Cold Eternity: Are Alaskan Malamutes good dogs for a first-time dog owner?
I'm planning on getting an Alaskan Malamute, and I'm wondering if they are good for first-time dog owners? I have heard they are generally quiet and loyal. And are there any other wolf-like looking dogs for first-time owners? Thanks in advance.
Answers and Views:
Answer by Dilraj
They are really good and not hard to train
Answer by Zoë
Alaskan malamutes are great dogs! very calm and loyal but they do need their exercise!
Answer by Thánatos
Personally I would say no for a first-time dog owner.
While they are loving dogs, beautiful, and playful – they are also large. A male can weigh around 90 pounds and they are sled dogs (need a lot of exercises!) if you don’t have a large area for them to run it could be very problematic.
Being a large dog their potential problems are also large. If a Malamute isn’t properly trained they can destroy a lot of items in a short amount of time.
They are also more likely to have a strong prey drive, so care must be taken to properly socialize them with small animals at a young age, or have a very watchful eye around small pets.
With training, they will require a person who knows how to properly train, with a firm and fair hand, and dedication with the routine as they can be a little head-strong.
If you’re living in a warm climate (ie Texas, etc) this wouldn’t be a wise choice either as, being a Northern Breed, the summers would be bad for them.
Other wolf-like breeds include the Siberian Husky and Czechoslovakian wolf-dog. However, both breeds (especially the Czech) I wouldn’t recommend for a first-time owner if you’re not familiar with proper training techniques.
Answer by akluis
Alaskan Malamute is a sled dog.
For at least 3,000 the way sled dogs were handled was that they were kept and cared for during the winter, but come summer the owner would turn their dogs loose and expect the dogs to hunt for their own food. Then come winter the dogs would return and be kept again.
Because of this, the Malamute has a VERY high prey drive...which means they will see many small mammals as FOOD...including your neighbor's pet cat.
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Again looking at their background, they have been bred for hundreds of years to pull sleds. They have tremendous strength and energy. It takes a LOT of time and effort and work to give the Malamute an outlet for his high levels of energy. This isn't a breed you can give a half-hour walk and be done. When the dog isn't exercised A LOT they get bored and they get destructive.
They are also very independent and head-strong. If they do not have a good owner who knows alpha rolls, they can be snappy and vicious.
Thing is, this is going to apply to pretty much ALL the nordic dogs.
Answer by sad and hurt
First of all, I am glad you are asking questions. You should always find out as much as you can about an animal before you rush out and get one. Financially do you have about a thousand dollars in your pocket after you get the dog? When we get a dog they are lifetime members of our family. I have never been to the vet for less than $ 300.00. Is the animal neutered, microchipped, licensed, and teeth clean. Do you have money for obedience training? All this is important for the dog. I don’t know the age of your dog or where you are planning to get it from.
If you do not live in a cold climate I would not recommend any type of dog that can not live outside in his natural habitat. Inside, unless you have a very cold room inside it will be too warm. I have neighbors with a Malamute and it gets into the 100’s in the summertime here. Imagine going into the hot sun wearing a jacket that would keep you warm in zero degree weather. They live in the snow in Alaska and that is where they are most comfortable. They need a lot of grooming. They might howl. All dogs are companions, pack animals and if you own only one dog, they will be lonely unless you are planning to spend many hours entertaining a dog.
If you work, or have a busy lifestyle and only have one dog, they will get lonely. Remember they can’t tell you this. The name of the dog is a big clue Alaskan Malamute, Alaska and other cold climates is where they belong. They are in the working class of dogs. Huskies live and love pulling dog sleds. They are beautiful, loving animals, they need a large yard, they are wolf like and need the same amount of space.
When I lived in Oregon I actually had a husky-wolf. We lived on 2 and a half acres, we had a cat, not suitable companionship for a dog although they got along. All the siblings were adopted by others and were put down for killing neighbors' livestock. Ours wasn’t that way although he tangled with a porcupine twice. That was awful. The worst was we were renting and moved into town. The dog was miserable and howled constantly. We had to give him away. Whatever dog you chose please consider all the changes that may come into your life, they are looking for a forever home. Good luck. I hope this helps.
Answer by Jeff_Hardys_Girl
Malamutes are not good for first-time dog owners. They are headstrong and very intelligent and if you are not prepared for that, they will become bored and destructive. They may even become aggressive.
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