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Discussion Starter #1
My friend was searching for a dog. I gave him all the usual tip, yet this morning he got all happy telling me he found his dog.

The dog is a malamute and he'll have him in a week. The puppy will then be 7 weeks old.

He lives in a small duplex with his girlfriend and their 5 year old girl. He's active, but works a ton and is not often home. The dog is (big mistake) mostly for his daughter.


So yeah, how do I explain to him nicely this is not the best situation for him or the puppy?
 

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Does he understand that malamutes are large, working dogs? Specifically used to haul heavy freight for long distances.

They're definitely not an apartment dog, although they can live in an apartment if exercised sufficiently.

Plus, when a mal blows coat...they really blow coat...it's truly astounding at the amount of undercoat...just wow.

I would make sure your friend understands how large the dog will be when grown, and how destructive a bored malamute can be. Think holes in the drywall, couches and furniture completely destroyed, digging giant holes in the carpet, tearing up flooring and that's only a day's work.

I LOVE malamutes and I researched Nordic breeds for a LONG time before I decided I didn't want one. I looked at websites and bought malamute books and went to shows and talked to breeders (some that showed and some that worked and some who did both) and tried my BEST to convince myself that I could have one.

Male malamutes can be dog aggressive; they howl like wolves rather then bark, and they have an extraordinary prey drive.

As with most nordics, they can be very difficult to train for the novice owner. Not saying it can't be done and they are great dogs, but they're not nearly as biddable as my corgi.

Again, I just adore this breed, but they are alot of dog in so many ways.
 

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I'm not sure what you could tell him. Perhaps show him some videos online of what mals/sibes do when they are bored, what they are capable of endurance-wise (races), blowing coats, etc. A 5 year old may spell disaster for such a high prey drive dog - it depends on the child's behavior. Maybe find a few videos of mals hunting/demonstrating their prey drive.
Demonstration of what the dog will be like grown is the only thing I can think of
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I sent him an email about it, telling him my experience with my nordic dog and such. I tried to explain it could be a really bad choice for him, because of his situation.


It was lenghty, but I mentionned everything you guys mentionned and added that if he was dead set of a nordic breed, he should at least go to a rescue and find an adult dog who already has a calm personality and is really used to children.
 

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Mmm...More stuff:

Now, I consider myself a fairly active person, but malamutes need more excercise then what I could provide. With Opal, I can spend 30 minutes twice a day throwing frisbees with her and doing training and she's pretty good to go. Throw in an evening jog for a mile or so for good measure. On weekends, we go hiking. She's high drive, but she does have an off switch, thank the gods of Corgi. ;-)

Malamutes need so much more then that; I would say that if you don't bikejour every day or do actual hauling or do performance with weight pull that it would be almost impossible to meet their requirements.

Plus, they CAN have pretty bad health problems if the breeding is wrong. I've heard of severe hip dysplasia, heart issues, seizures, etc.
 

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IMO if he wants a puppy for a child ( as a Christmas present? ) a furry pup like a Rough or Smooth Coat Collie would be a better first time children's dog. :)
 

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I am not going to lie, Miko is less work than I was anticipating but I would never recommend a northern breed because not all of them are like Miko. When we first got Miko we walked him/ran him for a good 2 hours every day and I think he was happy but also he can lay around and be calm. He has lived in an apartment for about 6 months of his time with us, and honestly he was at his best behavior when he was in the apt. Because we had roomates at our old place he didn't get the constant supervision I would rather have (they would let them out without consulting us). For example the day I moved out I left them in our old room and the guy threw them outside for probably 2 hours and left. No one was home and they were outside unsupervised because he was angry at me for not being there to do a walk through. It is a long story but if I ever see him again I will have a long list of things to scream at him about. Don't you put my dogs in danger because you have an issue with ME.

*rant over* anywho Miko does have a lot of energy but I would say that the major concern with being in an apt with a northern breed is them being loud. Remind him that his neighbors may not be happy to be woken up by the wooing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is alarming.
I mentioned that to him.

and he's a really good guy, but he works a lot, often during the night and he's generally exhausted. It sounds like such a bad idea to me. I gave him examples of normal activities my nordic dog NEEDS to be easy to manage on a day to day basis.


He just replied to me. At least he's not offended. He said he did all the research and needs a motivator to start moving around. He said he called several places and they advised him against an adult dog because of the kid (huh.....?????).

At least he wants advice....I guess he'll need them.
 

