This is usually the most frequently requested topic. It can usually be conquered simply, although it takes time, patience and repetition. An Alaskan Malamute puppy will not have the ability to control it's bladder fully until about 16 weeks old. So even completed training will have it's accidents from time to time. There are several ways to potty train. We suggest Indoor/outdoor training due to the volume and size of an Alaskan Malamute puppies fecal matter. The best way to accomplish this training is to allow your puppy time in the house or living quarters that you don't want the puppy to use as his waste area. You will have to provide for an outdoor area or several leash walks a day to accomplish this. When your puppy relieves itself in the living quarters, you want to catch it doing so as close to the time it performs this action. Firmly grab the puppy and teach it the word "no" a word that must be established in the puppies psychological understanding of wrong doing for many mishaps and actions your puppy will go through. Gently rub the pups nose in it's excretion continuing to say the word "no" take the puppy to the entrance or exit to it's designated waste area rub it's front paws on the door to it, then take the puppy to the designated area and then reward the puppy with loving and positive attention.
You will generally have to perform this same repetitive action for a few days. Most Malamute puppies would rather relieve themselves outdoors anyway. Make sure it has the opportunity to get to the area you want it too. Simply put, if you don't continue to let it out to this area and pay attention to it's will. Well your wasting your time! remember the Alaskan Malamute is a pack oriented canine. Any training to it must be performed with it's understanding that you are the Pack Leader.
This is the utmost importance. The largest issue is finding one that understands Northern Breed Dogs. Trust me there are not many vets that do. The Alaskan Malamute is part of the Northern Breed Working Dogs. While these breeds are mostly quite large they do have complicated skeletal and muscular systems. They also fluctuate more in heartbeat and temperature then most breeds of canine. Because they are generally able to handle severe cold temperatures. While they adapt to most environments quite well these environments effect the pulse and temperature of a Northern Breed Dog. Make sure you get an understanding of your Veterinarian background, education and experience with Northern Breeds before you trust your Malamutes health with them. If you have any concerns, a second or third opinion is probably vital. A major concern that surrounds Northern Breeds is Hip Dysplasia. The bottom line is this; 1 out of every 9 Northern Bred dogs generates this crippling disease. The Malamute is not exempt. Many organizations claim to be providing solutions or answers to this problem, the evidence is not solid in promoting their efforts. The good news is that Veterinarian medicine has made great strides in operative and corrective solutions to hip dysplasia, the bad news is they are very, very expensive. The life expectancy of a Standard Alaskan Malamute is around 13 years old. Certainly read up and familiarize yourself on the breed if you own one. Don't always believe everything you hear without getting the most popular opinion to that topic. There are many, many things you can provide for your Malamute in health care by yourself, rather then paying the Vet 300% markup. Feel free to contact us for our opinion anytime on your Alaskan Malamute regardless of who bred yours.
Veterinarian Health Schedule.
Alaskan Malamutes cannot recieve their first immunizations until approximately 5 to 6 weeks old. Never sooner. This is why it is impairative that they recieve Momma's milk especially within the first 2 hours of life. It contains the natural immunizations your pupppy needs to fight off viruses and parasites for the first 6 weeks of it's life. Once the puppy has ingested this vital milk very early in it's life it can then survive on alternative methods of feeding. This is of course if it's also made a successful transition in it's digestive track. If it hasn't it will not survive. Your Alaskan Malamute, will need it's first shots generally by 6 weeks old. It will then need second shots which are exactly the same as the first ones just a booster within 4 to 5 weeks later. Then 2nd boosters around 6 to 9 months and then annually is recommended.
