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rec.pets.dogs: Alaskan Malamutes Breed-FAQ


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Last-modified: 10 Nov 1997

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                               Alaskan Malamutes
                                       
Authors

   (listed alphabetically)
     * Margaret H. Bonham (Sky Warrior Racing Kennels), December 8, 1992
     * Stacey E. Curtis, December, 1 1992
       [sec@softserver.canberra.edu.au]
     * Stephen R. Lee (OooWoo Racing Kennel), December, 1 1992
       [srlee@rt66.com]
       
   Updates in 1994 of addresses, CTM. Australia contact added 1995. List
   of breeders removed. 10/95: Online Resources added, CTM.
   
   Copyright 1994, 1995 by Margaret Bonham, Stacey Curtis, and Stephen
   Lee.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
Table of Contents

     * Description
     * History
     * Characteristics and Temperament
     * Care and Training
     * Special Medical Problems
     * Frequently Asked Questions
     * References
          + Books
          + Periodicals
          + Online Resources
          + Breed Rescue Organizations
          + Breed Clubs
          + Breeders
       
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
Description

   The Alaskan Malamute is a large and powerful sled dog. They can weigh
   over 100 lbs and stand up to 30 inches high at the shoulder, though 25
   inches high is regarded as the preferred height for freighting. They
   are an impressive looking dog, quite beautiful and dignified.
   
  AKC Official Alaskan Malamute Standard
  
   The Standard is the physical "blueprint" of the breed. It describes
   the physical appearance and other desired qualities of the breed
   otherwise known as _type_. Some characteristics, such as size, coat
   quality, and movement, are based on the original (or current) function
   for the dog. Other characteristics are more cosmetic such as eye
   color; but taken together they set this breed apart from all others.
   The Standard describes an _ideal_ representive of the breed. No
   individual dog is perfect, but the Standard provides an ideal for the
   breeder to strive towards.
   
   Because of copyright concerns over the collection of all the Standards
   at any single site storing all the faqs, AKC Standards are not
   typically included in the Breed faqs. The reader is referred to the
   publications at the end of this document or to the National Breed Club
   for a copy of the Standard.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
History

   Alaskan Malamutes originated with a group of native Innuits known as
   the Mahlemiut. The dogs of that time were very large freighting dogs
   capable of pulling heavy weight in extreme conditions. The Mahlemiut
   people mainly inhabited the upper part of the Anvik river in Alaska,
   but were spread over a wide region. The Malamute was used to haul food
   back to the villages. It was used as a heavy freighting dog, able to
   pull a tremendous amount of weight over long distances at a steady
   pace. The gold rush of 1896 created a high demand for these dogs.
   
   Today, there are essentially two different "kinds" of Alaskan
   Malamutes. One line is referred to as the M'Loot and the other is the
   Kotzebue. One difference between these two lines is the size of the
   dog. M'Loot Malamutes are larger than the Kotzebue's. In addition,
   true Kotzebues have only wolf-gray coats, whereas M'Loots come in a
   variety of colors, including wolf-gray, black and white, sable and
   white, seal, blue, and white. Kotzebues also tend to be less
   aggressive than the M'loot, however they can be more hyper. The
   Kotzebue line is essentially due to Arthur Walden, and Milton and Eva
   Seeley. In fact, it was Milton and Eva that got the Kotzebue line
   recognized and registered by the AKC in 1935. Paul Voelker developed
   the M'Loot line. Paul did not register his dogs, but he sold them to
   people who eventually did. Amongst breeders, there is some argument as
   to which is the "correct" Malamute. In spite of this, Alaskan
   Malamutes are credited as one of the few breeds that is very close to
   its original form and function.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
Characteristics and Temperament

  Coat and Grooming
  
   The Alaskan Malamute is a double coated breed. This coat consists of a
   woolly undercoat and longer guard hairs. Twice a year, Malamutes
   "blow" their undercoats, that is, they shed their undercoats
   completely. It is a very intense shedding period that can last up to
   three weeks from start to finish. The good news is that this only
   happens twice a year. The remainder of the time, Malamutes are
   relatively shed free (unlike smooth coated breeds). The bad news is
   that the shedding period can be rather messy. The hair comes out in
   large and small clumps. Lots of vacuuming and brushing are in order.
   It should be noted that some owners that live in very warm climes,
   ones that lack "seasonal changes," report some shedding year round in
   the breed.
   
