The Alaskan Malamute Breed FAQ

malamute

If you like big dogs, we are sure you’ve noticed a few Malamutes here and there in town. These beautiful dogs are very distinctive and beloved in colder climates. The breed dates back over 2000 years and is a native of Alaska. Originally used as sled dogs by the Alaskan Malamute Eskimo tribe, these dogs are very popular in our area (Montréal). They are great companion dogs but they also are used as sled dogs for racing in the arctic regions. However, there are a few things you should know about them. Here are some common questions that people often wonder about them.

Are Malamutes Good Pets?

If you are looking for an independent but loving companion, the Alaskan Malamute is a perfect dog for you. While Huskies were bred for speed, Malamutes were bred for power and endurance. These traits were standards required from breeders. These dogs can make wonderful pets but for the right family.

Alaskan Malamute Facts

Are Malamutes Good Pets?

If you are looking for an independent but loving companion, the Alaskan Malamute is a perfect dog for you. 

Are Alaskan Malamutes Puppies Good With Kids?

Keep in mind: they are rambunctious as puppies and may be too much to handle for families with younger kids. They are more active as puppies and tend to mellow when they grow old. These puppies are best for families with older kids or no kids.

Be Careful With Your Backyard!

They are chewers, diggers and explorers. When your Alaskan Malamute is outside, make sure that they can’t dig out of the yard or jump over the fence.  

Do They Make Good Apartment Dogs?

Alaskan Malamutes are not apartment-friendly dogs. They love to be outside and need plenty of room to play around. This is an ideal dog for a family home that allows plenty of outdoor play.

Socialization

  • They work best with other animals and pets socialized at a young age.
  • They can be aggressive towards other dogs and can consider small animals prey.  

Are Malamutes Aggressive?

Alaskan Malamutes are independent, friendly and loyal. Alaskan Malamutes are generally not aggressive dogs but they can get aggressive with strangers or unknown dogs if they haven’t been properly socialized.

Why Are Alaskan Malamutes Dangerous?

First things first: these dogs often end up on the most dangerous dog breeds lists because of two factors: aggressivity and appetite for destruction. Let me explain very simply:

  • High Energy + Boredom = Destruction

These dogs are high energy. These dogs do not enjoy being kept indoors with minimal activity. They will undoubtedly get bored out of their minds. A bored dog is a destructive dog. A big dog that’s bored is a disaster waiting to happen. 

  • Lack of Socialization + Big Dog = Danger

These dogs are big, high energy and have a bit of a harder time getting along with kids or pets that they have virtual strangers. If Malamute puppies are not socialized early and introduced to a variety of social situations, you could end up with a very aggressive dog.

Why Do Malamutes Howl?

We noticed that a lot of people were wondering about their Husky or their Malamute howling. These dogs do not bark for the pleasure of it. If a malamute makes noise, it is to communicate his frustration, happiness, anger, and other emotions and needs.

Except here, these are apparently singing lessons!

Are Malamutes Aggressive?

Alaskan Malamutes are independent, friendly and loyal. Alaskan Malamutes are generally not aggressive dogs but they can get aggressive with strangers or unknown dogs if they haven’t been properly socialized.

Are Malamutes Part Wolf?

It is often believed that Malamutes are part wolf but that’s not the case. The Alaskan Malamute is a domesticated dog.  

What is the Difference Between a Husky and a Malamute?

There are a few key differences between a Husky and a Malamute:

  • Huskies are loyal to their pack and Malamutes are loyal to their owners.
  • Malamutes are bigger and heavier.
  • A Husky is generally lighter and faster than an Alaskan Malamute.
  • Malamutes live on average less long than Huskies. 
  • The Siberian Husky is often considered the smarter of the two breeds. 
  • Malamutes are said to be more aggressive, although that is up for debate due to extrinsic factors such as socialization, training, etc.

Official Coat Colors

They come in a variety of colors including solid white, shadings of light to medium gray, black, sable, and red. In animals with shadings, parts of legs, feet, the underbody, and part of face markings are predominantly white. 

Alaskan Malamutes are Great Cold Climate Dogs

Make sure you keep them cool and hydrated in hot summers. The Alaskan Malamute has a thick, coarse outer coat and wooly, dense undercoat. They have cold weather fur so make sure you keep them cool in summer or warm climates. 

Can They Live in Hot Weather?

Yes they can. Mals are adaptable to warm climates but their undercoat will still shade twice a year. Be mindful of switching from hot climates to cold ones as Malamutes raised in warm climates do not have the same thick winter coat of their peers raised in the North!

Is It Cruel to Keep a Malamute in Warm Climates?

Malamutes are adaptable dogs as we said previously. Since their coats adapt, you should be fine if you follow these simple guidelines: 

  • Give them adequate shade to keep them from getting a heat stroke
  • Provide them with adequate shelter if it rains
  • Always leave them ample fresh water supplies to keep them hydrated and help them cool off
  • Last but not least: Do not exercise your dog during the hottest times of the day if you live in warm or hot climates

Does Your Alaskan Malamute Pant a Lot?

Dogs pant to try and cool down. This probably means that your dog may be at risk of overheating. Malamutes have very thick coats built for snow, not Hawaiian summers. Make sure you follow the simple guidelines listed above to keep your dog from suffering a heatstroke.

Myriam is head over heels for her husband and her miniature dachshund named Mocsing. Nothing much beyond that really. All 3 travel the world one adventure at a time!

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