The German Shepherd Malamute mix is the most adorable ball of fluff that you will come across. Also known as an Alaskan Shepherd, these dogs are affectionate, smart, and great for families. However, what can you expect with this mixed breed? Find out here.
What are the Common Traits Associated with the German Shepherd Malamute?
Here are some of the most common traits of the German Shepherd Malamute:
- Height: 21 – 24 inches
- Weight: 64 – 130lbs
- Coat: Thick, double coat
- Level of Affection: High
- Kid-Friendly: Yes
- Dog Friendly: Yes, if socialized properly
- Cat Friendly: Potentially, if introduced early
- Preferred Climate: Cold weather
- Shedding Levels: High
- Trainability: High
- Potential to Bark/Howl: High
What Physical Traits Can German Shepherd Malamutes Have?
You can guarantee that virtually any pup of this mixed breed is going to be incredibly cute. However, here is some insight into how your German Shepherd Malamute may turn out:
What Combination of Facial Features Can a German Shepherd Malamute Have?
With the Alaskan Shepherd, it can go either way with the head shape and facial features. On the one hand, you may have a face that is distinctly German Shepherd. Or, you may end up with a very wolfish appearance. They will have erect ears and their nose will either be black or brown.
It is a toss-up with the eyes as well. You may end up with a pooch that has brown, hazel, or blue eyes! Don’t be surprised if your puppy’s eyes change color, though. This may happen when they are about four weeks old.
What is the Maximum Size a German Shepherd Malamute Can Grow To?
There is a good chance that you will end up with a pretty big pup. They will certainly be on the larger end of medium-sized. It is possible that your pooch is going to keep growing until they hit large-sized – it isn’t too uncommon to find Alaskan Shepherds that weigh as much as 130 pounds.
Traditionally, females will be smaller than their male counterparts.
Do German Shepherd Malamutes Have a Fluffy Coat?
Although they do have a shorter coat, these pups will have a pretty fluffy, double coat. The topcoat is thick and coarse. The coat underneath is dense and soft. This provides your pup with plenty of insulation. The exact level of fluffiness will vary from one dog to another.
There are plenty of possibilities when it comes to coat colors. The more traditional shades are black, grey, red, brown, and gold. However, you can expect some combination of sable, cream, blue, silver, white, and liver.
What Type of Character Can You Expect with a German Shepherd Malamute Have?
This is one of the most affectionate and friendly dogs you will find. They are incredibly family-oriented and once they have bonded to you, they will be completely loyal.
With their sharp instincts and constant vigilance, they will pick up threats easily. This makes them excellent watchdogs. While these pups have the potential to bark a lot, you will find that they only howl when they sense danger or are nervous about something.
For the most part, these dogs are great with children. They can be calm and loving, but they do need to be socialized at a young age and be introduced to kids early on. Even then, it is a good idea to stick around when your kids are playing with an Alaskan Shepherd.
These pups are pretty big and often don’t know their own strength. This means that playtime can get a little rough without them meaning it to.
In general, these dogs are good with strangers and will often get on with them. Despite this, it is important to socialize your dog at a young age. It is only by being exposed to all types and shapes that your dog will become friendly with other humans.
As a whole, you shouldn’t expect an Alaskan Shepherd to be friendly with other dogs. They don’t always do well in households with other dogs. However, if they are introduced to dogs at a young age and continue to have interactions with them, they may get along with other dogs.
You should also be aware that Alaskan Shepherds have a pretty strong prey drive, which can mean that they have a tendency to run after small animals. If you want this breed to coexist with cats, then you should introduce them when they are fairly young. This increases the chances that they will get along.
These dogs are incredibly independent and are very headstrong. They will also always assume the role of pack leader in any situation. Due to this, it isn’t recommended to get an Alaskan Shepherd if you don’t have any experience with other breeds.
Are German Shepherd Malamutes Predisposed to Diseases?
While mixed breeds are able to sidestep certain health conditions associated with their parent breeds, they are still at risk of some medical conditions. Here is what you should know about the lifespan and health of an Alaskan Shepherd:
What is the Average Life Span of a German Shepherd Malamute?
Alaskan Shepherds have a life expectancy of about 10 to 13 years which is quite good. Their life expectancy can be prolonged by a healthy, appropriate diet and frequent check-ups at the vet.
What Disabilities Can German Shepherd Malamutes Suffer From?
Some of the health conditions that you should watch out for with an Alaskan Shepherd include:
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Cartilaginous exostoses
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
The best way to minimize the risk of these diseases is to choose a reputable breeder. Good breeders will make an effort to check the health history of the parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents of each parent.
