Thursday: How does one choose between an American Akita and an Alaskan Malamute?
What are the key differences between these two breeds, that should be one's deciding factors when choosing between the two.
Photo Credit: randihausken/Flickr
Answers and Views:
Answer by NatrGrrl
I have a Malamute. He is wonderful. I wont pretend to know anything about Akita's but Malamutes need lots of excersize and room to run run run. They are very intelligent so you need to puppy proof your house, I even had to lock our fridge when mine learned how to open it. They shed a lot but are great dogs and wonderful with kids. Research both and pick one IF it is right for your family.
Answer by anwen55
Akitas do not need a great deal of exercise but will take as much you you can give them. Neither breed is suitable for the novice. Both breeds can be dog- aggressive towards the same sex but both should be good with humans. Both breeds shed plenty! Both are Spitz breeds and therefore not the easiest to train, but it can be done with firmness and consistency.
The Mal was bred to pull sleds, the Akita can – but only at his own speed and convenience!
The Akita should not be aggressive towards humans but will guard his people with his life if necessary and is totally devoted to his family.
Never owned an Malamute, but my dog of a lifetime was an Akita – he broke my heart when he died and I doubt I'll ever own another one, he was irreplaceable.
Which ever breed you decide upon, make sure you buy from a reputable breeder who has temperament as a priority – both breeds are large, powerful and capable of inflicting a large amount of damage. The Akita also has a number of inherited health conditions (so do most breeds of course). You can maximise your chances of buying a healthy one by finding a knowledgeable, responsible breeder.
Answer by The Legendary Masked
Like others I have little knowledge of the Malemute, but also relatively little about the American Akita, more about the Japanese type. Still I can add some info.
Be very careful about the source of an Akita puppy. Up to 10 or 15 years ago they were bred rampantly by puppy mills and genetic defects were ignored by those breeders. Some descendants of this are still being bred. OTOH, there were conscientious breeders and still are, but stay away from pet shop puppies. People slam backyard breeders, but good dogs can come from this type of program if it's well done.
In different parts of the country (USA) the appearance of the dogs can differ, with the West Coast looking more like the Japanese type and the East Coast varying more, exhibiting more of the mastiff and GSD traits.
Be wary of breeders advertising huge size, 135 or 150 lbs. this is too much weight for the bone structure and can lead to dysplasia or other health problems. It often comes from overfeeding puppies.
Inquire about the temperament of the parents. An Akita is a big, strong dog and is capable of doing serious damage.
If you can't handle a strong-minded dog an Akita isn't for you.
Hope some of this helps.
Read all the answers in the comments. What do you think?