Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an Alaskan Malamute puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Alaskan Malamute!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Alaskan Malamute dog breed

Buying or Adopting an Alaskan Malamute

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is an Alaskan Malamute the right breed for you?

Alaskan Malamutes: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Alaskan Malamute Health Problems


Are YOU right for an Alaskan Malamute?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No very small dogs in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Alaskan Malamute stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as sledding, carting, or weight pulling; challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – moderate
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a smaller dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Alaskan Malamutes are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with heavy shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Alaskan Malamute to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the proper Leader-Follower relationship with your Alaskan Malamute, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Alaskan Malamute?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Alaskan Malamute be?


Where can you buy or adopt an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes are moderately common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Alaskan Malamutes rank 59th. But many people acquire an Alaskan Malamute on impulse, based on the cuddly-looking puppy or the handsome adult. With this breed being so challenging to train and live with, buying based on appearance is often a huge mistake.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Alaskan Malamutes are available from Dog Rescue groups. Malamutes may be turned over to Rescue because they shed too much or need too much exercise. Often there are dominance issues, or noise issues, or destructiveness, or aggression toward other animals.

Owners often give up their Alaskan Malamute when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking. Other Alaskan Malamutes are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Alaskan Malamutes are sometimes found here, but Malamute Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. When an Alaskan Malamute turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy an Alaskan Malamute from a show breeder, who breeds Alaskan Malamutes to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy an Alaskan Malamute from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Alaskan Malamute puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Alaskan Malamute ends up with cataracts and hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Alaskan Malamutes are sometimes found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Alaskan Malamute Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Alaskan Malamute puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Alaskan Malamute puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.