During your Pups 1st Vet visit we suggest you have a Fecal sample taken. This will provide the needed information for your Vet to understand if the pup is infested with other parasites such as Coccidia and worms. Those should be treated immediately as well. Generally most Breeders will begin worm treatments at about 3 weeks old. Good ones will also treat for Coccidia which is a common parasite that usually only takes it's toll on pups up to 6 months old during weaning stress and environmental changes. Adult dogs can carry it for life without ever demonstrating symptoms. It is a good idea to treat pups at weaning time with Albon to stop any further complications. Worming, should be done about every six weeks for the rest of your Dogs life. There are many over the counter medicines to do this today. Some are more effective then others. Flea and ticks love Malmutes, especially light colored Mals. They provide these pests paradise even during frigid cold temperatures. Treat your Malamute every four weeks for them, even if there is no evidence of them. The sooner the better. Dental care is importaint to maintain a healthy Malamute, especially as it ages. The Malamute has a natural calcium enzyme to naturally provide teeth cleaning which becomes less potent every year of your dogs life. Attempt to assist it with a good teeth cleansing about once a week. Yes, with a toothbrush! Do not use flouride tooth paste!
Spaying and Neutering
There really isn't a concrete time limit of when you should neutralize your puppy! Although, it should be done about a month after a females 1st heat cycle. Males should be neutered at least by a year old. This avoids future fantasy mating syndrome. If they lose their sex drive before they get it. They will not know what it was. This is very important for your Males psychy.
The Alaskan Malamute, is quite possibly the closest ancestor to the Wolf. DNA samples suggest this. So when we say they are Pack Assertive, we cannot state this enough. One Alaskan Malamute, is a nice dog. Two of them becomes a pack. Within the pack there is an order of control. You will have to install yourself as the Pack Leader. You can never allow for any of your Mals to even test this order. You must spend lots of time with them and demonstrate this leadership to them. The best way to establish this is obviously when they are very young. Or during feeding time. There are many ways to establish this type of training. If you need advice please feel free to contact us. Never and I mean ever show signs of fear or anxiety toward your Malamute. They will know this and prey on it. Also this Pack Leader Mentality must be done without any physical altercation or anger toward your Malamute. If you force any pain on your Malamute physically or Mentally they will never forget this and in turn from time to time test you by being aggressive or physically damaging to you. There are many Books and Television shows written on this subject. So it is obviously a very touchy and wide ranged subject.
The Alaskan Malamute has two layers of fur. It will shed! Although, it is more inclined to cleaning itself more rapidly then most other breeds. Malamutes are very feline like in many ways. The outer coat will never shed. This coat is the Guard Hairs. The inner coat generally 2 times per year in wooly or longer haired Mals. 1 time per year for Standard coats. When this inner coat sheds your Malamute will look like it's falling apart. We do not suggest that you ever shave your Malamute because this can permanently restrain the guard hairs. When the Malamute sheds you simply want to brush it out thoroughly prior to matting or you will have a hard fought battle removing matts and tangled fur. Bathing your Malamute is really only needed if Nature abnormally effects it, like mud, skunk, trash or other stinky substances get on the coat. Otherwise the Malamute will do an amazing job of self cleansing.
This is also a very hot topic when it comes to your Dog. In General find a High Protein, High Fat, High Quality food that your Malamute enjoys. You may have to experiment with a few different food brands to find the one that stabilizes your Malamute, provides it's nutrition level and continues to provide high energy levels and appearance. There are a few brands we recommend and a few we would certainly refrain you from.
A Giant Alaskan Malamute, full grown will need an average of 4 to 8 cups of food a day. Depending on size, performance, and it's needs. To provide a steady and healthy level of existence. You will play a great role in your Malamutes health. While most Malamutes are not heavy eaters, some can be if you allow them to be. In my opinion this is not a good character defect you want in your Mal, simply because an overweight Malamute will more than likely have a shortened lifespan and develop chronic illness or orthopedic damages far to early. Monitor your Malamute and only fluctuate it's diet based on it's health needs. Attempt to provide the same feeding regiment and same food brand or you will effect the consistency of it's fecal matter.
Only feed your Alaskan Malamute natural treats or snacks when training or rewarding. Stay far away from Rawhides and artificial play toys. These can be deadly to your Mal. They contain preservatives that are not healthy on it's digestive system and or brain and nervous system. Chewy toys can become lodged in the digestive system and will kill your dog.
