Nottoway River Alaskan Malamutes

Grooming Your Malamute
A puppy that is exposed to the rigors of daily or weekly grooming practices will accept them more easily as an adult.
Brushing the fur helps remove loose hair and helps keep your malamute’s coat from developing mats, which can attract bacteria that lead to infections. It also helps spread the Malamute's natural oils that help keep its coat shiney and healthy. Depending on the length of your malamute’s coat, you might need to brush her every day, or you might do it once a week.  When brushing the Malamute coat, it needs to be done through to the skin, rather than brushing superficially across the coat. 
Malamutes do not have an excessively oily coat so regular bathing to combat doggy odour is not required. Bathing is only essential if they have rolled in something smelly or gotten exceptionally dirty. Frequent bathing will dry out the dog's natural oils. A good brushing or combing will remove most of the surface dirt, and leave the hair and skin healthier. Bathing every 6-8 weeks should be adequate.  Shampoos vary.  You may want to use the most organic shampoo that you can find for your dog because you do not want to use harsh detergent drying out its coat.  We have found that using an oatmeal based shampoo is helpful as is an occassional conditioner.  I love using Baby Shampoo/Conditioner on puppies.  I still use this for my adults as well. Make sure to rinse all of the shampoo from the coat. Dogs are best toweled dry or blown dry while being combed or brushed right to the skin. This releases natural oils to replace those lost during the bath.  Bursing also removes all loose and dead hair. It is best to confine the dog indoors, away from drafts, until he is thoroughly dry to the skin. This may take 24 hours in some animals when in full coat.
It is essential to use a blow dryer to completely dry the Malamute.  They are prone to hot spots (also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on a dog’s head, hip or chest area) if not approprately dried. 
Understanding the Coat
Alaskan Malamutes have a double coat (two layers) capable of keeping them both warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer.  
Under Coat
             This layer is made of up soft, fine, fluffy, short hairs that                    help keep the Malamute warm. This is the fur that sheds.
             The undercoat should never be allowed to become matted                or it loses its ability to insulate.  
Outer Coat
            This layer is a longer top coat consisting of                  
            coarser, tougher, guard hairs that grow up through the        
            undercoat. This layer is waterproof keeping the Malamute 
            dry in snow or rain. It also helps repels most dirt and mud.               The  outercoat also provides protection from the sun's 
            UV rays and heat. In the summer, once the undercoat is                     shed, the outercoat traps air and helps insulate the dog. 
            Amazingly enough this layer also guards against insects. 
Never Shave a Malamute
Please remember that a Malamute's coat protects them for cold and heat. Shaving a Malamute's coat is a major cause of heat stroke. The only time your Malamute's coat should be shaved, is for medical reasons.
Malamutes tend to "blow" their undercoat twice a year; spring and fall.  This is where the dog sheds and replaces all of its undercoat.  This typically takes about three weeks. can easily last up to six weeks or longer! It is possible for one Husky to fill up trash bags full of cast off hair during every shedding season. This cast off undercoat tends to stick to soft surfaces like furniture and clothing so invest in lots of lint rollers and good vacuum cleaner because you will be picking up a lot of dog hair when the blow their coat.  
Grooming Tools
Pin Brush' - Reaches down through a thick cost, and also massages the skin to release natural oils.
'Narrow and Wide tooth Combs' – Gets at hard to reach spots, and really removes dead hair during shedding. 
Grooming Rake- also is handy for shedding. 
Furminator- We also recommend you invest in an extra large 
furminator to help the shedding process.
Brushing Teeth
Cavities and gum disease are painful for your dog; they diminish its pleasure and ability to eat and impact its health. Really bad breath is usually a sign of gum disease.  Never use human toothpaste. There are many tooth pastes and tooth brushes sold for dogs.  Start off by getting it used to its mouth being handled.Brush in a circular motion and get under the gum line.
Nail Trimming
Trim your Malamute's nails approximately every 6 weeks.  When your dog is standing its nails should rest above the ground (never touching the ground). If you hear clicking on the kitchen floor, clipping is overdue.