|Height:||21 – 24 inches|
|Weight:||62 – 130 pounds|
|Lifespan:||10 – 13 years|
|Coat Colors:||Combination of brown, white, black, gray, silver, red, cream|
|Temperament:||Affectionate, intelligent, loyal, attentive, energetic, independent|
|Suitable for:||Active and experienced owners in medium to large homes|
The Alaskan Shepherd dog is a famous crossbreed all over the world. It has an eye-catching appearance and an affectionate trait that dog lovers admire. These puppies came from star-studded parents, making them popular as well.
Both the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd are purebred dogs, but their hybrid is considered a perfect combination when it comes to appearance, health concerns, and qualities.
If you’re curious about this German Shepherd Malamute mix, then this article is for you. Learn more about them as we unfold their characteristics, health issues, costs, and so much more.
What Is an Alaskan Shepherd?
The German Shepherd Malamute mix, also known as the Alaskan Shepherd, is a hybrid of two large dog breeds, namely, the Alaskan Malamute and the German Shepherd. Due to their parents’ size, Alaskan Shepherds are also large dogs with a well-combined personality and energetic streak.
As puppies, Alaskan Shepherds resemble the appearance of a wooly and adorable stuffed toy, attracting a lot of dog lovers. As they grow up, they develop a beautiful, wolf-like stature.
Just like other dogs, these majestic canines require a responsible owner. Alaskan Shepherds have specific needs and tend to be high-maintenance, so owning them is not an overnight decision.
Alaskan Shepherd Origin and History: Where Does the Alaskan Shepherd Come From?
Like other mixed breeds, Alaskan Shepherds are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Thus, their history and origin are difficult to trace.
However, we can go through the history of the parents of this designer dog to further understand where they came from.
Alaskan Malamutes are known to be one of the oldest sled dog breeds in the world. They are great working dogs, and their main tasks were pulling sleds and hunting as the Inuit raised them in Northern Alaska in the early 1900s.
Both regular-sized and giant Malamutes have thick coats that are suitable for living in cold regions. They have a high prey drive that can be exhibited by their offspring.
On the other hand, the German Shepherd breed originated in Germany in 1895. They are also working dogs that were tasked to herd sheep.
Due to their brilliance and loyalty, they became famous for being a part of the police force and K9 unit.
The German Shepherd dog has a lot of variations. Regardless of their size, they function as protection and service dogs to many owners, making them good family dogs and companions.
Overall, Alaskan Shepherd puppies may inherit both their parents’ traits and physical attributes, but it still depends on the more dominant parent gene.
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Alaskan Shepherd Appearance: What Does an Alaskan Shepherd Look Like?
Alaskan Shepherds are enormous dogs, especially if they have genes from giant parents.
They are big-boned pets that are naturally tall, and they love the great outdoors. They also tend to be bigger than their parents when they are full-grown.
Alaskan Shepherds resemble wolf-like features and striking eyes, usually dark or hazel in color. In some instances, a few Malamute mixed breeds with blue eyes are mistaken to be Alaskan Shepherds, but in reality, they might be a Husky mix.
It is important to note that neither the Alaskan Malamute nor the German Shepherd parent is born with blue eyes.
In addition, they have pointy, triangular ears that complement their alert expression. Their nose is primarily black, and their muzzles are long and sturdy.
Regarding the body, you can expect an Alaskan Shepherd to have a long, thick, and heavy fur wrapped around them. Their double coat serves as protection, especially during the winter season.
Although German Shepherds have a short-haired variety, it is slightly uncommon for an Alaskan Shepherd to have short hair.
The color of their coats varies depending on their parents. Usually, it is in the combination shades of brown, cream, black, gray, red, silver, and other colors of their parent breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Rarer color variations such as liver and blue are also possible due to their German Shepherd genes.
Moreover, they have long, furry tails that always match their fur color.
Here is a cute video of an Alaskan Shepherd if you are curious about what they actually look like:
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Alaskan Shepherd Size and Weight: How Big Do Alaskan Shepherds Get?
As mentioned above, an Alaskan Shepherd is typically larger than its parent breeds. So you can expect them to be around 21 to 24 inches tall with a weight between 62 and 130 pounds.
