Are Alaskan Malamutes Calm? Discover the Truth about their Temperament

Contrary to popular belief, Alaskan Malamutes are not inherently calm dogs. While they may exude an air of tranquility when lounging around the house, it’s important to recognize that they have an underlying energy that needs to be channeled appropriately. This energy is a result of their history as working dogs and their natural instincts.

2. Historical Background: The Working Dog Mentality

To understand the temperament of Alaskan Malamutes, we must delve into their historical background. These dogs were bred for endurance and strength, pulling heavy sleds across long distances in harsh Arctic conditions. This working dog mentality has shaped their temperament and contributes to their high energy levels.

3. Energy Levels and Exercise Requirements

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their boundless energy. They require ample exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, runs, and play sessions are essential to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors that may arise from pent-up energy. Regular exercise also helps promote a calmer disposition in these dogs.

4. Independence and Stubbornness: Does It Affect Calmness?

Alaskan Malamutes are independent thinkers and can display stubbornness at times. While these traits do not necessarily make them less calm, they can present challenges in training and require a patient and consistent approach. Understanding their independent nature and providing firm, yet positive reinforcement-based training can help foster a sense of calmness in these dogs.

5. Pack Mentality: How It Influences Temperament

Alaskan Malamutes have a strong pack mentality ingrained in their genetic makeup. This means that they thrive in a social environment and value their place within the family unit. When raised in a loving and structured pack, they are more likely to exhibit calm and balanced behavior. However, a lack of proper socialization or leadership can lead to behavioral issues that may manifest as restlessness or anxiety.

Factors Affecting Alaskan Malamute Temperament

1. Socialization: Early Experiences Make a Difference

Early socialization plays a crucial role in shaping the temperament of Alaskan Malamutes. Introducing them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age helps them develop confidence and adaptability. Proper socialization can greatly contribute to their overall calmness and ability to handle different situations with ease.

2. Training and Leadership: Establishing a Calm Dynamic

Effective training and establishing a leadership role are essential in cultivating a calm temperament in Alaskan Malamutes. These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training methods that focus on consistency and clear communication. By providing them with clear boundaries and guidance, owners can help their Alaskan Malamutes develop the self-control necessary for a calm and well-behaved companion.

3. Environmental Factors: Impact on Overall Temperament

The environment in which an Alaskan Malamute is raised and lives can significantly impact their temperament. A stable and nurturing environment with a predictable routine and minimal stressors can contribute to a calm and content dog. On the other hand, a chaotic or stressful environment can lead to anxiety and restlessness in these sensitive dogs.

Busting Common Myths about Alaskan Malamutes

1. All Malamutes are Calm: Separating Fact from Fiction

It is important to dispel the misconception that all Alaskan Malamutes are naturally calm. While some individuals within the breed may have a calmer disposition, it is not a trait that can be universally attributed to the entire breed. Temperament can vary based on genetics, upbringing, and individual personality traits.

2. Aggression is Inevitable: Understanding the Truth

Another myth that needs debunking is the belief that Alaskan Malamutes are inherently aggressive. Like any dog breed, aggression is not a predetermined trait but a result of various factors such as lack of socialization, improper training, or neglect. With proper care, training, and socialization, Alaskan Malamutes can be friendly and well-behaved companions.

3. Calm Malamutes Don’t Exist: Addressing Misconceptions

While it is true that Alaskan Malamutes require an active lifestyle and mental stimulation, it is inaccurate to claim that they can never be calm. With a balanced approach to exercise, training, and socialization, these dogs can exhibit calm behavior in appropriate settings. It’s important to recognize that calmness in Alaskan Malamutes is a learned behavior that can be cultivated with the right approach.

Cultivating a Calm Temperament in Alaskan Malamutes

1. Appropriate Exercise and Mental Stimulation

To encourage a calm temperament in Alaskan Malamutes, it is crucial to provide them with appropriate physical exercise and mental stimulation. Engaging in activities such as hiking, obedience training, puzzle toys, and interactive play sessions can help channel their energy in a positive and constructive way, promoting a sense of calmness.

2. Consistent Training Methods for a Balanced Companion

Consistency is key when training Alaskan Malamutes. By using positive reinforcement techniques and establishing clear boundaries, owners can help their dogs develop self-control and a calm demeanor. Consistent training methods also build trust and strengthen the bond between the owner and their Alaskan Malamute.

3. Socialization Techniques to Encourage Calmness

Socialization should be an ongoing process throughout an Alaskan Malamute’s life. Exposing them to new experiences, people, and animals in a controlled and positive manner helps them feel secure and confident in various situations. This, in turn, contributes to a calm temperament and reduces the likelihood of fear-based reactions.


In conclusion, Alaskan Malamutes are not inherently calm dogs, but with the right approach, they can develop a balanced and calm temperament. Understanding their history, energy levels, and the importance of socialization and training is essential in fostering a calm and well-behaved companion. By debunking common myths and providing practical tips, we hope to empower potential Alaskan Malamute owners to cultivate a harmonious relationship with their furry friends. Remember, every dog is unique, and it’s important to embrace their individuality while working towards a calm and balanced temperament.

ThePetFaq Team