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They probably advise him against an adult dog because most of them (or all? if he is going through a rescue) may not have been conditioned to a small child. Malamutes are known to be terrible with children. They're just not a breed of dog you should get if you have a small/youngish child. This being a large reason why I didn't get a Malamute. I have a young (6 years old) nephew who isn't around that often - but is around often enough (once or twice every few months). But not around to where I could condition the puppy to children and would be comfortable with them interacting safely.

If raised WITH a child under CONSTANT (and I really do mean absolute 100% constant) supervision - then yes - he/she COULD be a happy well adjusted family pet that does great with children.

I found http://www.malamutehealth.org/articles/anemia.htm that site while looking up Malamute health problems - you may want to share it with your friend.

If he works a lot - a northern breed is more likely going to annoy him than motivate him (which in my opinion is an absolutely terrible reason to get a dog - especially a northern breed). IMO you need to be motivated for yourself to do things - not try and have something else to motivate you. I can foresee this leading to a very destructive Malamute.
And they can work out in an apartment setting - but exercise and multiple exercise and training is an absolute must every day.

Bella isn't a Malamute - so she's not huge - but she does require quite a bit of working. For her first 4 months with us - she went on two or three walks (average of about two most days morning/evening) a day about 2 miles each (if it wasn't too hot) and got several training sessions a day. She has a great off switch in doors and can go a few days if she has to without a walk now but you can absolutely notice when it's been more than two days and she hasn't been out. I also started biking with her which helped out immensely. She weighs about 40 pounds less than what a Malamute will. If she was a Malamute I'd have to work her a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I mentionned to him a lot the fact he should never leave his little girl alone with the dog, not even for a minute...

It sounds like a recipe for disaster. He's not getting the dog for the right reasons (basically, his daughter wants one and he needs a motivator to start exercising) and he's not getting the best breed to fit his needs. I just hope it'll turn out a happy story anyway. I'm mostly thinking it'll be yet another puppy in a shelter in a few weeks.

At least, he was happy I gave him advice instead of getting offended and defensive. He was actually glad I was taking the well being of his family at heart and asked if he could ask me all his questions once the dog would be there.

At least there's that.
 

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You're taking this a lot better than I am and I have nothing to do with the situation xD!

I guess because I have a fondness for them that I take things like this to heart.

Hopefully everything works out for him, his family and for you! You could always start teaching the dog to pull the sled with dexter!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I mean I do what I can: offer help. I can't change his mind for him though. Hopefully, he falls on an "easier puppy".

And he's a friend from back home. I sadly won't be able to physically help socialize him and exhaust him.
 

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The one thing I can add is to mention that high energy working dogs that are not exercised enough generally become quite destructive and may destroy toys, furniture...etc.

Sometimes when people start seeing their hard worked money go down the toilet... they think a bit deeper.
 

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The one thing I can add is to mention that high energy working dogs that are not exercised enough generally become quite destructive and may destroy toys, furniture...etc.

Sometimes when people start seeing their hard worked money go down the toilet... they think a bit deeper.

All mentionned, followed by vids of Dexter acting like a pup hah
 

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To tell you the truth I wouldn't consider Malamute the worst first dog. I am not sure where you guys are getting that Mal's are so high energy and need lots of work. I have been around both quite a bit and the energy level between a Sibe and Malamute is not even close. The bored and super high energy is much more with the Siberian Husky.

Obviously it is possible for the Mal to be extreme high energy and destructive. I just think the biggest worry with him having a Mal. Is the kids aspect and the amount of fur they shed when blowing coat. It is all fun and games to talk about how you could handle the blowing of the coat, and that exact reason is why I could never have a Mal for myself.
 

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He needs a freakin personal trainer not a malamute and his kid needs a labrador. People like this annoy me, maybe it's the fact that it's 3am so i have no patience but seriously who gets a dog like that for a kid's first dog and an apartment. ugh it hits a nerve.
 

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He needs a freakin personal trainer not a malamute and his kid needs a labrador. People like this annoy me, maybe it's the fact that it's 3am so i have no patience but seriously who gets a dog like that for a kid's first dog and an apartment. ugh it hits a nerve.
I think a Lab would be almost as big a disaster (minus the high prey drive). Labs are insane until they're 3 years old. And the chewing! Maybe a Shih Tzu or a Maltese. Possibly a Rough Collie if he wanted a big dog.
 

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I didn't literally mean a lab, I just meant a dog that wasn't a nordic breed, although I know many labs that are wonderful family dogs. English bred ones.
 
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