Alaska has quite a harsh landscape; thus, the biting cold temperatures and the constant snow fall have produced some of the toughest living things on the planet. One of these is the Alaskan snow dog. Sometimes referred to as huskies or malamutes, these dogs were initially bred to pull sleds of Alaskan inhabitants across the snowy terrain.
The typical Alaskan snow dog has abundant amounts of thick, soft fur that comes in all sorts of colors ranging from black and white. Their plentiful fur, strong builds and big, piercing eyes often give them a majestic appearance. Recently, people have also begun to take in these dogs as pets, and the said owners often wonder about how to train an Alaskan snow dog.
Because of the unique purpose that they were originally bred for, caring of an Alaskan snow dog requires a bit more effort. However, if you know how to train an Alaskan snow dog properly, they often prove to be the most loyal canine pets:
- Start training your husky as a puppy. The younger you start training your Alaskan snow dog, the easier it will be for it to pick up on things. To begin, keep the puppy on a long leash in an enclosed area, such as your backyard. Allow the dog to wander around the compound and then call him by his name. You can also call him out using a phrase like “Come, (dog’s name)?”
- Keep a few tasty treats handy during training. A few slivers of chicken meat are a good place to start. Whenever the puppy responds to his name or runs to you when called for, you can reward him with a treat. This serves as positive reinforcement for the sort of behavior that you want the dog to exhibit.
- Train your dog when he is in a relaxed mood. This is usually the case when your puppy has had a fair bit of moderate exercise. Playing a few rounds of fetch with your dog ought to do the trick if you want to warm him up before a training session.
- Keep the training time to no more than ten minutes at a time throughout the week. After this time has passed, gradually wean your puppy off the treats by praising him only when he does as you say or comes upon your summons during training. This is one effective way to get the dog accustomed to doing as it is bid even in the absence of tasty treats.
- Limit your dog’s opportunities to run free. As a puppy, your Alaskan snow dog may be presented with a chance to run free and once he has given in to this, he will mostly likely enjoy it and try to do it repeatedly. It would be best to prevent as many instances of this as you can while the dog is still young so that he does not grow up being prone to running off while out with you.
Dog sledding has been a very significant part of Alaska’s history. There are several interesting yet helpful things that we should know:
Alaskan snow dogs effectively respond to their master’s voice commands. It is best to create a tight bond between you and your sled dogs. Moreover, the Alaskan snow dogs used should be highly intelligent, responsive and well-trained. Their responsiveness to commands done verbally should ultimately be considered. The following requirements should be complied for the unity and safety of the whole team.
History says, for transportation, people have made Alaskan snow dogs are their partner. The Inupiaq and Yup’ik people, who are living in the Bering Straits of Alaska had used pack of dogs to pull their sleds, this was in 1732. The pack of Alaskan snow dogs were used for mail delivery and even personal transportation across Alaska. In World War II, the US Army were using packs of dogs for rescue missions in areas that are remote.
Alaskan snow dogs for sledding have trainings that last a year long. Sleds that are not racing are always practicing. In line with this, throughout the summer season, during Alaskan cruises, they train dogs by making them pull sleds on wheels, so it could help them cooperate as a team and work in unison.
Alaska’s “Iditarod”, a dogsled race that commemorates a relay that’s lifesaving to Nome. In the year 1925, Nome, a city in Alaska had an epidemic condition; diphtheria. Almost twenty (20) packs of dogs relayed a serum from an ice-bound city of Nenana in five (5) days. The trail they took was called “Iditarod“, that was six hundred seventy four miles. Many decades after, in commemoration of the heroic act of the teams to save the people from Nemo, they ran a thousand mile course and was later on recognized as an international sporting event. The enthusiastic competitors came from all over the globe.
Wild animals and disturbing weather are serious threats for mushers and sled Alaskan snow dogs. In mid winter, the temperature can drop to a hundred degrees—that’s in Fahrenheit and below zero. The snow is always considered as critically important; whether it would be enough, too much or could possibly create a dangerous condition that can affect the results of the race. Blizzards, rain, wind and even thaws can all make hazardous circumstances for the mushers and the dogs. Furthermore, wolves and moose can pose an imminent danger on your trail.
Alaskan snow dogs for sledding need tons of food. Though their consumption will depend on the activity levels, their sizes, these domestic dogs can most likely require approximately one thousand seven hundred calories. Eskimo dogs, Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies usually consume up to ten thousand calories per day. This is the result of their workloads and strength. Most huskies are fed either ‘Complete’ Kibble Diets or Raw Diets, or a combination of the two as well as a healthy helping of dog treats during training.
Currently, dogsleds are being replaced by snow machines and airplanes as means of transportation in Alaska. But, the legacy of Iditarod still continues to live. The incredible mushers and Alaskan snow dogs for sledding are still alive. Finally, this part of Alaska’s history will surely be preserved. It has also become another tourist attraction nowadays.
A Siberian Husky bred with Alaskan Malamute is referred to as an “Alusky”. This Alaskan snow dog creates such best traits gathered together. They are agile and remarkably loving. Due to its endurance and strong stamina, it could be considered as vigorous. Features may be wolf-like and its ears are quite largely erect. Though it can quiet, it is amazingly good with children, outgoing and overly cute. Furthermore, these dogs are laid back, which make them incredibly good with other dogs and even cats. Take note, that you should not leave this hybrid Alaskan snow dog alone. It will turn into a destructive and stubborn one. Whenever they’re bored, they opt to excessive digging and chewing. Though this kind of dog can be affectionate and loyal. It loves to often interact with its master. Socialization if highly recommended and can be brilliant when started early. One significant thing that should be considered is your tone, harsh and loud voices are not good for Alaskan snow dogs that are hybrid. For its appearance, it could take a Malamute look or Husky feature but its eyes will be blue in color. Life expectancy usually is ten to fifteen years.
For grooming, it suggested to have daily brushing on fall and spring seasons. This is due to heavy shedding, while the coat remains to be clean and neat for the entire year. It is not that hard to groom this kind of Alaskan snow dog. Always bear in mind that bathing is necessary and even ear cleaning, so that you can keep it free from infection. Like any other Alaskan snow dog, keep this breed in cool climates or at least prepare a well air-conditioned room and always use cool water. An Alusky is quite energetic and lively, so it may need an area to run around. You can take a jog, run or maybe just a long walk. However, it is important to keep in mind not to over exercise them in warm climates.
As mentioned previously, this Alaskan snow dog is remarkably trainable and amazingly sociable. It is under the responsibility of the master to build activities for his pet. People who have never experienced having dogs should not get an Alusky as their pet. This crossbreed Alaskan snow dog always strives to give its keen interest. To tame this kind, you as a leader should be fully confident, consistent and firm. Due to their excellent memory, you can develop tons of training methods. When it comes to being sociable, they equally interact with anyone of any age. And due to their playful nature, you will definitely enjoy their company. You may see them as adorable and lovable. To add more, their kind originated from a tribe of sled dogs and they will always be one in their hearts and souls. Alusky has been recognized by the breed registry of America. This has been a successful combination of best genes of two Alaskan snow dogs. It is amazing to note that only the best traits of the two breeds were preserved.
Famously referred to as “working sled dogs,” this Alaskan snow dog is compact and strong. Its head is medium in size and is proportional to its body. The muzzle has an equal length with its skull and has a stop that’s well defined. Depending on its coat, the nose may carry the same color. However, you may see black in coats, could be flesh-colored for dogs that are pure white. The eyes are medium in size and oval in shape, could be spaced moderately and appear to be a combination of amber, brown and blue. It’s interesting to know that the eyes could be blue on one side and brown on the other. Ears, are erect and is shaped like a triangle. Teeth meet and display a scissor bite. This Alaskan snow dog’s tail is seen carried right over its back and forms a sickle curve. But, it ceases to form a curve when its excited. Feet, are large and hairs can be noticed between toes. This keeps the dog warm and able to grip on ice. The dewclaws are removed sometimes. Coat is doubled and could withstand colder temperatures. Colors include pure white and black, could have markings or none on its head. Moreover, the coat could have a combination of patterns in colors.
