Crate Training Your alaskan Malamute
Crate Training 101 ......

Introducing your dog to the kennel

In order that your dog associate his kennel with comfort and security, it is important that's his initial experiences be pleasant. Rather than simply putting your dog in his kennel and expecting him to "get used to it", spend some time helping him to gradually become accustomed and you will be rewarded with a dog not only tolerates but also enjoys his time in his kennel.

Begin by allowing your dog to explore the kennel on his own. Leave the kennel with the door open(or off) in his long-term confinement area. Place his toys and meals in the kennel and toss in a few tasty treats whenever you pass by and he is certain to be going in and out withing hours if not minutes! If your dog seems very hesitant to enter the kennel, even when treats are in it, place his food bowl right in front of the kennel, then right inside the doorway then, finally at the far back of the kennel.

When your puppy will enter and exit willingly on his own you are ready to begin teaching him to be comfortable being confined to the kennel.

You will be most successful if you make your first attempts at kennel training during periods when your dog is most tiered. The first confinement session should be after a period of play, exercise, and elimination(i.e when the puppy is ready to take a nap)

Sit by the kennel and toss a treat in so your dog enters it. Close the door for just a few seconds. Don't try to push this first confinement to see how long he will tolerate it. Let him out and ignore him. Release from confinement should be as calm as possible. If you praise your dog profusely when he comes out of the kennel, it is likely he will view coming out of the kennel as more rewarding as staying in it. Repeat the exercise and gradually increase the time the time the door is shut.

You may choose to put a command word or phrase on goin into the kennel. Teach your dog to go into his kennel when you say the chosen term, such as "kennel up," by saying it as you toss in a treat. Later on your puppy's toy or ball can be substituted for the treat. Most puppies learn very quickly that "kennel up" (or whichever cue you use) means a treat or toy is about to appear in the kennel and they had better rush in there.

Kennel Time

One of the most important parts of kennel training is making sure you are doing it in a mar appropriate for your dog. The kennel is meant as an adjunct to proper straining and supervision, not as a substitute. As with anything, the use of the kennel should not be excessive.

Dogs should never be left in a kennel longer then they can control their bladder or bowels.
For puppies this may mean no more then an hour at a time. Geriatric dogs may also need to eliminate more frequently then they did as young adults. Many, but not all, young mature dogs may be able to be kenneled for an entire work day without a break. However, this is not advisable. It is much wiser, and kinder, to arrange for a person to come in and bring your dog for a walk in the middle of the day. Except for overnight, neither puppies nor dogs should be kenneled for more then 6 hours at a time.

Kennel Duration guidelines.

puppy's age provide a break for your puppy after:
8-10 weeks Approx.30-60 mins.
11-14 weeks Approx.1-3 hours
15-16 weeks Approx.3-4 hours
17+ weeks Approx.4+ (6 hours maximum)

Safety Tips

1. Collars: there is a slight risk that your dogs collar may get stuck on the metal furnishing of its kennel. As a safety precaution, remove his collar when he is in the kennel. Alternatively, use a Chinook Safety "break away" collar.
2.Children and the kennel: Don't allow children, or adult strangers for that matter, to bother your dog while he is kenneled. The kennel is meant to be a quiet spot for your dog to rest and it is unfair to expect him to be confined in this manner, while children taunt and tease him.
3.Warm/Cold weather concerns: Make sure the kennel is kept in an area where your dog is protected from the elements and extremes in temperature. This is especially true for short -muzzled breeds.
4.Never leave an unsupervised dog inside a car drink warm weather, whether in a kennel or not.
5.Never leave your dog unsupervised in a situation where unfamiliar people or animals have access to him.

The Kennel As A HouseTraining Aid

The essence of housetraining is being a good doggie time manager. That means making sure your dog is in the right place ( outside or inside on paper) at the right time (when he needs to eliminate).

Short-Term Confinement(Kenneling)
In order to get your dog in the right place at the right time you need to know when he needs to eliminate. A kennel is one of the most efficient and effective aids to housetraining because it helps you accurately predict when your dog needs to eliminate. Most dogs don't like to soil their resting/sleeping quarters if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. So, temporarily confining to a small area strongly inhibits the tendency to urinate and defecate. If your dog does not eliminate while in his kennel, then he is building bladder and bowel control and will need to eliminate when he is released, i.e, he eliminates when you are present to reward and praise him.

When you are at home but can't attend to your puppy, let him rest in his kennel and take him on leash to his doggie toilet every hour on the hour for very young puppies and less frequently as he grows up.

To begin, take your puppy/dog to the same area to eliminate and give him five minutes to do so. This will facilitate developing a dog that goes promptly, rather then needing to walk round and round the block before going.(You will appreciate this on a rainy day/night). When he goes, enthusiastically praise him and offer him three treats in return as a reward. The more he is rewarded the quicker he will learn to go in the right spot. Now you can take your empty dog for a reward walk or go inside for a play/training session.

