Are you curious about Malamute Wolf hybrids?
You’re not alone. Wolfdog hybrids have been growing in popularity right alongside the crossbreed craze. But crossbreed dogs are certainly not the right dog for every owner. And Malamute Wolf hybrids are no exception.
There are a number of facts, myths, and even controversy surrounding the idea of the general public owning a dog that is considered half wolf, but there can be some perks too.
Do you have what it takes to raise happy, healthy Malamute Wolf hybrids? Keep reading to find out!
But First, What Is A Hybrid Dog?
A hybrid dog is a dog that is the offspring of two purebred parent breeds.
In order to better understand Malamute Wolf hybrids, we must first understand the origin behind crossbreeding. Also known as hybrids, mixed breeds, or designer dogs, hybrid dogs are the specifically chosen offspring of two purebred parent breeds.
These dogs differ from mutts in that they were purposefully bred to inherit particular characteristics. In fact, many breeders have used the method of careful crossbreeding to create dogs to become predictable enough to be eventually be called purebred.
Most purebred dogs we are familiar with today originated from crossbreeding, which in itself goes to show that the practice is practically as old as the human-dog relationship itself.
However, it has only been within the last twenty years or so that crossbreeding dogs for the public to raise as pets became popular.
Unfortunately, there is plenty of debate surrounding crossbreeding in the modern age, and even more debate surrounding the crossbreeding of a wolfdog hybrid.
The crossbreed controversy, as it is commonly called, typically revolves around three factors; the first is that some people don’t consider mutts and crossbreed dogs to be anything different from one another.
Another part of the debate surrounding crossbreeding is that these hybrids are often being sold for the same or even more than their purebred counterparts.
Last, crossbreed dogs are considered less predictable than purebreds. This is due to the fact that they are a mix between two different breeds with different genetic factors contributing to health, appearance, and even temperament.
With all that noted about crossbreed dogs in general, you can imagine why crossbreed dogs like Malamute Wolf hybrids would stir up even more of a debate.
With that, let’s take a closer look at wolf dogs hybrids and Malamute wolf hybrids in particular.
Wolfdogs: The Good, The Bad, and The Controversial
Wolf dogs are controversial due to their wild heritage and unpredictable traits.
Though it is true that wolves and dogs share some genetic roots, the process of evolution has completely and drastically changed the way wolves and domesticated dogs behave, perceive the world, and even mature.
For instance, wild wolves tend to sexually mature much more slowly than dogs. On average, a wolf is not considered an adult within its pack until it is between one and four years of age. A dog, on the other hand, matures by the age of eight months to one year.
Anyone with a puppy can tell you that puppies and adult dogs behave differently, and training, exercise needs, temperamental traits, and more can be determined by your dog’s level of sexual maturity.
When you combine a wolf and a dog, such factors can be difficult to predict. Other factors you may not be able to predict when it comes to Malamute Wolf hybrids are size, temperament, and health.
Remember, dogs have evolved to coexist with mankind in a way that no other species on this planet has. Wolves, on the other hand, steer clear of humans. They are naturally shy, weary, and fearful.
These traits could be passed on to their crossbreed offspring, as can their high level of energy, exercise needs, and more.
If you’re considering investing in Malamute wolf hybrids or any wolf hybrids for that matter, it’s worth noting that these are dogs that are going to be more high-maintenance than your average crossbreed, mutt, or purebred.
Experts agree that any potential owner of Malamute Wolf hybrids do plenty of research and ensure that their lifestyle, home, and environment are best suited for the special needs of a wolfdog mix.
Sadly, many owners dive into wolfdog ownership without reading the fine print, and this leads to overwhelmed owners and wolfdogs riddled with behavioral issues. In turn, shelters and rescue centers across the United States have been inundated with wolfdog hybrids given up by exhausted owners at the end of their rope.
So, before you continue reading about Malamute wolf hybrids, it’s important to cover these quick facts:
Malamute Wolf Hybrids DO NOT make better guard dogs.
In fact, wolves are actually quite shy by nature. They tend to prefer to hide or run, especially if faced with a human threat.
If your wolf dog is aggressive, it is likely due to fear. Fear-based aggression coming from any dog can put humans and other pets at risk.
Malamute Wolf Hybrids Are Still Prone To Genetic Health Issues
There is a concept commonly used when talking about crossbreed dogs that are known as hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor is the idea that crossbreed dogs like Malamute wolf hybrids could potentially be healthier than their purebred counterparts thanks to their widened gene pool.
