Obedience Training Your Alaskan Malamute

Malamutes have often been said to be difficult to train. This is mostly as they are extremely intelligent and therefore are a real challenge to train. A proper Malamute temperament will usually produce the most stubborn (at times) dog you have ever known, and the most delightful four legged clown you will ever hope to meet. Determining what is sheer stubbornness and whether the dog really did not understand is hard work, however, those moments of complete ham will either lighten your mood or drive you to distraction. Either way, remember lavish praise when he is right and a good laugh when his sense of delivery gets the better of you both.

Your first job will be leash working the dog, and many a Mal will scream bloody murder the minute you tighten the leash. Just close your ears, hope the neighbors do not call the SPCA, and keep walking. He will soon be up on his feet with you, and your first battle will be won. A Mal, once having learned a lesson, does not easily forget, but he will test you to the utmost limits of your patience. Retain a sense of humor and you will triumph in the end.

Innumerable books have been written on the subject of obedience training of the dog, and I personally do not like the “do it yourself” training books. It is far wiser, if you are in an area where obedience classes are taught by a professional, to go out to class that will teach you to train your dog. These classes are inexpensive, and worth more than all the printed words in books.

Malamutes are trainable, and the number of top winning obedience trial Malamutes in North America will testify to this. Just remember that a happy dog can be an obedient dog.

All dogs, whether they be neutered, spayed or whole, are eligible for competition in trials and the completion of an obedience degree is a very rewarding feeling.

Obedience Trials

Dogs must be over 6 months old to compete, and they generally progress from class to class as their knowledge and training increases.

1. Companion Dog: Heal on Lead, Figure 8 on Lead, Stand for Examination, Heel off Lead, Recall, Long Sit-Stay and Down Stay.

2, Companion Dog Excellent: Heel Free, Drop on Recall, Retrieve on Flat and Over High Jump, Broad Jump, Long Sit and Down (Handler out of Sight).

3. Utility Dog: Scent Discrimination, Seek and Find, Hand Signal Exercise, Directed Jumping, Long Stand.

This is a compact idea of what happens in each level of an obedience trail. A good instructor at your classes can give you added information on the classes and how to enter.