Chicken bones or pork bones are not recommended for your Malamutes diet. Especially cooked chicken bones. While most Malamutes will have no problem digesting chicken bones or poultry bones. You provide a more brittle bone when cooked. Pork Bones generate worm larvae.
PLAY AND TRAINING!
Your Alaskan Malamute, is one of the most intelligent breeds of Canine that there is. They are so smart that they are not the easiest Canine to train. They bore easy and keeping their curious intellect at bay is sometimes a chore in itself. Malamutes, are also very hard to confine. They will go under, over, around or through it to get out with every once of energy they have. They can open windows, doors, and probably your safe if you give them enough time to think about it. They're amazing. Although, they are trained to be police, rescue and security dogs worldwide. They are best at weight pulling, Dog Sledding and acting in Movies. They also generate much attention from the public because of their incredible beauty and appeal. Be careful because most of the public will mistake them for the wolf.
Your Malamute Puppy will grow very fast and steady. They can get awfully funny looking in their adolescence. Their skeletal structure is very fragile in the first year. Avoid playing or training your young Malamute on hard surfaces. If you don't, you can permanently damage the orthopedic nature of your Mal. Be very careful on the trainings physical endurance as well. If a puppy Malamute gets soar they will avoid that training from ever happening again with all they have. Also avoid smaller then their mouth toys, because they will eat it. Whole if they can!
SHELTERING, LIVING QUARTERS AND ENVIRONMENT
The great news about your Alaskan Malamute is they adapt quite well to most environments naturally. From the bone chilling cold of the Great North to the Dessert Heat. Their Coats will usually grow to the length needed in providing needed warmth or coolness once they adapt.
Bringing your Malamute up in the same environment you intend to provide it is essential. If they grow up in it, they never knew the difference. One example is to take two Malamutes from the same litter. One lives in Alaska the other in Phoenix. Obviosly the one in Alaska will flourish a much longer coat. The Malamutes dual coat provides it heat in the Winter and Cool in the Summer. It is a Myth to believe that because it has such a thick coat that the heat is harming it more than a canine with a thin coat. Many of owners, have thought this and have shaved their Mal only to damage the outter coat permanantly. Then the Malamute was actually even more hot in this environment. Also more inclined to skin irritations and disease.
Please never confine your Malamute to a crate for it's lifetime. An Alaskan Malamute needs plenty of room. They are not going to flourish spending much time in a crate or small kennel. They also are more likely to rebel due to their un-happiness. I've had many of Mal owners contact us complaining about their Mal tearing up stuff after they let it out of the crate. Generally unless the crate is made from a thick metal, a Malamute will chew through it and get out and then your in big trouble. Everything is fair game. If you cannot provide for an outdoor space of atleast 20"X 10" please don't own a Malamute. It will not be happy and in turn niether will you!
When providing an outdoor area for your Malamute, please assure that you provide solid material in fencing and the ground foundation. Fencing should be atleast 6' high on all sides. The gound directly anchoring the fence must be solid such as concrete. If using chain link fencing you must reinforce the fasteners approximately every 2.5 " on top and bottom or a Malamute will pull and separate the fencing from the mounting posts. As said before, a Malamute will go under, over, around or through it if it wants to. Some Mals are amazing and will never attempt to get out. Some are Magicians. Don't ever intend to keep a nice lawn under your Malamutes. It is not possible. Malamutes will first eat the grass then begin to dig to China. Most Malamute yards look like the moon after a short length of time. Females urine will kill the lawn quickly because of a high concentrate of estrogen in their urine.
THESE ARE JUST THE BASIC INFORMATIVE CARE ISSUES GENERALLY SURROUNDING AN ALASKAN MALAMUTE. OF COURSE THERE ARE MANY MORE QUESTIONS SURROUNDING THEM. ESPECIALLY IF ONE WISHES TO SUCCESSFULLY BREED THEM. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US WITH ANY CONCERN. (606) 706-5108 or send us an email to