Kiana the Malamute
(Anchorage, AK USA)
Kiana 5 yrs old 2007
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Kiana is a beautiful, loving 150lb malamute. She loves to get people's attention, then quickly loses interest once they've acknowledged her.
She does wooo at some people if they are ignoring her. She was easy to potty train and she stomps her feet when she wants to go out and knocks on the door when she is ready to come in (obviosly a doggy door for a dog this size allows anyone in).
She still steals things and during the winter she gets large limbs or frozen buckets that weigh 10-20 lbs and drags them into the yard for destruction. She was a lunar land-scaper when she was beteen 1-2 yrs old and I sometimes still find gloves or socks that went missing in the garden.
People are surprised that she is not a bull in a china shop in the house, she maneuvers through the tightest spaces with no damage. Her best pal is a pit bull mix and she has been attending doggy daycare since she was 4 months old (for 8 yrs).
I do not allow her off leash since she truly has selective hearing, she hears her name looks at you and stays just far enough ahead til you corner her.
Kiana is a definite gentle giant. The vet is amazed how even if hurting she allows people to take care of her with no threat or growls. The 2 Malamutes I have owned had very different personalities. Kiana is class clown, don't hate me cuz I'm beautiful, she never met a snack she didn't want, she has her favorite humans, I want something so I'll snuggle up for a massage dog, while my first Mal Sitka was I'm beautiful you've seen me now move along, I know you're not leaving in the car without me, yes I go walkabout and you never knew til the fence didn't let me back in, I love lamb but hate the smell and I will stay by your side cuase I love you kind of dog!
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I stress to people if you have never owned a Mal, start with an adult that has already settled down. They become more calm as they get older. Mal pups are rambunctious. They will test you on every turn, the wheels of the mind are always turning, they are challenging for pack order.
This dog breed should be very friendly towards humans and if socialized with other dogs growing up even dominant dogs can get along with others (Ki is a dominant female who will crawl on her belly to play with little dogs).
Due to their size I would never leave a child in a Mal's vicinity unsupervised, but then that should hold true for any dog regardless. Any bad tempered Mal is usually ill bred, abused or never socialized. The breed is meant to be friendly to humans.
The Malamute breed is intelligent, gentle, fun, goofy, challenging, and surprisingly it isn't uncommon to find a 12-13 year old Mal. Unlike some large dog breeds, they have good longevity.
A Malamute is a people dog, they are more happy being a member of the people pack than necessarily the doggy pack. Kiana is a talker. She grumbles and woos when she has something to say or wants someone's attention. George Lucas owned a Mal and based Chewbacca on his Mal. I love my Mal and could not see myself with any other breed.