HARD WORKING, STRONG, WELL BUILT
History & Origin
If you are looking for a playful, affectionate and loyal puppy, look no further than the Alaskan Malamute puppies. Being one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, their history goes back thousands of years when they originally moved to Alaska from the cold and barren Siberia.
One of the native Eskimo tribes at that time, known as the Malamutes or Mahlemuts, migrated and settled to the Northeastern side of the Seward Peninsula and that is where the Alaskan Malamutes breed started to develop. The puppies and dogs were strong and tall – ideal for chasing away polar bears, and hunt seals and other small animals. They were also perfect to pull heavy sleds filled with food and camping supplies in an extremely cold climate.
Malamute Eskimos took excellent care of their Alaskan puppies and fed them as often as they used to feed themselves. But the shortage of food in their extremely cold environment limited the breeding of the Alaskan Malamutes, resulting in them becoming a rare breed and hence being expensive as well as high in demand. This explains why we have a limited ancestral number of Alaskan Malamutes to which we trace today’s puppies.
In 1896 when the Gold Rush began, prospectors realized the importance of sled dogs and the Alaskan Malamute breed was the most sought after. However, breeders soon started breeding these Malamutes with other dogs which adversely affected the quality of this breed.
The year 1935 was a big year for the Mals (the nickname given to the Alaskan Malamutes) as the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed, as well as the AKC officially recognized this breed.
- HARD WORKING
- WELL BUILT
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT
Alaskan Malamutes are big, strong, and well-built, and resemble a wolf but with a sweet and friendly expression. Their head is wide with erect ears. The almond-shaped small dark brown eyes are considered normal, whereas the blue eyes are considered to be a fault. The feet are large and the coat is thick with shades ranging from light gray to black. The only solid color that is allowed to be genuine is white, however, the breed often has dark highlights.
The Alaskan Malamutes puppies are also relatively bigger in size. They love to play and involve in as many activities as they could possibly find. Their friendly nature makes them excellent pets for families with small children. However, this habit of getting along well with almost everyone makes it hard for them to identify and react to strangers, and therefore, if you are looking for a puppy that would grow up to protect your house, you need to consider any other breed of guard dogs.
Although they take their work seriously and are an excellent choice as sled dogs and used for searching lost people, do not underestimate their playful nature. They have an enormous amount of energy in them, and they would take it out whenever they get a chance to. For this reason, make sure they get enough exercise and walk, otherwise, do not be surprised if they burn those calories digging your backyard or chewing away your most expensive piece of furniture.
Alaskan Malamutes need a proper training routine so that they could obey you well. If you do not show leadership skills in front of your Malamute puppy, it will grow up to lead you instead! For this reason, it is crucial for you to let him know who the family members are, and that they are ‘superior’. Once your Malamute understands that he is the one who has to follow and give you and the family a priority, he would happily do so, fail to teach this would result in your pet ‘doing what it wants’ inside your house.
Although their appetite is relatively less, they would eat anything that has been offered to them, often leading to obesity and bloating. They love to howl and dig, so make sure the fences around your yard are dig deeply into the ground.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Do not be surprised if you find your Alaskan Malamute puppy roaming around the kitchen counter, picking up the leftover nibbles. From puppyhood to the adult stage, the Alaskan Malamute has a love for food (and hence gets bloated quite often), though the quantity he normally consumes is relatively less than other breeds.
Whether you plan to feed your Alaskan puppy food that is canned, boxed or bagged, you need to make sure what he is eating has a good balance of protein and fat. Your puppy’s poop could tell you whether what he is eating is the right or not. A well-formed stool is a good sign of a balanced diet, proper hydration, and exercise.
Include soup, eggs, vegetables, (cooked) cereals, fish, chicken, meat, as well as the gravy they are cooked in. Also include raw muscle meat as well as cooked organ meat in your Mal’s diet.
Ideally, feed your Malamute twice a day – once in the morning and once at supper time. Some owners feed their Malamute thrice a day while many go for free-feeding. See what works for you. Make sure clean fresh water is always within reach throughout the day.
The Alaskan Malamute puppy is generally kept on less food in his first year. You should be able to feel his rib-cage despite the heavy coat. If you are developing a scheduled eating habit for your puppy, it will ensure he lives a healthy and well-balanced life, and may prevent diseases like hip dysplasia, bad feet, and kidney problems – all of which occur primarily due to over-feeding your puppy.
COAT AND GROOMING
An average Alaskan Malamute male weighs between 80 and 95 pounds (36 – 43 kg) and reaches the height of 24 to 26 inches (61 – 66 cm). For a female Malamute, the weight is normally from 70 to 85 pounds (32 – 38 kg) and the height is somewhere between 22 and 24 inches (56 – 61 cm). Their sizes depend on genetics, food, and other attributes.
