs. The thing that makes them unique from other breed dogs is that their lower body coat is usually dark grey or black rather than white or cream, making the pup really special.

  • Seal and white Malamute colors

Seal and white Alaskan Malamutes and not much different than black and white Malamute canines as they also have black guard hairs. What makes them different is their undercoat that has a white or light creamy shade. Their white face mask and eyebrows are also distinctive.

Seal and white coat color is very common in Alaskan Malamutes. Identifying them can be a bit tricky as they look similar to black and white Malamutes from a distance. You can figure out your pooch’s exact coat color by closely observing the undercoat.

  • Sable and White Alaskan Malamute colors

Sable Malamute pups are different because their undercoat and lighter areas have a reddish or orange kind of appearance. This Malamute color is not rare.

These pups are often mistaken with red and white Malamutes who do not have any red/orange tint to their undercoat areas.

  • All white Alaskan Malamute

All white Alaskan Malamutes are one-of-a-kind Malamute pups having an entirely white coat. These balls of fur have a very pale cream color undercoat and guard hairs. This rare coat fella doesn’t have any black or grey guard hairs on his skin, but it is possible to find biscuit color shading in the ears and around the eye areas.

This coat color is very unique and rare. A Malamute fido with all-white fur is very distinctive. You may think of this furball as a walking cloud. Adorable!

Another thing that makes this coat color more appealing is that according to American Kennel Club breed standards, all-white Malamute coat color is the only solid color variation allowed in this breed.

Are Malamutes Aggressive? 

Alaskan Malamute is a large breed dog weighing around 43 kilograms. This fluffy pup was originally bred as a working dog to utilize his natural strength and endurance. But are Malamutes aggressive?

This is the question that definitely pops up in anyone’s mind by looking at the pooch’s muscular appearance. Well, we have spent a while researching to find out the answer and here, we go.

Generally, these sturdy mates are not an aggressive breed if appropriately trained. A well-socialized Alaskan Malamute is playful and affectionate around animals and people, including strangers. Although your Alaskan pup has a high prey drive, it makes him a bit aggressive towards other animals and dogs of the same sex. Plus, these furballs are very possessive of their food and can show aggression if they suspect someone is gonna take their delight away. Touch my food, and I will summon my demons hooman, says the King!

What can cause Alaskan Malamute aggression?

Alaskan Malamutes are not aggressive canines unless something triggers them. If you plan to own this large dog with so much power, it’s better to know what triggers your friend’s aggression to avoid any unwanted troubles.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the triggers

  • Other animals

Alaskan Malamutes were bred for two purposes; sledding & hunting.

Their hunting instant is natural. Your fido may like to chase other animals if there is an opportunity available.

Therefore, you need to be very careful during the dog’s interaction with other animals. You can overcome this instant with the help of proper socialization in the early years.

  • Food

Like most dogs, Alaskan Malamutes are very protective of their food. So, it’s better to leave them alone during this time. If you plan on interrupting the canine’s mealtime, go ahead and get ready cause you will be on the receiving end of aggression.

  • Sign of dominance to other dogs

Dogs of this breed can become aggressive towards other pups, especially of the same sex.

This aggression is common in male pups, but female dogs can also act the same way, particularly in heat season.

This aggression can be your four-legged friend’s attempt to protect you from other dogs, or the furball may be jealous of the attention you are giving them.

How to Prevent Alaskan Malamute Aggression?

Preventing your Alaskan pup from being aggressive is about taking a proactive approach from puppyhood. Although a canine can still display some signs of aggression, a well-socialized upbringing approach can dramatically improve the chances of you raising a lovely pooch.

Here are a few steps you can follow to avoid having any bad experience with the splendid pal.

  • Let the canine eat his food.

At some point, we all feel “Hangry,” don’t we? For Alaskan Malamute’s food is a big motivation that doesn’t need any sharing. To prevent your Alaskan pooch’s rain of rage, let the dog eat his food in a peaceful environment. Give him plenty of time and space with zero disturbance.

Always make sure you are feeding the dog on a regular schedule. Ensure the bowl is empty before you take it away. Plus, keep other animals and small children away and don’t let them play with Alaskan Malamute during his mealtime.

  • Obedience Training & Socialization

Taking your Alaskan puppy to obedience training helps the pup learn what behaviors are good what is wrong. The puppy will learn some boundaries and understand who is the incharge or pack leader. Enroll your little fella in structured obedience training and let professionals do their work with positive training and socialization.

  • Provide Sufficient Exercise

Alaskan Malamutes are brilliant and active pals. Their exercise requirements are higher than other dogs, and the pup requires a lot of physical and mental stimulation.

Lack of exercise can encourage destructive tendencies in them. If you cannot help them release their energy with a minimum of two hours of daily exercise, don’t get surprised after finding some chew-up slippers, shredded cushions, and furniture along with a deep hole in the backyard.

Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons

Alaskan Malamutes are large Northern canines ranked 58 amongst the most popular dog breeds in the USA. The majestic fellow has his own pros and cons. Some of the highlights are listed below:

Alaskan Malamute Pros

  • Intelligence

Alaskan Malamutes have established a reputation for being intelligent dogs. In the famous “Intelligence of dog” book, Alaskan Malamutes are ranked the 50th intelligent dog breed globally. These canines use their dog IQ to complete a task. The breed’s inner confidence makes them independent thinkers while making a decision. We suggest enrolling your lovely pal in an obedience class to help him learn some manners.

  • Loyalty and Protection 

Generally speaking, this four-legged companion has a pack mentality, so he creates a deep, loyal relationship with his family members. This adoration makes the puppy do his best to protect you. Their special ones mean the world to them, and the pup will try to do anything to make you happy.

Alaskan malamutes have a stranger-friendly temperament. Their enormous stature can scare away unwanted intruders, but other than that, they are not good at guarding. But the pooch is exceptionally loyal and tries his best to protect his pack.

  • Playfulness

These lovely fidos have a very playful side that will definitely put a smile on your face. Alaskan Malamute is a cheerful dog that can be a great playmate.

Alaskan Malamute Cons

  • Trainability

Although Alaskan Malamute is an intelligent dog, the doggo is not less than a challenge to train. Your furball has a reputation of being an Independent and stubborn thinker. You may need to start teaching them from their childhood, so the dog doesn’t choose to ignore you.

  • Watch out for the knockout

Due to their gigantic size, these working dogs can easily knock out their owner. You need to consider this aspect, especially if you are a flimsy fellow. But don’t worry, we have a solution for that. Just got their ear, and the pooch will be back to training!

  • High exercise requirements 

It is no surprise that Alaskan malamutes require a considerable amount of exercise. They have a lot of energy to release. You may need to exercise this canine 90 minutes a day to keep him active and away from frustration and naughty behavior.

  • Expensive to insure and feed

Alaskan malamutes are big dogs that can be a bit heavy on your wallet. Their insurance and feeding aren’t cheap. You will need to provide your Alaskan Malamute an adequate diet filled with all the necessary nutrients. They may shed a lot, so owners have to bear grooming expenses as well.

Final words

Alaskan Malamute is a magnificent dog breed available in a variety of colors. Just like any other dog breed, owning this lovely fella has its own pros and cons. If provided with obedience training and early socialization, this fella will grow into a paw-sitive, friendly, and affectionate playmate ideal for any family.
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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Alaskan Malamute Information.

 

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute

 

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute pup
Alaskan Malamute pup

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute