How to Train an Alaskan Malamute Dog

Are you wondering how to train an Alaskan Malamute dog? The Alaskan Malamute is a strong and independent breed that requires specific training to thrive in a domestic environment. In this article, we will explore the history and traits of the Alaskan Malamute, providing you with valuable insights to understand their unique characteristics.

Originating from Alaska, the Alaskan Malamute has a rich history as a sled dog, working alongside humans in harsh environments. Their strength, endurance, and loyalty make them excellent companions for outdoor activities. However, their independent nature can pose challenges when it comes to training. By understanding their background and personality, you can establish a solid foundation for training your Alaskan Malamute.

Building a strong relationship with your Alaskan Malamute is essential before diving into specific training techniques. This breed is known for its close bond with its owner and thrives on positive reinforcement.

In the following sections, we will delve into basic commands, leash training, mental stimulation, socialization, addressing behavioral challenges, and advanced training to ensure that you have all the tools needed for successful training. Whether you are a first-time owner or an experienced trainer, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate through the intricacies of training an Alaskan Malamute dog effectively.

Setting the Foundation

Understanding Your Alaskan Malamute

Before diving into training, take the time to understand the breed-specific traits of an Alaskan Malamute. They are intelligent, loyal, and strong-willed dogs that require a confident and consistent leader. Knowing their natural instincts and behaviors will help you tailor your training methods to suit their specific needs.

Building Trust and Respect

Building a strong relationship with your Alaskan Malamute starts with earning their trust and respect. Spend quality time with them, engage in positive interactions, and establish yourself as the pack leader. Consistency and clear communication are key in gaining their trust and respect, which will make the training process much smoother.

Patient and Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to training an Alaskan Malamute, patience is essential. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards. Avoid harsh punishment or yelling as this can lead to resistance and distrust. Instead, focus on praising good behavior and redirecting any unwanted actions in a calm manner.

By focusing on building a strong foundation of trust, respect, and clear communication with your Alaskan Malamute, you’ll set the stage for successful training sessions in the future. Remember that every dog is different, so be patient and stay consistent in your approach on how to train an alaskan malamute dog.

Basic Commands

Training an Alaskan Malamute requires patience, consistency, and understanding of their unique characteristics. When it comes to teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, and come, it’s important to take into account the breed’s independent nature and strong-willed personality. Here’s a guide on how to train an Alaskan Malamute dog to follow these essential commands.

To start with, it’s crucial to establish a positive and trusting relationship with your Alaskan Malamute. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and affection to encourage them to obey your commands. Remember that these dogs respond well to reward-based training rather than harsh discipline.

When teaching your Alaskan Malamute to sit, hold a treat close to their nose and then slowly raise it above their head. As their head goes up and back, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. Once they are in the sitting position, reward them with the treat and praise. With consistent practice, they will learn to associate the command “sit” with the action.

For “stay” and “come” commands, start by having your Alaskan Malamute sit in front of you. Then take a step back while holding out your hand like a stop sign and say “stay”. If they remain in place for a few seconds, reward them and gradually increase the distance as they become more confident in staying put.

To teach the “come” command, attach a long line or leash to your dog so that you have control over their movements. Call out their name followed by the command “come”, gently tugging on the line if needed. When they come towards you, reward them with treats and praise.

By consistently practicing these basic commands using positive reinforcement methods tailored for Alaskan Malamutes’ unique characteristics, you can effectively train your furry companion and build a strong foundation for further advanced training.

How To Train Big Dog To Walk On Leash

Leash Training

Choosing the Right Leash

When it comes to leash training an Alaskan Malamute, it’s important to start with the right equipment. Alaskan Malamutes are strong, powerful dogs known for their sled-pulling abilities. Therefore, it is essential to use a sturdy, high-quality leash that can withstand their strength.

A good option is a strong and durable nylon or leather leash that is at least six feet long. Retractable leashes are not recommended as they can encourage pulling and are not suitable for training purposes.

Proper Walking Techniques

Alaskan Malamutes are large and energetic dogs that require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. When walking your Alaskan Malamute, it’s crucial to maintain control and prevent pulling. Start by teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash by using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise. If your dog starts pulling, stop walking and wait for them to calm down before continuing. Consistency is key in teaching your Alaskan Malamute proper walking etiquette.

Running With Your Alaskan Malamute

In addition to regular walks, running can be a great form of exercise for an Alaskan Malamute. Before starting a running routine, ensure that your dog is properly leash trained and responsive to basic commands such as “stop” and “heel.” Begin with shorter distances and gradually increase the intensity as your dog builds stamina. Always be mindful of the weather conditions when running with your Alaskan Malamute, as they are sensitive to heat due to their thick fur coat.

By understanding the specific needs of an Alaskan Malamute and using proper techniques for leash training, you can ensure that both you and your furry companion enjoy safe and enjoyable walks and runs together.

Mental Stimulation

Here are some ways to mentally stimulate your Alaskan Malamute:

  • Puzzle toys: Invest in interactive puzzle toys that require your dog to solve a problem in order to access a treat. This stimulates their problem-solving skills and keeps them entertained.
  • Training sessions: Incorporate regular training sessions into your daily routine to keep your Malamute’s mind active. Use positive reinforcement techniques to teach new commands and tricks.
  • Canine sports: Consider enrolling your Alaskan Malamute in canine sports such as agility, obedience, or rally obedience. These activities provide mental stimulation while also allowing your dog to burn off excess energy.
  • Nose work: Engage your dog’s sense of smell by hiding treats or toys around the house or in the yard for them to find. This taps into their natural hunting instincts and provides mental enrichment.

It’s important to incorporate a variety of mental stimulation activities into your Alaskan Malamute’s routine to keep them engaged and prevent boredom. By providing a stimulating environment, you can help ensure that your Malamute remains happy and well-behaved.


Alaskan Malamutes are known for their friendly and sociable nature, but proper socialization is still key to ensuring they interact well with other animals and people. Here are some tips on how to introduce your Alaskan Malamute to other animals and people:

  • Start early: It’s important to start socializing your Alaskan Malamute as early as possible. Expose them to different animals, such as cats, birds, and smaller dogs, as well as various people of all ages and appearances.
  • Positive experiences: When introducing your Alaskan Malamute to new animals or people, make sure the experiences are positive. Use treats, praise, and toys to create a positive association with these new encounters.
  • Gradual exposure: Take it slow when introducing your Alaskan Malamute to new situations. Gradually increase the intensity of the encounters while monitoring their body language for signs of stress or anxiety.

Properly socializing your Alaskan Malamute will help prevent any aggressive behavior towards other animals or strangers. It will also help them become more comfortable in various environments and reduce anxiety in unfamiliar situations.

Remember that each dog is unique, so be patient with the process and celebrate small victories along the way. With consistency and positive reinforcement, you can successfully train your Alaskan Malamute to be well-adjusted around all types of animals and people.

Behavioral Challenges

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are also very energetic, strong dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. However, like all breeds, they may exhibit some behavioral challenges such as digging and chewing. It is important to address these issues early on to prevent them from becoming ingrained habits in your Alaskan Malamute.

One of the common reasons why Alaskan Malamutes dig is simply because they are bored or have excess energy that needs to be expended. To address this, make sure to provide plenty of physical exercise through regular walks, runs, and playtime. Additionally, provide mental stimulation through interactive toys and training activities to keep your Alaskan Malamute engaged and alert.

Dog Training Home Visits

Chewing is another common issue among Alaskan Malamutes, especially during their teething phase. It’s essential to provide appropriate chew toys and bones to satisfy their natural instinct to chew. It’s also important to puppy-proof your home by keeping valuable or dangerous items out of reach. Consistency is key when dealing with these behavioral challenges; create a routine for exercise, playtime, and training sessions, as well as redirecting any digging or chewing behavior with gentle correction.

Behavioral ChallengeAddressing Technique
DiggingProvide regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. Redirect digging behavior with gentle correction.
ChewingProvide appropriate chew toys and bones for teething phase. Puppy-proof your home and redirect inappropriate chewing behavior.

Advanced Training

Alaskan Malamutes are strong, intelligent, and energetic dogs that excel in agility training. This breed was originally bred for hauling heavy freight as well as hunting large predators such as bears and seals. Their agility and strength make them perfect candidates for advanced training, including agility courses and learning advanced commands.

Agility training is a fantastic way to keep your Alaskan Malamute physically and mentally stimulated. This type of training involves navigating obstacle courses, which can include hurdles, tunnels, weave poles, and more. Not only does this provide physical exercise and stimulation for your dog, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your Alaskan Malamute.

When teaching your Alaskan Malamute agility, it’s important to start slow and gradually build up to more challenging obstacles. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage your dog during training sessions. It’s also crucial to keep training sessions fun and engaging for your Alaskan Malamute to maintain their interest and motivation.

In addition to agility training, advanced commands can be taught to Alaskan Malamutes. These intelligent dogs can learn a wide range of commands beyond the basic sit, stay, and come. Teaching advanced commands not only provides mental stimulation for your dog but also reinforces their obedience skills. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can train your Alaskan Malamute to perform impressive tricks and tasks that showcase their intelligence and eagerness to please.

Agility TrainingAdvanced Commands
Provides physical & mental stimulationReinforces obedience skills
Strengthens bond between owner & dogShowcases intelligence & eagerness to please

Tips for Success

In conclusion, training an Alaskan Malamute requires consistency and patience. Understanding the history and traits of this breed is important in creating a strong foundation for training. Building a strong relationship with your Alaskan Malamute is crucial to successful training, as it creates trust and respect between you and your pet.

Basic commands such as sit, stay, and come are essential for obedience and safety. Leash training is also important, especially considering the strength and size of the Alaskan Malamute. Mental stimulation is key to keeping this intelligent breed engaged and alert, while socialization aids in their interaction with other animals and people.

Addressing common behavioral challenges like digging and chewing requires patience and consistent correction. And for those who wish to take it further, advanced training such as agility can provide a healthy outlet for your dog’s energy. Keeping these tips in mind will help in successfully training your Alaskan Malamute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Easy to Train a Alaskan Malamute?

Training an Alaskan Malamute can be a challenging task. They are intelligent but also independent and strong-willed, so consistent, patient training is necessary. Positive reinforcement methods and early socialization are key to successfully training a Malamute.

Are Malamutes Hard to Potty Train?

Potty training a Malamute can indeed be difficult. They are known for being stubborn and may take longer to grasp the concept of potty training compared to other breeds. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are essential in this process.

At What Age Do Malamutes Calm Down?

Malamutes typically reach full maturity at around 3 years of age, so this is generally when they start to calm down. However, every dog is different, and some Malamutes may remain playful and energetic beyond this age. Generally, as they get older, they become less hyperactive and more focused.

Send this to a friend