While sounding phonetically true to their English translated name “Malamute,” Alaskan Malamutes have a lineage extending to the eskimos who raised them for centuries. The misconception that they do not bark is a myth, as they are very vocal creatures.
Alaskan Malamutes don’t bark often. Nevertheless, exceptions do happen and Alaskan Malamutes should still not bark unless you got a deviant puppy or two on your hands.
Malamutes possess a wide variety of vocal communication, and we encourage you to read on as this article contains the most extensive knowledge on symptoms and causes for barking in your malamute pet.
Alaskan Malamute’s Barking Habits
Alaskan Malamutes are a quiet breed of dogs, and are more wont to howl rather than bark, which eerily resembles their wolf ancestors.
Each Malamute’s barking habits will vary by the individual dog. You’ll find some pets to howl relentlessly at passing traffic or neighbor’s dogs regardless of how well they were trained.
When a pair or more malamutes gather to howl it’s quite a sight and concert to experience. They’ll point their muzzles vertically towards the sky and synchronize their howls, stopping when others have stopped.
Why is My Alaskan Malamute Barking So Much?
Since they’re noted to be such a quiet breed, if your Malamute is barking then it’s a cause for concern worth looking into. Below are any of the numerous reasons as to why your Malamute may be verbally protesting more often than usual.
Boredom That Leads to Barking
Small, lap dog breeds are known for barking to get their owners’ attention if neglected or simply out of boredom. How true this applies to a large, loyal and active breed such as the malamute! If you fail to provide it necessary attention or toys (when you’re not around), your malamute may take to whining or even barking for the presence and play of a fellow human.
Lack of Exercise
Keep in mind, this breed has a tendency to roam a long distance at a short time, which is only a taste of their levels of active-ness.
Most malamute owners report that their dogs “talk” to them, through a low rumbling sound that can sound like growling to those unfamiliar with the breed, when they want to inform their owner they want something, such as going outside.
Either you have forgotten to take it out for its regularly scheduled walk, or you have neglected a basic aspect of the breed’s active level and your pet is reminding you loudly to “take me out, human!”
Anxiety in Summer
Being a breed originally suited for pulling sleds through cold, winter climates, it would make sense why a densely-coated dog such as a Malamute would have anxiety during the Summer.
Some dogs will bark more abundantly when they’re in heat, in order to attract the attention of a potential mate. If your dogs are neutered or spayed, then this reason should be crossed of your list as to why your malamute is suddenly barking so much.
Similar to how a human toddler or grade schooler would express verbal pleasure in laughing, malamutes can express their joy in playing with other dogs by barking during roughhousing or a game of tag.
Puppies Barking When They Are Nervous and Scared
This is a logical and sensible reason as to why your pet may be barking, as a stranger or uncomfortable situation may put them in a state of high anxiety or distress. Their barking may be a call for you to come to their side and give them comfort.
This is also the most common reason why your Malamute may be barking. After all, something new and unusual is occurring around or to them and any animal would be sensibly alert.
Barking at Strangers
For the exact reason listed above, or perhaps your dog is a trained watch or guard dog, a malamute may bark at strangers, particularly if they approach with malicious intent.
Nevertheless, unless your dog is well-trained and socialized properly, it shouldn’t be barking at strangers. Barking at strangers is a sign of insecurity in the dog, for which a confident and caring owner’s presence nearby should easily quell.
Not Enough Socialization
If your dog is barking at the mere presence of a neighboring dog passing by on street or the vicinity, and it hasn’t received proper training then it’s likely that it hasn’t received proper socialization either.
Socialization is a process by which your dog is introduced to the interaction and company of other dogs, usually done at a very young age such as puppyhood.
During the process the individual dog learns social boundaries and etiquette regarding the rules of the pack, such as how to properly deal with frustrations with other dogs as well as acceptable doggy behavior and antics.
An isolated dog will be raised without this knowledge, much to its detriment and chagrin of nearby humans. It may react either negatively or be unable to contain its excitement around other dogs if not socialized properly.
If you suspect that your malamute hasn’t been socialized properly and is barking at the merest sign of another dog, then it may be time to send it to a trainer. Don’t neglect the possibility that it may be in heat (see “Estrus”).
Is your dog getting the proper quantity and quality of sustenance daily? Or is he simply barking to inform you of the deficit in his diet (in other words, he’s hungry!)?
If you’re certain you satisfied nutrition and dietary requirements, then it’s time to look into your malamute’s fur, weight and mouth for any overt signs of health problems.
Check for obesity or underweight-edness, and be also to scope the ears, paws, and coating for parasites.
Perhaps your pooch is trying to inform its owner of the pain its experiencing as a result of its ailment or worse, barking for sheer pain itself. If the latter is the case, a visit to the vet is mandatory.
How to Reduce Barking?
There are many generic strategies for which to mitigate, if not completely eliminate the tendency to bark from your malamute.
Chewing on Bones
A great solution for active, or high-anxiety dogs of any breed is to include bones for them to chew on while the owner(s) are away or occupied. A dog who is using his mouth will find it impossible to bark at the same time.
For the same reason above, toys are a great option for dogs who vandalize their home by chewing on everything. Make sure you get high-quality toys that are non-toxic and easily washable.
Talking to Your Dog
Similar to how the adage that talking to your plant will make it grow, talking to your pet is effectively giving it attention. Be sure to talk to your dog in a positive, calming and soothing voice.
To effectively convey to your pet that you reward silence, it may be best to refrain from giving it small snacks and other rewards as it may misconstrue to the pet that barking and then stopping is a trick in itself to be repeated and exploited for rewards.
Do Alaskan Malamutes Make Other Noises?
Oh, definitely! As mentioned in the very introduction in this article, malamutes are very vocal animals and barking is one of the least predominant sounds they make out of their muzzles.
Malamutes can growl and pant, make a weird vibrating sound in their throat that sounds like they are “talking” to their owners.
But their most notorious sound is their howling. They are far more likely to howl for the reasons listed above than to bark, whether it’s out of loneliness or the joining the pack chorale at howling for a lost member or at the moon.
Malamute vocalizations are quite complex, which are variegated by their inflections, facial expressions, body languages, volume and tone. To fully break these down and decode them would be impossible, as malamutes are much better at understanding us than we are at them!