The Malanees is the result of crossbreeding the Great Pyrenees and the Alaskan Malamute. They are one of the most popular Alaskan Malamute crossbreeds, no doubt thanks to their stunning appearances and strong personalities.
Before you decide whether a Malanees is the right addition to your home, be sure to read our guide on the fluffy crossbreed to make sure you can give them the care they need.
In a hurry? Here’s our quick fact profile on the Malanees crossbreed. Keep reading for more detailed information on each of the topics.
Other Names: Alaskan Malanees, Great Malanees.
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years.
Average Height: 26-32 inches for males, 23-30 inches for females.
Average Weight: 80-100 lbs for males, 70-90 lbs for females.
Coat Appearance: Long, dense, straight fur that is white in colour with black and grey facial markings. Shades of brown, red, and silver can be found scattered throughout the coat.
Eye Colour: Brown (most common), amber, hazel, blue.
Activity Level: High.
Grooming Frequency: Daily brushing required.
Typical Temperament: Intelligent, independent, calm, affectionate, vocal, stubborn.
Daily Food Consumption: 3-4 cups of dry kibble.
New Owner Friendly: No.
Suitable to live with cats: Only if they have been socialised with cats since being a puppy.
Suitable to live with children: Yes.
Suitable to live with other dogs: Yes.
The Malanees is not a stabilised breed meaning their appearances can vary significantly between individual dogs. This is because they are not a recognised breed by the American Kennel Club, meaning there is no breed standard for them currently.
In our experience, the Malanees will usually have the body shape of an Alaskan Malamute and the coat of a Great Pyrenees. This means you can expect to have a very large, very fluffy friend joining your home!
Male Average Size: Height = 26-32 inches, Weight = 80-100lbs.
Female Average Size: Height = 23-30 inches, Weight = 70-90 lbs.
Their coats will undoubtedly be long in length and very dense. Both the Alaskan Malamute and the Great Pyrenees have thick double coats that are ideal for cold weather so it’s no surprise that these coats are also seen on the Malanees.
Colour-wise, the coat of a Malanees will usually be the pure white seen commonly on the Great Pyrenees. It’s common for them to take on some of the darker markings of an Alaskan Malamute, particularly around the eyes and on the muzzle.
Scattered throughout their coat, you may see shades of brown, silver, and red depending on the coat appearance of the Malamute parent.
The eyes of a Malanees are usually brown but they can be blue, amber, and hazel. Their eyes are commonly almond-shaped, much like a Malamute’s, and they will have dark noses with long, wolf-like snouts.
There is a lot of variation in the appearance of the ears seen on the Malanees as both parent breeds differ significantly. Alaskan Malamutes have tall, pricked ears whereas the Great Pyrenees has folded, floppy ears. A single litter of Malanees puppies can see variations that match either parent, with some puppies even having one pricked ear and one floppy ear.
The Malanees is a breed that needs a lot of coat maintenance. Their long coats are very susceptible to becoming tangled and knotted if they are not properly cared for and daily brushing to remove loose hairs is essential.
If loose hairs are not properly removed from the coat, they can form matted fur that is painful for the Malanees as it tugs on their skin. Using a pin brush for 5-10 minutes a day is enough to stay on top of their shedding and to check for any tangles that need removing.
The Malanees is a double-coated breed which means they will also shed very heavily during seasonal changes in a process known as ‘coat-blowing’. When they transition from their winter to summer coats (and vice-versa) they will purge large amounts of their undercoat in a very short amount of time.
Coat-blowing is not for the faint of heart as a lot of work will be needed from you to help them through the process. An undercoat rake and a dematter tool will be your best friends in removing the loose hairs efficiently.
Whilst coat-blowing only happens once or twice per year, make sure to be prepared with a good vacuum cleaner and plenty of garbage bags!
Beyond brushing, the Malanees does not require much maintenance. Bathing is only required a couple of times per year or as you see fit. Their coats produce oils that keep them naturally clean and odour-free, and frequent bathing can actually do more harm than good.
Their nails will need clipping as required, and their teeth should be kept in good condition with brushing or daily dental treats.
The Malanees is not a hypoallergenic breed due to their high shedding frequency.
The Alaskan Malamute and the Great Pyrenees share a lot of personality traits thanks to their common working backgrounds. As a result, those of you who have previously owned one of the parent breeds should not find it difficult to transition to owning a Malanees.
