Alaskan Malamutes are the largest of the Arctic sled dogs. According to the Alaskan Malamute breed standard, dogs typically weigh between 34 and 38.6 Kilogram. However, they may range in size as long as they are proportional. The Innuits originally bred Alaskan Malamutes for heavy draft work, and so Alaskan Malamutes today will not be penalised in the American Kennel Club confirmation ring if they are larger than the standard specifies.
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Things you need
- Quality sire and dam
- Alaskan Malamute breed standard
- Financial means to afford whelping
- Whelping box
- Whelping supplies
- Stud dog contract (unless you own both mates)
- Experienced breeder (optional)
Assess your motives. When breeding these giant Alaskan Malamutes, a responsible breeder's first priority should be the breed's improvement, according to the American Kennel Club. Therefore, quality should not be sacrificed for size. If you are breeding solely for monetary gain, keep in mind that breeding and raising a litter can be very expensive, and you might even spend more money than you gain through puppy sales.
Assess your breeding stock. Not all Alaskan Malamutes should be bred. As a responsible breeder, you should make sure that your breeding stock does not possess any serious confirmation faults conflicting with the breed standard (like blue eyes, which is a disqualifying characteristic in the show ring). If you are uncertain whether or not your breeding stock should be bred, consult a judge, breeder or handler specialising in Alaskan Malamutes.
Match a suitable sire and dam. Each potential parent should improve on the other. The sire should possess traits that make up for the dam's confirmation shortcomings, and vice versa. Two good dogs aren't necessarily good breeding matches. The sire and dam should be complementary to each other.
Examine the sire and dam's pedigrees. Many bloodlines exhibit dominant genes for bigger-boned and heavier Malamutes. Since you are breeding for size, the sire and the dam should, preferably, descend from these bloodlines.
Work with your veterinarian to screen the sire and dam for genetic and health disorders. Alaskan Malamutes are prone to genetic disorders like chondrodysplasia (a debilitating cartilage disorder) and skin and coat problems. It is sometimes acceptable to breed a carrier of a genetic disease to a genetically clear animal, but you should take great care that this combination will result in disease-free puppies.
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If you are not the owner of both sire and dam, establish a contract with the owner of your dog's mate. In this contract, state the terms of the breeding. Often, the owner of the sire receives a stud fee or the pick of the litter. Any similar stipulations should be included. The contract should also explicitly state who is responsible for any travel and boarding fees, if applicable.
Beginning one week after the dam enters proestrus (usually identified by her bleeding), mate the sire and dam. In order to increase the probability of impregnation, you should mate the animals several times over the next week or two. Most Alaskan Malamutes are capable of breeding naturally, without any assistance. Therefore, penning the sire and dam together is usually sufficient for the dogs to breed. However, if the dogs are disinterested or aggressive toward each other, you may need to guide the animals, or consider artificial insemination.
Four or five weeks after mating the sire and dam, take the dam to the veterinarian. The vet will determine whether or not she is pregnant and also assess her health and prescribe a nutritional plan for the gestation.
Introduce the Alaskan Malamute dam to her whelping box. This box can be simple as long as it is secluded, sanitary and large enough for the dam and her puppies. Keep whelping supplies close to the box. These supplies vary but generally include newspapers, your vet's emergency phone number and umbilical cord cutting tools.
When the dam enters labour, clear your calendar and keep her in the whelping box. A normal gestation period is 63 days, so four or five days prior, her temperature will typically increase, and she'll become restless. According to Claws and Paws veterinary hospital, this raised temperature will drop a few degrees, signalling the dam's entrance into labour. Most Alaskan Malamute mothers are naturals, but it is important that you keep close in case of an emergency. For example, sometimes the dam will need assistance with the umbilical cords and mucous membrane removal. If she does not perform these tasks, you must step in, for the puppies will not survive if contained in the membrane.
Mating and Whelping
Tips and warnings
- Attend a dog show. Here, you can meet individuals intimately involved with the breed. These people are usually helpful and excellent resources. Talk to an experienced breeder. During mating and whelping, sometimes unexpected issues arise, and an experienced breeder will know how to respond.
- Do not breed your dam too often or too young. Wait at least one heat cycle before breeding a dam for the first time, and allow her enough rest in between litters. The resulting Alaskan Malamute puppies are your responsibility, and so you must care for and raise any puppies that you do not sell.
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