The Alaskan Malamute puppy is cute and cuddly, with a thick double coat. It sheds heavily twice a year, so it is very important for you to brush your Mal daily with an appropriate brush or comb to keep the shedding manageable. Since they are adapted to the chilly Arctic life, their waterproof coat ensures that the Alaskan Malamute stays warm and dry.
They have hard nails, and it is good to trim the nails regularly using a nail clipper or a grinder. The coat should be constantly monitored for any sort of skin rash, infection or redness. You also need to check their ears (normally once every 4 – 6 weeks) as they could become a good breeding space for infections, wax or any other object. Brush their teeth regularly, and make sure that their grooming routine is regular.
As soon as you buy your Alaskan Malamute puppy, make a routine to monitor its coat, brush it (you should ideally get a number of brushes, especially the slicker brush work best), check the ears and the nails, and make sure you stick to this routine. Once your puppy grows up, it will keep on following the same routine easily. It would be harder to enforce a proper routine once your pup grows up – as they say, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks!
Generally, it is common for a puppy or a dog to bathe only a few times a year. The Alaskan Malamutes are no exception, though their coats need daily grooming. Give them a bath once a month, at most. Too many baths can remove natural oil from the coat, making it dry and taking away the shine.
If you are thinking about buying an Alaskan Malamute puppy, the first question you need to ask yourself is how much active your lifestyle is. The Alaskan Malamutes are working dogs that need constant activities so that their ever-charged batteries should drain a little. Depriving your Malamute puppy from exercise and outdoor activities could only lead to a frustrating puppy and an even more frustrating you!
There are a lot of things you can enjoy with your Malamute, for instance, sledding, skijoring, jogging, biking, roller-blading, skating, backpacking, hiking, weight pulling, and even swimming at times (though normally Malamutes are not too fond of water). Whatever activity you choose for your puppy, make sure it burns out enough energy. Slow walks in the park and strolls aren’t what your Alaskan Malamute needs. Ideally, at least one hour of rigorous exercise daily should be ample.
When proper exercise is not given to the Alaskan Malamute, he will get bored and will start to exhibit inappropriate and hyper behavior such has causing destruction to your house, excessive digging (some digging is normal for many Malamutes), excessive howling and barking.
For a first-time puppy keeper, the Alaskan Malamutes could be a challenge. That is why it is advisable for a newbie to go for any other breed. These Alaskan puppies require some serious training. You have to show them who the alpha is. They should be controlled at all times so that they know how to follow your commands. If you give your Alaskan Malamutes a free hand, chances are it will stop considering you as his master, and would end up doing what it wants to. Keep him on a leash at all times.
Although they are friendly even with strangers (and hence should not be kept as watchdogs), animal aggression is a major concern when it comes to the Alaskan Malamutes. Two males or females should not be kept together as the fight could end up being vicious and bloody.
Sleep is an easy thing for these Alaskan puppies. Even in extreme climates, they curl up with their tails and sleep peacefully. To make sure your Alaskan Malamute knows when and where to sleep, introduce your puppy to his crate on day one. As he grows up, he will start to go all by himself in his crate when he is tired and/ or it is his bedtime.
The Alaskan Malamutes is generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of 10 – 12 years, but like any other breed, they are prone to certain medical conditions especially when proper care is not taken. While purchasing your puppy, always go for a reliable breeder who will show you a medical clearance of both its parents. This clearance is very important as a large number of puppy health issues are genetic in nature.
Bloating is a common health issue in Malamutes and could be quite painful for your little puppy. It is very common for new owners to experiment with their puppy’s meals in order to make the right adjustments. This results in your Alaskan Malamute puppy getting bloating issues.
Hip Dysplasia is also quite common in this breed which occurs because the thigh bone doesn’t properly fit in the hip joint. Hip dysplasia could be quite painful and can get worse with the passage of time, especially when proper care is not taken. Instances that could trigger it could be: when the floor is too slippery for the puppy to walk, or the puppy is made to indulge in a lot of jumping activities, or when he is given an extremely high-calorie diet that causes him to gain rapid weight causing an immense load on the bones.
Hypothyroidism is a quite common health problem in which your Malamute’s body produces less amount of thyroid hormone than what is actually required. In this case, your Malamute puppy would be put on a daily pill for the rest of his life.
Cataract is also common that is mostly found when your puppy is one to two years old. Although vision is affected, yet it normally doesn’t cause any sort of blindness.
Hemeralopia, also referred to as Day Blindness, can be diagnosed as early as when the Alaskan Malamute puppy is 8 weeks old. The pup starts to drag its way around the stairs, and stumbles into furniture at daytime, but at night, the vision is restored.
All in all, your Alaskan Malamute puppy is a friendly and loyal companion who is ready to play with you or indulge in any physical activity that you want. With proper training and a balanced diet, your cute and cuddly Malamute is sure to add value to your life.
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