An Alaskan Malamute can weigh around 75 to 85 pounds, with a height of approximately between 23 and 25 inches, while German Shepherds can be 22 to 26 inches in height, weighing between 50 and 90 pounds.
They may look small at first, but you’ll be surprised at how big Alaskan Shepherd puppies can get. Although their size may differ due to gender, they still require large spaces.
Alaskan Shepherds are usually full-grown at 12 to 18 months old. Since they are huge, they need ample space at home and a big yard to release their high energy.
Alaskan Shepherd Temperament: Do Alaskan Shepherds Make Good Family Dogs?
Alaskan Shepherds are naturally intelligent and curious about their surroundings, making them responsive dogs during obedience training. However, positive training methods are still encouraged for optimal results.
You can also expect Alaskan Shepherds to be friendly, obedient, and independent dogs, with the right amount of tolerance for cuddles and kisses from their families.
However, because of their hunting history, you may need to monitor them in the presence of small kids and other animals. Due to their size, it’s easy for Alaskan Shepherds to knock someone over even if they don’t intend to.
First-time dog owners can be intimidated by this hybrid because of its high energy and athleticism.
Alaskan Malamute German Shepherd mixes usually need to undergo firm training and be assigned various tasks so their boredom won’t fall into destructive behaviors.
Walking them around at a dog park shouldn’t be a problem because of their friendly nature. They rarely exhibit anger or aggression towards other dogs and people.
An Alaskan Shepherd puppy closely mimics its parent breeds in terms of temperament. However, early socialization still plays a significant role in the behavior of this dog.
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Alaskan Shepherd Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Alaskan Shepherds Healthy Dogs?
Owners of an Alaskan Shepherd puppy are considered lucky since this hybrid is naturally healthy. They can live for as long as 10 to 13 years, especially if they are given quality care in their homes.
However, health problems can sometimes be hard to avoid, mainly if acquired genetically from their parent breeds.
To provide you with an overview, here are some health concerns for German Shepherd Malamute mixes:
- Hip Dysplasia: By now, we already know that a German Shepherd Malamute mix is a large dog. Due to this, they are prone to hip dysplasia. This condition pertains to the abnormality of the hip bone’s development and can be prevented by responsible breeding.
- Hypothyroidism: A common condition that your German Shepherd Malamute mix can have is hypothyroidism. This happens when there are not enough thyroid hormones being produced by the dog’s body, slowing down metabolic processes. Luckily, affected dogs respond well to the treatment methods for this disease.
- Osteochondrosis: Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds are rapidly growing dogs, so it’s no surprise that their hybrid grows at the same pace. A disease that’s common for these types of dogs is osteochondrosis. It pertains to the conversion failure of bones into specific locations, resulting in thickened cartilages. Surgery is the best option for this condition.
- Obesity: This is another common genetic condition for German Shepherd Malamute mixes, which can also result from your dog’s lifestyle and eating habits. Obesity in dogs is never healthy because it can lead to more severe diseases. Luckily, this is highly preventable.
Acquiring your Alaskan Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder plays a crucial role when it comes to your dog’s overall health condition.
Moreover, you can also ask your vet to do a series of regular health tests to identify early signs of a disease or just to make sure that your dog’s health is in check.
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How to Take Care of Your Alaskan Shepherd
Having a dog in your life, regardless of the breed, is a huge responsibility. Your Alaskan Shepherd has daily needs that owners should provide whole-heartedly.
From puppies to adulthood, Alaskan Shepherds will depend on their human families to take care of them. Fur parents play a significant role in the dog’s growth, lifestyle, and upbringing.
Furthermore, large dogs tend to be more high-maintenance compared to small ones. That’s why deciding to acquire an Alaskan Shepherd puppy is not an overnight decision to do.
To help you evaluate your readiness to be a fur parent to this amazing dog, here’s an in-depth guide on adequately taking care of your Malamute Shepherd mix.
Food and Diet
Just like other pets, your Alaskan Shepherd should be on a healthy diet to preserve its health and prolong its lifespan. Proper nutrition and diet are vital in giving your dog its deserved quality of life.
