Malamutes are affectionate and hard-working dogs. Dog lovers affectionately call the animals Mali. Alaskan Malamutes belong to the family of sled dogs. The dogs are called the working animals of the cold north, but they are also popular with us in Europe. Who decides for an Alaskan Malamute, must know that the dog makes special demands on the dog owner.
There is a saying: there are dogs and there is the Alaskan Malamute. Quite wrong is not this old saying, because these dogs are very special.
The Alaskan Malamute is the largest and most powerful representative of the group of sled dogs. Characteristic for the dog breed is the compact build and broad shoulders. The dense coat of the dog consists of the oily undercoat and the protruding top coat. The dense coat warms the dog and provides perfect protection from the cold. The tail carries the animal upright, which gives it a dignified appearance.
The dog is an affectionate, loyal companion. Nevertheless, your darling is and remains a workhorse that is full of drive. If you don't keep your Alaskan Malamute busy enough, the dog itself will provide variety. Major damage to the house or garden is inevitable.
The Alaskan Malamute is not a dog that feels comfortable in a small city apartment. Your darling needs nature and lots of exercise. Your dog needs consistent training and contact with other dogs.
Its nature does not always make your upbringing easy. They are independent dogs, sometimes even stubborn, in any case they have their own head. The Alaskan Malamute is known for the fact that he likes to go his own way. You have to be careful, because the dog uses every opportunity to escape.
In the Alaskan Malamute live two souls: On the one hand, the stubborn, untrainable dog; on the other, the hard-working, obedient creature. If the Alaskan Malamute is harnessed in front of a sled, he is attentive and follows the word. The dog breed inspires with endurance and robustness.
For the education you need a lot of patience. Do not try to achieve anything with this breed by means of force, pressure or coercion. You will certainly not succeed.
Although the education and attitude will certainly demand a lot from you, it is worth the effort. With the Alaskan Malamute you get a dog that is known for the intimate human-animal relationship. The reason for this lies in the origin of the dog.
Among the Inuit, the animals have lived in family groups for several centuries. It was common at that time that the children and the puppies warmed each other during the night's rest. From puppy to adult, this breed of dog loves people and is happy to be petted.
Another characteristic of this breed is its pronounced social behavior towards conspecifics. The Alaskan Malamute is happy about every visit and hardly barks. Therefore, he is rather not suitable as a guard dog. The dog is a pack animal, having to stay home alone can become a problem for him. Some quadrupeds complain about the longing for conspecifics with loud howling.
The right food
Like any other dog, the Alaskan Malamute needs a species-appropriate diet. Whether you choose dry or wet food plays only a minor role in the diet. What is important is that you feed your Alaskan Malamute high-quality food with lots of meat.
You should avoid sugar and grains in the food. Both ingredients have no place in a high-quality dog food.
Puppies and young dogs should ideally be fed three to four times a day, while your adult dog can manage with two meals a day. Feed your pet only after he has been exercised and make sure he has a long break after eating. As with all large breeds, there is a risk of life-threatening gastric distress.
Whether or not you give your dog treats is purely a matter of belief. Some experts advocate it, others think treats are not beneficial to health. If you decide to give treats, reward your pet with sugar-free snacks.
You must always provide fresh water. Don't forget to carry plenty of water on long trips.
Alaskan Malamute Care
Regular coat care does take some time. Ideally, you should brush your dog's coat daily. The Alaskan Malamute tends to lose a lot of hair. Especially during the coat change in autumn and spring, this dog breed loses tufts of hair.
If the coat is wet and dirty, wait until it is dry again and then brush your four-legged friend thoroughly. Regular bathing is not necessary. In an emergency, if the coat is very dirty, bathe your pet with a mild dog shampoo.
Care also includes checking the ears and claws. If the ears are dirty, you clean them with an ear cleaner.
You shorten too long claws with a claw cutter.
Dental care is important for every dog. Buy a toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs and brush your pet's teeth every day. He will quickly get used to the grooming ritual.
You should get a good dog brush for grooming. You will also need a chest harness and a leash.
This breed loves dog toys to chew on and a chew bone is much healthier than a treat.
Origin & History
Alaskan Malamute have been living with people around the Arctic Circle for thousands of years. This dog breed is considered the archetype of the sled dog. The dogs owe their name to an Inuit people, the Mahlemiuts. On the land way the working dogs reached America via Siberia.
Until the invention of the snowmobile, the dogs were vital for the population of Alaska. Only with the help of the animals, which pulled tirelessly the sledges, the existence of whole peoples was guaranteed. Not further surprisingly that the dogs were called affectionately the locomotive of the north. Around 1900, dog sledding became popular in Alaska. These races were not only about the honor of the owners, but very high stakes.
Alaskan Malamutes were an important means of transportation and travel in earlier times. At the same time, they helped their owners hunt and warned of dangerous polar bears.
How important dogs were for people at that time can be seen from the fact that he is depicted on a state coat of arms.
The breed standards were first established in 1935 and recognized by the American Kennel Club. The FCI recognized the breed in 1963. The first Alaskan Malamute came to Germany in 1970.
The Alaskan Malamute bred today are a bit slimmer, but they are similar to their ancestors. If you put your Alaskan Malamute in front of the sled, your darling will be unstoppable.
Unfortunately, the prejudice that these dogs are not suitable for our latitudes persists. Which is not true, because they have been bred for generations even in Central Europe. Therefore, our climatic conditions are not a big problem for this dog breed.
Still, you should keep in mind that even though dogs lose the dense undercoat in the summer, they can't perform at their physical best in the heat.