Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Any folks here own or have owned a Malamute? (need advise)

  1. #1
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default Any folks here own or have owned a Malamute? (need advise)

    The lady brought home a six month old Malamute pup that's the size of a darned horse. It's affectionate, but a little dumb. Is the breed (in general) a little dumb and stubborn as pups? Are they easily trainable? Do they make good dogs to alert for bears, or as a general guard dog? I'm a little uneasy about this 10+ year long commitment, and want to make sure it's the right breed before our breeder imposed trial period expires (two weeks). We'll be out in the bush for the entire summer, and the dog does listen well and doesn't run off, so that's a big plus.

  2. #2

    Default

    Draught animals are not known for their smarts, but rather their fearlessness, strong will, and endurance. Not saying your not trainable, but you definately want to give that dog a job that wears it out completely. They make excellent bear dogs.

  3. #3
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tailwind View Post
    Draught animals are not known for their smarts, but rather their fearlessness, strong will, and endurance. Not saying your not trainable, but you definately want to give that dog a job that wears it out completely. They make excellent bear dogs.
    thanks for the info, just took the dog for a run along with a 180 lb Great Pyrenees. The male would growl at her an she'd show her teeth back at him. After I ran the sht out of em both, he calmed down. Nothing like running 300 lbs of pulling dogs for 2 miles up mountain, then back down. I think she has alot of heart, just a little dumb. She's that larger malamute breed that has the red color to their coat.

  4. #4

    Default

    Remember that growling is how they communicate, and doesn't necessarily mean trouble. Make sure you establish your Pyrenees as the alpha by feeding him first and letting him sniff her when you dominate her(hold her on her side until she relaxes). You should use the 'alpha roll' as a consequence for bad behavior(fighting, excessive guarding/barking, jumping). For smaller infractions just a swat on the bottom followed by a shush and some eye contact is enough. Also, only use her name in a positive light, if your mad just say 'no'.
    Hope this helps, it's kind of you to offer a home to the homeless. Keep us posted on progress!

  5. #5
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    Mals may seem dumb compared to other dogs, but the fact is that they just don't need your approval the way other dogs do. My family raised and showed mals when I was a kid and they would 'hunt' while in their kennels. They wouldn't eat all their food on purpose, go sit in their houses and wait for birds to come down to eat what was left in the dog dishes, then they would rush out and get a bird or two. Dumb? No, just not eager to please. As to being guard dogs, they will bark when something's in the yard or at the door, but they are friendly with people not other animals.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  6. #6
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    Mals may seem dumb compared to other dogs, but the fact is that they just don't need your approval the way other dogs do. My family raised and showed mals when I was a kid and they would 'hunt' while in their kennels. They wouldn't eat all their food on purpose, go sit in their houses and wait for birds to come down to eat what was left in the dog dishes, then they would rush out and get a bird or two. Dumb? No, just not eager to please. As to being guard dogs, they will bark when something's in the yard or at the door, but they are friendly with people not other animals.
    I gladly retract my opinion that the malamutes are "dumb". It's not true at all. I think all the problems with this big goof ball is that she wasn't properly trained or given enough attention by the prior owner. This morning, the lady was able to teach her to sit, shake, and stay (not getting the treat off the floor until her approval).

  7. #7
    Member Huntress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Somewhere between here and there.....
    Posts
    1,173

    Default

    Mainer, I'd also take it easy on her until she's two years old. Running a dog that large/young for prolonged distances can lead to potential DJD/hip dysplasia problems as she gets older. If you do need to "run" her, I'd start her out slow/short, 2 miles is a bit much for a dog, when they don't know their physical limitations until they drop over dead.
    Living with a Mal is like living with a perpetual two year old for the next 12 years or so, they never grow up! They are not a cookie cutter breed and each one is different in their own way...

    PS: Watch her prey drive...she might have your neighbors cat for dinner if you aren't careful.
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  8. #8
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntress View Post
    Mainer, I'd also take it easy on her until she's two years old. Running a dog that large/young for prolonged distances can lead to potential DJD/hip dysplasia problems as she gets older. If you do need to "run" her, I'd start her out slow/short, 2 miles is a bit much for a dog, when they don't know their physical limitations until they drop over dead.
    Living with a Mal is like living with a perpetual two year old for the next 12 years or so, they never grow up! They are not a cookie cutter breed and each one is different in their own way...

    PS: Watch her prey drive...she might have your neighbors cat for dinner if you aren't careful.
    Over this past month has been interesting to say the least. If she doesn't get a run in every day either pulling an otter sled loaded with gear, or a dog pack loaded with books......she gets crazy. Her pupils get big, and she bites all of us kind of hard, even though she thinks it's just playing. We had to remind my son not to play rough with her under any circumstances because she is just to large and powerful, and it's hard to remember that she's only 7 months old now. She isn't too dog aggressive and learns pretty well. We've taught her how to sit, roll over, lay down, stay put while turning your back without taking the treat, high five, shake paw, and to stay out of the kitchen (that was a hard one). We're feeding her three times a day and it's 50/50 dog food mixed with whole hooligan mashed together. After she gets the energy out, she's a very calm dog, but you can tell when she needs to gets the energy out.