   The Alaskan Malamute is a very clean and relatively odor free dog. It
   tends to clean itself like a cat. Even when a Malamute becomes covered
   in mud, it will clean itself. Therefore, bathing needs are minimal.
   Some owners only bathe their dogs once a year or less.
   
   Other than during coat-blowing season, the Malamute needs very little
   grooming. No trimming or shaving of hair is required or recommended.
   Occasional brushing to remove dead hair and keep the coat fresh and
   shiny is required. Their nails should be checked and clipped
   periodically.
   
  Temperament
  
   Alaskan Malamutes are a very people friendly breed and demand a lot of
   attention. They are often described as "big teddy bears" because of
   their love of attention. They are a very pack-oriented breed and
   therefore do best when included in the family rather than shut outside
   away from the rest of the "pack." Since they are pack oriented,
   Malamutes are generally not "one-man" dogs. They are an extremely
   intelligent breed that can be very stubborn and easily bored. 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. The sheer size of the Malamute can become an
   obstacle to novice dog owners. 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. They are a visual deterrent only, as the
   uninitiated may be hesitant to approach property or family in the
   company of such a large, impressive looking animal. However, 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.
   
  Barking, Talking, and Howling
  
   Alaskan Malamutes are rather quiet dogs. They generally do not bark at
   all. They do tend to "talk," however. The best way to describe the
   talking is to recall Chewbacca, the Wookie in the movie "Star Wars."
   It is sort of a soft "woo woo woo" sound. Malamutes can howl the roof
   right off of your house however. Owners of multiple Malamutes have
   noticed that when their dogs howl, they will all stop simultaneously.
   Again, this behavior is due to the fact that they are a _very_
   pack-oriented breed.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
Care and Training

  Feeding
  
   Note: Those living in Australia should read the note that follows
   these comments carefully.
   
   When you collect your puppy, your breeder should tell you what the
   puppy's diet has been to date, as well as recommendation as to the
   best food and feeding frequency in the future, both for while the dog
   is still a puppy as well as when the dog is an adult. You should try
   and follow the puppy's diet at the time you collect him from the
   breeder as best you can, until the puppy is settled in to its new
   environment. Then you can gradually change the diet to suit your
   preferences. Remember that sudden changes in diet can severely disrupt
   the puppy's digestive system and cause gastric distress.
   
   Some people prefer to free-feed their dogs, while others prefer
   scheduled feeding times. Certainly while the dog is still a puppy, he
   should be fed three times a day or free-fed. Malamutes are not fully
   mature until 18 months of age. The diet should be tailored to the dogs
   level of activity and eating habits. Some Malamute owners have found
   it impossible to free feed their dogs, due to the fact that some
   Malamutes will eat all food presented them immediately. This can lead
   to a variety of health problems, including obesity and bloat.
   
   As for the type and "brand" of dog food, basically any reputable dog
   food manufacturer provides a dog food that is sufficient to keep a dog
   healthy. However, the premium brands of dog food have the advantage
   that one can feed the dog less and still get very good nourishment. In
   addition, stool size and amount is generally less with the premium dog
   foods. Keep in mind that feeding dogs is partly art, and partly
   science. The dog food manufactures have done the science part. The
   rest is up to you. Some people feed their dogs a mix of canned and dry
   food twice a day. Others feed only dry and allow free feeding, and so
   on. Be sure and pick a frequency of feeding, brand, and type of food
   to suit your dogs needs. For working Malamutes, something equivalent
   to a Science Diet Performance is in order. For Malamutes that go for
   walks and hikes, a Maintenance formula is usually best. Consult your
   breeder and veterinarian for advice.
   
   One other thing worth mentioning here is how long to feed puppy food.
   Some research indicates that feeding puppy food for too long can
   increase the incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs that are susceptible
   to it. Some breeders start feeding adult food very soon. Even though
   the Malamute is not fully mature until 18 months, most people
   gradually switch to adult dog food at the 8-10 month time frame.
   Again, this is something to discuss with your breeder and
   veterinarian.
   
  Special note for those living in Australia
  
   In Australia the use of commercial "wet" dog foods as the sole primary
   source of food have been found to be linked with hot spots and gastric
   distress (including very loose bowel movements) in many dogs of this
   breed. Occasional use is recommended. Likewise, kangaroo meat is not
   recommended. Many breeders make their own dog food and supplement it
   with a variety of vitamins and minerals to ensure a balanced diet. If
   you live in Australia, it is recommended that you consult with your
   breeder and veterinarian regarding this issue and monitor the dogs
   condition closely with whatever diet is chosen.
   
  Housing
  
   Alaskan Malamutes are happiest when they can share in family
   activities. The best arrangement is one in which the dog can come in
   and out of the house of its own free-will, through a dog door. If a
   dog door is not possible, then training the dog to go to an outside
   door to be let out is also very easy to do. Outside, the dog should
   have a large, fenced yard. The fence should be strong and at least 6
   feet tall. It is also a good idea to bury wire in the ground to
   discourage digging out. Malamutes are notorious diggers. It is usually
   best to set up a sand box somewhere in a shaded part of the yard and
   encourage digging there, if possible. Malamutes should _not_ be
   allowed to roam around the neighborhood. If one chooses to kennel a
   Malamute, the kennel should be chain link, with a concrete run, and
   should be 8 ft wide and 15 to 20 ft long. It should be at least 6 ft
   high with chain link across the top of the kennel. It should be in a
   shaded location and have an insulated dog house with a door for
   shelter from the elements.
   
   Because the Malamute is an arctic dog, it can remain outside in very
   cold weather. However, it should be provided with shelter from the
   elements in the form of a good sturdy house. The house should have a
   flat roof, as Malamutes love to lay on top of their houses and observe
   the world. A good insulated house with nice straw bedding is perfect
   for Malamutes that spend most of their time outside. Heating the dog
   house is usually not necessary.
   
  Training
  
   Training Alaskan Malamutes can be a challenge. With this breed, it is
   important to start young. Establish rules of the house early, and make
   sure that the puppy knows that you are in charge. For example, if you
   do not want the dog on the bed as an adult, do not allow it as a
   puppy. The rule of thumb is that if you train a dog to do something,
   expect him to do it. Therefore, if the puppy learns that certain
   things are allowed, it will be difficult to train them not to do them
   as adults. Things that are cute as puppies may not be all that cute
   when the dog weighs 80 lbs or more.
   
   Since the dog is pack-oriented, it important to establish yourself as
   the head of the pack, or alpha, very early. Once you do this, the dog
   will respect you and training will be much easier. It is best to
   enroll in a puppy training class (or puppy kindergarten training as
   they are commonly known) soon after your dog is home and has all of
   its vaccinations. This training is good for the dog and for you as the
   owner, as it will help you understand your new puppy and establish you
   as alpha very early in the puppy's life, which is extremely important
   with this breed. Once you have completed the puppy class, and have
   been working with the dog for a few months, a basic obedience class is
   in order.
   
   Obedience training this breed can be very interesting and extremely
   challenging. Many owners will complain that their dogs act perfectly
   in class, but will not obey at home. This breed is intelligent enough
   to differentiate situations very well, and will apply different rules
   of behavior for different situations. You must stay on top of the dog
   and maintain control, which is easier to do while the dog is of
   manageable size than with a stubborn adult that has been allowed to
   get away with undesirable behaviors for a long time.
   
   It is very important to remember that Alaskan Malamutes are a _working
   breed_. They need something to do. Putting them in the backyard and
   tossing them a bone and expecting them to be happy us a very bad idea.
   They need a lot of exercise and interaction to be happy. The exercise
   can come in the form of mushing, which is of course best, or can
   easily be in the form of frequent walks, hikes, and playing. The dog
   makes a wonderful hiking companion, and with a dog pack, can carry
   food and water.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
Special Medical Problems

  Snow Nose or Bad Pigmentation?
  
   Snow Nose is described as a pink/reddish marking on the black nose. It
   is commonly experienced amongst the northern breeds. Snow Nose can
   disappear over the warmer months and reappear over the winter months.
   There is nothing wrong with snow nose. Bad pigmentation occasionally
   occurs within specimens of the breed. The pigmentation area generally
   occurs around the face and is best described as being pinkish skin and
   it can, in some cases, detract from the dogs appearance. The main
   problem with this pigmentation is the threat of sun cancer occurring
   to the area as the pink skin is more at risk of sunburn. It is
   advisable to cover the affected area with sun screen regularly to
   protect the dog from this threat of cancer. It is possible to correct
   pigmentation problems with tattooing and there is a relatively new
   procedure where a vegetable dye is injected into the area and spread
   to cover the pigmentation.
   
