A popular sled dog, the Alaskan malamute is known for its prey and pack instincts. Keep a vigilant eye on your malamute so that he doesn't go after small animals. Also, because of the breed's pack instincts, malamutes adore being with their human families and will form destructive habits such as chewing if they do not receive sufficient attention.
Vaccinate your Alaskan malamute when you first get him or her and get yearly booster vaccinations to maintain the dog's immunity to diseases. Consult your veterinarian about flea-control products and worming your adult dog.2
Give your malamute high-grade dog food. The first ingredient should be meat. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent, and crude fat no less than 20 percent. The fiber content should be 4 percent or less.3
Use dry shampoo (a powder that is used on the coat and then brushed out) to clean your dog no more than twice a year.4
Brush your malamute's thick coat once a week when not shedding and daily when shedding. These dogs shed a lot and lose their undercoats twice a year. However, because of this heavy shedding, the malamute's coat quickly rids itself of dirt.5
Trim your malamute's nails every week.6
Exercise your malamute according to his or her personality. Some malamutes are very active, whereas others prefer little exercise. Keep your malamute on a leash when other dogs are present.7
Socialize your malamute to be around small children, dogs and small animals from an early age. Many malamutes have a strong prey instinct and will hunt small animals. They also tend to exhibit same-sex aggression. They do well with cats if they are raised with them.8
Train your malamute in obedience early on, beginning when he or she is about 8 weeks old. This breed tends to be stubborn and will need a lot of work to prevent destructive habits such as chewing and jumping on furniture. Adult malamutes can be difficult to control.9
Learn about the health conditions most likely to affect malamutes. Eye problems such as day blindness, juvenile and adult cataracts, and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome are becoming more common, as are thyroid problems. Giant malamutes may be prone to hip dysplasia because of their size.10
Prepare to enjoy 12 to 15 years with your malamute (8 to 9 years for giant malamutes), as this is the Alaskan malamute's average life expectancy.