Breed Pre-Requisites

As gorgeous as they are the arctic breeds are not a dog for everyone - and they are much more than that cute little puppy in the window.  It takes a special owner for what is truly a very special breed.  This list is not exhaustive, and each dog is different, but it gives you a grounded starting point on the arctic breeds characteristics and their requirements.  It will help you decide if you are able to handle being owned by an arctic!

  • A secure, fully fenced and escape proof yard is mandatory.  The grass is not greener on the other side no matter how much they like to think so.  At times they'll explore their freedom just to prove to you that they can!
  • All arctic breeds are extremely people friendly but some dogs, Malamutes in particular, can be same-sex aggressive.  Not all, but some, and something to take into account.
  • The arctics are pack animals - they generally do not do well as a single dog and as much as they love their humans they do need their canine company.  Some are even known to be breed racist - i.e. they only like their kind!
  • If you want a dog who obeys you every time then you're better off with a mechanical one - they are extremely strong, independent and stubborn!
  • They live with a "what's in it for me" mentality.  You need patience and willpower to constantly engage in challenges with a large, smart, powerful animal without becoming angry, and NEVER abusive or aggressive.
  • If you're after a guard dog you're out of luck - they will guard their food and possessions but are more than likely to invite an intruder in for a cup of a tea!
  • They shed and moult.  A lot.  If you don't like the idea of getting hair into everything - and we mean everything - then this is not the breed for you.
  • An insufficiently exercised or mentally stimulated arctic breed will re-landscape your yard.  Or renovate your home.  Or both.
  • You need to commit considerable time, patience and resources in order to care for your dog during it's lifetime.
  • They love to run.  Really run.  Don't think you will ever be able to catch them. You won't.
  • If you're after a dog you can let off-lead in an ungated dog park or play area then for the safety of all concerned it's probably best you research other breeds.
  • You must be prepared to regularly groom your dog.  The arctic generally have little to no doggy odour when groomed regularly and properly.
  • The arctics are attention seeking dogs who will talk back to you on a regular basis - some consider this music to their ears, others don't.  What do you think?
  • For their size they are generally not big eater but can be rather fussy about what they will put into their mouths.
  • They do not cope well on their own - being people dogs they require, and will often demand, a lot of attention.  You must be prepared to involve them in family activities and allow them time both inside and outside the home.
  • Most arctics are great with kids.  A combination of their size and individual energy levels can lead to accidental injury - vigilant supervision is necessary at all times.
If you're still reading then our beloved arctic breed will make a loving, affectionate and loyal companion for you and your family.