  Hot spots
  
   Hot spots look like raw grazed skin. They can also take the form of
   loose coat that does not appear to be attached to the skin. There is a
   link between hot spots and incorrect diet. Alaskan Malamutes cannot
   handle rich and spicy food.
   
  Bloat
  
   Bloat is a condition that affects all large, deep chested breeds. It
   is a potentially life-threatening condition which usually affects dogs
   in the prime of life. Basically, the dog's stomach will swell from
   gas, fluid, or both (this is acute gastric dilation). Once distended,
   the stomach may twist abruptly on its long axis. If it does twist, but
   the twist is less than 180 degrees, it is called a torsion. If greater
   than 180 degrees, it is called a volvulus. Therefore, the term bloat
   can refer to any of these three conditions (acute gastric distortion,
   torsion, or volvulus). Acute gastric dilation is not serious, and may
   clear up itself in a few minutes. Torsion or volvulus are life
   threatening and immediate veterinary attention is required. The chance
   for recurrence is around fifteen percent. The cause of bloat is
   unknown.
   
  Eye Problems
  
   Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and central progressive retinal
   atrophy (CPRA) have appeared in a number of breeds, including
   Malamutes. Hemeralopia, or "day blindness", has also occurred in
   Malamutes. All of these problems are genetically caused. Careful
   screening of potential breeding pairs has helped reduce the incidence
   of these problem in the breed.
   
  Hip Dysplasia
  
   This is another genetic disorder that affects Malamutes. Simply put,
   hip dysplasia is a deformation in the hip joint. That is, the head of
   the femur does not sit solidly in the acetabulum. The joint lacks
   tightness, and the condition results in a painful and often
   debilitating life for the dog. Hip dysplasia is considered to be a
   moderately inheritable condition. Breeders will usually have breeding
   pairs OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certified prior to
   breeding. OFA certification can be given only after a dog is over 24
   months old.
   
  Chrondrodysplasia (CHD)
  
   This is a genetic disorder in the M'Loot Malamute line. It is also
   known as dwarfism, although this term is not very descriptive or even
   entirely correct.
   
   The condition results in delayed endochondral bone formation. In 1970,
   the Alaskan Malamute Club of America officially recognized CHD and
   began efforts to combat the disease. By the end of that year, it was
   proven that the gene for CHD was an autosome recessive (through
   repetitive matings of CHD dogs) and mathematical models one which
   pedigrees could be tested were established.
   
   A Malamute with less than a 6.25% CHD probability factor is considered
   to be breedable. 6.25% corresponds to one carrier as a
   great-great-great grandfather . Obviously this is not foolproof, but
   the chances of a dog not carrying CHD are improved considerably the
   lower the number. CHD probability is computed through the average of
   the two parents.
   
   There are various ways to test for CHD including blood tests and
   x-rays. This recessive gene seems to affect blood as well, producing a
   type of anemia.
   
   X-rays are generally made between the ages of 3 to 12 weeks, if one is
   overly concerned about CHD detection. Most Malamute breeders are
   satisfied with the CHD rating and no outward signs.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

   _Is a Malamute part wolf?_
   
     No. The Alaskan Malamute is a domesticated pure bred dog, and has
     been for many centuries. They are often mistaken for wolves, and
     they are often used in movies to depict wolves, but they are most
     certainly _not_ wolves or part wolf.
     
   _How do they handle the summer heat?_
   
     Like any dog, to cope with summer heat the Alaskan Malamute needs a
     constant supply of water to drink and shade from the sun. If the
     dog is allowed inside then it will find it's own cool room
     (probably on the kitchen or bathroom floor if it is tiled or
     linoleum floored). Some dogs like having ice added to their water
     to help keep it cool. Some also enjoy a children's wading pool
     filled with water in the summer time. The Malamute sheds a lot of
     coat directly before summer, as soon as the whether starts to warm
     up, which also allows them to keep cool. Heavy exercise should be
     avoided in excessive heat. Curtail exercise times to be early
     morning or just after sunset. Once the dog is acclimated to his
     environment, he is usually fine. Malamutes are remarkably adaptable
     animals. However, one should never try and push a dog beyond his
     capability to cope with the heat. To do so can be disastrous. One
     must keep in mind the type of climate the dog is acclimated for and
     not look for signs of heat stress. Do not ever lock any dog in a
     car in direct sunlight, or in the shade for a great deal of time,
     even with the windows down a little for ventilation the heat
     generated by the dog is still enough to cause heat stress in
     summer.
     
