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Alaskan Malamute

41 posts in this topic

raafy   

This photo is a good example of a coat drop that happens twice a year (normally in the middle of the show season). This is the first session, the rest was brushed out the next day.

mishka31-1-10003.jpg

mishka31-1-10015.jpg

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replying to number 7

I am owned by a 12 year old malamute and I rescue the breed.

I do not think a malamute is a dog for a first time dog owner. A first time dog owner can't EASILY cope with the breed no matter how much research they have done.

I do not even rehome to people without northern breed experience.

replying to number 8

better to put a bitch with a dog for company, bitchy female malamutes generally don't get on with other females. I don't rehome to a same sex home.

Hi ...hope noone minds me posting this here..

There is a 7 yr old female Mal in Wyong animal care facility...her papers are with her and her breeder is Miss S M Nyburg.

I am clutching at straws trying to find some help for this lovely big girl..

Anyone that may be interested in a rescue mal...please see the Wyong rescue thread..

Thanks

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idigadog   

Oh yeah! I've had Mals for 13 years and they will always be my 'first love' but the Sibes are definately easier to live with. Mals are more demanding especially as they get older!

Put it this way Esky, we have 10 entire male Sibes living together. There is no way we could do that with Mals :rofl:

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I'm fascinated with Mal's - i'm a big-dog girl so i prefer them over Huskies for that reason, but I have to wonder at the fact that any Sibes or Mal's I see in rescue say "only to home with breed experience" and that noone should take on one of these dogs without breed experience - how are you supposed to get experience with the breed unless you start with one? Anyway. Just a thought. Like, really - how much more difficult would a Mal be than a GSD? Just curious.

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idigadog   

Yeah, I tend to agree with you in some respects. We got two Mals first off, littermates, without any breed experience - we all survived! The way I see it is, in rescue, all these Mals and Sibes have been surrendered for a reason, whether it be high maintenance, dog jumps the fences, dog can't be left alone and so on and they have already developed bad habits that a newbie to the breed would find extremely difficult to work with. Someone who has experience in the breeds, knows exactly what the dogs should be like and also has an understanding of what makes them tick.

They can be stubborn bastards, especially Mals, and if you're not used to that it can be challenging especially if they have a problem behaviour that's hard to retrain.

Does that make sense?

And in so far as how much more difficult can a Mal be to a GSD - a crap load!! My grandfather bred GSD's for many years and they were so easy to work with - they aimed to please in my experience. Mals and Sibes kinda go "Meh, what's in for me?"

You need to be very dominant over a Mal, not so much the Sibes, and if you're not on top of them, they will take advantage as quick as you can blink.

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Dare i say sometimes it better to have never owned a dog before, because then you have no expectations of "normal" dog behaviour. You just accept the quirks of the breeds, and deal.

People who have other breeds often find it hard to cope with Sibes & Mals as they just aren't normal dogs, and your going fail dismally if you try to fit them into that mold.

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Ah - ok. Fair enough. yeah - my GSD is a handful but eager to please - i think i would be a walking talking pile of frustration if I was butting heads with a really stubborn dog.

But they're so pretty! lol.

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idigadog   
But they're so pretty! lol.

And that's exactly why so many end up dumped. What was a pretty little pup, turns into a big handful in the wrong hands.

I don't find my guys frustrating but I also don't expect that they are going to heal off lead and do normal doggy things. They just aren't like that. We have so many because we love them and love to race and ultimately, that's what it's all about for these breeds :hug:

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idigadog   

GSDlover - you said you like BIG dogs - well here is a picture of Dakota. We lost him in April last year just shy of the grand old age of 13.

This boy was 30 inches at the whithers and was taller than me when he stood up - I'm 5'7"!

Dakota-bw-head.jpg

Miss the big fella so much and still feel his presence in the yard :hug:

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Wow - what a stunner! Yep - i'm a big dog girl. Sophie is enough for me at the moment and I foster dogs for a local shelter, but eventually when we add a 2nd dog i'm undecided - toss up between leonberger, mal, or another GSD. I think a Saint is too much drool for me to handle and for some reason hubby has said "no way" to a great dane. :hug: Reason being I think that we just cant afford a big enough bed for them to sleep on with us.

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corvus   

Malamutes have recently come onto my radar due to a couple of lovely boys I have met at our local dog park. I just love the way they act like they own the place. They are both quite friendly and lovely around other dogs, but one in particular seems to have rock star status. My boys see him and they have to run over to him and grovel at his feet. They aren't the only ones that get silly when they see him. He seems to have that effect.