With that said, some do argue that hybrid dogs may not only be just as prone to suffering from the same genetic health issues as their purebred parent breeds, but they may also have a longer list of health issues to contend with since they are the mix of two different purebreds that suffer from different genetic issues.
Malamute Wolf Hybrids Are Restricted In Some Regions
Before you invest in Malamute wolf hybrids or any wolf hybrids, for that matter, it’s important to do your research on breed restrictions in your area. Just like Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and Chow Chows, Wolfdog hybrids are often considered a “dangerous breed”.
In some regions, an Alaskan Malamute Wolf Hybrid may even be considered an exotic pet. It’s important to know the rules, laws, and regulations about owning a unique dog like a wolfdog crossbreed before opting to commit.
The Alaskan Malamute Dog IS NOT Already Part Wolf
Although the Alaskan Malamatue may have wolf-like characteristics, this dog is not in any way more closely related to the wild wolf than his other purebred counterparts.
Alaskan Malamutes are dog breeds in the Spitz family, closely related to Huskies, Canadian Eskimoes, and even Pomeranians.
Meet The Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes are thick-coated, friendly dogs.
As we mentioned above, the Alaskan Malamute is not part wolf. He may have that wolfy appearance in his thick coat and dazzling eyes, but this purebred is a domesticated dog through and through.
Originally bred for sled pulling and endurance, the Alaskan Malamute of today is a popular and beloved family companion. He is a people-oriented purebred that is best suited for active dog owners, families, and those who are willing and able to provide a home with the exercise and mental stimulation he needs in order to thrive.
Let’s take a look at a quick breed overview before moving on to learn about the wolf:
Alaskan Malamute Height: 23 to 25 Inches
Alaskan Malamute Weight: 75 to 85 Pounds
Alaskan Malamute Temperament: Energetic, Affectionate, Friendly, Devoted
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Cataracts, Chondrodysplasia, Canine Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Gastric Torsion (AKA Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, GDV, or Bloat), Seizures, and Polyneuropathy
Best Suited For: Active Dog Owners, Families With Large Yards
Meet The Wild Wolf
The wolf is the wild ancestor of our domesticated canine friends.
Though the wolf is the wild ancestor of our canine friends, the two are worlds apart. Wild wolves are pack-oriented and have been noted to have a tight-knit bond and communication style with their family unite.
Like dogs, wolves can be playful, friendly, and affectionate towards their pack, and in a situation where a wolf is raised by a person, that person will take over the role of providing consistent affection, attention, and time to their wolf companion.
Wolves are also built more narrowly than dogs, with longer bodies that are often lean, muscular, and built for running or traveling long distances.
Wolf Height: 26 to 32 Inches
Wolf Weight: 50 to 110 Pounds
Wolf Temperament: Intelligent, Active, Playful, Devoted, Wary
Wolf Lifespan: 10 to 16 Years
Wolf Health Issues: Hypothyroidism, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, Cancer, Bone and Joint Issues, Lymphoma, and Tumors
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners, Prepared Dog Owners, Devoted Dog Owners
What Is The Temperament Of Malamute Wolf Hybrids?
The temperament of wolf dogs may be considered unpredictable.
According to a recent study conducted by Current Biology, puppies were found to be born with an innate sense and understanding of human body language. They will often seek out eye contact or follow where a human points, understanding almost at once that a pointing gesture means they should look where the person is motioning.
This is a fascinating form of unspoken communication between humans and dogs that no other species has naturally developed at birth. This evolutionary phenomenon, however, has not developed in wolves.
Wolves, with no need to communicate with or understand humans, are not born with this innate connection, which further separates them from domesticated dogs on the evolutionary timeline.
This is important to consider when considering the temperament of dogs like Malamute Wolf hybrids.
Although wolves can be friendly, affectionate, and playful, they are not likely to build the same intense bond that dogs do with people. Instead, a wolf dog may be more likely to challenge his human counterpart in an effort to build rank, the same way he would in the wild of his pack.
This behavior can come across as stubborn and frustrating, though it’s really just a part of a wolf’s natural growth period.
Mixed with the Malamute’s energetic zest for life, owners could be quickly overwhelmed. Malamute wolf hybrids could be quite active, energetic, and even needy. They will do best in homes with dedicated owners who have an understanding of wolfdog hybrids and their unique temperamental traits.
Though it is possible for Malamute wolf hybrids to do well and even thrive in homes with children and other pets, owners should prepare for a dog that is going to need consistent care, time, and attention.
