Are you thinking of getting your very own Alaskan Malamute puppy? It’s awfully hard to resist an Alaskan Malamute’s fluffy coat and active disposition, so it’s easy to see why anyone would want one.
There are some things you should know about Alaskan Malamute puppies before you run out to your local rescue and adopt one, though. While they make great companions, they are a breed that takes special care and patience.
Here is everything you need to know about Alaskan Malamute puppies.
They Are A Natural Breed
These athletic pups are considered a natural breed, meaning humans have not drastically altered their evolution. They were not bred explicitly to interact with humans, even though they have since grown with us.
The Inupiat people, called Mahlemut (today known as Kuuvangmiut and Kobuk), used these dogs to hunt large game and carry supplies to their village, and while they considered the dogs family and bred them, they did not breed them to change in any manner.
This means that even if you get an Alaskan Malamute as a puppy, it will take some patience on your part to win over their heart. But once you do, they will be incredibly loyal.
They Can Be Aggressive When Not Socialized
While Alaskan Malamute puppies do make great pets, they can become aggressive with other animals and small children if not properly trained. If you already have a dog the same sex as your Alaskan Malamute, you will need to take extra care introducing the two.
If you have small children in your home and you really want an Alaskan Malamute, it is important to teach your children how to interact with the pup. Teach your kids to respect your dog’s boundaries–and vice versa–and they’ll get along just fine.
In fact, a well-trained Alaskan Malamute is considered an ideal family pet!
They Need A LOT Of Exercise
Alaskan Malamutes are large working dogs, and they need a lot of exercise as adults.
This means that as a puppy, your Alaskan Malamute is going to have a ton of energy! As puppies, Alaskan Malamutes enjoy playing physically active games, lengthy hikes, and mental stimulation.
As they get older, you can exercise your Alaskan Malamute in other ways. These dogs love to have a job to do, so anything from Bikejoring (pulling someone on a bike) to agility classes will keep your Malamute not only in shape, but stimulated enough that they won’t tear up your house out of boredom.
They Also Need A LOT Of Grooming
One of the most attractive things about the Alaskan Malamute is how cute and fluffy they can be. Unfortunately, if regular grooming is not your thing, you may want to reconsider an Alaskan Malamute.
According to the Alaskan Malamute Club of America (AMCA), the Malamute’s thick, double coat requires daily brushing. Skipping a day of brushing every once in a while is fine, but the club advises brushing to help avoid matting, which can lead to fungal infections.
The club also suggests regular baths to help cut down on shedding and that not-so-great, smelly dog odor.
Just because the Alaskan Malamute can be a little high maintenance doesn’t mean they’re not amazing pets. Just know that they will require extra fur care in the long run.
Their Coats ‘Blow’
Alaskan Malamutes may shed fur throughout the year, but they are also seasonal shedders. This means that, come the spring and the fall, your Alaskan Malamute may shed so much that you could practically make a second dog with the fur!
Many Malamute owners say that their puppies had a major shedding moment around the age of one-and-a-half to two years old. This is when your Alaskan Malamute pup sheds their baby coat for their adult coat.
Females often shed more than male Alaskan Malamutes. Spaying your female Alaskan Malamute won’t completely eliminate her coat-blowing, but it will cut down on the hormones that contribute to a hefty shedding season.
Allergies may flare up during this time, as well, so make sure anyone in your family with allergies is comfortable.
They Are Independent And Intelligent
Often, experts do not recommend Alaskan Malamute puppies for beginner dog owners.
This cold-weather-loving dog is very smart and independent, which can make training difficult for even the most experienced dog owners. They have a very strong sense of pack hierarchy. This means your pup needs to know who is the boss–you!
Training is important with every dog, but it is especially so with a large, strong dog who, if left unchecked, could become an uncooperative alpha.
Fortunately, Alaskan Malamutes aren’t as headstrong as their lookalikes, Siberian Huskies, but they can definitely still be a handful!
They Are Prone To Some Health Ailments
Both of these conditions can lead to arthritis and other issues that can make it difficult for your Alaskan Malamute to get around during their senior years.
If you plan on getting an Alaskan Malamute–or any other large dog breed–make sure you are financially prepared for these potential health maladies in the long run.
A healthy diet and the proper amount of exercise will help keep your Alaskan Malamute strong and happy and can help put off some of these issues.
They Make The Best Pets
The majority of this list may seem like a slew of reasons as to why you shouldn’t get an Alaskan Malamute, but the truth is, these pups make excellent pets.
They are great with children, and many Alaskan Malamute owners say that their dog sticks to them like glue.
As long as you train your Alaskan Malamute and keep them well-exercised, you have a lifelong friend on your hands.
Remember that you can find just about any breed of dog in a shelter or rescue. Check our adoption page that lets you search for local adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!
Would you adopt an Alaskan Malamute Puppy from the shelter? Have you ever had one in your family? Let us know in the comments below!