The Alaskan Shepherd: A Complete Guide

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Alaskan Shepherds are wolf-like canines that are considered large pups amongst designer breeds.

This is a cross between two amazing and valuable breeds, the German Shepherds and the Alaskan Malamute.

Both of the parent breeds have thick coats, an athletic build, and are extremely intelligent, so it is safe to assume that the result from breeding these two would be something amazing.

These Shepherds are kept as pets on account of their capacity of being extremely friendly, smart, and family-oriented companions.

Alaskan Shepherds get their loyalty and courageous nature from their ancestors, the German

Shepherds and the Alaskan Malamute, both of which were working dogs.

They are keen creatures that require a considerable amount of activity and exercise, both physical and mental, and a lot of grooming due to their high maintenance coat for them to remain happy and healthy.

Alaskan Shepherds are required to be trained from day one, meaning that they are great for people who are ready and willing to make the effort.

Even though the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd have been famous in the United States, the Alaskan Shepherds are considered an ordinary breed and are not recognized by the

American Kennel Club as purebred dogs.

However, once you read our in-depth review of the Alaskan Shepherd, their status of recognition by the American Kennel Club would be the least important factor while you are out trying to get your hands on one of these beautiful pooches.

The Alaskan Shepherds Puppies – Before You Buy…

A small black and brown Alaskan Shepherd
The Alaskan Shepherds can be perfect family members.

There are a few factors you need to take into consideration before deciding whether or not the Alaskan Shepherd is the right breed for you, those factors being:

  • Do I have the ability to afford an Alaskan Shepherd?
  • Where do I find a reputable breeder?
  • Will my family members, or I, be able to adjust to the new lifestyle?

Once you answer these questions, you are good to go to get your hands on an Alaskan Shepherd pup.

What price are the Alaskan Shepherds puppies?

Since the Alaskan Shepherds are considered to be an unusual hybrid, not a lot of breeders breed them.

Therefore, you can expect the cost of buying one to be anywhere between $1500 and $3000.

While in the UK they can cost anywhere around £1000 to £2500, making them relatively expensive dogs.

Please note that the price of the pup is dependent on several factors such as the lineage of the parents, the health and quality of the pup etc.

But that does not change the fact that the Alaskan won’t turn out to be a loyal and faithful companion to you and your family.

How to find a reputable Alaskan Shepherd breeder?

Finding an Alaskan Shepherd breeder can be a hard task, and finding a reputable breeder that has high-quality pups and doesn’t only care about filling his/her pockets may be an even harder ordeal.

Surprisingly, it is relatively much easier than a lot of people might consider it to be.

While looking for a breeder to buy your future companion from, you must pay special attention to certain details.

Be wary of red flags, that can signal to you when it is time to walk away from the breeder

Since these are indications that the breeder is up to something that isn’t in your best interest, knowing about the breeder beforehand can save you from a lot of trouble.

While looking for a breeder online, such signs can be really easy to identify.

The availability of options like paying through credit cards or asking for advance payments or having exactly the kind of pup available, even if the characteristics don’t align with the breed are some sure signs of a breeder’s dishonesty.

Also, not being able to give full details about the pup or it’s parents or making a deal that is too good to be true are some of the things that unreputable breeders do.

We recommend that you meet the breeder in person, and ask him to show you important documents such as the health clearance certificates and breeding rights for the pup.

A reputable breeder will always be more concerned about the new home that the puppy is about to go into, and less about filling his pockets with wads of cash.

Therefore, the breeder will make sure that the new owners have the capacity and means to take good care of the puppy.

3 Little-known facts about the Alaskan Shepherd puppies

The following are some facts about the Alaskan Shepherd that you should know of:

  • They only bark when necessary

While they may look very vocal and intimidating, the Alaskan Shepherds have a very polite and caring nature and do not bark unnecessarily.

That is not to say that they won’t bark if they see a stranger in your driveway, or when someone tries to come at them or their human family with harmful intentions.

  • They’re attentive guard dogs

They are big, smart, and will do anything they can to protect the ones they care about.

Apart from being great guard dogs, Alaskan Shepherds are great hunting companions too. Nothing can get out of their sight.

  • They get along with other pets

Though they may not look like it, they will get along just fine with other animals and pets, and even with your cats.

For this, however, you will need to make sure that they socialize with other animals and pets from the very beginning.

Do this and you can expect to see a lot of Internet-worthy material, especially if you own a cat too.

Physical Traits of the Alaskan Shepherd

A white Alaskan Shepherd in the snow
The Alaskan Shepherd should be trained daily.

It is common knowledge that in hybrids/crossbreeds there is always the likelihood of the puppy acquiring different blends of traits.

However, since The Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd have numerous comparable physical features, the Alaskan Shepherd looks like both parent breeds; it is longer than it is tall and has erect and pointed ears, eyes the shape of almonds, a dark nose, and a strong and firm build.

Additionally, it also has a long and plumed tail and big paws with heavy cushioning/padding. The

Alaskan Shepherd can likewise be found in many different colors (around seven) that are normal to its parental breeds, and normally has dark markings on the face and brow.

The breed’s coat is exceptionally thick. It is thick, straight, and medium-long meaning that you will need to spend quite a good amount of your time brushing and grooming it.

How big is a full-grown Alaskan Shepherd?

Since both the parents are large breeds, you can expect your Alaskan Shepherd to be around 23 to 25 inches in case of a male, and between 22 and 24 inches in case of the female.

