The Alaskan Chow is the result of crossbreeding an Alaskan Malamute with a Chow Chow. Also known as the Malamute Chow, they are a rare crossbreed that is not officially recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Thanks to their appearance, which resembles a bear mixed with a wolf, there has been a recent increase in interest surrounding this crossbreed.
In our article, we’ve got everything you need to know about the Alaskan Chow – from their grooming and exercise needs to their personalities and potential health problems.
In a hurry? Here’s our quick breakdown of the essential facts you need to know about Alaskan Malamute Chows. Be sure to keep reading for more detailed information and facts.
Other Names: Alaskan Chow, Malamute Chow, Chowamute.
Average Lifespan: 9-15 years.
Average Height: 18-25 inches for males, 17-23 inches for females.
Average Weight: 50-80 lbs for males, 40-75 lbs for females.
Coat Appearance: Long, straight, dense coat which is silver, white, black, cream, and fawn.
Eye Colour: Brown.
Activity Level: Medium/high.
Grooming Frequency: Daily.
Typical Temperament: Stubborn, loyal, dominant, protective.
Daily Food Consumption: 3 cups of kibble.
New Owner Friendly: No.
Suitable to live with children? Yes, if socialised from a young age.
Suitable to live with other dogs? Yes, if socialised from a young age.
Suitable to live with cats? Yes, if socialised from a young age.
ALASKAN MALAMUTE CHOW APPEARANCE
The Alaskan Chow is not a stabilised breed, meaning their appearances can vary significantly between individual puppies of the same litter. Some Alaskan Chows strongly take after their Alaskan Malamute parents with long muzzles, muscular bodies and shorter coats. Others will much closer resemble a Chow Chow with a teddy bear coat and boxy frame.
Male Average Size: Height = 18-25 inches, Weight = 50-80 lbs.
Female Average Size: Height = 17-23 inches, Weight = 40-75 lbs.
Their fur is usually medium to long in length and very dense. They will have a double coat which compromises of a dense and wooly undercoat, and a longer guard coat.
The colour of an Alaskan Chow’s coat varies a lot but can be predicted based on the colour of the parents. Their coats will often be a mixture of light and dark browns with black, silver, and grey scattered throughout. It is not uncommon for them to have the dark facial markings that are associated with the Alaskan Malamute.
Their ears will be pointed and erect, and their fluffy tail should curl over their back. If both the parents are pedigree, then the Alaskan Chow should only have brown eyes.
Chow Chows are known for their tongue turning blue-black at around the age of six months. Some Alaskan Chows will also possess this trait as a result, but don’t be alarmed if their tongue stays pink into adulthood.
Alaskan Chows have a lot of variation in their facial structure. Some Alaskan Chows may have the deep facial wrinkles that the Chow Chow are recognised for, and others may have a more wolf-like appearance like the Alaskan Malamute.
One thing for sure is that this crossbreed is guaranteed to give you an adorable pet. After all, what can go wrong when mixing the dog equivalents of a bear and a wolf!
ALASKAN MALAMUTE CHOW GROOMING GUIDE
One of the reasons we don’t recommend adopting an Alaskan Chow for first-time owners is that their grooming needs are relatively intense. Both the Chow Chow and the Alaskan Malamute have dense coats that easily trap loose hairs and form tangles. Their offspring are no different and to prevent an Alaskan Chow’s coat from deteriorating, it’s important to brush them every day.
If your Alaskan Chow has facial folds, you will need to regularly clean them as dirt can very easily get trapped there.
To help with the grooming process, we recommend Alaskan Chow owners invest in a few essential tools:
An undercoat rake: Essential during coat-blowing season to remove large clumps of undercoat quickly and painlessly.
A dematter tool: Both Alaskan Malamutes and Chow Chows have dense undercoats that can easily tangle, even with regular grooming. A dematter tool is a brush with lightly serrated edges that easily removes matting and difficult tangles without hurting the Alaskan Chow.
A pin-brush: Used during daily brushing to remove loose hairs and stimulate the skin underneath.
Maintaining a regular grooming routine can be difficult at first but it is essential to keep their coats looking healthy and to prevent issues down the line.
Alaskan Chows need bathing roughly once every 6-8 weeks, or as needed if they become dirty. Their double coats are designed to help repel dirt and water away from their skin, meaning a good brush should be enough to keep them looking fresh. Bathing them too frequently can dry out their skin and fur by removing natural oils.
Their teeth should be kept clean with daily brushing or daily dental chews. Their nails will need clipping as required, but maintaining a regular exercise routine will help to keep their nails filed naturally.
