The Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes ("Mals") are highly intelligent, physically strong, and can be so animated while expressing themselves and/or making demands. Mals were bred to hunt, pull sleds, live with their family, and protect their home. While they are typically not good watchdogs, some are known to guard their family and home. Similar to Chow Chows, their relationship with humans is built on trust. Some are friendlier and some prefer their family over strangers. Each is a unique individual influenced by genetics, socialization, health, and experiences.
This stoic working breed requires mental stimulation, routine, enrichment, nap time, and exercise. When bored or stress, they are known to dig, chew, or destroy a sofa or bed for fun! Mals also have a natural predatory desire to chase critters, cats, deer, and even some small dogs. Many are known to be reactive with other dogs most likely due to fear, lack of confidence, and/or lack of proper socialization. Malamute puppies may experience growing pains and become sensitive to touch. Sometimes their raging hormones need mental enrichment or chewing to release their stress. A potty-trained Malamute may have accidents inside the house due to stress. It is so important to "listen" and observe their behavior.
The greatest challenge is to look past their incredibly fluffy adorable face and pause to read their body language. Are they excited, stressed, or both? Either way, they look so darn cute! Unfortunately, when we ignore their ears pulled back, head looking away, tail down, dilated whale eye, freeze, lip lick, or nervous zoomies we set them up for failure. While dogs, in general, are quite forgiving, Malamutes are known to escalate their feelings by expressing themselves with a growl, air snap, or worse a bite. Generally speaking, Malamutes do not appreciate being grabbed by their collar or physically restrained.
Positive reinforcement (R+) rewards-based training works the best for Mals because they are given a choice to collaborate with you and are rewarded. Make them an offer their taste buds cannot refuse and you will have their attention! We have used R+ to teach Mals not to chase squirrels, deer, etc. It takes time to change natural behavior but it can be done! Training builds confidence and a strong bond with their human. If you choose to adopt from CHAAMP we require an R+ training commitment. Rescues have been let down enough by humans, let's learn together and make their world a better place!
Please do your research on Alaskan Malamutes before submitting an application:
(1) Complete & submit an application. Of note, we will contact the vet indicated on your application for a reference. Information provided is used to help us match a pup with your lifestyle. We will work with you and answer any questions.
(2) Home Visit is scheduled. **Please be patient while waiting to hear back from us & check your SPAM folder just in case we already responded.** CHAAMP runs on volunteer power and it may take a week or so before we can get back in touch with you. If you have not heard from us, please let us know.
(3) After your home visit, your application is reviewed by the CHAAMP board and we will follow up. Pending approval, we'll typically have an idea of which of our dogs we think are potential matches.
(4) Your adoption coordinator will research and provide a list of Positive Reinforcement (no force, no fear) rewards-based dog trainers in your area. Together, we will plan and discuss training options.
(5) Please read the CHAAMP Adoption Manual,watch the required videos (as shown below), sign the acknowledgment page, and send back to your adoption coordinator prior to visiting the CHAAMP Pups.
“Helping your fearful dog navigate the world” by Juliana Willems, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA. This video discusses what signs to watch for, how to help your dog feel safe, and what you can do to reduce your dog’s fears.
Enroll in Victoria Stillwell's FREE Starter Course: Building Your Dog’s Confidence
These videos and Victoria Stillwell's course provides information to help you understand how to best welcome your new furry family member.
(6) Make sure you review, print, and follow the 9 Steps to Success tip sheets Illustrated by Lili Chen and created by Dog Latin Dog Training and Behavior Consulting to help guide you and your family.
(7) Next is the fun part, you get to meet the dog(s) that are right for your family and hopefully bring one home. Please note we require that you bring your current dog(s) with you when you come to meet the CHAAMP adoptables. You will also need a second vehicle to separate your dogs for the drive home. We don't make exceptions to this rule so please come prepared, so you do not have to make an additional trip.
As you can see from our application, we ask a lot of questions! The more we know about you and what you're looking for in your dog, the better match we can make.
CHAAMP is a proud member of the Pet Professional Guild.
There are many ways to train your dog. Yet the only one that results in a healthier, emotionally stronger relationship between you and your pet is through Force-Free & Fear-Free dog training. Why choose to subject your pet to fear and pain as part of their training with the use of prong collars, electric shock collars, and popping/jerking ("corrections")? You want your furry companion to trust you and do what you ask because good things happen when he/she collaborates with humans, not because he/she must.
Find a Force-Free, Fear-Free, Pain-Free professional dog trainer: https://petprofessionalguild.com/Zip-Code-Search
How to Choose a Dog Trainer: