American Culture

Why are Alaskan Malamutes on my new apartment’s restricted breed list?

Malamutes are about the least dangerous breed I can think of.

‘Splain to me something, doggie people. My new apartment has a list of restricted breeds. Here it is:

  • Pit Bull Terriers/Staffordshire Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Chows
  • Presa Canarios
  • Akitas
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Wolf Hybrids

I’m not going to get into a defense of these breeds, not am I going to rant about how if you have a a bad dog you have a bad owner. From a business liability standpoint I see where they’re coming from with breed restrictions in general, even if this solution entirely misses the problem.

What I don’t get is that next-to-last one. Malamutes? Really? I have known my share of Mutes and they’re about as dangerous as teddy bears. Seriously, they’re one of the sweetest, gentlest breeds I can think of.

Why in the hell are Malamutes on a banned list? Any of our readers who know dogs have insights?

10 replies »

  1. I’m not a dog person, so I offer only a bit of guesswork here. But Malmutes are working dogs, and need to stay busy. If the owner doesn’t keep the dog busy — all the time! — then that dog is going to find a way to keep itself busy. Locked in an apartment, that will generally involve tearing things apart, and then moving them around.

    Like I said, though, this is nothing more than a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess).

    • Hi Gary. Yeah, they need jobs. But on that scale – activity required – I can honestly say that they probably don’t rank in the top 70% of breeds. Any bird dog. Any hound. Any herding dog. Any terrier. Holy hell, if that’s it how is the Jack not on this list? Those fuckers will get bored and eat the refrigerator.

  2. As to sound, there are SCADS of breeds that are far noisier than Huskies or Malamutes. Size can’t be it, either – there are probably 20 or more, including the St Bernard, that are bigger, and in the case of the St B it actually does have a slight history of unpredictability.

    I have worked through every excuse I can imagine, and the only thing left is that whoever wrote that policy has them confused with something else.

    • Yeah, but I’m serious when I say than on all these criteria there are dozens of breeds that are worse. I’m not saying there’s nothing to complain about, just that in no way are they bad by comparison.

      Also – and this is key, I think – all of the other breeds on that list are in the “dangerous” stereotype group. Wolf mixes, Akitas, Chows, Rotties, Pits, etc. – those are all dogs that scare people (for one reason or another). Wouldn’t it be odd if there were only one breed on that list for other reasons, and it isn’t even in the top 25 on nearly any category?

      If the list included overly active dogs and noisy dogs I’d get it. But the way it’s constructed suggests that they think Mutes are dangerous.

      • If danger is the imagined issue, this could be a weird case of them being right even though they’re way wrong. What would matter in management’s eyes would be perception of danger, not actual danger. It could be they’re just smart enough to see the set of people in the area seeking apartments intersecting with the set of people in the area suffering from “bad dog” ignorance, so they manage around that with an ill-formed list.