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Akita Malamute Mix: Pictures, Care, Temperament & Traits

Beth Crane

By Beth Crane

The Akita Malamute mix is a strong working dog mix that commands attention wherever it goes. Akitas and Alaskan Malamutes are thick-furred working dogs that are energetic and intelligent. Owners adopting a hybrid should be prepared to deal with bull-headedness and independence! However, this dog is incredibly loyal, and you won’t find a more courageous friend. Read on to discover more about the beautiful Akita Malamute.

Height: 23–28 inches
Weight: 70–130 pounds
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Colors: Black, fawn, red, white, grey, silver, sable, agouti, brindle, mix of these colors
Suitable for: Active families, Experienced dog owners, owners looking for a loyal protector, those in colder climates
Temperament: Loyal & loving, intelligent, stubborn, strong-willed, protective

The Akita Malamute mix is a crossbreed between an Alaskan Malamute and a Japanese Akita. Both of the dogs are bred for strength and loyalty, but they have some opposing traits that make the mix of the two intriguing. The Alaskan Malamute is a natural-born pack animal, thriving best when surrounded by its kin. Since they were developed as arctic sled dogs, Malamutes are friendly and loving towards friends and family.

The Akita, with its attractive coat and deep-chested stance, was bred to be the protector of Japanese royalty. Because of that, they don’t fare as well with others and can be standoffish with people they don’t know and other pets. However, both breeds love their families, which is evident in the Akita Malamute mixes.

Akita Malamute Mix Characteristics

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

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Akita Malamute Mix Puppies

The Akita Malamute mix boasts some of the cutest, most rambunctious puppies. These bundles of fluff will be interested in everything and often “sing” to their siblings and human families. These puppies are most likely developed from occasional planned mating, as the Akita Malamute mix isn’t a “designer” dog breed like many “doodle” breeds are. That doesn’t mean there aren’t lovers of the mix, though, and puppies bred from pedigree parents can still fetch a high price. Based on the cost of a purebred Akita and Alaskan Malamute, the puppies of this mix will likely cost between $500 and $1,500.

Parent Breeds of the Akita Malamute Mix
Image Credit: (L) maxxxiss, Pixabay | (R) Mohan Nannapaneni, Unsplash

Temperament & Intelligence of the Akita Malamute Mix

Like any mixed breed, the temperament of the Akita Malamute mix cannot be guaranteed. However, we can look at the temperaments and traits of both breeds that make the mix and determine their likely temperament.

The Akita and the Malamute are intelligent, strong-willed dogs that can develop stubborn streaks if not well trained. Both breeds come from working lines, so their focus and drive are incredible; this trait will likely translate into puppies of the mix. Akita Malamute mixes are high-energy pups and will need rigorous training. However, when they are let into a family, they can be as silly and carefree as they come; most Malamutes are incredibly loving with older children, and Akitas love nothing more than being around their people. Some are wary of strangers and other pets but can be trained to behave.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

These dogs are undeniably large and need special considerations, or they’ll be totally in charge! Families with small children aren’t the best choice for the Akita Malamute mix, as they’re energetic, protective dogs that can sometimes be standoffish. Families with older children who can participate in their training won’t have a better companion, but they should always be around them with supervision. The Akita Malamute mix will love to be involved in family activities. Active families and those with time to groom their abundance of thick fur are the best matches for these dogs since they need stimulation and daily brushing to keep them happy.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Because of the sometimes-standoffish nature of the Akita and the pack mentality of the Alaskan Malamute, the mix of the two can take after either parent. Most Akita Malamute mixes are likely to be happy with other pets as long as they’re well-socialized to them when they’re puppies. But, both the Alaskan Malamute and the Akita have very high prey drives, so households with cats or small pets are probably better off keeping them separated. That’s not to say that some Akita Malamutes won’t adore their feline companions; however, it’s best to keep large dogs with other medium to large dogs to avoid accidental injury or chasing behavior.

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Things to Know When Owning an Akita Malamute Mix

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Akita Malamute mix is a big, active dog that requires high-quality dog food to keep them going. A dog food brand tailored explicitly for large dogs is critical when they’re puppies, as large puppies can grow too quickly if their food contains too many calories. Growing too fast can affect bone growth and cause joint issues in large-breed dogs. As they get older, Akita Malamute mixes will need food that meets their energy requirements as they’re active dogs but can gain weight quickly if they eat too much.

A complete diet formulated for large breeds is best to ensure that all their nutritional needs are met. Because these dogs can suffer from joint and mobility problems, a diet rich in omega-3 and six fatty acids can help to protect their joints and keep them moving; speak to your vet about supplements and additions to their diet before going ahead. Akitas can be food possessive, so giving your Akita Malamute mix their food or any treats away from children is important. Remember that all dogs should have constant access to fresh, clean water.

Exercise 🐕

The Akita Malamute mix requires daily exercise, but they aren’t suited for sprinting. These dogs get endurance from their Malamute side and determination from their Akita parent, so daily walks of a moderate length are generally enough for them. They’ll need a yard to exercise in during the day, but they don’t needs excessive exercise. The Akita Malamute mix will enjoy going on long hikes and trails with you as long as it’s not too hot out since they have thick fur and are stockily built, so they can easily overheat. The Akita was bred to reside indoors most of the time, so you may find your Akita Malamute mix is less bothered about getting into the great outdoors and wants to spend their time napping on the couch!

