Alaskan malamutes are majestic and beautiful, and the same goes for Australian Shepherds. Both these breeds are highly popular and regarded as excellent dogs. So what happens if you mix them together?
Well, the Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mix is a unique designer dog that has the best of both breeds. More of an outdoors dog than indoors, this mix is highly active and extremely hard-working.
Loyal, affectionate, but pretty independent, the mix results in a gorgeous-looking dog that is truly amazing in every regard. So it’s no wonder they are considered to be VIPs in dog breeding!
If you’re thinking about getting one, you should first take some time to find out as much information as possible, just so that you can be fully sure that this is the right dog for you.
We can tell you everything you need to know, from the history of the breed to the temperament and physical traits, to all their basic needs.
So let’s get right into it!
Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd: History of the breed
The history of a dog’s breed is pretty important, as it can affect behavioral and physical traits. Most dogs were originally bred for a specific purpose, and that purpose comes with many different traits. So what’s the history with this specific mix?
As the mix is a combination of both breeds, the best way to get the full picture is to take a look at the history of both parent breeds!
History of the Alaskan Malamute breed:
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of dog that was originally bred for its strength, power, and endurance. They were mainly used as sled dogs in the arctic, and are therefore very similar to other sled dog breeds such as the Siberian Husky or the Canadian Eskimo Dog.
However, dog sledding isn’t the only thing Malamutes were bred for. They were multi-purpose working dogs, also useful for hunting or fighting off large predators such as bears out in the wild, or for pulling heavy weights.
Nowadays, Alaskan Malamutes are still used in dog sledding, and they are highly popular in arctic locations.
History of the Australian Shepherd breed:
Australian Shepherds have their origin during the 19th century, in California.
The reason they’re called Australian is that they were developed from different herding breeds that were brought from Australia and New Zealand, along with sheep.
They were bred for herding, which makes sense considering their lineage. As such, they are active and obedient working dogs that are renowned for being highly intelligent and loyal.
Nowadays, they are still used as working herding dogs by many farmers, but they have also become beloved pets that enjoy fun and games.
History of the Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mix:
The origin of this mixed breed isn’t very clear, but it comes from mixing Alaskan Malamutes with Australian Shepherds.
This was most likely done by design, as this mixed breed is considered a pretty unique designer dog, sought out by many as it combines the best of both breeds into one.
The mix is definitely a working dog, with traits that combine sled-pulling with herding. So as a result, this dog is highly active and incredibly well-suited for an outdoor lifestyle and environment.
Personality and Temperament of an Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix:
Each individual dog will have its own personality and temperament, but there are certain characteristics that are common in certain breeds. So depending on what breed your dog is, it will have a certain disposition for a certain personality and temperament.
When it comes to hybrid dogs, the personality and temperament are essentially a mixture of that of the parent breeds. As a general rule, mixed breeds will get the best traits of both, as all the worse traits will have been bred out along the way.
This is why hybrid dogs can be a lot better than purebreds!
Let’s take a look at the personality traits of each parent breed, and then sum it up in the result of the mixed breed.
Personality and Temperament of the Alaskan Malamute:
Alaskan Malamutes look big and scary, but they are giant puffballs of affection. They are incredibly friendly and love feeling part of the family, as they are highly sociable.
They are also really outgoing and love both interaction and attention, and as a result, they can be quite vocal and dramatic.
However, Alaskan Malamutes can be quite stubborn and strong-willed, which might sometimes make training a little difficult.
They are also highly predatory dogs, meaning that they might get possessive over food, and might have a very high drive for chasing smaller animals.
As a general rule, Alaskan Malamutes are not aggressive, especially not to people. However, they can very quickly get into fights amongst each other, especially with other dogs of the same sex.
This is why it is usually better to have your Alaskan Malamute as a single dog, or as part of a highly compatible team of sled-pulling dogs.
Personality and Temperament of the Australian Shepherd:
Australian Shepherds are incredibly popular dogs, and one of the reasons is that they are highly intelligent. They are hard-working and loyal, prone to obedience, and very easy and fast to train.
They are also very loving and affectionate, perfect for families as these dogs thrive with human companionship, and love feeling like part of the group.
However, Australian Shepherds are very active and require a lot of interaction, work, exercise, and engagement. They need constant mental stimulation, and if you don’t have enough time for them, they can become a bit of a handful.
Personality and Temperament of the Alaskan malamute and Australian Shepherd mix:
The Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mix combine traits from both breeds, enhancing the working disposition and the high energy. These dogs are very loving and affectionate and need to feel involved and as part of a group.
