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Alaskan Malamute

This majestic Arctic sled dog actually wasn't bred to be a pet.  In spite of this, they're incredibly friendly, have outgoing personalities, and love being around people.  True to their roots, they're working dogs.  Bred to pull heavy loads long distances, they are pound for pound one of the most powerful of dog breeds. They are happiest when they are kept active and feel as though they have a purpose - whether it's jogging, backpacking, or pulling weight. Physical Characteristics and origins Original Purpose: Hauling sleds, carrying packs and hunting Male Height: 25-28 inches (63-71 cm) Female Height: 22-26 inches (58-66 cm) Weight: 70-95 lbs (32-45 kg) Life span: 10-12 years Colors: Light gray to black, or gold to red/liver. Generally white under body and facial markings.  The only fully solid color of a pure bred malamute is white. Temperament Malamutes are strong willed, which makes them a great breed for an experienced dog owner.  They're incredibly friendly with people, but need to be regularly socialized from an early age to prevent shyness.   They're behavior with pets varies based on individual, and have a strong drive to hunt prey. As a result, it's important to watch them from an early age and teach them to behave and play nicely with other animals.  They're also known to be rather stubborn animals with a mind of their own.  It takes a firm owner with patience and dedication to train them well. Exercise needs Malamutes have substantial exercise requirements. 4-5 miles of brisk walking per day may seem like a lot to most of us, however will go a long way in ensuring a healthy weight, and preventing frustration. Malamutes have a tendency to get agitated when under exercised so even if 4 miles is not achievable it's important to take them for at least 2 reasonably lengthened walks per day to keep them occupied. Since they're working dogs, they feel a strong sense of purpose. A good method to keep them excited during these walks is to give them walking packs, which add a load necessary to make them feel as though they have a job.  This will go a long way in providing them with a sense of accomplishment. The added weight of a pack that contains a few water bottles also helps ensure you both stay hydrated, and increases the energy expenditure of your malamute. What type of home? Do they make good family pets? Malamutes love people, which makes them great family pets.  They're patient with children, though because of their huge size and immense strength, owners need to exercise caution to ensure small children aren't accidentally injured. Their intense exercise needs make them more suited for homes with big yards so they have lots of space to run.  Keeping them in the city can be challenging unless the owner is a dedicated one who is willing to invest the time and energy to ensure they are properly exercised.  Malamutes generally do fine with neighbors around. They are usually quiet dogs and don't bark too much, however they do enjoy the occasional howl. Grooming Needs Malamutes have dense, thick coats that require regular deep combing to remove dead hair.  Usually every second day, or three times a week is enough to keep things under control.  Once a year malamutes shed hugely and hair comes out in large clumps.  During this time extra grooming is required. If shedding is a deal breaker for you, this is not your breed. What Kind of Owner Perfect owner: An active person who wants a friendly, loving, affectionate companion that also has an intimidating (to others), powerful appearance and personality. Malamute owners should be strong willed, and dedicated to training their dogs.  They need to be aware of the heavy exercise requirements to keep them happy, as well as the grooming requirements.  That being said, for most people the investment is absolutely worth it. Malamutes are incredibly fond of their owners, and very loyal.  They're playful, quiet and have protective instincts towards their owner and pack. Best Qualities This breed is highly intelligent, hard working, tireless and incredibly affectionate.  Malamutes are also great with children, friendly with people and aside from shedding, are very clean.  Due to the oils emitted by their skin dirt and mud tend to wipe off easily, which makes them less likely to track dirt into the house than many other breeds.  Their shedding also has the added benefit of getting rid of a lot of dirt that sometimes causes the "wet dog" smell that many other breeds tend to have. Characteristics to be aware of If an owner is not assertive and cannot establish themselves as the alpha in the relationship, malamutes can be demanding and somewhat stubborn.  They're large, powerful animals who seek out a pack lifestyle. If they don't see a clear pack owner, they'll step into the role themselves, which will make it difficult to train them.  They also require a great deal of exercise in order to stay healthy and happy.  Finally, they shed very heavily and owners should be prepared for their grooming needs. Medical issues Common ailments include: Hip Dysplasia Cataracts Thyroid problems Skin irritations
Labrador Dog Face

"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about puppies."  -- Gene Hill

Alaskan Malamute Dog Photo
© Copyright 2006  All Rights Reserved - SmartPetDogs.com
SmartPetdogs.com

Alaskan Malamute

This majestic Arctic sled dog actually wasn't bred to be a pet.  In spite of this, they're incredibly friendly, have outgoing personalities, and love being around people.  True to their roots, they're working dogs.  Bred to pull heavy loads long distances, they are pound for pound one of the most powerful of dog breeds. They are happiest when they are kept active and feel as though they have a purpose - whether it's jogging, backpacking, or pulling weight. Physical Characteristics and origins Original Purpose: Hauling sleds, carrying packs and hunting Male Height: 25-28 inches (63-71 cm) Female Height: 22-26 inches (58-66 cm) Weight: 70-95 lbs (32-45 kg) Life span: 10-12 years Colors: Light gray to black, or gold to red/liver. Generally white under body and facial markings.  The only fully solid color of a pure bred malamute is white. Temperament Malamutes are strong willed, which makes them a great breed for an experienced dog owner.  They're incredibly friendly with people, but need to be regularly socialized from an early age to prevent shyness.   They're behavior with pets varies based on individual, and have a strong drive to hunt prey. As a result, it's important to watch them from an early age and teach them to behave and play nicely with other animals.  They're also known to be rather stubborn animals with a mind of their own.  It takes a firm owner with patience and dedication to train them well. Exercise needs Malamutes have substantial exercise requirements. 4-5 miles of brisk walking per day may seem like a lot to most of us, however will go a long way in ensuring a healthy weight, and preventing frustration. Malamutes have a tendency to get agitated when under exercised so even if 4 miles is not achievable it's important to take them for at least 2 reasonably lengthened walks per day to keep them occupied. Since they're working dogs, they feel a strong sense of purpose. A good method to keep them excited during these walks is to give them walking packs, which add a load necessary to make them feel as though they have a job.  This will go a long way in providing them with a sense of accomplishment. The added weight of a pack that contains a few water bottles also helps ensure you both stay hydrated, and increases the energy expenditure of your malamute. What type of home? Do they make good family pets? Malamutes love people, which makes them great family pets.  They're patient with children, though because of their huge size and immense strength, owners need to exercise caution to ensure small children aren't accidentally injured. Their intense exercise needs make them more suited for homes with big yards so they have lots of space to run.  Keeping them in the city can be challenging unless the owner is a dedicated one who is willing to invest the time and energy to ensure they are properly exercised.  Malamutes generally do fine with neighbors around. They are usually quiet dogs and don't bark too much, however they do enjoy the occasional howl. Grooming Needs Malamutes have dense, thick coats that require regular deep combing to remove dead hair.  Usually every second day, or three times a week is enough to keep things under control.  Once a year malamutes shed hugely and hair comes out in large clumps.  During this time extra grooming is required. If shedding is a deal breaker for you, this is not your breed. What Kind of Owner Perfect owner: An active person who wants a friendly, loving, affectionate companion that also has an intimidating (to others), powerful appearance and personality. Malamute owners should be strong willed, and dedicated to training their dogs.  They need to be aware of the heavy exercise requirements to keep them happy, as well as the grooming requirements.  That being said, for most people the investment is absolutely worth it. Malamutes are incredibly fond of their owners, and very loyal.  They're playful, quiet and have protective instincts towards their owner and pack. Best Qualities This breed is highly intelligent, hard working, tireless and incredibly affectionate.  Malamutes are also great with children, friendly with people and aside from shedding, are very clean.  Due to the oils emitted by their skin dirt and mud tend to wipe off easily, which makes them less likely to track dirt into the house than many other breeds.  Their shedding also has the added benefit of getting rid of a lot of dirt that sometimes causes the "wet dog" smell that many other breeds tend to have. Characteristics to be aware of If an owner is not assertive and cannot establish themselves as the alpha in the relationship, malamutes can be demanding and somewhat stubborn.  They're large, powerful animals who seek out a pack lifestyle. If they don't see a clear pack owner, they'll step into the role themselves, which will make it difficult to train them.  They also require a great deal of exercise in order to stay healthy and happy.  Finally, they shed very heavily and owners should be prepared for their grooming needs. Medical issues Common ailments include: Hip Dysplasia Cataracts Thyroid problems Skin irritations
Alaskan Malamute