The Minnesota Malamute Club offers the following recommendations for those who are considering adding a Malamute to their lives. First and foremost, be sure you really do want a Malamute. This means researching the breed both at the library and speaking with other owners. They are wonderful dogs, but they won't fit into all lifestyles. In looking for a Malamute, the following guidelines can provide a framework for your search.

  • Both parents x-rayed clear of hip dysplasia. (See breed problems) Request an OFA certification on both parents.
  • Both parents certified clear of chondrodysplasia (See breed problems)
  • Both parents clear of eye problems
  • Temperament - neither parent should display signs of either extreme agression or extreme shyness
  • Ask for information on health problems of parents. Are either on medication (other than normal prophylactic medication, such as heartworm prevention)?
  • Will the breeder offer a contract with responsibilities clearly stated in the event problems arise?
  • Are the puppies healthy, outgoing, and are they in a clean, well-maintained environment?
  • Ask questions, visit the breeder's kennel and find a breeder with whom you can work.
  • Be willing to wait for the right puppy. Responsible beeders do not have puppies available at all times.
  • Be willing to be vetted by the breeder. A good breeder is going to ask a lot of questions to determine if you are "right" for one of his or her puppies. Think of it as an interview process, because indeed that is what it is.
  • Make sure you understand the Malamute temperament.
    • They are generally dog-aggressive, meaning they will tend to be argumentative with other dogs of the same sex.
    • They are prey-driven and are hunters by nature. They will not generally co-exist peacefully with small animals, such as cats.
    • They have a propensity for digging holes and will happily terraform your yard.
    • They cannot be allowed to run loose.
    • They are big dogs and require exercise.
    • They are people-oriented dogs and do not do well if isolated in a kennel and left alone for much of the time.
    • They are not guard dogs.

Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
Comments or questions? E-mail me at

Copyright © 2006-2007 Linda Dowdy, last revision 061031