|Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 7:31pm PST |
|It's not a breed I would reccomend to someone looking for an SD, but if you have a good Malamute canidate in front of you I don't see an issue. That being said, at 7 months there is still a lot of maturing to be done.
The biggest challenges are going to be the breed's independant nature, the tendancy toward dog aggression period - not just same sex, the shedding (you may also have difficulty working outside in hot climates for extended periods of time) and their massive size! I have seen Malamutes upwards of 180lbs! Great if you need support work, but if you need a dog to just be with you and alert if necessiary you may find you have a hard time finding a place for him to tuck himself away when you're out in public. A dog that big simply can't curl up under a park bench or resturant table.
They can also have a tendancy to be protective of their humans, even though by breed standard they really shouldn't be. That puts you in a tough position when evaluating the dog, because you either want that bit of protectiveness, or you don't and it could go either way.
In terms of public perception, you'll actually get a mix of "WTF WOLF!" and "OMG PRETTY!" My dogs aren't SDs, but they are with me all the time. On more than one occasion, Fox has literally stopped traffic because someone wanted to fawn over her. On other hand, some idiot once thought Vance was scary looking and decided to argue with me about walking my Pit Bull on the beach (seriously). The more normal responses are people either seeing us and rushing straight toward us, or seeing us and dashing across the street as fast as possible.
Also children will run at you screaming "SNOW DOG!"
The perks are that they tend to be a healthy, mentally stable breed. As working dogs go, they're pretty laid-back but definitely come up to task when asked to. They are super smart and like I said, if you need size it's there and then some!
Their dog aggression can be worked around. I knew a Malamute/Rottie cross who achieved some of the highest levels of therapy dog work possible. He was violently dog aggressive. But he loved people and his owner taught him not to react toward other dogs. There's no part of being an SD that says you have to enjoy the company of other dogs - you just have to tolerate it politely. It is a LOT of work to get through, though. And you will always have the general risk of having a large, DA dog in public.
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