April 23rd, 2005, 10:44 AM
I'm glad I found this board, I've been reading various posts for a couple of hours now and have found a ton of very useful information! I originally came across it because I was looking for information on Malamute breeders in the Winnipeg area, and it was a post by Gripenfelter that came up in Google.
I've loved the look and size of the Malamute since I was a child, and I always told myself that when I bought a house and could provide a good environment for one, that I would get a Malamute. Well, I've just bought my first house here in Winnipeg and am now setting my sights on getting a Mal puppy.
If anyone has any information on local breeders of Mal's, or any special care and treatment that's associated with the Mal, your contribution would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you very much! :)
April 23rd, 2005, 11:17 AM
Hi there Malalover and welcome.
I really hope you have lots of spare time as this site is addictive...... :D
As for this breed,I suggest you do some very serious research.This could take some time.You need to read up on everything there is to know about them.And you need to make sure this breed is right for you and your lifestyle.
You can also talk to a rescue group.They can help you with any questions you have.
Here is some info to get you started.
IF wanting to get from a breeder,PLEASE make sure that it is from a reputable breeder and NOT a Backyard Breeder or Puppymill.
April 23rd, 2005, 11:24 AM
Good luck getting your Malamute they are wonderful dogs. Be aware though that they are escape artists it may be good to get one as a puppy and train him right away on the recall.
We had a husky malamute cross for about 5 years that we got as an adult unfortunately he was always waiting for his chance to escape, we ended up rehoming him and he is now on a large farm.
One thing I noticed with him is that if he was with other dogs he would recall with no problem.Also the bigger the yard the better as they love to run we would take our dog up to the kennel 10 acres fenced just so he could run off some energy. Good luck with your search.
April 23rd, 2005, 11:54 AM
I love Mals too!This rescue is awesome and is Canada wide,and can tell you who is, and is not,reputable.
Their about Mals page says:
"The Alaskan Malamute is blessed with a sunny disposition and thrives when treated as an intelligent partner or family member. Of an independent nature, Mals can be highly cooperative although never slavish or fawning. An Alaskan Malamute lives with you — not for you.
Sometimes aggressive toward other dogs, especially those of the same gender, the typical Mal is outrageously and almost universally friendly to human beings. Malamutes do not guard property and virtually always extend a tail-wagging, face-licking welcome to strangers. Mals are pack-oriented and, as such, try to establish and test the pack order, on a seemingly constant basis throughout their adolescence.
These dogs develop deep, complex attachments to their owners, but they are not one-person dogs. Adult rescue Malamutes readily bond with their adoptive owners.
The breed has a strong, predatory streak, and, if allowed to run loose in rural areas, will reliably slaughter livestock and wild animals. In urban and suburban areas, a loose Mal is a menace to cats and other furry creatures. Swift, fearless, and powerful, Malamutes have been know to catch songbirds on the wing, and, if challenged, to deal harshly with other dogs. A very few adult rescue Mals get along well with cats and other dogs, but most must go to homes with no other pets.
Although the breed boasts a few angels, most Malamutes will raid trash and steal food inside the house. Anyone who is unprepared to deal firmly and calmly with this wild streak should not own a Malamute. "
©1999 by Susan Conant and the Alaskan Malamute Assistance League.
Used with permission.
They have several beautiful dogs looking for homes: http://www.malamuterescue.com/inrescue.html
April 23rd, 2005, 12:00 PM
HI and welcome!!:)
I've loved the look and size of the Malamute since I was a child, and I always told myself that when I bought a house and could provide a good environment for one, that I would get a Malamute. Well, I've just bought my first house here in Winnipeg and am now setting my sights on getting a Mal puppy
Never get a breed because you like the look. Malamutes are not the easiest dogs to own, especially if you aren't planning to do sledding, weightpull, skijoring or some other strenuous activity with it on a regular basis.
What are you looking for? Just a nice pet and companion to walk with and hang out with? How much experience do you have with very large, stubborn, powerful and often dominant dogs with high prey drive, who can never be let off leash?
IF you still have your heart set on a Mal, contact some GOOD breeders and ask many questions.
Try contacting Malamute Help League (http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/AB11.html) They have good info on this site.
Nice that you are doing your research before getting a dog!! :thumbs up
April 23rd, 2005, 10:25 PM
Wow, thank you EVERYONE for all of this information.
I'm definitely going to do my homework before actually getting a Mal, but I have had some experience with that size of a dog before. Our family had large husky border collie cross for years, my sister has a lab, my aunt and uncle had a St. Bernard, and a friend of mine has a Rottie and a Mal. So fortunately I'm no stranger to the large dogs and their behavior patterns, as long as they're trained right at a young age, which I plan on doing, without a doubt.
I'm going to go and check out all those links now, thank you again!
April 24th, 2005, 12:20 AM
I just thought I had better post one more time. I was unfortunately a failure as a malamute/husky owner. We knew they had a tendency to roam but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I think if I knew now what I knew then I might reconsider. Here are a few situations that have happened to us.
Babysiiter comes to look after the kids. We tell her please be careful with the dog if you need to open the door for any reason please hang on to him or tie him up, or lock him in the kennel.....well I only opened the door for a second and he was gone.
