©2012, the Alaskan Malamute HELP League

April 7, 2011 -- Updated Nov. 2011

Photograph of Shaman  Shaman

Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman
Photograph of Shaman

Note: Shaman has been moved into the AMHL Permanent Foster Dog Program

Shaman is a 3 year old, male Malamute who is looking for a new home. He is neutered and is up to date on all his vaccinations. Because of Shaman's medical condition (see Nov. update below), he is looking for and learning to live a less than active life-style for his age - just a couple of walks around the block per day!

Shaman was adopted out in 2010 and needs to be re-homed as he has demonstrated that he cannot live with other dogs. He has gotten into two fights and because these incidents were not observed by his owner to determine the likely cause, Shaman will not be considered for a home with other dogs, cats or small furry animals.

Shaman is a very tall and lean boy; he stands just over 30" at the shoulder and is approximately 100 pounds. His care givers report that he is very friendly and affectionate with people of all ages. Shaman has met a few children and being the typical goofy malamute, happily washes their faces with kisses. However, because of his size, he could easily knock a child over while giving them a "tongue bath", so he is not recommended for a home with small children.

November 2011 Update:

Shaman has been in a wonderful foster home for almost 6 months now and his care takers report the following:

"Shaman has adjusted well to our schedules and to being left alone in a gated-off area of the house while we're at work. He appears to settle down after about 10 minutes or so and we've never come home to anything chewed or wrecked. Shaman is really great inside the house -- quiet and calm, for the most part. The only exception is when there's food around - there is still the initial excitement and "woos" he has with us before he'll lie down and chill out. :)

Training: Shaman has been to the Forever Friends training facility to help with the administration of their apprentice trainer exams. An apprentice works with Shaman for about 45 minutes, describing and demonstrating to the adjudicators how he would go about teaching Shaman to sit, lie down, walk nicely on a leash, and crawl.

During the second part of the exam, an apprentice works primarily with us, teaching us techniques for leash-walking and coming when called. It's a great mental workout for Shaman and he does remarkably well!

Shaman had a bit of an adventure one weekend this summer visiting friends at a cottage. We were interested in seeing how he reacted to water -- Shaman was happy to wade in the water up to just below his shoulders to splash and play with any nearby floating toys. He certainly slept well Saturday and Sunday and is great traveling in the car."


1. Shaman has learned some new commands. He now knows pretty consistently that we want him to go to his bed when we say "bed". His bed is on a futon mattress that's more than big enough for his large frame. :-)

2. He has improved a great deal with his leash-walking skills ("hes certainly catching on that a loose leash is a good thing!")

3. We've discovered that if we distribute his food into a muffin baking pan, he eats much slower than from his bowl and we can actually hear him chewing some kibbles. :-)

4. Shaman is house trained and let's you know when he needs to go out by hovering and waiting by an outside door used to let him out.

5. Shaman is NOT appropriate for a highly active home - no sledding, agility, etc., for this boy! He is looking for a less than active life style. He is currently doing well with a 30 minute walk twice a day; or one 30 min. walk with a later 20 min. trot. Shaman must be monitored during exercise - if he stops or slows down, you stop or slow down. See medical below.


Shaman has a heart murmur. Tests indicated that his heart valves do not close
properly, plus he has a narrower than usual aorta. This means that Shaman, like some humans, will require antibiotics before dentals or for an injury where there is the potential for infection. According to his foster home the heart specialist reported: "as Shaman's conditions are mild to moderate, he expects that Shaman will have a relatively normal life as a young adult". It is unknown if his life expectancy will be shorter than average. All test results and reports will be made available to his new home & Vet clinic with full instructions. He is not on any medications.

Shaman is very sensitive to diet changes and is now doing well on a special gastro diet that must continued in his forever home.

Being a typical malamute, Shaman's adopters must establish boundaries and rules and apply those rules consistently to help him find his place and become part of his new family.

Although Shaman has been socialized with other large dogs, we urge caution (and distance!) when encountering and passing dogs on walks. His current care givers report that Shaman has shown no aggression or interest in other dogs on walks, so we do not anticipate any issues on regular walks.

If you are looking for a great malamute companion like Shaman, please complete an application to adopt a malamute from the AMHL at:

Question regarding Shaman can be sent to Anand at:

Given that it is impossible to predict with complete accuracy how any dog will react in a given situation, without completeknowledge of its life experiences, the AMHL urges the adopter to exercise caution in introducing the dog tonew situations until the dog has become fully adjusted to its new environment and the adopter has had an opportunity to become familiar with the dog's unique personality.