Training 🎾

The Akita and the Alaskan Malamute are headstrong, independent, and intelligent breeds. These traits, combined with fierce protectiveness and guarding behavior, can mean an Akita Malamute mix can have problems socializing and integrating with people and animals they aren’t familiar with, including children. Socialization is incredibly important with this mix, and puppies should begin intensive socialization programs as soon as possible to avoid wariness with strangers that can be perceived as a threat. Training must be interesting and consistent, as the Akita Malamute mix is both stubborn and willful. Some behaviors, such as digging, are very difficult to take out of these dogs. Making sure your training goals are clear and giving your dog plenty of opportunity to exhibit their natural behaviors in a controlled setting can help reduce unwanted “problem” behaviors.

Grooming ✂️

While the Akitas thick coat doesn’t need much more than a weekly groom to keep it ship shape, the Alaskan Malamute’s long, luscious fur needs daily grooming to prevent tangling. An Akita Malamute mix can go either way and have fur that needs daily grooming, weekly grooming, or somewhere in between. It’s ideal to get your Akita Malamute mix used to grooming as soon as possible, and they’ll need thorough daily grooming during the shedding seasons.

These periods happen twice a year and involve the dogs losing their undercoat in clumps (a “blowout”) which can thoroughly decorate your home in fluff. Thorough grooming can reduce this shedding and can help keep your dog comfortable.

Unless they get really dirty, your Akita Malamute mix won’t need bathing more regularly than once a month; some Malamutes can get away with bathing every four to six weeks, so it depends on your mixes’ fur and how much they love rolling in the mud! All dogs, including your Akita Malamute mix, should have their teeth cleaned once a day with dog-safe toothpaste, and they should have their nails clipped once a month to prevent overgrowth.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Like many crossbreeds, the Akita Malamute mix is generally healthier than either pure breed. However, the Akita and Alaskan Malamute have some health conditions that can greatly impact their lives and be passed down to Akita Malamute mix puppies.

Serious Conditions:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a deformity in the hip joints that forms as dogs grow and is commonly seen in large breeds. It’s a debilitating condition that can seriously affect a dog’s quality of life, including lameness and an inability to walk. Signs include lameness, pain, reluctance to walk, and changes in gait.
  • Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland located in a dog’s neck. The thyroid begins to secrete less thyroxine, a hormone that affects many of the body’s systems, including metabolism and growth. Signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, dry skin, fur loss, and behavioral changes.
  • Day Blindness: Day blindness, or achromatopsia, is a condition that reduces a dog’s ability to see in the light or daytime, and its effects can be seen in some dogs as early as 8 weeks old. It is not a progressive disease, but it is painful and can dramatically decrease the quality of life. Signs include pain and reluctance to be in a day or bright light, preference for shade or dark places, inability to see during the daytime, nystagmus, and behavioral changes.
  • Bloat: Bloat and gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) are conditions that affect many deep-chested dog breeds. Bloat is when a dog’s stomach fills with air and enlarges. Bloat can be caused by exercising after a meal or gulping too much water; sometimes, it doesn’t progress beyond this stage. In GDV, the swollen stomach becomes twisted at both ends, blocking the entrance and exit. GDV is a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate veterinary treatment. Signs include swollen stomachs, collapse, and even death.

Minor Conditions:

  • Cataracts: Cataracts are a milky-white “film” that covers the retina and clouds vision. Cataracts can be formed due to genetic inheritance or medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus. The most apparent signs of cataracts in dogs are a film over the eyes and loss of vision.
  • Entropion: Entropion is the turning of the eyelid inwards towards the eye, causing the eyelashes to brush onto the eyeball and irritate the eye. This condition usually requires surgery to fix and can occur in young puppies and older dogs. Pain, irritation, and watering or discharge from the eyes are the most common signs of entropion in dogs, and corneal ulcers or even blindness can result if it’s not treated.

Male vs Female

There is little size difference between male and female Akita Malamute mixes; although males tend to be slightly larger than females, there’s no guaranteeing this with a crossbreed! The temperament of males and females are similar, but unfixed dogs are more likely to spray and display aggression.

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3 Little-Known Facts About The Akita Malamute Mix

1. They Will Likely Have a Curled-Over Tail.

Thanks to the Akitas signature curled tail and the Malamute’s tail carried over their backs, the Akita Malamute mix will most likely have a fluffy tail curled over their backs. This curly tail served a purpose for Alaskan Malamutes as a way to warm their noses when working in the snow!


2. They Are Spitz-Type Dogs.

Both the Akita and the Malamute are classed as spitz-type dogs, characterized by pointed ears, long muzzles, thick fur, and curled tails. Because of this, your Akita Malamute mix would be classed as 100% spitz, too!


3. They Are Also Known as “Malkitas” and Are Gaining Popularity.

The Akita Malamute mix is gaining popularity steadily as a great guard dog with beautiful looks. Also known as “Malkitas,” these dogs often have wolf-like brown and grey coats, but they can also have beautiful red and white coats like those of the Malamute.

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Final Thoughts

The Akita Malamute mix is not a dog for the faint of heart. Strong, loyal, and suspicious of all they don’t know, the Akita Malamute mix is wary of strangers and difficult to train at times. They’re excellent companions for people who want a natural guard dog with a loving, silly side, but families with infants should reconsider as they are very prone to guarding behaviors and have a high prey drive. For experienced owners who can put the time into training these dogs, you won’t find a braver, more courageous companion who thrives on spending time with those they love.

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