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Akita Malamute Mix: Pictures, Guide, Info, & Care

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Akita Malamute Mix: Pictures, Guide, Info, & Care

The Akita Malamute Mix is a hybrid breed that combines the Malamute with either the Japanese or American Akita, although the American Akita is most commonly seen in this mix breed. The resulting dog is a large, strong, somewhat stubborn, and potentially challenging breed that requires a lot of exercise and consistent training and socialization. It also requires a lot of grooming, and the cross is not considered suitable for novice owners.

Breed Overview

Height:

24–28 inches

Weight:

80–135 pounds

Lifespan:

10–14 years

Colors:

White, brown, black, gray

Suitable for:

Experienced owners looking for an active, outdoor dog

Temperament:

Strong, loyal, energetic, stubborn, hardworking

The Akita Malamute Mix (Malkita) combines two working dogs that are known to be somewhat challenging breeds. It is hardly surprising, then, that the resulting crossbreed is also known to be a challenge and is not advised for novice owners. Socialization and training will be extremely important, as they will help overcome some of the stubbornness of the breed. With that said, the Malkita usually makes a loyal pet that will be loving and playful with its family.

Akita Malamute Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Akita Malamute Puppies

Both parent breeds are quite expensive, and the resulting hybrid puppy is very difficult to come by, which means that you can expect to pay $1,000 or more for a puppy, if you are fortunate enough to find a breeder.

If you do find a breeder, research them thoroughly before buying a puppy, and make sure you meet the puppies and at least the mother, ideally the father as well. Although the parents’ temperaments are not necessarily a definite indication of the character of the puppy, they can be a guide. This is especially true of the mother because she will give early social cues to her puppies, at least over the first 2–3 months of their life, and until you take the puppy home.

Visiting the breeder and meeting the puppies also gives you a chance to check on any health screening that has been done and check the conditions the puppy is being kept in.

Although this hybrid breed is rare, you may find Akita Malamutes in rescues. The dog grows to a large size and can be stubborn, and this may surprise some owners that take puppies home when they are small and cute, only to find that they have developed into a 130-pound dog that is difficult to train. Adoption fees range from $250 to $500 or more.

If adopting a dog, definitely meet the dog at least once before you take it home. If you have other dogs, make sure the Malkita and your existing dog meet beforehand. The Akita parent, especially, can be reactive around other dogs, so ask plenty of questions of the rescue center before you consider adoption.

This is a large breed so you can expect a large puppy and one that will grow quickly. The Akita Malamute will likely reach full size at around 12 months of age but can continue growing until it reaches 18 months or older.

Key to ensuring that your Akita Malamute settles in well is ensuring that your new puppy is well-trained and socialized. Socialization introduces the dog to new people, other animals, and new surroundings. It teaches the dog that strangers are not to be feared and that new surroundings are nothing to be scared of, either. Socialization is especially important for this breed because the Akita can be wary of strangers and the breed has been known to be reactive with other dogs. Socialization will help control this.

Parent breeds of the Akita Malamute Mix
Image Credit: Left – Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock | Right – olginaa84, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Akita Malamute

Akitas and Malamutes are both working dog breeds. This means that you can expect the hybrid breed to have working dog traits and characteristics. As the Malkita is a cross of two breeds, you can’t be certain of the traits that your dog will adopt. It may be more like the Akita or the Malamute. In most instances, it will fall somewhere between the two breeds.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Malamutes are pack animals, and they are known to be very loyal to their family. They are also outgoing and friendly dogs and will usually get along with all family members. However, they are big dogs, and they can be quite lively, which means that they are not an ideal choice of breed for families with very young children.

Akitas are similarly loyal and loving to their family members. They can be quite wary of strangers and most Akitas will not freely run up to greet strangers. The breed can be protective of its family members, which makes socialization all the more important.

The size of the hybrid breed means that it is not ideal for a family with very young children, and you will need to socialize the Akita Malamute from a young age to be sure that it will be accepting of strangers. This is especially important if you have children that bring friends around to the house. The dog may see playtime as a threat to its family.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Malamutes and Akitas can get along with other pets, but it will take gradual and patient introductions, ideally starting when all animals are young. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially if you adopt an older dog or already have pets in the house.

When you bring your Akita Malamute home, give it a few days to settle in and get used to its surroundings, without trying to introduce it to your other pets. When you do introduce, make sure you have a tight hold of both pets and give them both some personal space they can retreat to. If you are introducing a cat, make sure the cat has a high space to run to. Keeping your new dog in its crate while the cat roams will also give the cat a chance to become accustomed to the dog gradually. This is especially important if you are out of the house.

Akitas can be aggressive with other dogs, including those they meet outside the house. Again, socialization is key to reducing the risks of aggression.


Things to Know When Owning an Akita Malamute Mix:

The Akita Malamute will be a big dog. Its size will ultimately depend on whether the Akita parent is a Japanese or American Akita. American Akitas tend to be larger than Japanese Akitas. Its size will also be determined by whether the hybrid takes after the Akita, which can grow to 130 pounds, or the Malamute, which typically tops the scales at 100 pounds. The dog is not considered suitable for first-time owners, and while it can live in an apartment, it will need a lot of exercise and the apartment needs to provide enough space for this large dog breed.

Although every dog is different, below are some of the key characteristics and factors to consider when taking on an Akita Malamute.

Food & Diet Requirements

The Akita Malamute is a big dog, and it has a big appetite to match. As an adult, you should expect to feed approximately five cups of good-quality kibble split over two or three meals. Alternatively, you can feed wet or canned food. To ensure you’re feeding an appropriate amount, you will need to weigh the dog and then consult the manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure that you give an appropriate amount of feed each day.

If you are considering a raw food or fresh food diet, you will need to do thorough research to make sure you are providing adequate protein and all the essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs. If you feed treats or use treats for training, don’t forget to include these in your daily feeding calculations. Even a handful of some kinds of treats can contain a lot of calories, and if you feed too many treats without reducing the amount you feed at mealtimes, your dog will be at risk of putting on excess weight.

Exercise

Both parent breeds are working dogs and they have very high energy levels and exercise requirements. This means that you should expect to provide at least 90 minutes of exercise each day. Some of this can include regular walks, but the hybrid breed will benefit from being given more demanding exercise and especially exercise that requires the use of its intelligence and brain. Akitas are especially good at agility, despite their large frame, and both dogs can excel in other canine sports.

Training

Training and socialization will be very important aspects of owning an Akita Malamute Mix. Both should be started from as young an age as possible. Socialization will help ensure that the Akita in the mix doesn’t show signs of aggression towards people or other dogs. Good socialization can start with puppy classes. This introduces the dog to other dogs as well as new situations. Other dogs and their owners should be sympathetic to your socialization efforts.

However, socialization shouldn’t stop there. Walk your dog regularly, to dog parks and other public areas where they will meet dogs and people. Change walk routes so that you see new sites and meet different people. You can also invite friends and visitors around to the house so your dog can get used to meeting new people in its own home.

The Akita Malamute Mix is likely to be quite a stubborn dog, which can make training a challenge. The dog won’t intentionally go out of its way to make life difficult, and it is a highly intelligent cross, but it does have its own mind and despite loving its human family, it won’t be particularly interested in pleasing you. Be consistent and use firm but fair training techniques. Don’t use harsh training methods.

The Akita is especially prone to mouthing. This isn’t an aggressive action but a way the breed communicates what it wants with owners. It may take your hand and lead you to its leash or the dog bowl. Many owners find the mouthing pleasing, but if you provide activities that require the mouthing of other objects, you can stop your dog from mouthing your hand or wrist.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming will also prove a challenge. The Akita Malamute Mix has a thick, double coat, designed primarily to protect it against very cold and wet conditions. The coat will shed, but with regular brushing, you can ensure your dog is comfortable and you can also minimize the amount of hair that is shed. Brush daily for the best results and to make each brush easier. You will need to brush your dog’s teeth, ideally every day but at least three times a week, and you will need to occasionally trim the nails.

Assuming you are providing enough exercise, nail trimming shouldn’t be required too often but you should still expect to give the nails a trim every 2–3 months, especially if all exercise is on grass or other soft surfaces. Abrasive surfaces like concrete wear the nails down so they don’t need as much cutting.

Health and Conditions

Akitas and Malamutes are generally healthy dogs, but there are certain conditions both parent breeds and dogs of this type are susceptible to. It is a good idea to be aware of these so you can look for any signs or symptoms and act quickly if you spot them. One of the main concerns is that of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is common in large breeds and occurs when the thigh bone is prevented from sitting neatly in the hip joint. It can cause lameness in either or both of the rear legs and can lead to arthritis.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Inherited Polyneuropathy
  • Hemeralopia
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
Serious Conditions
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Male vs Female

Although individual characteristics are more likely to determine the traits of a dog, gender can play a part. Males will usually grow bigger, physically, and males are more prone to being aggressive towards other dogs and exhibiting wanderlust. Females are more prone to mood swings, and they can be more aloof than their male counterparts.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Akita Malamute Mix

1. Akitas Are Very Loyal Dogs

One of the key characteristics of the Akita is that it is considered an incredibly loyal dog that loves its owners very much. One Akita, in Japan, named Hachi, used to go to the train station to meet his owner every night after work. After his owner died, Hachi continued to go to the train station every day for 9 years until he passed away. Hachi has his own statue outside the train station, and his story was turned into a Hollywood film starring Richard Gere.


2. Akitas Used to Be Reserved for the Imperial Family

Akitas were first bred in Japan and were used for hunting big game. They are still used for this purpose today, although they are also kept as companion pets. For some time, Akitas could only be owned by members of the Imperial Family and the dogs would be given leashes that denoted the rank of their owners.


3. Malamutes Have Been Around for 5,000 Years

Malamutes hail from Alaska and are called Alaskan Malamutes. They were kept 5,000 years ago by settlers and were trained to pull sleds and perform other working roles. The breed still enjoys pulling sleds, and owners can take part in competitive sledding and even dry sledding with their Malamutes today. Even if you don’t take part in this kind of event, you will need to provide your Akita Malamute Mix with a lot of exercise every day.

Conclusion

The Akita Malamute is a very large breed that combines the Alaskan Malamute with the Akita, typically the American Akita but potentially the Japanese Akita. The breed needs a lot of regular exercise as well as socialization and consistent training from a young age. It is not recommended for first-time owners because its independent nature can make it difficult to train.

Expect to feed plenty, exercise often, and embark on socialization and training throughout the dog’s life. In return, you will get a dog that is loyal and very loving with family, and that will keep you entertained.

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Featured Image Credit: Left – Charlotte Rush, Unsplash | Right – Till Daling, Pexels

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