The Alaskan Malamute bears a striking appearance to its ancestors, which can be traced to some four millennia ago. This breed takes its name from the Mahlemuts nomadic tribe, who originally bred it. The beauty of this breed enhanced with their exciting personality, makes them choicely companions for you and your loved ones.
It is ideal to breed your male Alaskan Malamute when they are about 18 months old. Also, it is preferable to start breeding the female Malamute after its second heat cycle. It is essential to mate the Alaskan Malamute at the right time to ensure improved chances of conception. Breeding your Malamute at the right time also reduces other risks like stillbirth or the sperm losing the capacity to fertilize the eggs.
There are critical things you should know when raising or breeding an Alaskan Malamute. Aside from the best age to mate it, you have to understand the heat cycle of your Alaskan Malamute to make your breeding more efficient. How long will it be in heat? You should also be able to choose the most suitable day during this heat period to breed your Malamute. More importantly, you should know how to take care of a pregnant Malamute adequately. All these we will learn in this guide.
The Best Age to Breed an Alaskan Malamute (Male and Female)
You can start breeding your male Alaskan Malamutes within 18 to 24 months. For your female Malamute, you can wait till after 18 months before you begin mating her. It is best to wait till after the second heat period to breed your female Malamute. Some breeders will wait till the bitch is at least 18 months of age.
Cons of Breeding Too Young or Too Old
You should breed your Malamute at the appropriate age – not too or too young. Typically, we have seen that male Malamutes tend to have a faster rate of sexual maturation compared to the female.
Of course, your male Malamute can mate just any time of its life once they are sexually matured. However, you have to factor it in that the quality (as well as of the quantity) of the dog will inferior as the dog significantly ages – or when it is yet very young.
Mainly, as your male Malamute ages, you see that the quality of the sperm deteriorates. It becomes more vulnerable to disease or exposure. An aging male Malamute may struggle to produce sperm of excellent viability. Such spermatozoids would struggle to fertilize or inseminate an egg.
An aging male Malamute could experience conditions like enlarged prostate, which significantly reduces the volume of the seminal fluid.
You will also notice increased difficulty in mounting as your male Malamute ages. Age-related arthritis could cause an old male Malamute terrible pains when mating.
You can also freeze the sperm of your male Malamute when it is at its sexual peak to use for mating when it is much older.
The female Malamute doesn’t experience menopause (just like human females do) and will perpetually have heat periods for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, the eggs of an old female Malamute will be less viable.
As it ages, its fertility reduces and more vulnerable to pregnancy malfunctions. Also, the risk of genetic mutations is higher as the latter stages of the life of a female Malamute.
On the other side, if you breed your female Malamute too early, the chances are high that the litter will be smaller. Also, the possibility of stillbirth is more robust.
It is best to wait at least 2 heat cycles before you mate your female Malamute. If you breed your female Malamute too early, it could suffer complications like dystocia.
Generally, we advocate that you stop breeding your female Malamute once you notice a significant drop in the size of her litter.
Understanding the Heat Cycle of Your Alaskan Malamute
Just as women have menstruation, so does anAlaskan Malamute have heat cycles. This is commonly referred to as the estrus cycle.
The first heat cycle marks the entering of your Alaskan Malamute into puberty. This can occur within the first 6 months. The heat cycle is a period of fertility for your Alaskan Malamute; it can conceive and is typified with a decline in eggs.
While some Alaskan Malamutes can enter their first heat cycle as early as 16 weeks, some may only experience it when they are 15 months old. If your Alaskan Malamute hasn’t experienced its first heat cycle in its first 15 months, then you should take it to the veterinarian for a complete checkup.
Signs of the Heat Cycle
You can tell a bitch in her heat cycles. Here are some signs that tell you she is in heat.
This is the most common sign of a dog in heat. You will notice that the vulva appears enlarged. This swell can be moderate, well pronounced, or not too noticeable.
The best way to know if the vulva is swollen is to have an accurate picture or idea of how the vulva of the dog looks when the Alaskan Malamute is not in heat. Therefore, when it enlarges in heat, you can readily detect that.
Interest from male dogs
Male dogs have an unparalleled capacity to identify anAlaskan Malamute that is in heat. Do you know that an unneutered male dog can pick up the scent of a female in heat from as far as 3 miles away? Amazing!
If your Alaskan Malamute is in heat, you will notice an unusual jump in the attraction of male dogs towards her. In such scenarios, you see more male dogs roaming in the front of your home. Also, your Alaskan Malamute will become increasingly welcoming to male dogs. In other cases, she flags them by raising the tail to the male dog.
A bitch in heat experiences discharges. Yes, the coloration of this discharge differs. It could be dark red or even light pink. Relax, these are other fluids mixing with blood. The variation (or depth of color) is usually dependent on that very dog.
This discharge may not be constant; you could notice the discharge piling up into bedding as the weeks pass by. However, for most Alaskan Malamutes, this discharge is conspicuous due to its quantity.
Changes in mood
You could also notice deviations in the typical mood of your Alaskan Malamute if she is in heat. A very enthusiastic female Alaskan Malamute (or jumpy type) may suddenly withdraw from you. In other cases, an Alaskan Malamute that usually keeps to her own suddenly becomes clingy.