I hope that my next dog will be something very self-contained and confident. And something a little more independent than a Finnish Lapphund. How smart are Malamutes? Are there differences in how the sexes behave?

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Dare i say sometimes it better to have never owned a dog before, because then you have no expectations of "normal" dog behaviour. You just accept the quirks of the breeds, and deal.

People who have other breeds often find it hard to cope with Sibes & Mals as they just aren't normal dogs, and your going fail dismally if you try to fit them into that mold.

I tend to agree with this, you have to totally abandon any prior experience with biddable dogs, they are a completely different kettle of fish.

I was speaking to a stranger the other day who noticed my sibe and asked me if malamutes are good family dogs, I wasn't really sure how to answer I said they aren't like most dogs and they aren't the easiest dogs to own but I didn't know whether they would be classed as a 'good family dog', in the end I just told her to speak to breeders and find out what they think because they are the best people to know whether someone can cope with the breed.

So what do mal breeders generally say when someone asks if they are a good family dog?

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How smart are Malamutes? Are there differences in how the sexes behave?

Smart enough to have everyone fooled. This same intelligence, coupled with a headstrong mentality, is why this breed is not for everyone. You have to earn their respect. It's also vital they see you (and every member of the family) as above them in the pack order. In terms of differences in how each sex behaves, it's like any other dog. They are prone to same-sex aggression (especially on their territory) but from recollection breeders are slowly attempting to breed that trait out. How the pup is raised plays a major part here, as well. One thing to note though they do tend to get picked on by other dominant dogs because of their natural stance / mannerisms, and the fact their fur looks like their hackles are permanently raised. Early socialisation is key so at least your Mal isn't the one starting it...but in most cases will finish it.

So what do mal breeders generally say when someone asks if they are a good family dog?

Not a breeder but can tell you it's extremely rare to find a human aggressive Mal (but, as in all other dog breeds it can possibly happen). They LOVE human interaction, and this extends to the littlies. They think of themselves as humans, and expect to be treated the same. Some are more intuitive than others re the size of the child and will react accordingly. It's actually heartwarming to see a 55kg beast be all boisterous and full-on with adults (when and as allowed) but then turn into the gentlest lamb with a baby. BUT, they don't realise their size so common sense needs to be used with children. As mentioned above though, they need to respect their family and know their position in the pack order. Whilst in a perfect world the ideal situation is to have the pup grow up with the child, don't discard adult dogs - you'll be surprised how well they react to children even if they have not been exposed to them.

Visually they are quite striking (in size and looks), but if you're after a guard dog then I suggest you look elsewhere.

As neurotic or "not-normal" as they may be though, I will never not have an arctic breed in my life!

Edited by The Bears

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corvus   

Maybe it's a silly question for a headstrong spitz breed, but do they care if you are cross with them? I want a dog that couldn't care less if I grump at them or make a sound of outrage, that won't do a thing for me unless it's something they want to do or find it within themselves to humour me this one time, and will quite calmly and without an ounce of contrition just say no when I haven't provided the right motivation. My Lappie couldn't care less if I'm annoyed with him and I like it. I can't stay angry when he's like "yeah, so what?". My Vallhund only does what he wants to do, but he's very easily convinced. But I do like that there's no forcing him into something. "The tone" to him means he should run the other way. I like that he forces me to train when I might just be pushy myself. I like that my Lappie does exactly what is most rewarding to him. It took a bit of work to get him reliable off leash, but he is, and he just gets more so as he grows older because we are always reinforcing good off leash decisions, like checking in or running back to us when called. I understand and am very comfortable with a dog whose world is boiled down to what reinforcers are better at any one time without any of that messy social stuff that goes on. My Vall sticks close to us because he has this burning need to be close to us. He comes when called because we called and he's naturally interested in everything we do. That, I don't really get and am not entirely comfortable with. It weirds me out.

So how often can you get a Mal to do what they are asked? If you build up a strong reinforcement history, could they ever be considered obedient?

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Cosmolo   

While i'm certainly not a breeder, i knew a trainer who had 7 Malamutes and yes absolutely they can be considered obedient- some of the 7 had obedience and agility titles and were great dogs. One of this trainers Mals was an amazing obedience and agility dog and i remember being allowed to handle him a few times at training when i was just starting out in dog training and he taught me so much, a lovely boy.

Edited by Cosmolo

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