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So you think you want an Alaskan Malamute?

September 4, 2010

This is our 2 and a half year old Alaskan Malamute, Koda,

he loves to pop balloons

So you’re thinking about getting an Alaskan Malamute? What’s next?

Here’s a little honest guide for those who want to be owned

by Malamutes!

I’m not going to go through the Breed info because if you’re

thinking about getting a Mal, you probably have looked

up all the information there is out there.

And it’s likely too, that you might have already read a blog post,

like this one, trying to help you with what to expect

when you’re getting a Malamute.

A Malamute in Your Home

  • INSIDE: Malamutes are very graceful indoors, our Koda has never clumsily knocked anything off.
  • SPACE: BUT, they don’t fair very well being a full-time indoor dog. Be ready to walk them long distance multiple times daily if space is limited in your home. Or they may turn to your furniture to expend that excess energy. They are capable of HUGE damages. Preferably, don’t get a malamute if space is limited.
  • SHEDDING: BE PREPARED to vacuum a lot (we vacuum daily) if your Malamute is going to spend some time indoor. They shed excessively all year round, more during certain times of the year.  They shed A LOT and I mean it!
  • DIET: Sources on mals say they don’t eat as much as you would expect them to. It is true in Koda’s case. A 35 lbs(15 kg.)  dog food sack will last us about a month. Get them the best food you can! They love treats and table scraps too, but too much human food is not good, watch out for salty foods ^__^ Koda loves pumpkin and carrots.
  • TEMPERAMENT: They are VERY friendly, Koda loves everybody, he loves meeting new people and will jump and celebrate your presence like you’re the president of the United States. If you’re a dog lover you will feel special, if you’re not- you’re going to be scared out of your mind, of this HUGE wolf-like dog who is jumping at you.
  • SOCIALIZING WITH OTHER PETS:, Koda’s has been quite friendly but he got more aggressive and more dominant towards other male dogs when he reached puberty at 8 months.  Unless they grew up together, mals shouldn’t be left alone with smaller animals, even if they’re not aggressive, they don’t know their own strength(Koda still tries to sit on my lap)
  • MALS WITH KIDS: They love kids, Koda does but again they don’t know their strength and might hurt a small child when they are over-excited. They might get possessive of their toys if the child is trying to grab it. Always be cautious. Better be safe than sorry.
  • CLIMATE: They really enjoy cold climate. And they LOVE snow. Koda moved to Thailand with me last year, and we moved back to Korea in February this year. I was worried that the sudden change in climate from super hot to COLD winter would make him sick. But he just jumped at the snow and wanted to stay outside and never got sick. BUT Huskies and Malamutes have been successfully bred and raised in tropical countries too. Have a shady ventilated area for them  and give them lots of water, our Koda doesn’t drink from a doggy bowl, he drinks from a BUCKET.
  • THE YARD: If you have a nice yard. Supervise them, they like to DIG, DIG, DIG. Let them know they can’t do that. Prevent the damages before they occur. Save yourself the frustration.
  • CAGE: Koda has a big kennel in the yard, when we’re not home that’s where he is. This prevents him from running away, destroying the yard(we’re renting), destroying furniture and breaking out of the house(he opens the back door) and then wanders out of the yard while exploring. Mals are explorers. Having an proper kennel for them when you’re away is a good thing. It will save you the frustration which is good for them too(No scolding or worse- relinquishment)!
  • JETSETTERS: If you move around a lot, especially overseas. Think about the moving costs, it can be expensive to ship pets. It’s cheaper when they fly with you as excess baggage than as cargo but still pricey. BUT a big dog will sometimes have no choice but to fly as cargo.  If you’re flying with your dog, let the airline know ASAP that your dog will be flying with you. There is limited room for pets on a commercial plane. Before you travel, you also have to make sure you have their health paper work ready, their shots need to be current. With some destinations you may need to have their blood work done months in advance.

Save yourself from frustration. Save the animals from negligence and abandonment

This is the same with other pets and not just dogs or Alaskan Malamutes.

These are living creatures. They need love and care.

Know what you’re getting into when you’re getting a pet.

Know what to expect.

Know how to deal with problems.

BETTER YET: Know how to prevent the problems.

Be patient and open-minded, let them become a member of your family.

If you think “They are just dogs” and will not socialize with your dogs as much,

at least treat them humanely(food and shelter)

If I can add anything to this list please let me know.

I want people to know what to expect.

I’ve seen people go through animals like they are

disposable just because they don’t want to “deal”

with them anymore.  It is really sad. If your pet has behavioral problems

he might be given up by the next owner and the next owner ……OR

He might not be adopted at all and ends up being put down.

Think about the consequences of relinquishing a pet.

No life is more or less significant than others

A life is a life.

There is no bad dog, if you provide proper care

and keep them out of trouble you will never have to think about giving them up

because they are TOO MUCH to handle ^__^

Good luck with your Alaskan Malamute, Our Koda has given us so much

joy and laughter.. and love. I think it is all worth it and unless we’re  broke

and can’t care for him anymore I will never give him up.


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