This can help to reduce the risk of these genetic anomalies showing up in your dog. In turn, they are more likely to live happier and healthier life.
Taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis can also be a good way to prevent diseases or slow the onset of medical conditions. Make sure to take your pup in if you notice any symptoms at all.
What are the Feeding Guidelines for a German Shepherd Malamute?
Being a mixed breed, it can be tricky to determine what kind of dog food to give your pup. You should always start off with high-quality puppy food. Check that the food is nutritionally balanced.
Once your pup reaches adulthood, your choices should be based on its size and energy levels. Once again, opt for high-quality food as this will provide your dog with all the necessary nutrients. It is best to speak with your vet for recommendations on dog food.
If your dog has a specific need or health condition, your vet may be able to tell you about the dog food that can provide the best nutritional support.
It is important to always follow the calorie recommendations provided by the food manufacturer. This can prevent your dog from gaining excess weight and putting undue pressure on its joints. You should also limit treats and any additional food as well.
What Kind of Physical Activity is Right for a German Shepherd Malamute?
Alaskan Shepherds are incredibly high-energy dogs. They love to run and play and if they aren’t given an opportunity to burn off their excess energy, they will become bored and destructive.
Your pooch is going to need at least an hour of strenuous exercise each day. Taking them on long walks is great, but they need other forms of physical activity as well. This includes playing with their humans, going hiking, and more.
These dogs are also intelligent, which means that they need to be mentally stimulated. Frequent training sessions will help to keep them entertained.
It is possible that your pooch may have inherited his Malamut parent’s tendency for digging. Rather than trying to curb this behavior, set up a specific digging area for your dog. This will help them satisfy natural instincts and keep them happy.
How Often Should You Brush a German Shepherd Malamute?
Alaskan Shepherds can vary when it comes to fluffy their coat is. On average, though, you can expect a great deal of fluff. Even if your dog’s coat doesn’t look that big or heavy, remember that this is a double-coated dog.
The best way to stay on top of all the shedding is to brush your dog or at least several times a week. Pay close attention to areas where the fur is thickest as mats can develop here rather easily. You will also need to use a slicker brush and an undercoat rake.
At some point during the year, your Alaskan Shepherd will blow their coat. When this happens, the amount of loose fur is going to increase drastically. You will need to step up your brushing sessions to every day. Also, use a de-shedding brush.
Some owners find it easier to get a groomer to help them during this time as they are equipped with more heavy-duty equipment.
Despite their thick mane, avoid bathing your dog too often. You should aim to only wash them every three to four months or when they are really dirty. Bathing them more often can irritate their skin.
Do German Shepherd Malamutes Need a Living Space with a Yard?
As you can imagine, this dog is all about the cool or cold weather. They do not do well in hot conditions. Therefore, if you are thinking of getting this breed, it is best to do so if you only live somewhere that doesn’t get too hot.
If your dog is in an area where the temperature has a tendency to rise, make sure to keep them inside with the fan or air conditioning on. They should only be let out early in the morning or late in the evening. Never let your dog exercise in the hot sun as they can overheat rather easily.
These dogs are not well-suited to apartments. They are quite large and highly energetic and will feel rather trapped within the confines of an apartment. They function better in larger spaces, preferably with a backyard.
How To Train a German Shepherd Malamute?
On the one hand, training an Alaskan Shepherd is quite easy. These dogs are highly intelligent and love mental stimulation. As such, they are happiest when learning.
On the other hand, these dogs are known for being incredibly stubborn and hard-headed. So, if you don’t establish yourself as the leader, they aren’t going to be willing to follow your commands. You should also remember to only ever use positive reinforcement with these pups.
Given their nature, you may be better off getting the assistance of a trainer.
How To Find A Good German Shepherd Malamute Breeder?
Finding a reputable breeder for your Alaskan Shepherd is the best thing you can do. You have a higher chance of getting a healthier puppy that can enjoy a higher quality of life. What’s more, a good breeder can also help to socialize your dog.
How Easy Is It To Adopt a German Shepherd Malamute?
It isn’t often that you find such breeds in a shelter. However, if you look online or widen your search across multiple regions, you may get lucky.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about German Shepherd Malamutes:
Are Alaskan Shepherds Good Dogs?
These dogs can be incredibly friendly, loyal, and affectionate, making them excellent companions.
How Long Do Alaskan Shepherds Live?
These pups can live for as long as 10 to 13 years long.
How Much Do German Shepherd Malamute Puppies Cost?
Depending on the breeder, where you live, and availability, a puppy can cost upwards of $800.
These are the top facts to know about German Shepherd Malamutes. They really are a fascinating breed, and you will now know if this pup is right for you and your family.