ALASKAN MALAMUTE PUPPIES
Few people would argue that Alaskan Malamute puppies are some of the most adorable puppies you’ll ever see. People who are experienced with the breed will also agree that malamute puppies are one of the most challenging of breeds across the board to train.
That said, if you’ve made up your mind to accept the challenge of raising an Alaskan Malamute, my suggestion would be first and foremost to start training as early as possible in his or her life. You won’t be sorry and you’ll end up with an Alaskan Malamute that you can enjoy and more importantly control.
- Stubborn to a fault
- One of the most clever dog breeds
- Capable of great strength
- Easily distracted and destructive if bored
- One of the most social dog breeds and good with people of all ages
- Not capable of being a watch dog because they are too friendly
ALASKAN MALAMUTE TRAINING
The key to owning an Alaskan malamute is to train, train, train. Also to build in many opportunities for your malamute puppy to be successful. Socialization is key from an early age. The more you expose your malamute to, the better equipped he or she will be to deal with life’s experiences.
The first command I teach my malamute puppies is the “sit” command. This is such an easy command to teach and makes the puppy feel successful from the beginning. I started my pups out at 8 weeks when I first got them. The “sit” command is a building block for other commands and one that can be used anywhere and in any situation.
I will add here that I used to train my malamutes with treats but found that this was an unnecessary add-on to their diet. I have since gone to training with their kibble. A piece of kibble doesn’t change their diet and add unwanted calories and it is easily kept in pockets or bags for training purposes. I have also discovered a great adjunct to my training which is popcorn.
If my puppy seems to become disinterested in learning a command, I make up a batch of air popped saltless, butterless popcorn. Used sparingly, it is a great training aid!
Getting your Alaskan malamute puppy to perform the sit command is a simple task. You can start out training on leash or off leash. I prefer off leash because I want the puppy to grasp the concept in a “loose environment” so that it is easily performed anywhere.
- Have a piece of kibble or treat in your hand and get the puppy to come towards you
- As the dog approaches, move the treat back over the puppy’s head so that the pup will follow it with his eyes
- Moving the treat back over the pup’s head will “naturally” encourage the puppy to sit
- Watching carefully, just as the puppy’s bum hits the floor, say the word “sit”
- Praise lavishly and treat immediately
Repetition is the name of the game in puppy training but especially so for Alaskan Malamutes. Once they have mastered a command, they become easily bored so working in short segments is best for this breed. That is not to say you can’t practice this command many, many times throughout the day!
BASIC COMMANDS AND TRAINING AN ALASKAN MALAMUTE PUPPY
The “sit” command is just the beginning when training a malamute puppy. From this command, you will want to branch out into other commands such as
- The “down”
- Sitting on leash or in harness
- Automatic sit (whenever you stop, the puppy sits)
- Shake or roll over (while not essential to training, these are just fun commands to teach)
- Sitting to greet people
Alaskan malamutes are wonderful dogs to train and will give you many hours of laughter during their training. My favorite training session is one with my now 2-year-old malamute Griffin. He is so focused on getting his kibble or popcorn he will inevitably go through his entire repertoire of commands when all I asked for was a “sit” for example. I patiently wait for him to finish his “performance” and then eventually he will refocus and give me only the 1 command I asked for.
Start early and expand your training arena to different locations and add in distractions. Teaching a malamute to focus is the single most important thing you can do. It will help you train up your puppy in the way that he or she should be in order to be a dog who is a “good citizen”. Keep at it and you and your puppy will reap many rewards.
For a visual demonstration, check out this video on training a malamute puppy to sit. Teaching An Alaskan Malamute To Sit
Read here about reasons why not to chain or tether a dog.
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