Activities For Alaskan Malamutes

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Introduction

Alaskan Malamutes are beautiful dogs who were born and bred to be able to handle snowy and rough environments with little to no hassle at all. These majestic Malamutes are often confused with another beautiful snow dog, the world famous Siberian Husky, due to the striking number of similarities these two dog breeds share in terms of sheer physicality and personality. Just like their thick coated cousins, Alaskan Malamutes have lots of energy and athletic builds, so they'll need to be able to stretch their legs and get a good workout on a regular basis. A below is a list of activities that your dog can perform to keep them in peak physical condition.

Dog Sledding

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Waste Disposal Bags
Sled Harness
Bungee Line
Activity description
Dog sledding is often imagined s one of those activities that are strictly for adrenaline junkies; folks who like to participate in death defying stunts and seemingly insane activities just to get a thrill. But dog sledding can be quite a relaxing and serene way to bond with your Alaskan Malamute; these dogs were bred almost expressly for the purpose of hauling large quantities of of weight across snowy terrain, so they have an innate proficiency with this sort of activity that'll just take enough time and practice for them to fully realize their snowbound potential. Here are a few steps to help you and your Mal become snow ready.
Step
1
Play in the snow
You and you Alaskan Malamute will both want to be comfortable in snowy environments before you give this activity a try. So if you aren't already a dog owner who lives in a snow area, or if you don't regularly take your dog out to snowy areas on a consistent basis, you'll want to spend more time in the snow. Allow your dog, and yourself, to become acclimated to walking in the snow and even try playing a few rounds of fetch over time.
Step
2
Go sledding in the dirt
With the two pieces of equipment we previously mentioned (the sledding harness and the bungee line) as well as few other pieces of equipment (such as a bike harness and a bike sledding attachment) you and your dog will be able to practice sledding with a bike as opposed to a sled, and a dirt trail as opposed to the snow.
Step
3
A one dog open sleigh
After you've spent a good amount of time learning the ins and outs of dog sledding from practicing on a dirt trail, you and your dog will be ready to give the snow a try; start with smaller, safer slopes at the beginning before you attempt any of the heavy duty, steep incline slopes.
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Long Distance Walking

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Dog Leash
Water
Activity description
Going on a number of long distance walks with your Alaskan Malamute is a great activity that can whip you both into great shape while also giving you a chance to unplug from the various pieces of technology that have become increasingly prevalent in our day to day lives. Alaskan Malamutes are very athletic and energetic breeds who need ample amounts of space and time to kick out all of their excess energy. Long walks along a beach, through a park, or across your city can help your Mal get a great workout. And the best part about this activity is that it's free and is very easy to get into!
Step
1
Know your dog
This first step really goes with all of the other activities in this guide, but we feel that it can't be overstated at all; before you go out on a long walk with your dog, you'll want to know if your Alaskan Malamute can handle walking for a few miles as opposed to a few yards. If you feel that your Mal isn't quite ready to go on a long, half hour walk quite yet, start them off with shorter trips around the block to build up your Malamute's stamina and ability to handle encountering other people and animals during the walk.
Step
2
Know your route
Just as important as knowing what your dog can and cannot handle is knowing the area in which you'd like to take your dog for a walk; what types of flora and fauna does this area have? Is this park dog friendly or is it tailored more towards humans? Is this area frequented by other walkers and, if so, does it have a positive or negative reputation? For any area you're thinking about going for a walk in, you'll want to ask yourself these questions and then use resources like Yelp and Google Maps to find answers to said questions.
Step
3
Go out for a stroll
Now that you've taken the time to scout ahead after physically and mentally preparing your dog for the concept of a long walk, you and your Alaskan Malamute will be all set to take a long stroll along a reputable beach, quiescent park, or a few blocks a round town. Try to mix up the locations you take your Mal walking around, as Alaskan Malamutes are breeds that are not exactly known to be fond of monotony.
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Backpacking

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
4 - 6 hrs
Items needed
Dog Backpack
Water
First Aid Kit
Camping Equipment
Activity description
Backpacking is an activity that's already favored by millions of humans across the globe, so getting your dog into it should be a cinch right? Well, backpacking might not be as easy as it sounds. On the surface, backpacking seems to be a lot like hiking. However, a backpacking trip occurs the course of several weeks as opposed to the hour long time periods most hikes usually last. You can be on a trail 6 hours per more a day, giving you and your dog a strenuous workout, and there is also the set up and tear down of camp each day. Being out in the wilderness with your dog can be a very liberating experience, but it's also not an activity for the faint of heart. As a result, we've listed it as the hardest yet potentially most rewarding activity you can do with your dog.
Step
1
Enjoy the great outdoors
Backpacking trips involve a lot of walking, camping, and more walking in heavily forested areas. Simply put, if you and your dog aren't already acquainted with the concept of living off of the land, you two will want to go on a few hiking trails and complete a few camping trips before you give backpacking a try.
Step
2
Plan your trip
After you've become accustomed to roughing it out in the wilderness, you might be tempted to dive headfirst into the wonderful yet arduous world of backpacking. Before you do that, you'll want to know where you're going, how long you and your Mal will be gone, and how much the whole trip will cost. Don't be afraid to ask other, more experienced backpackers for advice as well.
Step
3
Take a walk on the wild side
After you've finished all of your preparations, gone on numerous hiking and camping trips, and have mapped out a clear path for you and your Mal to follow, it's time for you to venture out into the wild. Backpacking can be a lot of fun, but it requires a lot of time and a lot of dedication. Think about giving backpacking a try during a Spring Break or a Fall Vacation. Backpacking is an excellent way to disconnect with the hustle and bustle of the modern world and reconnect with nature.
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More Fun Ideas...

Snow Fetch

One of the oldest, most tried and true activities that a dog and their owner could engage in gets a snowy twist; we hit on this activity a bit in our steps for Dog Sledding, but snow fetch can be a very fun and engaging activity in and of itself.

Agility Courses

Alaskan Malamutes are naturally agile dogs and they'll love the opportunity to dart, dip, dive, duck, and dash around an obstacle course of a reliable make. Look for a nearby park with such resources that are available to the public or consider making a DIY obstacle course yourself if you're more of the hands on type.

Weight Pulling

This activity will give your dog quite a workout; weight pulling involves strapping your dog to sled with a certain amount of weight piled on top of it and then encouraging them to pull it for a set distance. It can be a lot fun for your dog and a great way for them to get into better shape for any future Dog Sledding sessions.

Conclusion

Alaskan Malamutes are very active and agile dogs who will greatly enjoy any recreational activities that'll allow them to put their inborn speed and endurance to the test. Many of these activities will also help you break a sweat as well, helping you live a life that's as healthy and active as your Alaskan Malamute's. While some of these activities may seem tough (indeed, a few have learning curves to them and veer away from the beaten path, in terms of exercises and activities,) you and your Malamute will be able to overcome them with dedication and support from one another.