We recommend a Martingale collar with a buckle. In case of an emergency, you can remove the martingale by the buckle. Please remember to remove the martingale collar when the dog is unsupervised, especially when left alone in a crate. Dogs can get the martingale collar stuck and choke themselves to death. It has sadly happened to dogs of all ages. Always supervise dogs' play. Collars and harnesses can get stuck too and choke themselves to death. This can occur to dogs of all sizes!
A leash should be strong enough for your dog but also fit nicely in the palm of your hand when you close it (watch video below). We do not recommend retractable leashes because it can easily slip out of your hand. If you choose a biothane (waterproof) leash, please make sure to wear gloves so you don't cut yourself while training on loose leash walking. Malamutes were born to pull!
Watch Michael Shikashio demonstrate how to hold a leash and front clips.
Strong dog that pulls on-leash?
Harnesses should fit like a good shoe to avoid injuries. Malamutes can get out of many harnesses so it’s important to choose carefully and use a Y-shaped harness. Except for Nahak, the following harnesses have dual purpose for walking, hiking, and sports:
Alpine Outfitters: https://www.alpineoutfitters.net/ (best bang for your buck!)
We recommend getting a D-clip in the front, which you can attach with a carabiner to your Malamute’s martingale collar and connect with the leash. In case of an emergency when your Malamute decides to chase a cat that unwittingly crosses your path, the front connection prevents the Malamute from running because it turns him/her around facing you.
Tellington TTouch has a very nice harness that clips to the front with a TTouch® Connector.
What is the TTouch Connector?: https://youtu.be/v7tsZ31KEu4
“Easy And Stress Free Way To Get A Mushing Harness On Your Dog”
If you use the same harness for walking and dog sports, we recommend clipping the harness in the front when walking and only clipping it to the back when performing dog sports.
Dogable Dog Training has a wonderful post about harnesses.
The study of long-term effects on dogs wearing different harness designs are currently a key topic for canine researchers, with some conflicting and unreliable results. What the science can be sure of, is that harnesses are always safer compared to collars, and restricting the shoulder blade affects gait, which can lead to negative consequences for a dog's health and wellbeing.
My recommendations for harnesses are:
- Perfect Fit
- Mekuti Balance
- Blue-9 Balance
Customized harness available. Urban Trail® Adjustable Harness (Half-Back / Shorty)
CTC Dog Gear: https://www.ctcdoggear-usa.com/
Customized harness available. https://www.ctcdoggear-usa.com/harness-measuring-guide
Howling Dog: https://howlingdogalaska.com
Howling Dog Enterprises Distance Harness
Non-Stop Dogwear: https://www.shopnonstopdogwear.com/shop/
Line Harness muti-function
Dog Pulling Harness for *pulling sports only*
Pawsitive Futures “Choosing a Canicross Belt”
Hands free belts
Malamutes are very strong! When using hands-free, it is important to use a dog sport belt to distribute the weight around your hips to prevent back injuries.
CTC Dog Gear Hip Belt: https://www.ctcdoggear-usa.com/product-page/ctc-dog-gear-hip-belt
Simple belt with no straps. Comfortable and practical. You cannot attach a standard treat bag to the belt, but it works great.
Non-stop Dogwear Trekking belt: https://youtu.be/LIdS6U-Rduk
Thicker belt with *removeable leg straps*. Leg straps hold the belt in an optimal position. The bungee or leash goes through the D-ring before attaching it to the hook.
Lightweight and used for optimal performance. Recommended for Malamutes.
Always secure your dog in the vehicle to avoid them jumping out. A good harness can easily connect with a dog seat belt. You can use an iBuddy Dog Seat Belts or a crate.
Crates designed for cars: https://rufflandkennels.com/product-category/kennels/
Center for Pet Safety: https://www.centerforpetsafety.org/
Training Treats the most important equipment for all dogs!
Please use healthy treats and reduce meals to prevent weight gain. Use limited ingredients (chicken, turkey, sweet potato, cheese) and little to no preservatives to prevent upset tummies and pancreatitis. Too many different treats with lots of ingredients can cause diarrhea.
Make sure you have low, medium, and high value treats. Hard work deserves hazard pay like human grade cheese or steak! A cheerio or biscuit is not going to be enough if you are trying to teach them that it is more rewarding collaborating with you instead of chasing a squirrel.
Doggone Good Rapid Rewards Pouch - is a good treat bag
What treats to use and why - Professional Dog Training by Dog Training by Kikopup
Your Dog’s Pay Scale: https://youtu.be/3PNBbTkfcAk
A muzzle is a great tool to know how to use in case of an emergency. Say your dog is hurt and in pain. Naturally he/she may react and possibly even bite you. If you have trained your dog with a muzzle, this will not add to his/her trauma and keep everyone safe.
Malamutes are big and this can be scary for some people. If your dog has learned to enjoy his/her muzzle, then it's not a big deal. Plus, it's way better than using the temporary muzzle provided by the vet. A muzzle gives everyone a peace of mind.
Resources | The Muzzle Up! Project (muzzleupproject.com)
Dog Training 101 - a DVD by Jean Donaldson Can be found at https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/dog-training-101.html
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