Malamutes for Adoption

Information about Alaskan Malamutes, Malamute rescue, adoption and
a list of Malamutes in Australia needing new homes.
Malamutes for Adoption is a service run by Windchill Dog Gear


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In Memory...

8 years ago we lost our friends...

Rob & Tash,
Jorja & Alexis Davey and their Malamutes Neo & Mishk

Sadly lost to us in the Black Saturday fires of
7 February 2009

It may have been 8 years ago that we lost you, but you are still sadly missed,
iving on in our memories...



Understanding the Alaskan Malamute:  Instincts


Chasing & Hunting

Being a breed that developed in an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment over thousands of years, the Malamute has a very well entrenched arctic survival instinct that it is almost impossible to fully train out of the dog.  Even though the breed achieved recognition over 60 years ago and has been in Australia as a pet for over 20 years, these survival instincts still remain strong today and Malamute owners need to acknowledge and understand this.

Many of the instincts are considered undesirable behaviours for a pet dog, and so the prospective Malamute owner needs to know what to expect and be able to live with these behaviours to some extent. They have to be prepared to take appropriate action where necessary to either minimise the unwanted instinctual behaviour or create a situation where the behaviour can be tolerated.

The survival instincts of the Malamute include the instinct to dig, to prioritise food, to be unfriendly towards dogs of the same sex, and to chase and hunt other animals.  The topics of food and interaction with other dogs are covered in other pages on this website.



One survival instinct that cannot be trained out of the Malamute is the instinct to dig. The Malamute has to dig in the arctic environment to seek shelter from blizzards, and also to keep cool from the soil in the hot Alaskan summers. However, Malamutes in Australia will not just dig to make a cool "nest" for the warmer months, they also do it for pleasure and to relieve boredom. In fact they don't just dig, they excavate, and given soft soil conditions have been known to dig their way out under fences and dig craters large enough for people to stand in!

Our Malamutes not only enjoy a good dig, but some also enjoy eating the dirt they excavate.  Needless to say our dog yards are full of mini craters and ankle-snapping holes, but they are only permitted to do this in their designated areas and our main garden remains hole-free (touch wood!).  Burying a dog's droppings in a hole may discourage the dog from digging there again, but it probably won't stop the Malamute from digging another hole right along side!

If you value your garden it would be wise to fence off a special area for the Malamute to indulge in a bit of excavating. If you prefer to have an immaculate garden and are not prepared to allow your dog an area in which to dig, then perhaps you should strongly consider getting a different breed.

Chasing & Hunting

The hunting instinct of the Malamute is also very strong and something which cannot be fully conquered by training, no matter how young you start or hard you try. Something which runs is almost certainly going to be pursued by any self-respecting Malamute, unless suitably restrained. A Malamute which is off lead in a public area is therefore very likely at some stage or other to suddenly take off after something, and although it may eventually return to the distraught owner, it may have caused havoc or suffered an injury during its escapade.

Malamute owners need to realise that people who do not know the friendly nature of the Malamute may think they look like wolves, and may be extremely traumatised when rushed at by a friendly, tail wagging Malamute. With the strict laws on restraining of dogs and the dangerous dog act now in force, to walk a Malamute in a public area off lead would be the height of foolishness. If you want a dog that will trot by your side off-lead and reliably follow your every command, don't get a Malamute.

Back to "Understanding the Malamute"


Written by Sandy Koch for Malamutes 4 Adoption

This site was last updated 29/01/17

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