*Since they are pack oriented, Malamutes are generally not
*They are an extremely intelligent breed that can be very stubborn and easily
*They are not typically recommended to a first-time dog owner as mistakes are
easy to make and sometimes hard to correct unless you really know what you are
doing. They can be a challenge to train, due to their stubbornness. It is said
that to teach a Malamute to do something once or twice is very easy, because
they are quite intelligent and quickly learn new tasks. To get them to
repeatedly do something over and over again is much more challenging, due to
their stubbornness and the fact that they become easily bored. This trait is
quite common in all of the northern breeds. Many Malamutes end up in the pound
and even destroyed because an owner fell in love with the cute puppy but could
not control the large, stubborn, powerful adult.
*Owing to their strong pack nature, Malamutes can be more aggressive towards
other dogs than other breeds. Because of this, great care should be taken on
the part of the owner to socialize their Malamute puppy as much as possible
with other dogs. Due to the character of the Malamute, they should never be
actively trained to be protective, vicious, or aggressive. Their very nature
makes them lousy watch dogs. It is against their instincts to make them into
watch or guard type dogs. It has been tried in the past with disastrous results.
Malamutes are as likely to greet a potential thief as warmly as a trusted
family member. This is part of what makes a Malamute a Malamute
*Most Mals love kids. They are not, however, a child's pet. Mals are just
"too much dog" for a child to handle — kids simply lack the stature,
presence and tone of voice to be perceived by your malamute as being alpha.
And, of course, they do not have the physical strength to manage such a
powerful dog. However, it is vital that kids, working under their parents'
supervision, take an active role in training your pet, so he or she will learn
that although not alpha, children do rank above him or her in the
"pack" social order. Start early, and have your children do as many
different training exercises with the dog as possible, being sure to choose
only exercises which the child can complete successfully. Young children must
NEVER be left unsupervised with any puppy or dog — yours or anyone else's! The
vast majority of problems involving children and dogs are a result of parents
or other responsible adults failing to provide proper supervision and
*Alaskan Malamutes possess a strong "prey drive" which is part of the
hunting instinct. If it moves, swims or squeals, a Mal will chase it -
sometimes with dangerous consequences. Malamutes have been known to kill many
small animals, and this is why it is recommended at a young age to get your
Malamute socialized. Anything you want your Malamute to be ok with as an adult
get him or her around as a puppy. This is a Must!!
* Malamutes tend to be very pack oriented, unlike most other breeds. Pushy
and dominant - the Alaskan Malamute is difficult for some people to live with.
Alaskan Malamutes tend to howl, dig, challenge authority, and be quite
*Alaskan Malamute's fur sheds and will "blow" during the warmer
months. In the house, they do shed quite profusely a couple of times a year.
Combing daily will eliminate much of the hair, but still, if you can't stand
dog hair, it might be better to get a short-coated breed. Malamutes are
*"no such thing as bad dogs, just owners who don't know how to train
*Malamutes are NOT guard dogs. The only thing they will guard is their
food. They will not guard your house, your valuables, your person. They may
look intimidating but are almost always people lovers. Trust is everything
between you and your Malamute. However, they may guard toys, food, treats,
water, or their crate (especially from other dogs!) if not corrected properly
as a young puppy. From my experience passers-bye will think Malamutes are mean
due to their howl, but all they really want is love and attention.
*They are NOT an obedient dog. People who've had "herding breeds"
such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers often think they can easily handle a
big dog like a malamute, until it gets stubborn and just refuses (by growling,
howling or rolling on it's back, or even pawing at you)... That is, until
it gets "selective hearing" and doesn't listen... ....
*He will prefer to pull you down the road rather than walk beside you (and Lord
knows without a leash he'd take off after the first squirrel no matter how loud
you yell). They are not obedient without lots of work and motivation
training. If you want a dog that obeys without question, that you don't have to
explain "why" to, then this is not the dog for you.
*The first 6 months to a year are very very important. Though you will be
training this dog its entire life (and doing lots of review work), bad habits
and behavior allowed to go on in the first year will likely continue forever.
It's much better to do it right the first time. To "do it right" you
must be a prepared owner. A malamute is NOT a good dog to buy on impulse! They
NEED to be near the family.
*A dog left alone for long periods with nothing to do can be destructive, will
probably howl, and can get in quite a bit of trouble. Putting him outside
doesn't solve the problem either - there he can dig, howl, bark, chew on the
fence and escape. Malamutes like to dig. They can be taught to not do this, but
it takes work and persistence. If you must have beautiful landscaping, this may
not be the dog for you.
*Malamutes are people lovers, not dog lovers, unless socialized extensively to
other dogs. He probably will not like most strange dogs he meets unless he
played with lots of dogs outside the family as a young puppy and dog. He will
fight with a dog that does a kamikaze attack (even a small one). You will be
forever on the lookout for these kinds of dogs and their stupid owners.
Malamutes dislike when other dogs stare at them (they consider it very rude!).
Malamutes tend to be very dog aggressive - particularly to their own sex,
unless raised as a young dog or pup to be around all types, sexes and breeds.
A new owner without "malamute experience" should never take on
same sex siblings from a litter or even different age Malamutes of the same sex
unless you have a way of keeping them permanently apart should it not work out.
*It's also quite common for them to "invent" their own games -
usually some sort of chase or hunting game.
*They are curious and tend to get into things. Malamutes are talkers. They will
tell you what's on their mind. They do this by wooing, barking (yes, they do
bark), grunting, groaning, growling, singing, whining, screeching, screaming,
mooing, and yodeling. Some are never quiet it seems.
*Chaining is never recommended as it can create a type of territorial
aggression. A chain is very frustrating for any dog, but particularly so for a
malamute. They are very strong. They are persistent. If they think they can
intimidate you they will - just for fun!
*They are energetic and need exercise daily.
*They have tremendous problem-solving intelligence and may outsmart you quite
often. When training you may have to change your techniques quite often to keep
*They are con-artists and clowns. A Malamute OWNER needs a terrific sense of
humor, flexibility and a "don't sweat the small stuff" kind of
personality. A new Malamute owner must be willing to learn and have the
patience to hang in there when the dog is driving them crazy. Poor owners are
those that must dominate their dog, bully it and be boss - and you can't tell