Their weight is somewhere between 65 to 85 lbs for the make, and 55 to 75 lbs in case of the female making it a big and heavy dog.

It is due to these factors that the Alaskan Shepherds require a lot of room to live and play in, and require a daily exercise routine.

What is the life expectancy of an Alaskan Shepherd?

The Alaskan Shepherd has an average life expectancy of around 10 to 13 years, which is the average for most breeds.

Still, enough time for you and your friend to have a lot of fun and make memories worth remembering.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Alaskan Shepherds

The German Shepherd-Alaskan Malamute hybrid is a tender and genial breed.

They’re very attached to their family, due to which they are really good around children. However, adult supervision is advised while they are playing with or around children due to the breed’s vast size.

This breed is very defensive towards its family, making them the perfect guard dogs; a quality that they may have acquired from the German Shepherd.

They are always watchful of individuals that they find unusual or suspicious and lay out a warning before attacking.

Alaskan Shepherds are also known to be faithful and brave, yet independent and childish.

They require firm and proper training, and failure to do so may result in the iron-willed breed to walk around everywhere, even away from its owner.

Alaskan Shepherds can be aggressive towards other canines and individuals, thus early socialization is imperative for raising a balanced puppy.

Other than that, Alaskan Shepherds are exceptionally smart and can be trained to react to several orders and perform general tasks

Keep in mind that since they are so keen and eager, an exhausted or bored Alaskan Shepherd may become destructive.

Moreover, Alaskan Shepherds tend to get attached to one individual – the “pack leader” – in the family and are exceptionally loving of their owners.

The Alaskan Shepherd Diet

An Alaskan Shepherd with its mouth open
The Alaskan Shepherd will get along well with other pets around the house.

A good diet for your Alaskan Shepherd should include essential minerals and vitamins, as well as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vegetables, and grains, which your dog needs to stay and grow healthy.

Other things that you could feed them or add in their meal are chicken, fish, sheep, turkey, whole oats, grains, brown rice, and fish or vegetable oil.

Since Alaskan Shepherds are large in size, feeding them healthy dog food meals divided into two equivalent portions is very important and adding some vegetables in their regular diet makes sure to keep them strong and active.

Something important to keep in mind is that overfeeding can make them fat or overweight, which can make them prone to various health issues.

Also make sure to look into the right mix of vitamins and minerals, and select a brand of food that takes special care of its coat since the wrong one could lead to abnormal hair loss.

How much Exercise does an Alaskan Shepherd need?

Since Alaskan Shepherds originate from two healthy and very hard-working creatures, it’s expected that this breed is both high in energy levels and endurance.

They love being outside and will excitedly take part in hikes, and run outside in huge, open spaces. Alaskan Shepherds are required to have no less than an hour of outdoor activity daily.

This breed likewise benefits from the mental stimulation caused by learning tricks and playing with its owner and family.

Since Alaskan Shepherds have thick coats, they incline or prefer living in cooler temperatures.

This breed prefers to live in rural settings or in places where larger open spaces or a yard is available for them to run around and play in.

The Alaskan Shepherds Health and Conditions

Most health problems that can occur in hybrid breeds are genetic. Some health ailments common in the parents of the Alaskan Shepherd are:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Chondrodysplasia (Chd)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Congenital Heart Defect

It should be kept in mind that a particular pup might never face any of these health problems, but the possibility of developing such conditions is always there.

This is why it is important to keep your pet healthy and taking it for regular visits to the vet.

4 Important Training Tips

  • Start training your Alaskan Shepherd the moment you bring it into your home because puppies are the easiest to train.

As an Alaskan Shepherd pup, your dog will be highly attentive towards you from a very early age so you must teach it the do’s and don’ts very early on.

Although the Alaskan Shepherd is a very friendly dog, socialization from an early age is the key to good behavior in the future.

Due to the independent nature of the Alaskan Shepherd, you may sometimes have been harsh and loud but you must do so.

  • Use both negative and positive reinforcement to control your Alaskan Shepherd exactly the way you want.

Reward it for when it shows good behavior and scold whenever the situation requires you to.

Keep in mind that using such methods to control your dog is necessary for the safety of you and your family.

  • Make sure to show your dog who’s boss by being the dominant one.

Alaskan Shepherds have a very dominating personality and they often tend to think like wolves.

It is therefore essential that you establish yourself as the “pack leader” from the get-go so that your dog never disobeys you.

Poor training can more often than not lead to disobedient dogs and the breed is blamed.

It is therefore important that you take measures such as getting out of your car before your dog and taking the lead everywhere so that you and your dog both benefit.

If you are firm since the very beginning your dog will understand it to be your nature and will love you regardless.

My final thoughts on the Alaskan ShepherdsA side view of an adult Alaskan Shepherd

This remarkable combination of two formidable breeds is the perfect pet for people looking for a loyal and obedient dog.

Apart from that, now that you’ve gone over the various aspects of the Alaskan Shepherd, including those related to its appearance as well as its personality traits, your decision to get a new puppy would have undoubtedly be made easier.

A social dog that will get along well with other pets around the house, the Alaskan Shepherd makes for an excellent companion, given that you train it the right way.

One thing to keep in mind is that since they’re large in size, they need an ample amount of space to live and play in and are needed to be trained from the very first day.

Failure to do so can lead to several problems for you, the dog, and the people around you, but it is not hard to get the hang of it soon enough and turn this pooch into a perfect family member.

So make sure you have the time, and resources to give the Alaskan Shepherd what it wants, so that it may be able to give you what you want; absolute loyalty and unconditional love.

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