How To Choose The Best Alaskan Malamute Breeder: 4 Top Tips

When it comes to adopting an Alaskan Malamute, we understand there are benefits to buying from a reputable breeder rather than from a shelter.

We will always advocate for giving rescue Malamutes a home, but we do recognize that it is not always an option for those looking to take on the breed.

In these situations, finding a responsible breeder is vital not only to ensure you will get a healthy Alaskan Malamute but also to prevent an overpopulation problem that ends up with more Malamutes being put into shelters.

So, how do you choose the best breeder? It’s all about good communication, honest interactions, and openness. A good breeder will be able to show you the parents of the puppies, will have all the necessary documentation ready to go, and never pressure you into making a fast decision. 

Please keep reading for our guide on choosing the best Alaskan Malamute breeder so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

4 Things That Make A Good Alaskan Malamute Breeder

If you’ve decided that adopting from a breeder is the best option for your situation, then there are a few things you should look out for to make sure you’re buying them from a reputable place.

Here are the criteria we use when looking for the best Alaskan Malamute breeder:

1. Communication

It’s a simple fact that a good Alaskan Malamute breeder will have nothing to hide. There should be no issues regarding communication, and a good, reputable breeder will want to know as much about you and your situation as you want to know about them.

Before you take them home, there should be at least one meeting with the breeder and the puppies. Still, any good breeder will allow you to see the puppy as often as you need to introduce key family members and other pets if necessary and ensure you are a compatible match.

Pay attention to whether your breeder is answering all of your questions and concerns clearly and that they are not avoiding any topics.

An Alaskan Malamute laid on some grass

A good breeder will also ask you several questions about yourself to ensure that their puppies will be going to a safe home, and in some cases, they may require to visit your home to inspect the grounds.

This is completely normal, so try not to take any rigorous questioning as a sign that they don’t trust you.

Reputable breeders genuinely care about the livelihoods of the dogs they raise, so answer any questions openly and honestly.

2. Meeting The Parents Of The puppy

When you meet an Alaskan Malamute puppy for the first time at the place where they were born, a good breeder should invite you to meet the litter’s mom.

Meeting the mom is very important as it will indicate what the puppies will be like when they are older, both in terms of appearance and temperament.

It is also a good way of meeting a fully grown Alaskan Malamute and getting an idea of their size if you have never met one.

The father of the litter may not be present as it is common practice for breeders to essentially ‘hire’ a male Alaskan Malamute with desirable genes to breed with their female.

If you cannot meet the father, a reputable breeder can still give you their information. This allows you to ensure the breed’s pedigree (if that’s something you’re looking for) and will provide insight into any potential health problems that could crop up.

3. Providing Paperwork

This one is essential. Before you take home an Alaskan Malamute puppy, you should have seen and been given copies of all the necessary paperwork and certificates relating to it.

This includes proof of puppy vaccinations, microchipping details, worming and flea treatments, and any other relevant health tests their vets may have recommended.

Reputable breeders will conduct various health tests on their Malamutes, and they should be able to provide proof of all of these.

Top Tip

The Alaskan Malamute Club of America has three required tests for hip dysplasia, eye screening, and a DNA test for polyneuropathy. They also have further recommended tests – full details of all of these can be found here.

If you are adopting an Alaskan Malamute labeled as a ‘pedigree,’ i.e., they have a pure bloodline; your breeder should provide evidence of their parent’s history.

This is essential if you are planning to enter your Malamute into shows and competitions, as any evidence of crossbreeding could lead to them being disqualified before they even get to compete.

Pedigree dogs will usually be registered with your country’s relevant dog-related administrative body (for example, the Kennel Club or AKC). They will have so-called ‘papers’ that outline their family history. A reputable breeder will never charge you to look at these papers.

Please note that these papers should not be used to indicate the puppy’s health.

4. The Breeder’s Reputation

Administrative bodies such as the Kennel Club (UK) or the AKC (USA) have programs that recognize well-informed, experienced breeders to boost their reputation over breeders who are simply in it for the money.

