Not A Dog For Everyone- Training
PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH ME, GOD IS NOT FINISHED WITH ME
YET!" Not a dog for just anyone... Malamutes rarely bark, but do make a series of noises. (Check below for more info) Alaskan Malamutes are large and powerful working dogs. They have
a friendly personality and an independent mind. Mals are NOT good guard or watch
dogs, although if not socialized can be intimidating to strangers.
They are still used today for work and sport in many countries across the world
as well as obedience, agility and rally. Malamutes are highly food motivated
with excellent "mooching" and food stealing techniques. Many are
expert diggers who can make a yard look like a cratered "moonscape".
Mals are curious about their surroundings, love to explore, and can be expert
escape artists. Malamutes are highly pack oriented and most possess a strong
prey-drive. Many mals will howl or sing, and most are quite good talkers!
Because of these natural instincts, owners may need to deal with dog dominance
problems, or their dogs chasing or hunting whatever moves - including the
neighbor’s cats! Due to the Malamute's size, intelligence, and independent
nature they can be difficult to handle if not properly trained.
The Alaskan Malamute is a highly active breed and they need both a physical
& mental workout on a daily basis. They can be very dog aggressive and
extremely predatory but are very friendly. They are a very pack-oriented breed
and therefore try to establish and test the pack order on a seemingly constant
basis. Virtually always extend a tail-wagging, face-licking welcome to
strangers. They are typically not a one person dog and will readily bond with
new adoptive owners when the need arises.
Alaskan Malamutes are rather quiet dogs. They generally do not bark at all.
They do tend to "talk," however. It is sort of a soft "woo woo
woo" sound. Malamutes can howl the roof right off of your house, however.
Owners of multiple Malamutes have noticed that when their dogs howl, they will
all stop simultaneously. Again, this behavior is due to the fact that they are
a very pack-oriented breed. Some Malamutes do not howl but do bark. Again they
are individuals and do act as such.
Malamutes are terrific dogs, but they have special needs when it comes to
training. You can meet these needs very easily and humanely at an early age, or
you can choose to neglect them and end up with an unmanageable, potentially
aggressive dog, who nobody will want to live with.
Obedience training this breed can be very interesting and extremely
challenging. Many owners will complain that their dogs act perfectly in class,
but will not obey at home. This breed is intelligent enough to differentiate
situations very well, and will apply different rules of behavior for different
situations. You must stay on top of the dog and maintain control, which is
easier to do while the dog is of manageable size than with a stubborn adult
that has been allowed to get away with undesirable behaviors for a long time.
And because nobody will want the dog, he or she will stand an excellent chance
of being euthanized. In order to train a Mal successfully, you must understand
what makes these magnificent animals tick. Along with being affectionate,
playful companions, malamutes are intelligent, independent, stubborn, energetic
and dominant creatures with a very highly developed sense of pack hierarchy.
These traits were essential for survival in the harsh and unforgiving
environment which Mal's first inhabited, and they continue to be the essence of
malamute temperament. If you cherish and respect these characteristics, and are
able to work with them in training your pet, you will end up with a malamute
that is a pleasure to live with. If, however, you ignore your Mal's special
training needs, or have expectations which are simply not within a mal's
capabilities, you and your pet will face failure.
Establish rules of the house early, and make sure that the puppy knows that you
are in charge. For example, if you do not want the dog on the bed as an adult,
do not allow it as a puppy. The rule of thumb is that if you train a dog to do
something, expect him to do it. Therefore, if the puppy learns that certain
things are allowed, it will be difficult to train them not to do them as
adults. Since the dog is pack-oriented, it is important to establish yourself
as the head of the pack, or alpha, very early. Once you do this, the dog will
respect you and training will be much easier. It is best to enroll in a puppy
training class (or puppy kindergarten training as they are commonly known) soon
after your dog is home and has all of its vaccinations. This training is good
for the dog and for you as the owner, as it will help you understand your new
puppy and establish you as alpha very early in the puppy's life, which is
extremely important with this breed.
It is very important to remember that Alaskan Malamutes are a working breed.
They need something to do. Putting them in the backyard and tossing them a bone
and expecting them to be happy is a very bad idea. They need a lot of exercise
and interaction to be happy. The exercise can come in the form of mushing,
which is of course best, or can easily be in the form of frequent walks, hikes,
and playing. The dog makes a wonderful hiking companion, and with a dog pack,
can carry food and water.
I express not to let your research end here because there is
so much information out there. What works for one person may not work for another..
You have to find what works for you and your fur baby.