The Malanees is a very loving and calm breed. They value the company of humans of all ages and make great pets in homes with children.
That being said, Malanees will also value being able to have independence and will have no qualms in telling you when they’re ready to be left alone. Prospective owners should be able to respect their pet’s boundaries to ensure they remain happy.
The Malanees is also very stubborn at times, just like the Alaskan Malamute. They will often push their luck by begging for food or refusing to move. Their stubbornness can make training in later years very difficult so it’s important to start reinforcing good behaviours whilst they are still puppies.
The crossbreed benefits from having firm owners who will not be walked all over by their pets. Once you set rules with a Malanees, they must be stuck to at all times to keep them in line. If rules are not enforced, the Malanees will likely see themselves as being in a higher household hierarchy position. This could then lead to them developing destructive behaviours that are hard to unlearn.
Their stubbornness is one of the reasons we don’t recommend the breed to first-time dog owners. Don’t be put off though!
Owning a Malanees is a highly rewarding experience as they will reciprocate the respect they are given. Once you establish household boundaries, you will find your Malanees to be a wonderful pet to live with.
The Malanees are fairly active and can walk seemingly for miles on end. In the household, they are generally calmer and may not be particularly interested in playing with toys.
We should warn you that the Malanees has a reputation for being quite loud. They will happily talk with you through a combination of barks and ‘woos’ but remember to be mindful of your neighbours who might not want to hear it!
Overall, the Malanees has the potential to be a great pet but they need to be in the right home with owners who understand their needs. They get along with both children and dogs, and often they can live with cats so long as they have been socialised from a young age.
Note: If you are concerned about the health of your Malanees, please speak to a registered vet.
The average life expectancy of the Malanees is 10 to 12 years.
There are certain health conditions that a Malanees has an increased risk of developing or being born with due to the genetics of its parent breeds. As the Malanees is a very large breed, this can also impact their health in later years.
The most commonly seen health conditions in the Malanees are listed below:
Hip Dysplasia: A skeletal condition that causes the hips to deteriorate over time. It is common amongst large dog breeds and usually occurs in the later years of a dog’s life.
Chondrodysplasia: A developmental disorder that causes abnormal growth of cartilage. This can result in disproportionate dwarfism characterised by a shortening of the legs. It is linked with the Alaskan Malamute breed and for more information, we recommend reading this article by the AMCA.
Deafness: Deafness in dogs is often related to the genes that cause the appearance of their coats. One of the most notable deaf-causing genes is the piebald gene which is carried by the Great Pyrenees breed. Carrying the gene is not a guarantee that the dog will be deaf, but the chances are increased.
These conditions can be screened for by a registered veterinarian. The recommended health tests for the breed are:
- Hip and elbow x-rays (if dysplasia is suspected)
- Hearing and ear examinations
As with all dogs, we recommend getting your Malanees neutered at the appropriate age and vaccinated against preventable diseases where possible. You will need to routinely take precautions against fleas and worms using commercially available treatments.
MALANEES EXERCISE NEEDS
The Malanees is an active dog with lots of stamina, no doubt thanks to the working histories of both of its parent breeds. They will make a great pet for owners with an active lifestyle who regularly love to walk, hike, or run.
To keep a Malanees healthy, they need between 1-2 hours of exercise per day. We recommend trying to do this in one long block if you can, such as a long walk.
Despite being a very active breed, the Malanees is not particularly energetic or excitable. You will find that once in the home, they are generally very calm and will snooze the rest of the day away. It’s not uncommon for the breed to be uninterested in playing with toys.
For this reason, a Malanees makes a great pet for people who are away from the home during the day such as when going to work. So long as they get their routine daily chunk of exercise, they can usually be left alone without having to worry that they are going to chew the house up.
Although they may not use it to run around in, we still recommend for owners of Malanees to have an enclosed yard. They will often prefer to rest outside and having a large garden for them to roam around in will keep their minds stimulated. It’s essential to have a tall, sturdy fence as the size and intelligence of the breed makes it very easy for them to escape should they wish to.
Overall, despite being a very active dog, a Malanees is actually quite docile and will be more than satisfied with a daily long walk.
So, there you have it. The Malanees is a stubborn dog that will undoubtedly test your patience but will also reward you with a lifetime of love if you’re willing to put up with them.
They will need an active owner who can stay on top of their grooming needs, but they don’t need constant attention and will do well in a home where they are occasionally left alone.
Do you have a Malanees? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Leave a comment below or send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our site!