Alaskan Malamutes are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.
Alaskan Malamutes can be very strong-willed which can sometimes make training a bit more of a challenge. Plenty of practice and patience should overcome this – for training tips check out our dog behaviour page. They have a low tendency to bark but do like to howl. Their coats are thick with a woolly undercoat, meaning that daily grooming is a must.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Alaskan Malamutes are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Zinc responsive dermatosis – a skin condition resulting in thickened, scaly skin which responds to zinc supplementation
- Haemeralopia – defective vision in bright light
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Haemophilia B – a blood clotting disorder
- Epilepsy – a condition resulting in recurrent fits
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Alaskan Malamutes have high energy levels and so aren’t well-suited to owners who aren’t very active themselves. Their purpose was to pull sledges, and they still have a strong desire to pull, run and roam. There are many clubs available that allow Alaskan Malamutes and their owners to go sledding – even without snow – and this is a perfect pastime for fun-loving Alaskan Malamutes, good for not only their physical but also their mental wellbeing.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for an Alaskan Malamute are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Alaskan Malamute with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Alaskan Malamutes that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
4 levels of cover to suit you
Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Alaskan Malamute with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.