Considering its temperament, this kind of Alaskan snow dog is playful, gentle, happy-go-lucky and loving. It’s so fond with its family. Social, docile, keen or casual, this dog could be high in energy, especially during its early years. In addition to that, this dog is so good with the children and often friendly with the strangers they meet. Therefore, you cannot count on them to become your watchdog since, it barks so little and particularly loves everybody. This Alaskan snow dog is remarkably trainable and intelligent. It doesn’t obey commands from humans who appear to have stronger minds than it does. The handler must show leadership, so this dog will see the point of obeying.
On the other hand, you need to be very patient during training, greatly understand the character of Arctic dogs and have consistent ways. Take note that if you are not confident, firm and consistent, this Alaskan snow dog will take charge displaying a mischievous and willful character. Furthermore, this dog can be the perfect companion in jogging, however, make sure that it won’t be too hot. Being a little difficult to housebreak, it gets easily bored. Do not leave it alone without a huge deal of exercise prior. Be sure to give mental exercises as well, they can be somewhat destructive when left lonely. In addition to that, this dog likes to roam around and explore. For people who are very much willing to invest time and effort to these lovely creatures, they will turn to be the most incredible companions. Like any other Alaskan snow dog, they should be raised preferably in cool climates. If not, adequate shades and air conditioned rooms should be provided.
Among the Alaskan snow dogs, the Alaskan Malamute is larger than the others. Its prominent feature would be its plumed tail that usually is held over its back. This well-built, thick dog has erect ears and a wide head. For the eyes, you may notice that they are medium in size, could be small at times, dark brown in color with projects and almond shape. The latter are placed obliquely in the skull. Furthermore, this dog pretty much looks like a wolf but it carries a sweet yet proud expression. It has a huge pair of feet and would definitely need tough pads in each snowshoe. Combination of colors commonly include black, white, wolf gray , sable and red. Expect some darker highlights while legs are almost white.
Moreover, this Alaskan snow dog is ultimately loyal and incredibly intelligent. Its affectionate and often sweet towards its master. Children, those who are old enough, can surely play with it safely. When its canine instincts are greatly satisfied, it will gain the maturity of a wonderful mellow adult dog. In addition to that, it can’t be treated as a guard dog because it’s too friendly. If it gets the companionship that it needs, this dog can be seen as the happiest. However, it also enjoys staying indoors with its master.
On the other hand, if this Alaskan snow dog will not be trained mentally and physically, it can be a nuisance that’s quite destructive. Thus, it can act like a big rambunctious puppy. You may have to face circumstances, wherein one dog ruins your entire living room with furniture that costs thousands of dollars in an hour. Though, some find it difficult to handle and train, this kind of Alaskan snow dog can earn formal obedience and because it loves to please its master, it will not be hard to make them as well-mannered as possible. Males of this type can become very dominant. Another interesting fact about this Alaskan snow dog is that it can become a consistent, confident and firm leader with the help of its master.
When it comes to food, this breed needs less, but if you offer more, it tends to eat more, which can lead to obesity. Expect it to be quieter than the other breed but it likes to dig and howl. Due to their strong prey instinct, it needs supervision when placed near small animals that are unfamiliar to it. In conclusion, it is highly recommended to give some training for obedience. Because there are Alaskan Malamutes that became well known for raising kittens.
The coat of this Alaskan snow dog allows it to withstand cold conditions. Whenever the climate is hot, do not forget to keep them cool. Always secure plenty of water that’s clean and cool. Give your Malamute the necessary exercise that it needs, but be sure to not exhaust them when the weather is warm. Temperature and climate should be taken into consideration in raising this dog. Lastly, expect it to be odorless and clean.