Bernard the Alaskan Malamute who is staying with us in Surrey has been loving the colder weather whist making new friends and playing in the Surrey fields at Royvon.
Powerful and independent, the Malamute requires firm obedience training – they can also be unresponsive to requests if there is not something in it for them. Strong leadership skills are necessary to establish appropriate rank, most especially with male Malamutes, as they tend to be quite dominant.
Due to their long genetic foundation that includes living in the wilderness with people and packs of dogs, there remains semblance of a pack instinct. This instinct makes the breed unpredictable with small animals, therefore they require strict supervision. Dog aggression and some times food aggression can also be problematic if not properly managed.
This is a very hard working dog that requires hardy exercise and outlets for excessive energy. Too much confinement an/or isolation will make the Malamute restless. Consider working this breed during exercise by having them pull carts or carry packs to help channel their energy constructively.
A well trained, supervised, exercised Alaskan Malamute makes an impressive companion.
The coat of the Alaskan Malamute is a double coat. The undercoat has an oily and woolly texture and can be as thick as two inches. The outer guard coat is coarse and stands off the body—longer at the withers but not more than one inch off the sides of the body. Ears are small in proportion to the head and stand firmly erect when at attention. The Alaskan Malamute is a heavy, large dog with a more formidable nature and structure than the Siberian Husky which is a dog of small and slim stature (and can have either brown or blue eyes or one of each) and is fine-boned and bred for speed. The Alaskan Malamute is bred for power and endurance, which is its original function and what the standard of the breed requires of Alaskan Malamute breeders. The usual colors are various shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white. There are a wide range of markings in the breed including face markings, blazes, a splash at the nape of the neck, a collar or a half collar. In terms of color variants, some Malamutes exhibit a dark grey to buff colored undertone around their trimmings and white areas; presenting with a color-linked gene known as ‘Agouti’. The eyes of the Alaskan Malamute are almond-shaped and are varied shades of brown; however, the darker eye is preferred. The physical build of the Malamute is compact and strong with substance, bone and snowshoe feet.s a loyal, devoted and affectionate companion to experienced and willing owners.
Alaskan Malamutes are still in use as sled dogs for personal travel, hauling freight, or helping move light objects; some however are used for the recreational pursuit of sledding, also known as mushing, as well as for skijoring, bikejoring, carting, and canicross. However, most Malamutes today are kept as family pets or as show or performance dogs in weight pulling, dog agility, or packing. Malamutes are generally slower in long-distance dogsled racing against smaller and faster breeds and their working usefulness is limited to freighting or traveling over long distances at a far slower rate than that required for racing. They can also help move heavy objects over shorter distances.
The Malamute retains more of its original form and function than many other modern breeds. The Malamute personality is one of strong independence. Malamutes require considerable exercise, thus they require an owner who can serve in an “Alpha” role to gain respect of the dog. If a dog owner cannot cope with a dog that will not comply with the owner’s every command, a more compliant breed should be selected. This dog has a long genetic foundation of living in the harshest environment imaginable, and many of its behaviors are evolved to conform with “survival of the fittest.” Independence, resourcefulness, and natural behaviors are common in the breed. Because of their intelligence, they can be difficult dogs to train. However, if the trainer understands Malamutes and how to keep them motivated, success is possible.
Malamutes sometimes cope poorly with smaller animals, including other canines; however, this has been difficult to document in detail beyond observational data. Many Malamute owners have observed this behavior with smaller animals, though some might speculate this is due to the Malamute’s uniquely divergent ancestry, at some points cross-breeding with wolves. Due to their naturally evolved beginnings, Malamutes tend to have greater prey drive than some other breeds. So while Malamutes are, as a general rule, particularly amiable around people and can be taught to tolerate other pets, it is necessary to be mindful of them around smaller animals and children.
Malamutes are quite fond of people, a trait that makes them particularly sought-after family dogs. Malamutes are nimble around furniture and smaller items, making them ideal house dogs, provided they get plenty of time outdoors meeting their considerable exercise requirements. If they are year-round outdoor dogs, letting them play in a baby pool filled with cold water in summer keeps them cool. In the winter, they love snow.
Alaskan Malamutes are usually quiet dogs, seldom barking. When a Malamute does vocalize, it often appears to be “talking” by vocalizing a “woo woo” sound.
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