   _What are they like with children?_
   
     Due to their gentle temperament the Alaskan Malamute is generally a
     very good family dog. They seem to enjoy the company of children,
     though common sense must be used when mixing any dog with young
     children. They are a very powerful dog and children should not be
     left in total control of the dog. Alaskan Malamutes are generally
     patient by nature and will tolerate young children fawning over
     them, but this should be strictly supervised for the sake of the
     dog as well as the child. With these caveats in mind, since
     Malamutes love attention, well behaved children get along
     wonderfully with well mannered and socialized Malamutes.
     
   _What are they like inside a house, being so big?_
   
     Alaskan Malamutes, aside from the occasional invasion of masses of
     fur when they are shedding coat, are excellent house dogs. They are
     extremely clean dogs and surprisingly quiet. They are very
     sure-footed and in no way clumsy around furniture. They will often
     pick out a favorite sleeping spot and stay there for hours.
     Favorite spots seem to be tiled and linoleum floors in warm
     weather, soft pillows or beds at other times.
     
   _How much do they eat?_
   
     Most Malamutes love food, however they eat surprisingly little for
     their size. The actual amount of food will vary depending on the
     metabolism and activity level of the dog, and the type of food that
     is given. A working adult will eat approximately 4 cups of high
     density food per day. Other dogs will generally eat less. Puppies
     require smaller, more frequent meals.
     
   _How much exercise do they need, and what kind?_
   
     You should not strenuously exercise a puppy under 6 months of age.
     Their muscular-skeleto system is not developed enough yet. Their
     play is enough to keep them healthy. You should play with your
     puppy and work on some of the basic obedience commands with him, in
     a playful way. Once the dog is 6 months old, a kindergarten puppy
     training class or a basic obedience class is a very good idea. It
     will start you both out on the right foot. You can then more easily
     start taking the dog for walks in your area on a leash. By the time
     the dog is full grown, at around 18 months, he will be ready for
     much longer walks, an hour per day or more. The obedience training
     will make the walks much more enjoyable. Alaskan Malamutes also
     enjoy jogging, but this should not be attempted until the dog is 18
     months old or older. Hiking, with a dog back-pack is great fun. One
     can also bike with a dog, with a nifty device known as a
     "Springer." Finally, sledding is an excellent form of exercise, and
     is what the dog was bred for. The sled dog part of the FAQ for
     rec.pets.dogs covers these things in more detail.
     
   _Do they pull sleds very fast?_
   
     The Malamute is a very strong dog, but not as fast as some of the
     other northern breeds. Malamutes are not as fast as, say Siberians,
     and because of this are not typically used in sprint sled racing or
     a race like the Iditarod (although they sometimes are). Endurance
     and strength are the Malamute staples, and they are frequently used
     for exploratory trips across the North Pole or Antarctica (most
     recently, in the Trans-Antarctic expedition) and in weight pull
     competitions.
     
   _How strong are they?_
   
     The Malamute is a very strong dog. They were originally freighting
     dogs and as such, are able to pull tremendous amounts of weight.
     Just from looking at the Malamute, and the size of his bones and
     his stature, it is easy to see that they are indeed very strong
     animals. For this reason, many people use them in weight pulling
     competitions, where they will pull thousands of pounds.
     
   _Do they shed a lot?_
   
     Malamutes blow their undercoats twice per year. They do not
     typically shed year round like many dog breeds. When they do blow
     their coat, they loose lots of hair (several grocery sacks full per
     week).
     
   _Do they like to fight other dogs?_
   
     No. Malamutes are very pack oriented dogs. As such, they
     communicate with other dogs in a variety of ways. An ill mannered,
     aggressive dog is not a good team dog and therefore not a good sled
     dog. However, poorly socialized and trained Malamutes can be
     aggressive towards other dogs. For this reason, it is very
     important for a Malamute owner to train the dog carefully and make
     sure to properly socialize it with other dogs.
     
   _I've heard Malamutes are dumb. Is this true?_
   
     No! Alaskan Malamutes are extremely intelligent working dogs.
     People often mistake the fact that they can be difficult to train
     as a sign of stupidity. Malamutes are very clever and easily bored.
     The key to training them is to keep them interested and to
     challenge their intelligence. A Malamute probably knows what you
     want him to do, he just may not want to do it!
     
