Alaskan Malamute

Description:
This dog can be distinguished by its thick grayish and white coat. It has a strong looking aspect, a powerful head and a very intelligent expression. They have small ears that stick up and they carry their furry tails over their backs, which is a typical thing for Nordic dogs to do. The height of a Malamute is of 63 centimeters and they carry themselves very proudly when they walk. The blackish or grayish colors on their bodies can also be seen on their heads, which covers it and in some occasions creates what looks to be a mask. The colors of these dogs' eyes are brown or hazel. Their aspect is very similar to a wolf's; the only difference is that malamutes have a very sweet and friendly look in to them. They have very compact bodies but also very full. Their back is straight and descends towards their hips; their lumbar region is strong and has a good length that helps them move around easily. Alaskan malamutes are double coated and their outer coat has hair that sticks up. The neck of these dogs has an abundant amount of hair around it, as do the shoulders and their extremities.

Ideal owner:
Alaskan malamutes lose their hair when they are still puppies; however if there is one thing they never lose is their puppy cheer. These dogs are naturally very lively and they have good characters. They need a very good and firm training though. Malamutes are naturally oriented towards other dogs and they aren't a one-person dog. This is something that they picked up from their ancestors the wolf, to live in packs. The owner of one of these dogs needs to be able to take full control and become the "pack leader". This is a great outside dog that loves cold weather and snow.

Growth:
The size of the litter of malamutes varies considerably. The weight of these puppies can be anywhere from 340 to 625 grams. They grow very quickly during the first weeks of having been born and some dog breeders have said that by eight weeks they should weight around 12 kilograms. Keep in mind that there are many different sizes inside of the breed and the future owner must know what is the background of that specific dog. Full growth can take up to four years, although this varies with some types. Dog breeders put a lot of emphasis on the behavior and character of these dogs when someone is choosing a puppy to take home. The future owner of one of these dogs should, if possible, meet the parents of the puppy. When meeting the mother or the parents, make sure the parents and puppies are nice to people. Adult malamutes have a tendency to become rebellious and they do this to put their authority to the test, remember this is their nature. Therefore these dogs need a very firm and consistent owner that will keep them in line so that this phase passes by quickly.

General health:
Since malamutes are very strong and rustic by nature, the most significant problem that can spurt up is hip dysphasia. Dwarfism has also been seen in some cases and this can usually be seen at birth. Another condition that has been observed in this breed is hemeralopia (which is a condition that does not allow the dog to see in the day light), cortical renal hypoplasia (which is a congenital renal condition that usually affects the kidneys between the age of six months to two years of age) as well as hypothyroidism. Malamutes can also have genetic predispositions due to a lack of copper and zinc. These dogs need a consistent and firm training but not harsh and their training should start when they are puppies to canalize all of their energy since they can be quite mischievous. Shedding can be quite a big ordeal since they have so much hair, and it is very important the owners take good care of their coats and hair by brushing it frequently and taking it to a professional dog barber. These dogs enjoy playing outdoors in fresh or cool seasons.

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