Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
North Carolina, United States
Posted June 6, 2016
We got an Alaskan malamute because my husband loved their size and thought they were very pretty. I conceded and we got our dog as a puppy. He was very cute, and easy to train. He learned commands really easily and was very treat-motivated. He also adapted to his crate very easily, and loves to hang out in there. However, we found out quickly that he liked to howl, especially when he was alone. He has quieted down now that he's older, but he will still howl if he is feeling stressed or lonely.
As he got older he got very big, very fast. At 5 years old, he weighs about 125 pounds. Despite his size, he is skittish! He growls at other and we watch him carefully. Although he has never bared his teeth or snapped at anyone, he scares people due to his size.
So far, we have not had many health issues with him. He is an affordable dog in that regard. Due to his size though, we spend a lot of money on his food and medications (heartworm/flea prevention/etc.). Lots of money also goes to his grooming fees.
He is very lovable, but has his one person who is the 'pack leader' that he shows most affection to and listens to. This is my husband. He can be pretty cool to everyone else and does not always heed commands from others. He's not a big cuddler. He's not big on playing either; no fetch or tug-of-war. He does like to walk some, but he will pull, even with his training. It's just their instinct.
The biggest con about this breed is the grooming and shedding. We have never been able to keep up with it. We wanted a dog who was always allowed indoors and on furniture - this was a mistake with our malamute! Everything we own is constantly covered in his (white) hair, despite regular brushing and grooming.
Alaskan malamutes are great dogs, very unique and beautiful with independent personalities, but know what you are getting into before you consider this breed.