What We Do
CHAAMP is led by volunteer board members. We follow and embrace AVSAB's recommendations that only reward-based training methods should be used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems. It is the best way to communicate with Alaskan Malamutes. We continue to learn and grow to make their world a better place.
Take in Malamutes from shelters and owner surrenders
Help the malamute community with training and behavior tips
Find FREE resources so everyone has an opportunity to learn
Provide virtual or in person support to fosters and adopters
Have fundraisers to offset medical costs
Attend adoption and dog events
Photos with Santa fundraiser
Continuing education by attending conferences and webinars
Losing their family
Malamutes are highly social and consider themselves part of the family. Imagine the confusion and anxiety they face with the loss of their family and home. This can be traumatic causing distress, frustration, and even depression. Some but not all are ready to receive affection immediately. Their world has been turned upside down and they need time to process their feelings. We recommend reviewing how to read dog body language to respond appropriately.
It's so fluffy!
Malamutes are beautiful and intelligent which leads to selective hearing, lol. They let you know exactly how they feel, which can
take humans by surprise. They are independent thinkers and want to know what's in it for me? Why should I listen to you?
They may talk back and express themselves passionately. They look so cute, fluffy, and so animated!
A Malamute's cuteness may cause us to overlook what they are trying to say to us. If they look away, it's their way of saying, "no thank you -- please do not pet me." If their body is stiff, give them space. A wagging tail with a stiff body or a growl means give me space now! When someone doesn't hear us, we yell. Malamutes yell too and this looks like an air snap.
Sometimes a dog will demonstrate appeasement behavior. For example, when a dog is afraid of someone they will run up to the person, jump up, rub or lean into the person appearing really friendly and possibly even in your face BUT they are also flicking their tongue, freezing, yawning, and their body is stiff even though their tail is wagging. This is easily mistaken for a friendly dog. When we reciprocate by petting or possibly hugging the dog, it may send the dog over the top causing them to air snap or bite the person in their face. This is why it is so important to give the dog "space" and allow them to sniff us without petting them. Malamutes are easily excitable and due to their size can knock you over if they jump on you. This is a common mistake made by the best of us. It is so important to think about the other end of the leash.
Some of us shut down or just want to hide away from conflict; and some Malamutes are the same way too. They will roll over on their back exposing their belly with a stiff body desperately trying to tell you, "I mean you no harm, please give me space." When in doubt, give them space.
To minimize stress, we do our best to create peaceful interactions. If we do not listen with our eyes by reading their body language, we may inadvertently cause them to feel threatened. In dog body language, staring, directly facing, or leaning over a Malamute is considered threatening. We want to be respectful of this majestic dog and earn their trust. A healthy relationship is formed when we listen and feel heard.
We are happy to share our knowledge and experience. Our former trainer, Stephanie Peebles, taught us so much! We continue to learn so we can do better. Join us and let's learn together to make their world a better place.
Malamutes respond wonderfully to rewards-based training. This working breed loves to earn delicious rewards. If they are learning not to chase squirrels, which is a natural behavior, they deserve a high value treat like chicken, turkey, provolone cheese, or a meatball. Set your pup up for success by controlling the environment (space and distance from triggers) and being extra calm ourselves. Together we learn and practice what to do until it becomes muscle memory, and a new habit is formed. Practice at home with no distractions, then practice in different locations and then slowly add distractions.
We set up our pup for success by being proactive and removing opportunities to practice unwanted behavior (bad choices) and teaching alternative behavior.
For example, to prevent counter surfing prevent access to the kitchen and do not leave food unattended. If your dog likes to counter surf while you are cooking then be proactive and before you start cooking, show your pup where to go and provide them with a snuffle mat, a natural chew or a frozen Kong, close the kitchen door/gate and then start cooking. Show your dog what to do BEFORE they get themselves into trouble. If we react when the dog comes to the kitchen to find food, the dog will learn that if
he goes to the kitchen to find food hu-mom will give me food. Timing is so important!
Safe & Secure
At the CHAAMP kennel, we provide routine (morning potty, breakfast, frozen Kong, afternoon potty, afternoon frozen Kong, dinner, evening potty, natural chews). We keep it nice and cool with the A/C and fans blowing during the summer. The white noise provides a peaceful environment for a nap. A routine helps reduce anxiety and supports a potty-training schedule.
When a Malamute goes home, we highly recommend providing them with their own "space" where they can feel safe like a crate or an area in your home blocked off with a baby gate where they can eat and sleep in peace. They like cool places like bathroom tiles or close to the AC or a fan. At bedtime, they may want to be close to you. Just don't be surprised if your Malamute changes his/her mind if you snore too loud, LOL!
Meeting a Malamute is exciting for everyone! Did you know that not all zoomies are expression of fun and happiness? Some zoomies are done because they are anxious or possibly too excited to contain themselves. Too much too soon can easily nurture jumpy, bitey behavior, oh my! It's not fair to get them all excited and then get upset when they jump up and possibly knock you over. We want to do our best to set them up for success. It's tough because they are super cute.
Please give Malamutes "space" instead of affection until you get to know each other better just to be safe. Toss a treat away from you and they will eventually come closer when they are ready. Let them sniff you without petting them. Give them time to process all their feelings. Dogs can smell you and your emotions at a distance, there is no need to extend your hand to their face. In doggy language, it may appear to be rude. "How to greet a dog and what to avoid" by Sofia Yin.
The more excited a Malamute becomes, the calmer we must be. We strive to keep Malamutes under their emotional threshold. Rescues have been through so much change, losing their home and family. Help us set them up for success. It is easy to misread excitement with stress.
Rewards-Based Training using Positive Reinforcement
We like to teach Malamutes what to do and reward them. Practice good behavior until it becomes the new norm (muscle memory). When we reward the behavior, we wish repeated, we simultaneously minimize unwanted behavior. Plus, you are building your Malamute's confidence and strengthening your bond. Good things happen when they choose you.