Malamute wolf dogs may also be wary of strangers by nature, and they not be as playful or gregarious as a purebred Malamute might be.
As such, these dogs are going to require a bit more consistency when it comes to training, exercise, and socialization.
Let’s learn more.
The Socialization And Training Needs Of Malamute Wolf Hybrids
Like all dogs, the Malamute wolf hybrid should be socialized and trained at an early age.
As we discussed, Malamute wolf hybrids can do well in homes with children and other pets when properly raised, trained, and socialized. With that being said, It’s very important to implement consistent and routine training with Malamute wolf hybrids to ensure they are exposed to different experiences early during puppyhood.
Socializing Malamute wolf hybrids at an early age will be key to ensuring they grow up happy, healthy, and well-rounded. This process should begin when these dogs are puppies and it should continue on throughout their lifetime.
The act of socialization for Malamute wolf hybrids includes introducing your dog to as many new experiences as possible. This includes new sights, sounds, people, animals, and environments.
If you plan to raise Alaskan Malamute Wolf hybrids in a home with children, be sure you work with youngsters on how to appropriately behave around their dog. Teach children basic canine body language and be sure to monitor very small children around your dog at all times.
When you are socializing Malamute wolf hybrids, keep in mind that it’s best not to force dogs into a situation you can see they are clearly frightened of. Instead, we recommend allowing dogs to explore certain situations at their own pace while you encourage them using treats, praise, and patience.
Along with socialization, Malamute wolf hybrids are also going to require plenty of training beginning during puppyhood.
As with training any dog, we suggest you stay away from punishments, scolding, fear, or aversive training techniques. These could hinder your dog’s ability to learn and deteriorate the bond between the two of you. Worse, aversive training methods can lead to fear in your dog, which can eventually lead to behavioral issues like fear-based aggression.
Instead, utilize treats and patience. When choosing the best treats to help keep your dog’s interest, we suggest you choose treats that are small, palatable, and smelly.
Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats
Freeze-dried training treats like those offered above by Pupford are ideal for training dogs like Malamute wolf hybrids because they are made with quality ingredients like real meat animal protein. You can order these treats in different recipes including salmon, liver, chicken, or rabbit.
Each bag includes over 475 treats that are great when it comes to ensuring you hold your dog’s attention and keep him excited about training sessions. You can also use these training treats when it comes to socializing your dog so that he can begin to associate certain experiences with something positive.
How To Physically And Mentally Exercise Malamute Wolf Hybrids
Wolf dogs can be highly energetic and will need plenty of exercise.
Exercise is important to the health of any dog or mix, and the same is true for Malamute wolf hybrids. Remember, the Alaskan Malamute is by nature an energetic and active dog, and the same goes for the wolf.
On average, Malamute wolf hybrids are going to require at least an hour or more of physical exercise each and every day. This exercise could include jogs, runs, long walks, hikes, and even swimming.
Since Alaskan Malamutes in particular are bred for sled pulling, there is a good chance your Malamute Wolf Hybrid could have a natural instinct to pull ahead on walks. Instead of purchasing aversive equipment like prong collars or choke chains, we suggest investing in front clip dog harnesses that not only help reduce pulling, but also make walking feel more natural for your pup.
Most importantly, front clip harnesses redirect pulling dogs without harming their sensitive throats or tracheas.
PetSafe Easy Walk No Pull Dog Harness
We often talk about the PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness because it encompasses everything we love about a great harness that can also be used as a training tool to teach a dog good walking manners.
This harness has a natural fit for your dog and clips in the front to help direct your dog back to you if he gets ahead of himself. The harnesses come in a variety of sizes and colors for your specific dog and your unique tastes.
Along with physical exercise, it will be important to implement routine mental exercise as well. Malamute wolf hybrids in particular require consistent care and mental stimulation in order to keep them happy and to reduce problematic behaviors.
Without routine mental stimulation, Malamute wolf hybrids can be prone to serious behavioral issues including boredom, depression, destructive behaviors, anxiety, and even fear-based aggression.
To ensure your dog is healthy both physically and mentally, it’s best to implement routine training sessions with your Malamute wolf dog.
You can also create obstacle courses in your home or yard that challenge your dog, as well as invest in puzzle toys, snuffle mats, and KONGS to help keep your dog busy and engaged when you are away.
Grooming Needs For Malamute Wolf Hybrids
Lucky, wolf dogs have weather-resistant coats that are generally easy to care for.
Malamute wolf hybrids are going to have similar coats to purebred Malamutes or Huskies. This is to say that these dogs are going to have double-layered coats that shed heavily year-round, shedding most prominently during shedding season.
The shedding season occurs during spring and fall, and during this time you will likely need to brush your dog at least two to three times a week to collect loose hair and reduce doggy odor, mats, and buildup.
Outside of shedding season, you can brush Malamute wolf hybrids once or twice a week.
Luckily, Malamute wolf hybrids have weather-resistant coats that are relatively self-cleaning. This means they will only need to be bathed once every six weeks or so. Do not over-bathe your dog, as this can strip his coat of its natural oils.
We also suggest that you bathe Malamute wolf hybrids with a shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs. Avoid shampoos that contain dyes, alcohols, parabens, or other ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.
Hypoallergenic Burt’s Bees Shampoo For Dogs
Hypoallergenic dog shampoos are a good option for dogs with dense, shedding coats. They are gentle on skin and fur, which is ideal for dogs that don’t need to be bathed as often, like malamute wolf hybrids.
We like Burt’s Bees Shampoo for dogs because it is made with ingredients that are soothing to your dog’s coat like honey and shea butter. We also like that this shampoo is fragrance-free and safe to use for dogs in all their life stages.
Outside of brushing and bathing, it will be important to implement a good tooth brushing routine. We recommend brushing your Malamute wolf dog’s teeth at least once a day using a dog-safe toothbrushing kit. These kits often include toothpaste that is safe for dogs and a toothbrush, finger brush, and sometimes even dental wipes.
Last, be sure to trim your dog’s nails at least once every few weeks. Malamute wolf hybrids are active, and they will often grind their nails down naturally during exercise or play.
Still, it’s important for you to keep an eye on them as well. Nails that get too long can easily crack or break, which can lead to pain and even infection.
Malamute Wolf Hybrids – Health And Lifespan
Malamute wolf hybrids can have the benefit of hybrid vigor, but it’s still very important to ensure you have them health screened.
There is some speculation that Malamute wolf hybrids are healthier than purebred dogs, but unfortunately, this cannot be guaranteed. It is best to do some research when considering any dog and to have a good understanding of the unique health issues a crossbreed dog may contend with based on the health issues of his purebred parent breeds.
In the Malamute wolf hybrid dog’s case, his lifespan is between 10 and 14 years. The most common health issues seen in this crossbreed include but may not be limited to:
- Canine Hip Dysplasia
- And Polyneuropathy
While it can be difficult to predict what your particular Malamute wolfdog mix could develop as he ages, you can help keep your dog healthy by keeping up with routine vet visits, ensuring your dog has plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation, and by making sure your dog eats a quality dog food.
Because diet is so important to not just Malamute wolf hybrids but all dogs, we suggest doing plenty of research on dog foods and ensuring you speak with a canine nutritionist or veterinarian if you opt to make your dog’s food at home.
If you’re purchasing dog food, focus on dog foods made with real, quality ingredients like real-meat protein, carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and dog food that is a good source of water.
On the flip side, avoid dog foods that contain fillers, additives, byproducts, corn, soy, wheat, or gluten.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dog Food
Blue Buffalo is a popular brand of dog food that is made with quality ingredients that are essential for your dog’s health. We like the above dog food for Malamute wolf hybrids because it is a high-protein dog food that sources real meat animal protein like chicken, duck, or salmon.
You also have the option of choosing grain-free dog food with this brand.
Because Malamute wolf hybrids can be predisposed to Bloat, you might also consider investing in a slow feeder. Slow feeders help to reduce the chances of bloat and encourage healthy eating habits. They can also make mealtime more fun for your pup!
Do You Have The Ideal Home For A Malamute Wolf Hybrid?
Choosing your Malamute Wolf Dog from a reputable source is incredibly important.
The Malamute wolf hybrid is a fascinating crossbred with a unique origin and backstory, but he’s certainly not the ideal dog for every owner or household.
The ideal owner for Malamute wolf hybrids is going to be an owner who has an understanding of wolfdog mixes and who is patient, devoted, has a flexible schedule, and is able to spend time with their dog when it comes to training, socialization, exercise, and activity.
Malamute wolf hybrids are also going to do best in homes that have large, securely fenced-in yards where they can play freely.
Remember, while these dogs are half-wolf, they are not outdoor only dogs. Malamute wolf hybrids will want to be close to their “pack”, which will be you or your family, as often as possible.
So, do you have what it takes to raise a Malamute wolf hybrid? Tell us what you think in the comments!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.