The recommended amount of dog food for this Alaskan Malamute mix is about 2 to 3 cups distributed to around 2 to 3 meals per day.
You should purchase high-quality food to keep your puppy in tip-top shape. Dry dog food, in particular, helps to strengthen the teeth and gums of your Alaskan Shepherd.
In addition to food, you should make sure fresh and clean water is readily available for your dog. This must be accessible to avoid dehydration and heat stroke since they have dense furs.
Since your German Shepherd Malamute is prone to obesity, it’s your job to be mindful of how many treats they are given during training time. You can also use lick mats to control overeating savory treats.
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Cleaning and Grooming
An Alaskan Shepherd can be high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Although their hairs are straight and easy to brush, we must not forget how long and dense their coats can get.
They require to be brushed around 4 to 5 times per week and more frequently during shedding seasons. Although this process requires you to give extra time and effort to your dog, this can save you from cleaning a lot of mess later.
It is also important to note that this mixed dog breed only needs occasional bathing.
However, its undercoat and tail need to be checked regularly for any dirt and debris after going outside. Their paws should also be cleaned after walking.
Like other dogs, Alaskan Shepherds require regular nail clipping and daily dental care. This may take a few sessions before your dog becomes comfortable, but patience always pays off.
Training and Exercise
The German Shepherd Malamute mix loves high-energy activities. They have great athleticism and endurance, so if you’re an adventurous soul, this is a perfect dog for you.
They should be exercised for at least an hour daily, both physically and mentally. They are naturally intelligent dogs so training them is much easier than other dogs.
However, Alaskan Shepherds need a firm owner since they can sometimes be stubborn.
Additionally, they are quite independent, so giving crate training is a good idea. As much as they love to be around you, they also want their own safe space.
Lastly, Alaskan Shepherds love the outdoors, so it’s best if you have a large yard they can play and run around on. Just make sure to let them out during cool climates. Their double coat doesn’t work well in hot environments.
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How Much Does an Alaskan Shepherd Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The average price of an Alaskan Shepherd ranges from $500 to $2,000 from a reputable breeder, depending on its heritage and lineage.
However, some Alaskan Shepherd puppies might be more expensive due to some inclusions like health tests and vaccinations.
Furthermore, an Alaskan Shepherd is a popular dog, so it may be a little challenging for you to acquire one. However, you should know that these dogs are not one-time costs.
This table covers the necessities and initial costs that incur once you open your home to your new Alaskan Shepherd pup:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$100 – $120|
|Food and Water Bowls||$15 – $35|
|Bed||$50 – $200|
|Crate||$60 – $500|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$30 – $50|
|Grooming Essentials||$40 – $180|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$650 – $2,445|
Just like with other pets, we need to be able to weigh the initial and ongoing costs to ensure that we are capable of providing them with their needs long-term.
To have a better idea of your Alaskan Shepherd’s long-term expenses, check out our articles on Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd puppy prices and expenses.
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Places to Find Alaskan Shepherd Puppies for Sale and Adoption
You may need a little bit of luck and a dash of patience to acquire your German Shepherd Malamute mix from a breeder. However, adopting one is also an option. Aside from it being much cheaper, you also save a life in return.
The following places may have Alaskan Shepherd puppies for sale:
- L and N Kennels – This kennel is dedicated to Alaskan Malamutes primarily, but they also breed Alaskan Shepherds. The breeders are firm with spending time with each puppy daily and ensuring up-to-date vaccination upon release.
- Lancaster Puppies – You can find lots of Alaskan Malamute and German Shepherd mixes on this puppy advertising site. They advocate against puppy mills, and they exist to connect pets to loving and deserving homes.
- Alaskan Shepherd Kennels – From its name, this kennel is dedicated to breeding German Shepherd Alaskan Malamute mixes. They follow a strict process, and you may have to be waitlisted for a while. However, you can acquire your new furry companion with a little bit of patience.
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Aside from reputable breeders and kennels, one way to be a German Shepherd Malamute mix owner is to adopt from rescue organizations.
As affectionate as these puppies can be, a significant number of these pups are found in shelters.