Relative comes to visit. Please dont open the back gate..oh it will be okay he wont get out......
teenager comes to paint the fence......please make sure the gate is shut and locked...... "oh was I supposed to lock both gates oops...."
Me checking on my kids in the backyard....."dooonntttt opennn theee gaatee!! " " but mommy he wanted to be in the front yard.
Needless to say I really miss my dog and still read all husky and malamute profiles on all of the shelter adoption sites but I know I could definately never have another one. They are great dogs though I wish you the best of luck!!!
April 24th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Malalover, welcome to the board! You'll find lots of help here! :D
Speaking from experience, mals are much different than your average dog. My brother-in-law convinced his parents to buy him a mal puppy when he was 12, solely based on how they look. BIG mistake. They did no training with him off the bat, and he is now a 4 year old, 115 lb, untrained disaster! He's escaped numerous timesfrom the yard, and in one of those instances bit a dog and caused bleeding. About a month ago, he was on a group dog walk with his training class, and he bit and tried to kill the instructor's male border collie. He was relentless and it took 2 big men prying his jaws open to get him off. Luckily the border is okay, but now the mal has to wear a muzzle everywhere he goes, and one more instance like that and he will be put down. Even when my sis-in-law thought she had control over him on leash, when he saw something he wanted, he'd pull her and drag her along the ground a good 20ft. She could have gotten seriously hurt. These are not good dogs for first time dog owners.
I urge you to really research this breed completely, and if you do get a mal, make sure you train dilegently. I wouldn't even think of treat training either, as mals are very stubborn and need more firm discipline and strong guidence. You have to be alpha from day 1, no matter what. They're cute as puppies, but they grow to be VERY large, dominant, and sometimes scary dogs. They're not typical large breed dogs. As the Alaskan Malamute Help League says, the live with you, not for you. A great dane, pyreneese, st. bernard and so on are typically very gentle large dogs, that do want to please their owners. Mals don't, unless that bond is created early.
Anyways, sorry for the rant, but I've just made it my mission to inform potential mal owners of the many challenges this breed creates. Just be well informed and prepared, and you can have a great relationship with this amazing dog! Good luck to you! :)
April 24th, 2005, 09:26 PM
Everything I've read and learned so far has pointed to very early training to establish the proper behavior patterns that are necessary for a Mal. I believe training is essential for all mid to large size dogs, but it seems that goes double for the Mal. The two people that I've known who have had or do own a Mal did very early training. One friend has a Mal and a Rottie, and the two dogs are like brothers. The Mal is very well mannered, obeys commands diligently, and is very protective of his master and environment. My friend took both dogs to obedience school early on when they were young, and continued to maintain the alpha role with both dogs as they grew. He's said many times that the first year (even the first 6 months) is the most critical time to establish the alpha role.
I've heard stories of disobedience and dominant behavior by the Mal, and I'm aware of the potential problems that come along with them, and with any big dog who doesn't get the proper training at a young age. The information here and in the links seems to be pretty consistent: the Mal can be a wonderful animal to have, but if you don't train early, it'll be very difficult to train it later.
The good news is, I haven't read anything that I either didn't know already, or that has made me change my mind. I do appreciate ALL of this information, including the stories of difficult times. If I didn't hear those, I might be more naive when I get the dog, but knowing that now, I'll be much more prepared. So far, the plan remains the same.
If anyone else has any other stories, postive or negative, that you'd like to share, please do! I appreciate all of this information.
April 24th, 2005, 09:41 PM
and with any big dog who doesn't get the proper training at a young age.
You are soooooooo right..... :thumbs up
I have raised 3 GSD's...and I know if they were not properly trained at a young age,then it would have lead to problems.Early training is a MUST.Mals are really no different than Huskies.And my sister has 3.They can be off leash and will not leave the property.And they are on a farm.Along with a Border Collie.They worked very hard with thier dogs in training them.And it payed off. :)
But then again,early training should be for all sizes of dogs and all breeds.. :)
April 25th, 2005, 02:13 PM
I'm very glad you've done your research malalover!! Please don't think I'm trying to sway you from getting a mal, as they are amazing dogs when trained correctly. I know my in-laws mal had the potential to be great, but unfortunately, the training is more now to keep him from getting worse, not really better.
I'm glad that more people are doing their research on all dogs before getting one, and especially mals.
I agree that training at a young age is essential for a healthy and respectful relationship with any dog. Mals are just more stubborn than your average dog, so can be quite challenging to train at an older age.
Again, good luck with your search, and I really wish you and your new mal (whenever you get him/her) years of happiness together!! :D
April 25th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Heelers rock you mentioned a Pyrenees being typically gentle and want to please. I love Pyrenees, but they are a difficult dog (they are part of the flock guardian breeds) as they were bred to work independently, and can be very difficult and stubborn to train, they also need to be very socialized at a young age, or could be very (even overly) protective of it's family, to the point where it may even attack you or your children's friends (it may see them as a threat to you or your child) .
Just wanted to point this out, as this breed is not for everyone