About Our Malamutes
I began my love affair with Alaskan malamutes over 10 years ago. I now own three of them, all with their own unique history and personality.
In this photo gallery, you'll see a lot of pictures of Griffin, our 2-1/2-year-old wooly or long-coat mal and our almost 10-month-old mal who happens to be Griffin's niece.
However, sprinkled throughout are pictures of our 10+-year-old rescued malamute, Denaya who has been kind enough to let these two whippersnappers into her kingdom and has been very instrumental in their training. She is not as "playful" or as "inventive" as my 2 young bounders and never has been, probably as a result of her early life unspeakable traumas and abuse. Yet, she is one of the main reasons that our two youngsters have been very successful and pretty well adjusted.
While a lot of work on a daily basis and an ongoing work in progress, these three dogs have brought many things into our lives.
The Thing About Malamutes
While I own three of these magnificent dogs, I have to add this disclaimer from the outset. Hopefully if you do not know the breed and you are looking at these pictures and thinking to yourself, "OMG, what beautiful dogs," and you happen to get the notion that you want one, you will read on and consider very carefully before getting one.
Malamutes are not for everyone. Trust me on this! The most associated word that comes up on the Internet with the word "malamute" is the word "rescue." Sad but very true.
Many people get these dogs as puppies or as adults and find within days or weeks that they simply had no idea how much work was involved. Or how much consistent, constant training they require. I emphasize the word constant most of all here.
Alaskan malamutes are one of the oldest breed of dog in existence today. Their origin has been traced to a tribe of native Inuits called the Mahlemut. They served as freight pulling dogs flourishing in harsh weather yet coexisting as part of the tribal family.
Malamutes were a vital part of the tribe's life as they depended on the dogs to move huge loads of freight across ice and snow. In turn, the families respected the malamute for their great courage and endurance and welcomed them into their human "pack."
Malamutes were also used as search and rescue dogs during the war in later decades or as pack animals because of their great strength and ability to go for long distances.
The AKC finally recognized the Alaskan Malamute in 1935. The Alaskan malamute today is said to be one of the few breeds that is very close to its original form.
Standard malamutes usually weigh up to 75-80 pounds for a female and 85-95 pounds for a male. There are now giant malamutes which weigh in at roughly 150 pounds but I do not believe that these are recognized as a registered breed. Our females are topping out at about 75 though Gabby is still not full grown. Again, our Griffin is a long coat or wooly and he is weighing in at about 95.
Alaskan Malamutes Can Be Challenging
Like any northern breed dog, malamutes have extensive requirements to keep them healthy and happy. Alaskan malamutes are not low maintenance dogs. The rewards are outstanding but the pure and simple fact is that this breed of dog is way smarter than the average dog.
Offering them every opportunity you can to experience life in many venues can lead to a well-adjusted dog. This is true of any breed but especially important for malamutes.
Left to their own devices, they can become bored and a bored malamute can be a disaster. It is ideal to start early on when they are pups and are open to many new experiences.
Socialization and positive experiences are the recommended bullet points to hit. Keeping them "intact" or not neutered can be quite a challenge. Consult a breeder or a vet to determine when the best time to neuter your malamute in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies but to assure that the dog has time to close his or her growth plates. Since they are a large breed dog, this is very important and also reduces chances of certain cancers.