The Alaskan Malamute is what I would consider a 'lifestyle' breed. I have always said that, and what I mean by that is they are a hearty, pack-oriented dog, who needs a job, loves the outdoors, is highly attuned to pack-hierarchy and needs to be stimulated both mentally and physically, every single day, rain, sleet, hail, snow or otherwise. So, that being said, would you not think that the right owner and family for an Alaskan Malamute would be active, outdoorsy and able to manage an independent, headstrong breed like an Alaskan Malamute? That's right, you have to take into account their temperament, but also yours, and those of family members or other household occupants.
Some important things to consider: malamutes shed a lot; malamutes howl a lot; malamute pull a lot; malamutes dig a lot; malamutes destroy dog beds and toys; malamutes counter-surf; bored malamutes can destroy furniture and eat through drywall; malamutes have low guarding instincts; malamutes have high prey-drive, need I go on? If any of these attributes turn you off, stop reading now and Google a different breed. This breed will not be a fit for you, longterm. To live with an Alaskan Malamute, one requires patience, understanding, intelligence, a firm and fair disposition, and, most of all, a sense-of-humour.
If I haven't deterred you from adding a malamute to your home yet, let's continue.
The Alaskan Malamute is still a relatively healthy breed, especially for a large breed. Responsible, preservation breeders have worked closely together to ensure the health of our gene-pool, it is something that our parent breed clubs and top-caliber breeders care very deeply about. As a result of this focus, the Alaskan Malamute can boast a lifespan of 12-15 years. The question to ask yourself is, "where do I see myself over the course of the next 12-15 years?" Are factors such as: business travel, location change, condo-living, family additions or health factors subject to change or do you foresee stability? Of course, many life events we cannot predict, but we can ascertain how you perceive your responsibility and commitment level to this 'live addition' to your life over the long haul. In the event of such changes, what would be the outcome for your malamute? Would he be disposed of? Or would he be considered a lifelong companion, a family member, to include through thick and thin?
No one knows better than I do, just how darn cute malamute puppies are and how incredibly beautiful this breed is when fully mature. Wouldn't a malamute look so 'cool' on the end of your leash, or beside you on a hiking trail? I get it, I sure do, but STOP. Emotion and looking good in an Instagram post is no reason to add a malamute to your life. They are not a fashion statement. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, or weeped through Eight Below, I don't care. "I want one of those cool looking dogs" is not a viable reason to add a malamute to your life. Need proof? Let me talk you through stories of dumped dogs that owners gave up on because of the challenges I have already presented to you, above. Alaskan Malamutes are sentient beings with innate challenges and requirements, such as: regular grooming, a properly constructed fenced-in compound or yard, structure, discipline and socialization from puppyhood and throughout life. All of this comes with a financial outlay and we haven't even begun to talk about food, equipment and lifelong veterinary care. Enough said, there, right?
I hope you get the picture. My intent with this post is that you think objectively when making a 12-15 year commitment to add a dog, more seriously yet, an Alaskan Malamute, to your life. Cool breed, yes, I know. I thought things through very seriously for 'years' before finally adding one to our life, and the commitment we made was mutually accepted. That snowball effect is a topic for another blog, but what I am saying is, the Alaskan Malamute was the right choice for me and my husband and we have built our lives around the malamutes. We have sacrificed a lot for them. We will continue to do so, and by virtue of that, we will ensure to do the best we can to carefully screen for the right homes and families for any puppies we produce.
If you are still reading, and feeling excited about what I have shared in my efforts to deter you 'away' from this breed, contact us. You just might be the type of home we are seeking for our puppies-- someone who will love them for their lifetime, through thick and thin, without question, who will be coachable, who can share stories of their malamute destroying their couch with a chuckle while pointing the finger of blame back on themselves, and one who will maintain a relationship with us for the sake of the well-being of the dog, for her lifetime.
Adding a puppy to your life is a commitment of 12-15 years. The definition of commitment is staying true to your decision and responsibilities long after the feeling or emotion you made that decision in has passed. Case in point: it is pouring rain out today. A very miserable, muddy, dark, chilly, rainy spring day. And when I say rain, I mean downpour. There are no breaks in the forecast. I am also battling a virus. Do I want to go outside today? No. But I do and I will and I will be the better for it. There is poop to be picked up and malamutes to be exercised and fed. Tending to them is not a matter of whether I feel like it or not. It is an absolute necessity NO MATTER WHAT.
Ask yourself and your family members the 'hard' questions before making a decision that will impact your life physically, emotionally, mentally and financially for the long term and you will be happy you did. I appreciate you reading this and taking these factors into consideration.
Happy researching and contact us for a conversation anytime.
©Jennifer Remazki, 2019