Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Puppy, Socializing, Obedience
Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States
Posted October 22, 2016
My Alaskan Malamute, Howl, is a gorgeously fluffy, goofy, oddly human dog. He has a sense of humor (which mimics that of a purposefully naughty child) and lives to play with his human family. And while he is a wonderful addition to our family, sometimes I think he is just as stressful as an actual child.
Not a dog for the beginners, my one and a half year old has now topped out his weight at 130lbs. He is a giant breed Mal, however, even the average size can reach almost 100lbs. Incredibly strong, as they are built to be a sled dog, yet stubborn and mischievous, daily training must become a habit if you wish for polite leash manners and obedience.
Malamutes are also prone to separation anxiety, and our Howl is no different. He tends to make a mess while we are gone (he can reach the top of the fridge!) so being organized and staying smarter than him (we had to change our door handles to knobs because he opened them with his mouth!) is a must. Keeping them occupied with a bone works well, but what helps the most is attending doggie daycare or stopping by the dog park.
Not incredibly energetic, it seems Howl never developed an interest in running, possibly because of his size. Instead he prefers to fetch short distances or play tug-o-war (he never plays fair, typical Malamute). He is sweet, affectionate, and cuddly and never wants to leave the side of his family.
While I adore my goofball, I am relieved I am tackling his puppy-hood while I am young. Malamutes take an extreme amount of work, dedication, and love and are not for first time dog owners or those who cannot spend most of their day with him. They are best for those who have the energy to spend on him daily and who truly enjoy a challenging but rewarding dog.