Looking for starter "pre-Malamute" breed recommedations

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Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 11:06am PST 
What sort of breeds would make a good "warm up" dog to prepare an inexperienced family for a malamute later in life? My s.o. hasn't had a dog since he was a kid and--while I work with a lot of dogs--I haven't personally had a dog since I was a kid either. I'm not putting a malamute into that kind of situation. It's not fair to anyone. I would be interested in a dog that would give him a good idea of what to expect from a malamute, but would suit our inexperience. Any suggestions?
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Mon Mar 26, '12 7:43pm PST 
Uhh...hmm. That's a hard question. I would say any of the softer more typical family breeds would suffice. This at least would give you practice in raising and training your own puppy, and also give you realistic expectations for exercise requirements.

Any of the Nordic breeds wouldn't really help you much because they're either just as stubborn/unique to train or are rarer.

Firstly, why a Malamute? What traits of theirs do you like, what do you think will be a challenge for you?