The Working Alaskan Malamute
Malamutes descend from a type of Arctic working dog that was bred to pull a sledge in the harshest of conditions. Though today the majority of people no longer rely on these animals for survival, let alone live in a malamute's native climate, the breed maintains many of the traits for which it was originally bred. As such, malamutes do best with a job and are generally not well suited to couch potato lifestyles. A malamute with a job is a happy and well-behaved malamute.
We encourage participation in the AMCA working title programs. However, this is a marvelously versatile breed, so if hiking or harness work isn't for you, there are many other ways for your malamute to stay active. Below we've compiled information on a few of those ...
Back Packing & Hiking
Malamutes are wonderful hiking companions and are built to carry a fair load. There are three titling levels for packing. Each require varying lengths of trips and total mileage.
WPD: Working Pack Dog
WPDA: Working Pack Dog Advanced
WPDX: Working Pack Dog Excellent
Skijoring, Sledding, Scootering, Carting & Racing
Malamutes can excel in these activities as many still have that instinct and drive to pull. As with hiking, there are three titling levels with varying lengths of trips and overall mileage. Dogs can earn a title either as a team dog or a lead dog.
WTD/WLD: Working Team Dog/Working Lead Dog
WTDA/WLDA: WTD Advanced/WLD Advanced
WTDX/WLDX: WTD Excellent/WLD Excellent
Many areas have an active weight pulling community and this can be a fun way for the dogs to get involved in pulling. There are three titling levels based on weight pulled.
WWPD: Working Weight Pull Dog
WWPDA: Working Weight Pull Dog Advanced
WWPDX: Working Weight Pull Dog Excellent
WD Information: http://alaskanmalamute.org/working/working-dog/working-dog-rules-application
WDA Information: http://alaskanmalamute.org/working/working-dog/advanced-working-dog-rules-application
WDX Information: http://alaskanmalamute.org/working/working-dog/excellent-working-dog-rules
BackPacking with Your Dog by Charlene LaBelle
Mush! A Beginner's Manual of Sled Dog Training by Charlene LaBelle
Training Lead Dogs by Lee Fishback
The Speed Mushing Manual by Jim Welch
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Obedience, Agility & More!
Obedience & Rally
Malamutes are known for their high intelligence. Structure and basic obedience training are extremely important in this breed. However, malamutes and their owners can greatly enjoy the fun of formal obedience and/or rally whether it be in a competitive venue or just for fun. Below are a listed a few commonly seen titles.
CGC, CGCA: Canine Good Citizenship
RN, RA, RE: Rally Novice, Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent
BN, CD, CDX, UD, UDX: Beginner Novice, Companion Dog, CD Excellent, Utility Dog, Utility Dog Excellent
Most malamutes love agility whether it's competition or just for fun in the backyard. It can build confidence, body awareness, physical fitness and a strong relationship between dog and handler. There are different formats for agility. Below are a few of the AKC titles you may see.
NA, OA, AX, AXJ, MX, MXJ, MaCH: Novice Agility, Open Agility, Excellent Jumpers, Agility Excellent, Master Excellent, Master Excellent Jumpers, Master Agility Champion
More malamute owners are getting involved with tracking and are finding that their dogs not only love the activity but are also quite good at it!
TD, TDX, VST: Tracking Dog, Tracking Dog Excellent, Variable Surface Tracking
In 2017, the first malamute received his dock diving title and more are getting involved. As of 2014, AKC offers a dock diving title. For malamutes who like to swim, this is a great activity.
AKC Information Pamphlet for the Following activities:
Many malamutes do very well in barn hunt. It's a fun activity that speaks to their instincts. AKC titles are available for this activity.
Not all malamutes are suited to therapy work, but for those who are, it can be a wonderful social experience for your dog and a rewarding experience for you. There are several agencies that certify therapy dogs. A few are listed below.
THD: AKC Therapy Dog https://www.akc.org/akctherapydog/earn_title.cfm
TDI: Therapy Dogs International http://www.tdi-dog.org/
TD: Therapy Dog
Temperament testing is not necessarily an activity you train for and generally isn't an activity you would participate in more than once, however it can be a rewarding and beneficial experience for you and your dog.
TT: Passed ATTS Temperament Evaluation http://atts.org/
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