The AKC, for example, has the ‘Breeder of Merit‘ program that highlights responsible breeders who ‘have gone above and beyond on health issues, temperament, and genetic screening as well as to the individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes.’

Using this program to find an Alaskan Malamute is the best way to ensure your breeder genuinely cares about the puppies they are raising. It means they have gone the extra mile to breed healthy puppies with a lower risk of developing long-term health problems.

You can search through registered breeders directly on their site.

The UK Kennel Club has a similar program where you can search for ‘assured breeders’ who have demonstrated dedication and responsibility in breeding dogs.

You can use their search tool to find a registered breeder by clicking here.

Things To Look Out For In An Alaskan Malamute Breeder

Looking for the best Alaskan Malamute breeder also means weeding out the bad ones.

It’s really important to make sure you’re not supporting irresponsible breeders, as your money could lead to the unethical treatment of Alaskan Malamutes and more dogs being put into shelters without homes.

We’ve included the red flags we look out for when determining whether a breeder is trustworthy to help you to avoid supporting someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Rushing You

One of the biggest warning signs you should look for is the breeder trying to rush you into a deal.

We often hear stories of people who have been told they must pay by a particular day (usually only a couple of days after initial contact) or their puppy will be sold to someone else. In most cases, the prospective owners have not even had a chance to meet the Malamute puppy yet.

If your breeder pushes you into parting with cash in exchange for a puppy, particularly if they seem uninterested in your home situation, then you should not complete the deal.

Not Allowing You To Meet The Mom

When you meet an Alaskan Malamute puppy, there should be no reason for the breeder to hide the mom from you.

Seeing the puppy’s mom is vital as it provides evidence of what they will grow up to be like and suggests they are being brought up in a healthy environment (although this isn’t always the case!).

If the breeder makes excuses for why you can’t see the mom, for example, saying they are asleep, on a walk, or at the vet’s, there’s a good chance that the puppies have no contact with the mom.

It also suggests that the puppies were born somewhere completely different from where you are meeting them, meaning your purchase could fund an illegal puppy farm.

Arranging To Exchange The Puppy Away From Their Home

If your breeder offers to deliver the Malamute puppy to your home or to exchange it in a random location, such as a car park, you should decline and look for a different breeder. This is particularly true if you have not previously met the puppy before.

Avoiding meeting at the breeder’s home (where the puppies were supposedly born) suggests that they are hiding something. In these cases, there is a good chance that the puppies are, unfortunately, part of a puppy mill, and supporting the breeder could lead to more unethical births in the future.

Trying To Convince You That Defects are A ‘Rare’ Quality (For Pedigrees)

Those of you looking for pedigree Alaskan Malamutes, in particular, should be wary of breeders who claim that genetic abnormalities are a ‘rare’ feature of their particular puppy.

When we say ‘abnormalities,’ we refer to physical features of the Malamute puppy’s appearance that do not conform to the breed standard. A typical example of this is breeders claiming their purebred Malamute puppies have blue eyes, which is not possible.

An Alaskan Malamute wearing a harness

In fact, if you buy a blue-eyed Alaskan Malamute, they will automatically be disqualified from entering any competitions, as it is a clear sign that they result from crossbreeding.

If you intend to adopt a Malamute for competition purchases, we highly recommend reading the breed standard to understand what features you should look for.

Buy Or Adopt Alaskan Malamute

The choice to purchase an Alaskan Malamute from a breeder or adopt one from a shelter is entirely personal.

We’re big advocates for adopting, as many Mals end up in shelters when their previous owners realize just how much work this breed requires.

On the other hand, it’s important to support responsible breeders as well to ensure the health and longevity of the breed. If you have a shelter nearby that houses Mals, it’s always worth looking there first.

In Summary

Finding the right Alaskan Malamute breeder is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make as an owner. The quality of their first few months of life can impact their health and happiness, so it isn’t a decision to be rushed.

Are you an Alaskan Malamute breeder? We’d love to hear from you and potentially feature you to guide people who are looking for puppies your way!

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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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