This hybrid breed is famous for being pretty independent, but it still loves attention and is incredibly loyal.
They are highly intelligent but can be slightly hard to train. The Australian Shepherd neutralizes the stubbornness of the Alaskan Malamute, but they can still be a handful and will require effort and attention.
Physical Traits of an Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix:
This mix of Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd results in a beautiful-looking combination of both. These dogs are large, often between 20 to 26 inches high at the shoulders, and weighing between 10 and 100 pounds.
The exact appearance can vary, but they will usually take on more traits from the Alaskan Malamute rather than the Australian Shepherd. They have a thick coat of long fluffy hair, and the coloring can follow one or the other, or be a mixture of both.
They are powerful and strong, with high levels of endurance. This makes them a very active and high-energy dog, better suited to an outdoor lifestyle full of work and challenges.
Training and Exercise Needs for an Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix:
With both the Alaskan Malamute and the Australian Shepherd being working dogs suited to outdoor lifestyles, the mixture is a culmination of this taken to the next level. These dogs will need a lot of daily exercise, as well as needing plenty of space.
In fact, this hybrid breed needs exercise as much as it needs food and attention. If you don’t give them enough exercise, they will likely be very hard to manage, and will quickly develop behavioral problems. So make sure to tire them up and keep them occupied!
As for training, they are highly intelligent and eager to do things. They might inherit a stubborn streak from the Alaskan Malamute, but thankfully the obedience and willingness to follow from the Australian Shepherd will neutralize this.
Nevertheless, they can be tricky to train and require patience and consistency.
As they are athletic and strong, with high levels of endurance, they will need high-energy activities and very long walks. They will love exploring the wilderness and will be better suited for rural and arctic locations.
As for taking them off the leash, they will very much enjoy it, but you should be wary of their high predatory drive and independence, as they will be prone to rushing off and wandering away.
Grooming Needs of an Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix:
An Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mix is an incredibly fluffy dog with a thick coat of long hair. This means that you will have to deal with quite a big amount of shedding. Especially as the seasons change.
So be prepared to deal with a lot of dog hair!
As their coat is so long and thick, you will also have to make sure they don’t overheat during the hotter months. These dogs are better suited to cold locations such as the arctic regions.
They shouldn’t need bathing too often, but their coat of hair will definitely need regular brushing in order to ensure it isn’t tangled and full of bits and pieces from the outdoors. (You will need a pretty sturdy brush for this too!)
The main grooming needs they require, however, isn’t to do with their huge fluffy coating of hair, but with their teeth. This hybrid breed is prone to dental problems such as rotten teeth and gum diseases.
This is why you should brush their teeth and scrub their gums around three times per week, depending on your dog.
If exercised correctly, their nails should naturally keep short and filed. But if not, keeping them in check should be pretty easy!
Longevity and Health of an Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix:
The lifespan of a dog can depend on many different factors. The breed has a big effect on the average lifespan of a dog, but things such as health and quality of life also have a direct link. Therefore, it can be hard to figure out the expected lifespan.
On average, Australian Shepherds have a slightly longer lifespan than Alaskan Malamutes, and the mixed breed can go one way or another, depending on which parent it takes after the most.
Australian Shepherds usually live up to between 13 and 15 years. Meanwhile, Alaskan Malamutes only tend to live up to 12 years or so.
Generally, most Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mixes will live around 12 to 13 years, so it’s basically right in between the average of both parent breeds.
The good news is that both parent breeds are known for being healthy for a long time, with very few health issues developing with old age.
This means that your mix of Malamute and Australian will likely be healthy for a very long time, and there is a low risk of any significant health problems.
Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd Mix: Is this the right dog for you?
We’ve pretty much covered all the basics of what you need to know about the Alaskan Malamute and Australian Shepherd mix, so now comes the important question: is this the right dog for you?
The answer completely depends on you, the lifestyle you live, and the amount of time and effort that you are able to put into your dog. This hybrid breed requires a lot of exercise and a lot of training, as well as a lot of love and attention.
It’s not a dog you can simply have in the back garden, they will take up a lot of your time and effort if you are caring for them properly.
If you are able to give them all this, then they’re right for you!
Ideally, these dogs are suited to people with an outdoor lifestyle full of adventure, who preferably live somewhere rural or with a lot of space, in a colder region rather than hot.
If that sounds like you, and you are eager to be up and about for big chunks of your day, then this is a beautiful mix that is emotionally rewarding and a companion for life.