|Why Are Malamute Puppies So Clumsy?
|Normal Part of Growth and Development (Wait it Out)
|1. Rapid Growth: Malamutes are a large breed and their rapid growth can lead to a lack of coordination. 2. Developing Motor Skills: Puppies, in general, are still developing their motor skills, leading to clumsiness. 3. Playful Nature: Their playful and energetic nature can also make them seem more clumsy as they learn to control their movements.
Dealing With the Clumsy Phase
The Alaskan Malamute, much like other large dog breeds, goes through a “clumsy” phase during its development, typically associated with its rapid growth period.
This phase is often characterized by awkward movements and a lack of coordination, as the puppy grows into its large frame. Here’s a breakdown of this developmental stage:
Duration of the Clumsy Phase
- Starts Around 4 to 6 Months: The clumsy phase usually begins when the puppy is around 4 to 6 months old. This is when they experience significant growth spurts.
- Can Last Until 12 to 18 Months: This phase can last until the dog is about 12 to 18 months old. During this time, the puppy is growing rapidly both in size and weight, which can throw off their coordination and balance.
Factors Influencing the Clumsy Phase
- Rapid Growth: Malamutes are a large breed, and their rapid growth during puppyhood can lead to awkwardness as their bodies and limbs grow at different rates.
- Developing Motor Skills: Puppies are still learning to coordinate their movements, which contributes to their clumsiness.
- High Energy Levels: Malamutes are energetic, and their excitement and energy can sometimes get the better of their coordination skills.
Supporting Your Malamute Puppy
- Safe Environment: Ensure they have a safe environment where they can move around without getting hurt. This means keeping floors clear of objects they might trip over and providing a soft area for play.
- Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is important, but it should be appropriate for their age and development stage to avoid injury.
- Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial during this growth phase to support healthy bone and muscle development.
- Training and Socialization: Continue with consistent training and socialization. This will help in managing their energy levels and improve their coordination.
Malamute Proofing Your Home
Malamutes, known for their strength, intelligence, and independence, can be a handful in a household. To ensure both their safety and the integrity of your home, here are key steps to malamute-proof your surroundings.
1. Secure Trash and Food Items
- Keep Trash Cans Covered: Malamutes have a strong sense of smell and can be attracted to trash. Use a sturdy, covered trash can to prevent them from rummaging through garbage.
- Store Food Properly: Keep food out of reach. This includes pantry items, leftovers on counters, and pet food.
2. Chew-Proof Your Belongings
- Protect Your Furniture: Provide plenty of chew toys to divert their attention from furniture. Consider using deterrent sprays on furniture.
- Hide Electrical Cords: Malamutes might chew on cords, posing a risk of electrocution. Keep cords hidden or protected with cord covers.
3. Create a Safe Space
- Designate a Malamute Zone: Set up a specific area in your home where your Malamute can feel comfortable and secure. Include their bed, toys, and water bowl.
- Use Baby Gates: To restrict access to certain areas of your home, consider installing baby gates.
4. Secure Outdoor Spaces
- Fence Your Yard: Malamutes are known to be escape artists. Ensure your fencing is high and secure without gaps.
- Remove Toxic Plants: Some common plants can be harmful to dogs. Remove or fence off any plants that could be toxic to your Malamute.
5. Training and Exercise
- Regular Exercise: Malamutes require a lot of physical activity. Regular walks and playtime help in using up their energy constructively.
- Consistent Training: Training helps in setting boundaries and reducing unwanted behaviors. Consider obedience classes or professional training assistance.
6. Prepare for Shedding
- Invest in Good Vacuum Cleaners: Malamutes shed heavily, especially during certain seasons. A good vacuum cleaner is essential for keeping your home clean.
- Regular Grooming: Regular brushing helps manage shedding and keeps their coat healthy.
7. Attention to Small Items
- Pick Up Small Objects: Keep small items like socks, children’s toys, and small household items out of reach to prevent choking hazards.
- Childproof Locks: Use childproof locks on cabinets to prevent your Malamute from accessing potentially harmful items.
8. Emergency Preparations
- Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your vet and a nearby animal hospital, easily accessible.
- First Aid Kit: Have a first aid kit for pets in case of minor injuries or emergencies.
Conclusion: The Awkward Stage is Something You Have to Wait Out
Malamutes, like many large breeds, go through an awkward stage, usually during their adolescence. This phase, characterized by increased energy, rebellious behavior, and testing boundaries, can be challenging for pet owners.
However, it’s a normal part of development that requires patience and consistent training.