Malamute Service Dog?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

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Life is Golden
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 6:25am PST 

Edited by author Mon Mar 10, '14 9:51am PST

Abrams Tank- SD

I'm trying to- fill some BIG- paws
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 7:25am PST 
I dont see why she couldnt be a SD. As for names here is a list of some Native American ones that I like:
ANGENI: spirit
APONI: butterfly
AYASHE, AYASHA: Cheyenne name meaning little one."
CHEPI: Algonquin name meaning fairy."
CHILAILI: snowbird
SOOLEAWA: Algonquin name meaning silver.
TALA: wolf
My thought is combine Sooleawa with Tala and come up with Sooleawa Tala meaning Silver Wolf. Hope it helps.

Life is Golden
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 8:09am PST 
I decided on the name Nukka which is Alaskan Inuit for "younger sister". I thought it fit well since she'll be Macleod's "younger sister" and since the breed is Alaskan smile

I'm so excited to meet her Saturday! I can hardly wait! big grin
I'm also really hoping she'll make a good service dog candidate.

Abrams Tank- SD

I'm trying to- fill some BIG- paws
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 8:20am PST 
That is a beautiful name and I cant wait to see photos of her and hear about her adventures.
Sita CGC- SD(mostly- retired)

When we seeing- the ponies?!
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 10:39am PST 
You will get varying degrees of opinions on this subject. We have a few handlers on the forum that have huskies as their SDs. The breed tends more difficult to train than most traditional breeds, especially if you are not used to working with the breed. They can be quite independent, which can be a drawback for SDs. Of course it really depends on the individual dog. They may also take a little longer to get ready for public work, if you plan on working your dog in public. There is also the hair issue. These dogs shed like crazy if they are not brushed everyday.

I personally love this breed. I had a Malamute/timberwolf dog when I was younger. Before I knew how to work with the breed. She was EXTREMELY hard headed. Too smart for my level of expertise at the time lol.

Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 12:48pm PST 
Aside from the stubbornness, I think a huge concern with the malamute breed would be issues with same sex dog aggression, which is prevalent throughout the breed. Many malamute breeders won't place a puppy to a home if there is already one of the same gender. The issue with this is the puppy might not show signs of this until it matures more. And with the dog the size of a malamute, it could be disastrous.

They also have a huge prey drive and might try to kill cats, and other small animals.

While you must consider these traits, I think otherwise they would have the potential to be a good SD, or pet above all. puppy

Edited by author Wed Sep 5, '12 12:52pm PST


The Boy Wonder
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 3:26pm PST 
A lot will depend on the dog, and you are going to have an uphill battle with it. I have a few friends who use huskies as service dogs but the devil is in how you raise them. Malamutes as well as huskies do best with +R methods. Hope for a high food drive and you might have something going for you.

It isn't a breed I would Ever suggest for service work due to their stubborn, and independent nature. They don't Want to work for you the day a golden or even a dobe does. And as mentioned they shed a Lot which can be an issue in public if not keep groomed very well. Either develop a good relationship with a groomer, or look into a professional force dryer and be prepared to bathe regularly.

The biggest advice I have for you is to Raise her like a service dog. Message me and I might have some training resources that would help you in that respect, as well as a contact who trains huskies for service dogs. You want to develop as high of a drive for food as soon as possible. I'd start with focus work and luring the moment you bring her home, getting her used to a marker, either a clicker or voice marker. If you start her early your chances of success are Much higher than if you wait until later.

The good points of the breed however is they tend to have good nerves. They're friendly if a bit aloof (not necessarily a bad trait). But you have to balance that with a higher prey drive (which can be put to use in training channeled correctly), and a lack of desire to Work for people. They like their people but aren't terribly motivated to work for them. Good luck... it's not impossible but not a breed I would recommend, but since you're getting her as anyway it won't hurt to try.

The cheese ninja
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 10:58pm PST 
Are you comfortable discussing what you need your SD to do? That would help a lot. What sort of alerting do you mean? Do you have any physical limitations or medical problems? What are the main sources of exercise for your dogs? Do you know anything about this dog's background? Was she taught leash manners? Was she socialized with other dogs? Why is she being given up?

I grin from ears- to chin :D

Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 7:27am PST 
I like your questions, Kodiak.
Yes, that might help finding an anwer dog walk
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 7:31pm PST 
It's not a breed I would reccomend to someone looking for an SD, but if you have a good Malamute canidate in front of you I don't see an issue. That being said, at 7 months there is still a lot of maturing to be done.

The biggest challenges are going to be the breed's independant nature, the tendancy toward dog aggression period - not just same sex, the shedding (you may also have difficulty working outside in hot climates for extended periods of time) and their massive size! I have seen Malamutes upwards of 180lbs! Great if you need support work, but if you need a dog to just be with you and alert if necessiary you may find you have a hard time finding a place for him to tuck himself away when you're out in public. A dog that big simply can't curl up under a park bench or resturant table.

They can also have a tendancy to be protective of their humans, even though by breed standard they really shouldn't be. That puts you in a tough position when evaluating the dog, because you either want that bit of protectiveness, or you don't and it could go either way.

In terms of public perception, you'll actually get a mix of "WTF WOLF!" and "OMG PRETTY!" My dogs aren't SDs, but they are with me all the time. On more than one occasion, Fox has literally stopped traffic because someone wanted to fawn over her. On other hand, some idiot once thought Vance was scary looking and decided to argue with me about walking my Pit Bull on the beach (seriously). The more normal responses are people either seeing us and rushing straight toward us, or seeing us and dashing across the street as fast as possible.

Also children will run at you screaming "SNOW DOG!"

The perks are that they tend to be a healthy, mentally stable breed. As working dogs go, they're pretty laid-back but definitely come up to task when asked to. They are super smart and like I said, if you need size it's there and then some!

Their dog aggression can be worked around. I knew a Malamute/Rottie cross who achieved some of the highest levels of therapy dog work possible. He was violently dog aggressive. But he loved people and his owner taught him not to react toward other dogs. There's no part of being an SD that says you have to enjoy the company of other dogs - you just have to tolerate it politely. It is a LOT of work to get through, though. And you will always have the general risk of having a large, DA dog in public.
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