   _Just how cold can an Alaskan Malamute live in?_
   
     Alaskan Malamutes can work and live in extremely cold conditions,
     approaching 70 degrees below zero.
     
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
REFERENCES

  Books
  
   Riddle, Maxwell, and Seeley, Eva. _The Complete Alaskan Malamute_,
   1988, Howell Book House. ISBN 0-87605-009-7.
   
   Ross, Diane. _Your Alaskan Malamute_, 1977 William Denlinger. ISBN
   0-87714-047-2.
   
   Riddle, Maxwell and Harris, Beth. _The New Complete Alaskan Malamute_,
   1990, Howell Book House. ISBN 0-87605-008-9.
   
   Coppinger, Lorna and ISDRA. _The World of Sled Dogs_, 1977, Howell
   Book House. ISBN 0-87605-671-0.
   
  Periodicals
  
   _The Malamute Quarterly_
   Hofflin Publishing Ltd.
   4401 Zephyr Street
   Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-3299
   
  Online Resources
  
   Several include:
     * http://www.umdc.umu.se/~mmn/mal/malamute.html
       Alaskan Malamute Homepage, kept by Maria Magnusson
       (mariam@hem.passagen.se)
     * Alaskan Malamute Mailing list: send email to
       listserv@apple.ease.lsoft.com, with SUBSCRIBE MALAMUTE-L
       yourfirstname yourlastname in the body of the message.
     * Sledding mailing list: send email to
       listserv@apple.ease.lsoft.com, with SUBSCRIBE SLEDDOG-L
       yourfirstname yourlastname in the body of the message.
       
  Breed Rescue Organizations
  
   _Alaskan Malamute Protection League_
   P.O. Box 170
   Cedar Crest, NM 87008
   505-281-3961
   This organization is a National Information Network servicing
   individuals and Rescue Organizations working for the Alaskan Malamute.
   State coordinators provide information from and to a National file.
   
  Breed Clubs
  
   _Alaskan Malamute Club of America_
   Corresponding Secretary
   Ms. Sharon Weston
   187 Grouse Creek Road
   Grants Pass, OR 97526
   
   _Siberian Husky and Malamute Club of S.A. Inc_
   The Secretary, Cass vanRyswyk
   P.O. Box 169
   St Agnes, South Australia 5097 Australia
   Ph: 61-8-264-6975
   
  Breeders
  
   Contact the club closest to you for a list of breeders in your area.
   In the US, there are a number of regional clubs, the National club can
   help you find the one in your area. Similar systems exist in other
   countries. Bear in mind that you need to approve the breeder in the
   final analysis for yourself -- being on a list is no a priori
   guarantee of reputability.
   
   More detailed tips for locating a good breeder can be found in the
   Getting A Dog FAQ.
     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
   
    Alaskan Malamute FAQ
    Stephen Lee, srlee@rt66.com

User Contributions:

Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
Your article is refreshingly accurate from my experience with having 3 Malamutes in succession over a 30 yr span. The first was so nimble in a tiny cluttered house that it impossible to correctly convey. He would go through the house and by some instinct, intelligence or magic that big plume of a tail behind his smiling enthusiastic face would not touch one item anywhere. I wish there were pictures. That's not to say the others were any less graceful, they had bigger homes.
The Malamute was my first and only dog. It took me awhile to discover just how smart they are. And as you mention it's not about training or tricks (forget it) it's all about a dog that thinks, they will engage you in antics for amusement (theirs of course). One of the Mals, about 2 years old, one day decided to charge at me from across the yard. Running full out right at me I had to make a split second decision on what to do! It occurred to me that it was a kind of joke and I held still. He bolted right by barely touching my legs. I was completely amazed that he decided to do this.
Another time after returning home from vacation, and the in house sitter had gone home, we noticed she had not left the keys as she usually did. But when we asked her, she said she left the keys in our hiding spot in the yard. No they're not there! So we looked everywhere, in the bushes, under rocks in the house. Where are they? After standing by and watching this fun show for more than a half hour, the mal takes off. A minute later he is dangling keys in front of me. And of course he is smiling (but that was common.)
Many wonderful stories do I have and I await the day my home will again be blessed by another malamute!
LG

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