    We took her in a kennel strapped in the snow machine freight sled. Her first snow machine ride on our multi-day trip scared her and she had sht. all tangled up in her fluffy britches. One night it got down to about 40 below zero and I had to cut all that nastiness off her britches with a dmn set of scissors that are on a gerber multi tool so that she could actually come inside the ice house to sleep with us. Luckily on the snow machine run back, it didn't literally scare her to a point where she sht herself. I hope I never have to do that again for the rest of my life........

  9. #9
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    here's some pictures for perspective. Maybe she'll be the first dog we use in a team, and I sure would like to learn how to run dogs in a team someday:


    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    couple more:



    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11

    Default

    Hahaha. Great pics mainer, you can really feel the energy! What a lucky dog.
    One thing to teach her, biting is not allowed, even if it's play.
    She will be perfect for a team, maybe someday she grows into the leader. You never know what god gives us!
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kink Alaska surrounded by sled dog kennels, a fabulous view and lots of hunting.
    Posts
    383

    Default

    There are two weight pulling clubs in Alaska. One is in Wasilla and one in Fairbanks. Im no expert but I think you can start training them at 6 months alternating between heeling in a collar and pulling in harness. I have them listed in the club listings at www.alaskadogNews.com
    It looks fun, I just don't have the dogs that are interested. I know the people in Wasilla and they are very nice.

    Linda Henning
    www.AlaskaDogNews.com

  13. #13
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    thanks Linda,
    I'll check out the links. I tryed to keep things lite because she is a growing dog, and like Huntress had mentioned, I try to take it easy until she's full grown. There are a couple times (when she see's another dog) that I've had to stop her when she's pulling an otter sled. I dug my heels into the snow and she was still pulling me (210 lbs) along with an otter sled filled with about 65 lbs. when she really wants to get her way and get to the other dog. I never actually understood how powerful these malamutes really are.

  14. #14
    Member .338-06's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,045

    Default

    Mainer, of course you realize she's still growing. Her paws look huge in the pics. Mals "grow into" their paws.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    Mals may seem dumb compared to other dogs, but the fact is that they just don't need your approval the way other dogs do.
    Mainer I was re-enjoying this thread when I saw a great point 338 made. Mals are not dumb, they just don't communicate with humans like other domesticated dogs. They won't be looking to you for guidance as much as other breeds, so you just have to be a little more assertive in direction.
    How are things going?
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kink Alaska surrounded by sled dog kennels, a fabulous view and lots of hunting.
    Posts
    383

    Default

    I just put the updated club listings up on www.alaskadognews.com and there you can see both the Fairbanks and Wasilla weight pulling clubs. Every 3rd Sat the club in Wasilla holds practice pulls at Animal Food Warehouse on the Palmer Wasilla hwy. after about 11am. They will be your best source to know at what age you should be doing what. The president has a mini Aussie that pound per pound pulls more than any other dog. amazing. As for sporting dogs, I did a story about Journey, Kathy Olding's dog in Tok who was a superstar puller and he was making his way through hunt tests too. Cross training is good .

  17. #17
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tailwind View Post
    Mainer I was re-enjoying this thread when I saw a great point 338 made. Mals are not dumb, they just don't communicate with humans like other domesticated dogs. They won't be looking to you for guidance as much as other breeds, so you just have to be a little more assertive in direction.
    How are things going?
    Oh, just saw that a question was asked of me on this thread 3 weeks ago, my apologies. Things are going great. The pup is very intelligent. I think she's 8 months old now and has grown substantially. We have been feeding her about 3 lbs of steamed/whole hooligan with her dry food every day. We saw more than 15 bears on our recent trip to Whitehorse. She just sat in the back of the truck bed and watched them, not knowing what to think of them even when they were 10 ft. from the truck. She can't sit at room temperature or her breath starts to smell horrible, she just about dies. She can only be inside if it's 65 degrees or colder (not an indoor dog with her coat). She will be with us on our 4 months of river trips. She is very food aggressive and it's hard to break. We were grilling salmon last week and I had a Karillian Bear Dog and two Pit Bulls sitting beside me waiting for pieces of charred salmon skin. Every time I would set a piece in front of each dog, our Malamute puppy would come barreling into the group of dogs with fangs showing and driving all of the dogs away from their food. All three dogs were terrified of the pup and would submit to her while she stole their food. I eventually had to tie her away from the other dogs so that they could get a treat from the grill. Other than being food aggressive, she loves kids and is very gentle with them. She doesn't run off and hangs very close to the group during hikes and ALWAYS returns when you ask her.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    We have been feeding her about 3 lbs of steamed/whole hooligan with her dry food every day.
    Jeez, when I die I hope I come back as one of your dogs!

    It's a good sign that she isn't too worried about bears, I bet she will be if they get too curious

    PM me if you need advice about the feeding problems, I specialize in aggression issues.
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •