How much do they shed?

 Penny in full coat
Penny in full coat...

Thissssssss much!

  Penny almost hairless after a massive shed

Penny "blows coat" for a coyote look...


blowing the hair out of Nova at a dog show

Nova was combed out after a show where we left the coat in, even though it was loose and ready to "blow".  Her coat was held in only by the density of the guard coat.  This is typical of how much will come out at a grooming session when the coat is ready to "blow".   If combed regularly, and NOT blowing coat, a typical amount is just a small handful of fur.

Malamutes are seasonal shedders.  This means once or twice a year they will "blow" out their coat like Penny did in the photo (it's not always THIS bad, but can be).  It is important to comb often to get the dead and old coat out for the health of the skin and so the dog will look presentable.  If coat is not combed out, it will have the appearance of "molting" as seen on zoo animals during season changes (clumps of dead hanging fur remain in the coat and become dirty and matted).   "Woolies" will not drop their coat - it will mostly all remain on the dog so it's even more important to comb often and deeply to avoid matts. 

Malamutes are a double coated breed and will often only shed the soft undercoat.  Above is an example of a total turnover in coat where even the guard hair is shed.  On our dogs we've noticed this usually happens only in the spring.  The fall shed is usually just undercoat.  Density of coat will depend upon the climate where the dog lives.   Males will not blow as often or as completely.  There is often a massive shed when the puppy reaches adulthood at about 1 1/2 - 2 years of age.  He is shedding his puppy coat for his adult coat. 

The best way to avoid some heavy shedding is to spay or neuter, comb regularly and feed a quality food.  Spaying eliminates shedding caused by the hormonal changes of the female going into season.   There are also "anti-shed" products available that are supposed to help, however, we don't think they do any more than combing and a good diet will do.   Combing often (we comb daily, but at least three times a week is necessary) keeps the coat clean, good smelling and looking nice.  A warm bath when the coat is close to coming out will often help it along so the dog is not shedding for as long a period. Ideally a high-speed blower can blow out most of the loose coat as you dry.   Be sure to dry thoroughly after a bath to prevent hotspots. Even if the surface feels dry, it may not be completely dry underneath and hotspots can develop in areas that remain damp.

a bath for PennyMore going going gone with the blowdryerThere goes the hair

Penny being blow dryed after a bath - the coat is coming out in chunksAh, but it feels so good to be rid of that hair

Shelby's hairpile