Note: Be sure to kennel your puppy a few times each day when you are home, so that kenneling does not always predict that you are leaving.


Every 45-60 minutes take your 8-10 week old pup to his toilet area. The older your pup gets the less frequently you have to bring your pup to his toilet area and the more time he can begin to spend time off-leash in one room with your supervision.

As a general rule, most dogs should not be allowed to roam unsupervised in even just one room until they are atleast 9 months old. However, some dogs can handle such freedom sooner then others, and some dogs can't until they are well over a year.

Once you feel your dog has eliminated consistently in the appropriate spot and focused on chewing his chewtoys, you can start giving your dog unsupervised access to your home. Start with very brief absences with the dog loose in a "puppy-proofed" room (don't leave any particularly enticing items withing easy reach" . Another option is to close doors of certain rooms or set up some gates. If your short absences results in any misbehavior, your dog is telling you he isn't ready, yet. However, if your brief absences are successful, increase them gradually. Be careful not to move to quickly, though. Moving slowly is actually the fastest way to develop dog that can safely enjoy freedom in your home.

Mistakes And Accidents

If you had an accident in the house don't reprimand your dog. All this will do is teach your dog that you don't like to see him eliminate, in which case he is unlikely to eliminate in front of you outside. Instead, he will do so when you are not looking, or in a hidden spot-such as behind the couch.

A Day In The Life Of Your Puppy

Wake your puppy up as early as you can. Carry him, attaching the leash as you go, to his doggie toilet. Use of the leash, serves many purposes, you can express immediate approval and your dog learns to go in the specific spot you have chosen, rather then all over your lawn.

If you are taking your puppy outdoors, chose an area of about 10 square feet as his designated toilet. Pace back and forth-and don't talk to your pup( this will only distract him). If he eliminates give him lots of praise, tiny treats and play! If he doesn't eliminate withing 5 minutes, carry him back indoors and hold him in your lap for 5 minutes. Then take him back out and try again. This way your dog will become a prompt eliminator- especially useful on a rainy day/night =).

After a successful potty session, bring him back indoors, for a 15 minute on leash play/training session(which can gradually be increased each week). Before tethering your dog to your side or putting him back in his kennel and feeding him breakfast.

After 45-60 mins. carry him back to his doggie toilet and let him relieve himself again. If you will be at home with your puppy throughout the day, continue this routine of taking your dog to eliminate and then play/train every hour or so.

If you leave your home for the day, confine your pup to his long-term area while you are gone for more than three hours. When you get home resume the routine of frequent tips to eliminate.

Make sure that your pup's last feeding and watering is atleast 4 hours before bedtime so that he has plenty of time to empty out before he goes to bed. A young pup should sleep in a long-term confinement area unless you are willing to wake up and take him to his doggie toilet in the middle of the night.(which is very unlikely). In this case the puppy can sleep in his kennel beside your bed.

When working with an adult dog, follow much the same routine, without the frequency of tips outside or the numerous meals.

The Kennel As A Punishment

NEVER use the kennel as a way to punish your puppy or dog. Doing so will cause him to fear the kennel, which means it becomes a less effective training aid.

The Kennel As A Time-Out

While the kennel should never be used to punish your dog, it is very effective as as place to have a brief time-out. Time-outs help to eliminate unwanted behaviors such as puppy nipping, excessive rowdiness and attention seeking behaviors such as whining.

Time-outs are most effective if they are delivered as unemotionally as possible. For example: if your puppy is nipping you, step on his leash so that he can't do so. After a few moments initiate play again. For most pups, a few repatriations is enough for them to begin to get the idea that nipping people ends all the fun. But, if your pup isn't getting the connection, after a few on-leash time-outs, you might consider letting him take a few minutes in his kennel and avoid any verbal or physical reprimands. After a few minutes let him out and try another play/training session.

Training Is Fun, Fast And Easy!

A dog who responds promptly to your requests for him to sit, stand, lie down and come when called is well on his way to earning his P.D. (perfect dog) title.

One of the easiest ways to teach basic obedience is using the age-old lure/reward training method. Lure/reward techiques remove the need for physical coercion, enabling family and friends to train your dog, children included. It's almost magic as the dog follows the lur(treat or a toy) and learns to sit, lie down, and stand within minutes.

Dogs enjoy this type of training so much it is good to train them atleast 50 times a day. That doesn't mean you have to spend all day training. Simply lure your dog into one of these three positions anytime you have a few secounds free.

With lure/reward training you can teach all three comands at once and your dog will learn them all at lightning speed. Lure/reward methods are perfect for training young puppies and for re-educating older dogs.