How Long is a Lalamute in Heat?
A female Malamute can have her heat cycle spanning 14-28 days. They are most fertile during this period.
They are likelier to get pregnant during this window. You can tell the duration of this heat cycle from the above signs we have pointed out.
Choosing the Best Mating Day
The best mating day is the day where the chances of pregnancy are highest. Typically, the heat cycle of your Alaskan Malamute starts from the proestrus stage. This usually lasts about 9 days.
During this interval, there is a substantial hike in estrogen levels. Then there are more matured eggs as well. This period is, of course, denoted by signs like swollen vulva and discharges.
The best period, however, to mate your Alaskan Malamute is the estrus stage. This stage spans approximately 9 days as well. At this stage, there is the release of the eggs, and they are prepped for fertilization. You see, this is when the chances are highest that your Alaskan Malamute will take in.
Your Alaskan Malamute will show notable interest in male partners by now. You can intelligently bring around your choice of male dog for mating.
Things to Keep in Mind for Alaskan Malamute Breeding/Mating
Not just any environment or condition is ideal for mating your Malamute. Mating is best in a quiet, secluded setting. No doubt, the hygiene conditions of this area should be high.
Avoid excessively exercising your Malamute after mating – give them a period of rest. It shouldn’t rush at water once after mating either. We advise that you record the estrus stage and document to achieve the best mating results.
Take note that during this estrus period, your female Malamute may display aggression. Try your best not to upset it within this interval. Violent reprimands or scolding is highly prohibited. Make sure to clean her from bacteria as well during this period.
How Many Puppies Can a Malamute Have?
For one litter, a female Malamute can have anywhere from 4-10 puppies. Most female Malamutes we have seen tend to have 6 puppies averagely.
How Long are Alaskan Malamutes Pregnant for?
The standard gestation period is around 63 days. This is not fixed, as we have seen cases of variation – with pregnancy extending for some days (past 63 days) or becoming shorter.
How to Take Care of Your Pregnant Alaskan Malamute
It is crucial to adequately take care of your pregnant Malamute. This increases the safety and success of delivery, reducing possible complications, and enhancing the health of the puppies.
Nutrition is a core part of ensuring your Malamute is healthy throughout its pregnancy. You must feed your pregnant Malamute with high-quality food. Make sure you feed it at a healthy weight.
Unless your veterinarian advocates, you may not need to make substantial changes to the meal plan of your female Malamute at the beginning of her pregnancy.
Within the last 20 days of her pregnancy, we advise that you slowly raise its food intake. During the late phase of her pregnancy, she should be eating 35-35% more than it would eat when not pregnant.
Don’t feed your pregnant Malamute heavy meals. This could prove discomforting. We recommend spreading the food across small meals, which are more frequent.
Your pregnant Malamute doesn’t need intense exercise. This is to avoid piling stress on her. Therefore, when your Malamute is pregnant, you need to slash her obedience training or altogether stop carrying her to dog shows. This will ensure they are calmer and less agitated.
You can reduce your standard exercise regimen to just regular small walks. We prefer indoor walks when her pregnancy gets to the late stages. This is typically within the last 21 days of the pregnancy.
It is vital that your pregnant Malamute doesn’t get lethargic, but you shouldn’t stimulate it exceedingly either. This will protect the health of her puppy, as well.
Indoor exercises also reduce the susceptibility of your dog to diseases like canine herpes. This can cause stillbirths.
The most prevalent health challenge we have seen in female Malamutes is dystocia. This is a common complication during labor. You may be curious about what causes this condition.
The size and shape of the pelvis canal is a major determinant of the occurrence of dystocia. Narrower pelvis (possibly resulting from a pelvis fractured some time ago) causes increased difficulty in delivering puppies.
The uterine inertia is another instigator of dystocia. In such situations, the uterus lacks sufficient capacity for contraction to be able to push the puppies via its vaginal canal. This is more common with uterine exhaustion.
Of course, if the puppies are too large, the delivery process of your pregnant Malamute can be handicapped. Such puppies will struggle to fit into the birth canal.
This is prevalent when your dog is delivering just one puppy in her litter.
If you notice that your Malamute is yet to deliver after 70-73 days of pregnancy, you should be rightly worried. Then you should call up the veterinarian.
Stage one labor shouldn’t exceed 12 hours at most. In some cases, it is as short as 6 hours. Within this stage, the temperature of your dog drops with prominent nesting behaviors being exhibited.
If you also notice that your dear Malamute has a stage one labor span 24 hours without bringing out a pup, you should call your vet too.
If your pregnant Malamute is vomiting too much, all is not well. You should call the vet. A call to the vet will also be appropriate if you notice that your pregnant Malamute is unusually tired.
Should your pregnant Malamute is delivering more than one pup, the resting phase shouldn’t exceed 4 hours. If you also notice that the vaginal discharge is notably bloody or having a strong foul smell, you should reach out to the vet as well.
Your pregnant Malamute needs sufficient rest. It should sleep about 12-14 hours every day. At night, she should sleep for about 8 hours. The remaining part (4-6 hours) will be spread across the day in shorter naps.