ALASKAN MALAMUTE CHOW TEMPERAMENT
The personalities of the Alaskan Malamute and the Chow Chow are similar in many ways. This means that it is relatively easy to predict the temperament of an Alaskan Chow, despite the crossbreed being rare.
The Alaskan Chow is a strong-willed dog that requires an experienced owner to live its best life. They are stubborn and will regularly test your authority by trying to break rules or ignoring your commands.
It is essential for Alaskan Chow owners to be just as stubborn to keep their dogs well behaved. They must maintain their position as the alpha of the household pack, or else have to deal with a poorly behaved dog who acts of their own will.
Once you see past their stubbornness, the Alaskan Chow is actually quite a loving breed. Earning their respect will be a highly rewarding experience and you will receive a lifetime of loyalty from your Alaskan Chow.
If they have been socialised from a young age, Alaskan Chows can live with other dogs, children, and even cats. Without proper socialisation, Alaskan Chows may try to dominate other household members to earn a higher position in the household pack. Always keep interaction between children and any dog supervised.
Alaskan Chows prefer to be in the company of the people they live with, but they can be left alone in the home for short periods if needed. They will happily cuddle up with you on the sofa if allowed and will respond well to positive reinforcement such as treats and praise. When an Alaskan Chow is ready for some alone time, they will take themselves off to a quiet area of the house to rest.
Overall, the Alaskan Chow is a rewarding breed to own but they need experienced owners that can keep them well behaved. As cute as they are, make sure you’re willing to put them in their place before considering adoption!
ALASKAN MALAMUTE CHOW HEALTH
Note: If you have any health concerns about your Malamute Chow, please consult a registered vet.
The average life expectancy of a Malamute Chow is 9-15 years.
The Alaskan Chow is more likely to develop certain health conditions due to their parent breeds. It is important to be aware of these conditions as an owner so that they can be treated as necessary.
The most commonly seen health conditions in Alaskan Malamute Chows are listed below:
Entropion – An abnormality of the eyelid in which the eyelid rolls inwards causing the hairs there to rub against the cornea. Commonly seen in Chow Chows, entropion often results in pain, ulcers, and perforations. An operation is normally required to correct this problem. Read more here.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – A skeletal condition that causes the hip and elbow joints to deteriorate over time. It is commonly seen in large dog breeds and the first signs usually appear in the later years of a dog’s life.
Chondrodysplasia – An abnormal growth of cartilage that results in disproportionate dwarfism. Typically appears as excessively shortened front limbs. For more information on chondrodysplasia in Alaskan Malamutes, we recommend reading this article provided by the AMCA.
Obesity – Both the Chow Chow and the Alaskan Malamute are prone to obesity caused by overeating.
The recommended health tests for Alaskan Malamute Chows are:
- Elbow and hip evaluation
- Ophthalmologist evaluation (eyes)
We recommend that you get your Alaskan Chow neutered at the appropriate age and that they receive vaccinations against preventable diseases. You should also regularly take the steps to prevent your Alaskan Chow from getting fleas or worms using over-the-counter treatments.
ALASKAN MALAMUTE CHOW EXERCISE NEEDS
Alaskan Chows have a medium-to-high activity requirement. The Alaskan Malamute was bred to be a sled pulling dog and as a result, they have endurance which is often unmatched in the dog world. The Chow Chow, on the other hand, are a breed that does not require as much exercise.
A typical Alaskan Chow will benefit from having 45-60 minutes of physical exercise per day. They will accompany you on long hikes and walks, and will also enjoy a game of fetch in a fenced-off yard.
One of the reasons that it is good to exercise an Alaskan Chow is that it will tire them out for the rest of the day. Alaskan Chows can sometimes be a destructive breed, particularly if they are left alone for long periods or if they become bored. Giving them plenty of exercise will tire them out and leave them wanting to peacefully rest until bedtime.
Both the Alaskan Malamute and the Chow Chow are breeds that will continuously challenge your position as the alpha of the household pack. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Alaskan Chow is an equally dominant breed. You will benefit from training your Alaskan Chow at a young age to teach them some obedience skills and remind them that you are the boss at home.
The Alaskan Chow is a rare crossbreed that can be difficult to look after, especially with no prior experience of caring for stubborn dogs. That being said, they will thrive with the right owner and be a rewarding pet throughout their life.
Do you have a Malamute Chow? We’d love to hear from you! Send in your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our site.
Header image from @ciao_milo_chow on Instagram.