Can Alaskan Malamutes Be Left Alone? (Why It’s A Bad Idea)

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No dog should be left alone all day, every day. However, some days, we need to complete human chores that don’t allow the company of a giant Alaskan Malamute.

Although no large breed is great at being home for long periods, Alaskan Malamutes are especially bad. This breed is used to spending time in a pack and thrives on human and canine company. Without it, they can get frustrated and destructive. Eventually, too much time alone can lead to temperament issues and depression.

Read on to discover how long Alaskan Malamutes can be left alone and how to make alone time better for them.

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Why Malamutes Struggle To Be Alone

Malamutes were originally used as sled dogs, operating as part of a pack with other sled dogs and humans. This social aspect of their personality has stuck around to this day, and it’s a big reason why they struggle to be alone.

On average, Alaskan Malamutes can be left alone for no more than 3-4 hours. Although this number largely depends on the temperament and age of your dog, Alaskan Malamutes are generally prone to separation anxiety and destructive behavior.

Being alone too long can be detrimental to your belongings and your malamute’s well-being.

But what can you do about it?

Test How Long Your Alaskan Malamute Can Spend Alone

Although leaving any dog home for too long is never good, there are techniques to make long times alone more manageable for the dog. This is especially necessary for Alaskan Malamutes.

The first thing to do is to see how long your Malalmute can handle being alone. From there, you start to take steps to get them used to periods alone.

1. Perform Small Tests

Each day, leave your Alaskan Malamute home alone for longer increments. Start with 30 minutes, then 1 hour, and more and more every day.

2. Check For Signs Of Distress

When you come home every day during the test, check for signs of distress in your dog.

Body Language

Calm, relaxed dogs will appear that they just woke up from a nap, whereas stressed, anxious malamutes will pant with their ears tucked behind their head, and their tail might be between their legs.

In addition, anxious malamutes may be overly excited (in a fearful way) when you return.

Destructive Behavior

If you come to any rips, scratches, or destroyed furniture, it may be a sign that your malamute reached their tolerance for being alone and went the destruction route.

This is common for Alaskan Malamutes and signals that they were bored and/or frustrated.


Before entering your house, listen for whining, howling, or crying. Although it’s normal for malamutes to do this shortly after you leave, it’s not a good sign if they are still doing it when you return.

Crying for an extended period can signal stress, boredom, and/or frustration.

3. Monitor their behavior.

Because of modern technology, you can also monitor your dog’s behavior while you are away. Many dog cameras allow you to peek in at your dog’s actions from your phone.

You can test their behavior without replacing some of your belongings.

How To Reduce The Time Your Malamute Is Alone

There are many ways to lessen the time an Alaskan Malamute needs to spend alone.

Through flexible hours, community help, and modern technology, it’s easy to give your Alaskan Malamute outlets while you’re away.

Hire a Dog Sitter/Dog Walker

Nowadays, with numerous apps and professional websites, dog sitters are everywhere. Also, dog sitting and dog walking services are cheaper than ever. In 2020, the average cost for a 30-minute walk cost $22.56.

Although this largely depends on where you live, this is an excellent option for lessening the time your dog has to spend alone.

Dog walkers give two specific benefits to you and your dog:

  1. They have experience. Most dog walkers have a plethora of experience and are trained in animal CPR and first aid. They know how to get the most out of your malamute and stimulate them mentally and physically.
  2. They can give you updates. Dog walkers/sitters largely communicate through apps and websites nowadays and often offer you pics and updates on your pup when they see them. With a dog like an Alaskan Malamute, this can be super helpful in knowing how they are doing alone.

Flexible Hours, Remote Work, Or Taking Lunch at Home

Although this is not a feasible option for everyone, it is beneficial. Especially when combined with a dog camera, going home during your lunch break is an excellent intervention method.

While on your lunch, you can take your Alaskan Malamute for a walk, give them a bathroom break, and exercise them. Doing this even once a day significantly reduces the time they have left home alone and can deter them from destructive behavior.

With the recent boom in remote work, it could be worth seeing your options to change to remote or hybrid to spend more time with your malamute.

Ask Friends Or Family For Help

Again, this option may not be feasible for everyone – but if it is, it can be a massive game-changer for your malamute.

While retired family members are often the best option, ensure they know your dog’s proper protocols. This is important because Alaskan Malamutes can weigh up to 100 lbs and easily hurt someone, especially if they are old.

An Alaskan Malamute on a wooden bench

Even if you can get someone (or a mixture of people) to interact with your dog 3-4 days out of the week, it can make a big difference for your dog’s mental health.

Doggy Daycare

When done with a credible, safe business, doggy daycare can be an excellent way to get your Alaskan Malamute out of the house.

Good doggy daycares are an excellent way for your dog to socialize and get mental and physical exercise. Not only will they not have to spend the day at home alone, but they will likely come home wiped out!

Doing your research is essential, as some doggy daycares are better than others. Good, reputable ones usually offer your dog additional interaction options, like training, grooming, treats, or even professional massages.

Tips For Keeping Your Malamute Happy When They Are Alone

Sometimes you’ll have no choice but to leave your malamute alone.

When this happens, it’s important to know how to make the time as least stressful as possible. Here are some great tips for it:

Exercise Them

Exercise beforehand is the best way to keep an Alaskan Malamute happy and not stressed when home alone.

On average, Alaskan Malamutes need 2 hours of exercise per day. Pent-up energy can lead to boredom and destruction, so taking care of it before you leave the house is essential. In addition, unexercised malamutes can become depressed and frustrated very quickly.

Exercising your malamute before you leave makes the dog feel relaxed and tired instead of stressed and frustrated.

Leave Some Sound On.

Calming noises, or even just a TV show, can entertain and relax your malamute. Some noises and TV shows are even made for this exact purpose!

In addition, it’s become increasingly popular to record yourself talking casually and playing that sound while you’re away. Some people report that it helps with their malamute’s anxiety and can even help curb separation anxiety.

Whichever method you use, it’s a great idea to play some familiar sounds for your malamute while they are home alone.

Create Closed-Off Space for Them

Although Alaskan Malamutes need to roam, sometimes creating a smaller space can help them relax. However, I wouldn’t recommend this option for extended periods.

In creating a closed-off space, you are recreating the feeling of a den, which is instinctually comfy and safe for a malamute. The area should be away from outside noises and contain their crate, water bowl, safe toys, comfort items, and blankets.

Provide Interactive Toys

Next to exercise, interactive toys are hands down the best way to help stimulate your malamute. Luckily, there are many different options for interactive toys on the market today.

These toys are like puzzles and are great for keeping your dog challenged and entertained for long periods.

Examples include snuffle mats, frozen peanut butter kongs, and puzzle feeders. Your malamute will be so entranced with the suitable toy that they (hopefully) don’t even notice you’re gone.

Two-Way Pet Camera with Audio

Although I wouldn’t recommend this option to help with your malamute’s anxiety, it is a great way to monitor your dog and intervene in bad behavior. It is also an excellent method in addition to the other ideas above.

Two-way pet cameras allow you to see what your dog is up to, and if you catch them on bad behavior, talk to them through the audio function.

Some pet cameras can even move throughout the house, so you can find your dog no matter where they are!

If your malamute is being good, they can also dispense treats.

In Summary

Leaving an Alaskan Malamute alone can be challenging as the breed is notoriously bad at spending time alone and can be destructive.

Luckily, there are numerous ways to both lessen the time your malamute has to spend alone and ways to entertain them while you’re gone.

These methods can leave you the freedom to do things outside the house and leave your malamute entertained, exercised, and happy.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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