Coat - The Malamute has a double coat, which is a woolly undercoat and longer guard hair. They shed relatively light with the exception of twice a year when they ďBlowĒ their entire undercoats. The amount of hair that is blown is incredible, but itís only twice a year. The coarse guard hair help to keep a Malamute fairly clean and dry. The double coat provides excellent protection in the northern climates. During the summer months care must be giving to ensure that a dog is not over taxed because of the heaver coat. We live in Wisconsin and when the temperature is near zero our girl just loves to play and go for walks. When the temperature reaches the nineties you canít get her away from the air conditioner.
Intelligence - An Alaskan Malamute is a very intelligent dog that gets bored with reputation quickly. Itís best to keep a variety of stimulation both physically and mentally, unless you want a dog that may miss behave because of boredom. Mals can be a handful to train but itís well worth the effort. Itís best if you can find a trainer that has experience with a larger dominate breed. A malamute will do very good in a class if they feel like it, if they donít try to end class on a good note and call it a day. Because of their sheer size and dominance many novice owners have had to give up their dogs because they grew up from the cute puppy stage to a full size adult with its own personality (Please see the Link to the Alaskan Malamute Rescue for a older Malamute that could use a good home), a lot of research must done before a malamute or any dog is brought into a familyís life.
Socialization - Malamutes can be aggressive towards other dogs† because of there dominance behavior. Unless a Malamute is socialized with other dogs or animals at the puppy stage it can be very difficult to train them as a adult. A malamute can be very predatory towards smaller animals that it may regard as prey. Even with this behavior malamutes make lousy watch dogs. A malamute is too friendly in nature to people to make a effective watch dog.† Even though the appearance of a Malamute makes a imposing sight the malamute is just to friendly.
Small Animals and Talking Stuffed Animals - A reader submitted a story explaining how there malamute had gotten in their hamster cage and killed the little critter.† Our girl did manage to catch a bird on the ground and did the same thing. A malamute can be very predatory towards small animals. The mal that got to the hamster got it out of itís cage. Caution must be taken with small pets and critters that you may own or that maybe located in your yard. We even had a Furby that had to be given away to good home because our girl would stalk this toy through out the house.
Vocal - Malamutes are not a very vocal breed, they do not bark but they do mur mur or do a woo woo. There isnít really a good description but itís not barking.