Here are some rescues for you to adopt an Alaskan Shepherd dog:
- Arctic German Shepherd Rescue – This organization mainly caters to German Shepherd breeds, but they also have crossbreeds to browse through. An Alaskan Shepherd mix might be on the list. Take note that they have adoption policies that potential adopters need to go through to ensure that their dogs match with a perfect home.
- Alaska Shepherd Rescue – Located in Alaska, this non-profit organization has been rehoming shepherds and shepherd mixes since 2016. They exist to end animal cruelty and save victims of it, including abandoned and abused Alaskan Shepherd mixes.
- Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue – This organization believes that every dog deserves a home. Initially, they were only dedicated to rescuing GSDs, but as time went by, they became open to other mixes as well.
Aside from the suggestions mentioned above, you may want to view our complete guide on purchasing a dog online safely and how to adopt a dog.
This may help you be more prepared for the responsibilities of being a pet owner.
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Pros and Cons of Owning an Alaskan Shepherd
Like any other dog, having a German Shepherd Malamute mix has advantages and disadvantages. No dog is perfect, whether it’s a pure breed or hybrid.
To help you foresee things, I’ve listed down the pros and cons you might want to consider before deciding to be a German Shepherd Malamute mix owner.
Listed below are the pros of owning an Alaskan Shepherd:
- Excellent family pets: Alaskan Shepherds are absolutely affectionate and protective of their families. They are also great with children and treat them as their own. Still, supervision is advised as their size can easily knock small children down even if they don’t intend to.
- Long lifespan: Despite its size and probability of inheriting its parent’s disorders, this hybrid has a long life expectancy. With adequate care, their time with you can also be prolonged.
- Highly intelligent: Both parent breeds are known for their intelligence, so it’s no surprise that their pups also exhibit this trait. This hybrid responds well to training and commands so you’ll be sure to have a well-mannered dog.
- Stunning look: Aside from their size, the appearance of German Shepherd Malamute mixes are natural head-turners. They can’t be missed, and they are usually appreciated in public.
In contrast, let’s dive deeper into the cons of owning an Alaskan Shepherd:
- High-maintenance: Effortless grooming will not work on this dog. They need dedicated owners that will spend time and effort to meet their grooming demands. If grooming at home is not possible, Alaskan Shepherds should be taken to a grooming professional.
- Temperature-specific: This hybrid does not do well in hot environments due to its double coat. If you’re not from cold places, you may need to invest in high-powered air conditioners at your home just for them.
- Unpredictable full-grown size: As much as we know that Alaskan Shepherds are large dogs, we can never really tell how big they’re going to get until they reach adulthood. Tiny homes may not be suitable for them to live in.
It is vital to tackle this information and set expectations in advance to avoid abandonment and neglect issues in the future.
Since being a fur parent is a full commitment, we should be able to assess our capacities in providing for their needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do Alaskan Shepherd Shed a Lot?
Alaskan Shepherds tend to be medium shedders. However, they can intensely shed when seasons change.
It is best to brush them regularly to get rid of loose hair in advance before the shedding season comes.
Are Alaskan Shepherd Aggressive?
An Alaskan Shepherd dog can get along with anyone quickly. Although they are not naturally aggressive, proper socialization and training still need to be done to ensure the appropriate behavior of your dog.
Are Alaskan Shepherd Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Alaskan Shepherd dogs are not hypoallergenic. Therefore, they may not be the perfect match for you or your family if you have underlying asthma or allergies.
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Final Thoughts: Is an Alaskan Shepherd the Right Dog for You?
Large dogs tend to be eye-catching everywhere they go. Although an Alaskan Shepherd is not an AKC-recognized breed, its features are stunning. However, you shouldn’t just purchase a dog just because of its appearance.
What’s more admirable about this hybrid is their affectionate trait and intelligent mind. Still, Alaskan Shepherds require an experienced owner because their needs are pretty demanding.
As we tackled every detail about Alaskan Shepherds, you may already have a decision in mind. Nonetheless, if you have the means to provide for them and are fully committed to having this breed, it’s time to say yes to owning one.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.