Alaskan Malamutes are one of the most powerful dogs of the modern age that has the capacity to carry heavy loads of materials for their trainers.
Can they run for long distances? The answer is yes, they can. Alaskan Malamutes are strong dogs with amazing endurance. They have been used in history, as well as modernly, as canine engines to help transport materials over miles of land for a long period of time.
In essence, Alaskan Malamutes were designed to run long distances, and here are a few attributes that help them do it so well.
Alaskan Malamutes Running History
Alaskan Malamutes have always been used for transporting large cargo over long distances since the beginning of our time with them.
With their domestication with humans, Alaskan malamutes have become a pillar in the semi-nomadic lives of people, and have also become great companions as well.
Their purpose in history has not changed much; they still pull sleds and assist their caretakers with chasing down wild animals like polar bears and walruses; however, they tend to be even more domesticated now, and tend to use their skills when the time is necessary.
From a current prospective, the running history of the Alaskan Malamute is still clear as day in this modern time; they are still amazing runners.
How Fast Can Alaskan Malamutes Run?
Don’t let their size fool you; although they are big, sturdy, and muscular animals, Alaskan Malamutes are fast!
On an average run, Alaskan Malamutes, as a group, have the capacity to run at a speed of 25 miles per hour! In addition, when there’s a reason to run, these speedy dogs can even reach 30 miles per hour!
That’s as fast as the average city street speed limit! It’s part of their physical structure to be able to run this fast, and in both history and modern time, it has been a major help for both their own survival, as well as the survival of their caretakers.
How Long Can an Alaskan Malamute Run at One Time?
“Running” is a subjective word; it can be considered a full extension of their legs, or perhaps a small and even trot that can carry on for distances.
To answer the question, Alaskan Malamutes can run for about 1 to 2 hours straight without needing much of a break.
This is due to their endurance, high stamina, and pure strength. When they are not hauling a heavy load, they are capable of running for about 2 hours straight with little-to-no problems, considering that without the weight, they feel as light as a feather, and take full advantage of that.
Background That Led to High Endurance
Their endurance is one to be reckoned with. Alaskan Malamutes are known to have a very high endurance, and this is due to the centuries of literal weight that they have been pulling.
Historically speaking, the loads that are pulled by these strong dogs can weigh up to hundreds of pounds; and as the years went on, they Malamutes seem to have adjusted, and gotten used to the load.
So as an effect of pulling heavy loads over a long distance for hours at a time, it is now genetically coded into their body for them to have endurance rates that beat out their counterparts, such as Alaskan Huskies or Akitas.
Should You Run Long Distance With Your Alaskan Malamute?
Alaskan Malamutes are built tough and have the ability to hang in there with you by your side in less-than-ideal situations. So can you run long distances with your Alaskan Malamute; of course you can! This is literally what they are bred to do!
Running long distances for the Malamute is better exercise, and fits better within their physical and mental frame than a short jog, which may seem like a tease to them.
Running for a long distance not only makes them feel normal, but will also strengthen the bond that they have with you, seeing that you are willing to do the one thing they love to do: run!
Training an Alaskan Malamute to Run Long Distances
Let the Dog Gradually Adapt to the Activity of Running
Although Alaskan Malamutes are natural-born runners, it’s important to remember that they don’t pop out of the womb ready to rumble. As you get ready to train you Malamute, the best way to start is to get them acclimated to running long distances.
You can start with a brisk 15 minute jog around your neighborhood to see how well it keeps up. As time goes on, you may increase their jogging time, as well as the speed that they run at; this is a safe and effective way to get them used to the activity of long-distance running.
Also, when you notice that they’re doing well, a little bit of weight will help them improve their running stamina and endurance.
It’s best to begin training your Alaskan Malamute with a leash; this will create security for you and other dogs, while at the same time, providing the Malamute with structure and organization while running.
Training with a leash can be a bit of a hassle due to the size of the dog, so it’s important to hold on tight to the leash, while still providing space for your dog to run beside you without being choked.
Keep in mind that the right type of leash will aid in your training journey; and it should be sturdy enough to withstand the strength of your Alaskan Malamute.
Pay Attention to Hydration
With miles and miles of running, Alaskan Malamutes are bound to get thirsty; and it’s up to you, the trainer, to pay close attention to when they need water. When this breed of dog becomes thirsty, they will extend their tongues out of their mouth and begin to pant.
Once you see this happening, grab water as soon as possible to reduce any chances of dehydration. Water is usually the only remedy for hydration, but in addition to the water, you may also allow your dog(s) to take a break and have a nice long drinking session.
This in turn will grant them more energy, and promote even more strength to keep going.
Make Sure It’s Healthy Enough
Of course it’s imperative to make sure that your Alaskan Malamute is healthy enough to train for a long distance run.
What’s important to keep in mind that although these are some brute dogs, they too are bound to present with some sort of health condition, seeing that dogs have common ailments between them all.
This is important because some of these ailments can affect their joints and hips; thus, their running skills.
So before you begin training, it’s advisable to get your Malamute checked out by a certified Veterinarian, and find out if your dog is ready to start training; or determine what can be done in order to begin a healthy training session with them.
Health Problems Associated with Running Long Distances
Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy dogs, and don’t require much assistance when it comes to being healthy.
However, they are not impervious to health problems, and they are known to have a few. Health problems that are associated with Alaskan Malamutes and their long-distance running usually comes down to dysplasia; a hip condition that affects the joints and sockets in their hips.
With this condition, it will make running a serious problem, considering that they won’t run in a straight line, in addition to the limp that they will also have.
This condition is common among racing dogs, and costs a pretty penny to rectify; also, dysplasia can also lead to arthritis, which is another health problem associated with running long distances.
Keeping Your Alaskan Malamute Safe on the Run
Whether you have many Malamutes or just one, keeping it safe while running these adventurous lengths is always a top priority.
There are several ways to make sure that your Malamute is safe; one of them is to make sure that you have all of their provisions for the travel: food, water, brushes, and perhaps an extra harness. Also, be aware of other traveling dogs that may pass by.
Although these dogs are pretty domesticated, they can also be aggressive and territorial beings towards other dogs.
One more safety tip that will come in handy is to make sure their harnesses are secure enough to keep them in line, but loose enough for them to have full range of motion while running.
What to Bring on Your Long Run
When traveling long distances with your Alaskan Malamute, be sure to first and foremost have water; it will be necessary when the dog(s) get tired and start panting due to potential dehydration.
Also bring food for both you and the Malamute(s); shoot for nutritionally valuable edibles like fresh animal protein, and some hearty vegetables and fruit to recover their strength.
There’s also the equipment that your friend will need to pull you or the haul, such as a leash or a harness for easy maneuverability.
How Do I Know if I’m Overworking My Alaskan Malamute?
You’ll know that you’re putting too much strain on your Malamute by observing their body language.
When the strong dog is overworked, it will be slow to move; and once it begins to move, it will be a reduced pace than you’re used to. Their head will hang down as their body continues to move, and their tongue will be out due to exhaustion and potential overheating.
When this happens, it’s time to give your Alaskan Malamute a well-deserved rest for running long distances with you.