Simply take a piece of your dog's kibbel, or a treat, and hold it in front of his nose. If you move the kibbel up and down the dog nods his head, this means your dog just can't wait to start his training. Your dog is interested in the kibbel and the kibble will work well as an incentive for your dog to do as you wish.

Now, it is possible to move the treat to show the dog what you want him to do and then offer the treat as a reward to thank the dog for doing it.

The Routine Is Simple When Training In Command:

1. Tell your dog what you want.
2. Move the treat so the dog can work out what you want him to do.
3. When the dog follows your instructions, praise him and offer the treat as a reward.

Sit Comand

1. Move the treat backwards over the dogs muzzle. Aim right between his eyes and between his ears and your dog will look up to follow the treat. Keep the treat very close to your dog's head, or else he will jump up to grab it. As your dog moves his head back to look up to follow the treat, he will sit.
2. As soon as his rear hits the ground say "Good-Dog!", and give him a lure/reward, i.e. toy or a treat.
3. Once your dog is reliable following your hand into the sit position, say "sit", as you move your hand to lure him.

Down Command

With your dog standing or sitting waggle the treat in front of his nose and then:

1. Hold the treat between your finger and thumb with your palm down, and move your hand straight down to the ground between the dogs fourpaws and slowly push the treat twoards his belly. Your dog's nose will go down and between his front feet to follow the treat. This is especially effective if you begin on a slippery surface, like a kitchen floor. At this point, he will he either lie down or stand up.
2. If your dog lies down, well done. Say "good-Dog", and give him the treat as the reward. If your dog stands up, just do it again. He will soon get the idea that following your hand all the way to the ground is the way to get the treat.
3. Once your dog is reliably following your hand into the position, say "down" as you move your hand to lure him.

Another method to lure your dog down is to lure him to crawl under your bent knee as you sit on the floor. Your dog willl have to lie down before crawling under your knee to get the treat. Once you the dog is down, keep the treat still and you will get a brilliant down-stay. Alternativly, you may lure your dog to crawl under a coffee table. Once your dog lies down you may lure him without your knee or a table as an aid.

Stand Command

Wether your dog is sitting or lying down:

1. Move the treat away from your dog's nose to the point where his nose would be if he stood up. Wich of course he will do because he wants the treat. As soon as your dog stands, lower the treat just a tad, otherwise your dog will satnd and immediatly sit again.
2. When your dog stands say "good-boy," and offer him a treat.
3. Once your dog is reliably following your hand into the stand position, say "stand," as you move your hand to lure him.

Don't forget to teach your dog to stand. This is a great utilitarian command, if your dog is standing you can groom him and of course, yur veterinarian will love you for this. Also, if you teach him to stand you will find your dog will learn sit and down commands more quickly. Whenever teaching any sequence of commands, in order for the dog to really understand what each command means you have to teach atleast three times a day. For example, if you just teach sit and down all he learns is "hey if im sitting and they something, all i have to do is lie down to get the treat,". However if you teach three at a time, and the dog is sitting, the dog doesn't. now wether to lie down or stand up to get the reawrd. And this makes the dog focus on what you say or on the hand signals you give in order to get rewarded.

Stay Command

All you have to do to teach your dog stay is simply delay giving the treat. For example, say "Rover sit" and hold the treat in front of the dogs nose for three secounds before offering it to him and releasing him from the command. The next time, delay giving the treat by 5 secounds. On successive trials, progressivly increase the delay before giving him food reward each time. Solid stays will develop before your very eyes.

The power of "reward-training" is to see how many things can you get a dog to do for the prospect of just one food reward. Or how long can you get a dog to stay in the same position for a singel food reward.

Practice Makes Perfect
To practice, it is a good idea to alternate the three poitions, sit, stand and lie down. Basically, these three body positions are the building blocks of training. Once you have got a dog that will quickly stand, lie down, and sit you can pretty much do anything with him. It means you can get your dog to be calm, to focus, and to pay attention to you. Practicing any of these three positions will tech your dog to be still.

Try little training sequences, like a sequence of puppy push-ups-sit, down, sit, down. See how many puppy-push-ups you can get your puppy to do for just one reward, or see how many push-ups your dog will do in 30 secounds. Alternativly, practice sequences like sit, down, sit, stand, down and stand.

Most people teach sit, down and stand three separate excercises. In actual fact, we are trying to teach the dog six diffrent position changes: sit from a stand, down from a sit, sit from a down, stand from a sit, down from the stand and stand from the down.

Training Sessions

Train little, but often. Lengthly sessions will probably bore you as much as they bore your dog. keep your training sessions extremly short- a matter of a few secounds, but work with your dog many, many times each day. Try to intergrate training into your regular lifestyle and this way you will not be spending any extra time training your dog. For example, train your dog everytime you go into the kitchen, everytime a commercial come on T.V. , everytime you open a door for your dog. It is suprisingly easy to train your dog as much as 50 times a day without ever deviating from your normal lifestyle.