Malamute mix

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Shell17
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Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:21 pm

Found out today my dog is likely a malamute rotti mix not a husky rotti mix, recently started having fairly major issues with dog on dog aggression with the exception of one dog (a female rotti) whom he's played with since 4 months of age. Anyone have any good advice or pointers specific to malamutes? Thanks!

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Nettle
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Nettle » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:49 am

Very difficult dogs to train as they are wired to go away from their owners not towards, and there is nothing co-operative about their mindset. There is much to enjoy about them but they are definitely not a breed that is oriented towards working with people unless it involves utilising their instincts to hunt, guard, run and pull. They aren't keen on other dogs either.
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CarolineLovesDogs

Re: Malamute mix

Post by CarolineLovesDogs » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:26 pm

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Last edited by CarolineLovesDogs on Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Shell17
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:18 pm

Thank you nettle, helpful. I understand what you're saying Carolina but the breed does play some role in how your dog develops to a greater or lesser degree. Where a retriever loves water a chihuahua might not be so keen and that may not be something someone could train. I think understanding the breed can help to explain certain behaviours, though that does not necessarily excuse them.

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Anatine
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Anatine » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:03 pm

I would have to agree with Caroline slightly here.
I have a malamute who has no problem with dog aggression, does recall, loves water, will play fetch etc.
All of which are the exact opposite of the malamute cliche, all because of the way she has been reared.
She might not have been born with an innate knowledge of these things, but she has learnt.
Training might take a little longer, and more repetitions, but you can make any dog do anything as long as you understand what makes them tick.

Whilst obviously the breed does effect instinct, it doesn't effect what they can learn.
Don't just label this as a 'malamute problem' and instead just think of it as 'my dog problem'
And find a solution that works for you :)

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Shell17
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:58 pm

I wasn't labelling it as a breed problem nor was I saying all dogs within a breed will be a certain way, I'm just saying sometimes when an issue presents itself that doesn't gave an obvious environmental cause it is possible it may have something to do in part with the breeds nature

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Erica
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Erica » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:09 pm

Genetics can't be completely ignored. There is definitely a lot of impact on a dogs behavior in its puppyhood, and its current environment, and everything in between, but if genetics didn't have a big impact on behavior then there wouldn't be a reason to breed for temperament or to look for a dog of a certain breed because of the breed's behaviors. Knowing a dog's breed or breed mix can help predict how it will respond to certain situations, and help figure out the best motivators for it...while a lab will probably love a treat or a game, a malamute (talking about Mr. Ami here) might prefer to be allowed to pull on the leash and run for a while. (In fact, that's the only thing I've found to be a decent reward for him outside...:roll: )
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

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Nettle
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Nettle » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:57 am

Genetics + environment = behaviour. We need to be aware of a dog's breed tasks and genetic bias in order to succeed with basic training (as Anatine has) because drives and motivators vary according to the original tasks of the breed type(s). Add an unknown background and the job becomes even harder. Add an abusive background or one lacking in the fulfilment of basic needs and the issue becomes more difficult again. So we need to listen to the dog in front of us, and if necessary trim our sails and change our expectations to allow for what it is capable of doing with enjoyment.

However well-trained and well-kept, a dog will always revert to genetic bias if the environment dictates.
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Anatine
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Anatine » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:46 am

Sorry Shell if my reply wasn't very clear; that wasn't what I was implying.

I'll try and be a little clearer.
What I was trying to say is that behaviours can be trained away from their natural reactions; for example with fetch, Quorra was happy to chase the ball and 'kill it', but never used to bring it back. So I had to train her how to retrieve then bring the ball back, then drop it.
And I was also saying that you can use the breed in the way that you train the dog; as Erica said, Ami likes to pull, that's in his nature and it works as a reward. Using Nettle's words here; his 'drive' is to pull, and his drives can 'motivate' him to work.
You need to find what works best as a reward for Bear, whether a Malamute or a Rotti thing, and use that to move away from something that might be part of his genetic disposition; the aggression.
Basically what I was trying to say in now you've figured out what mix he is, use that as part of the soloution :)

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Shell17
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:00 am

Anatine that makes a lot more sense now thanks for explaining! Thanks for all your answers guys, that helps :)

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Re: Malamute mix

Post by geenamiller89 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:42 pm

Let's put it this way: 50% breed and 50% training/environment.

I have the same concern before when my uncle gave me a 1 year old Husky. It was my first time to handle big dog (at that age) since my 3 old dogs are small breeds. So I did some research and prepared for the worst. To my surprise, he didn't act as bad as the articles described. Yes he was an escape artist (breed) but overall he was lovable and fun. He is very smart (the genes) but obeyed when called (nurture). He sits when there is a vehicle/bicycle on the road (nurture).

Knowing that aggression is part of the breed can make us feel disappointed but there is still hope. You just have to commit to spend time for his training because dogs can learn. :)
"Understanding your dog and knowing how to control him, develop his potentials, and resolve behavior problems, emotional conflicts and frustrations are no less essential than love and respect."-Michael W. Fox|http://dogtrainingbasics.biz/

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Nettle
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Nettle » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:49 am

To clarify the 'aggression' part - because I lecture to professionals on aggression - aggression is a behaviour common to all creatures. In dogs it means the dog exhibits aggressive behaviour when the appropriate trigger occurs, not that the dog 'is aggressive'. Any dog will exhibit aggressive behaviour when it thinks it is appropriate.

Genetically, some breeds have a shorter fuse than others, some dislike other dogs, some only like their own people. It doesn't mean they will ever display aggression in those circumstances, just that if the trigger occurs the behaviour is nearer the surface. Good management will stop the behaviour occurring, but training will not - can not. This is because aggression is emotional not cerebral. Management is the safety-catch on the trigger but we can never unload the gun. So - while training is important - so is commitment to managing the dog's circumstances so it never feels the need to show aggression. :)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Shell17
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:12 am

Nettle that's really useful, especially your explanation about how it's emotional. So I need to avoid any situations that might push him past his threshold? What I've been doing recently is when another dog walks by on path behind house and bear barks through fence I call him over distract him and give him treats whenever I see another dog coming, I try to do this before he sees the other dog and starts barking. Would this help or make it any worse? I'm trying to make other dogs positive.

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Nettle
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Nettle » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:30 am

You are doing exactly right. From 'I hear dog bark, I bark back' to 'I hear dog bark and I go to Mum for a treat' is a great result.

It does seem strange at first thought that by avoiding situations that take a dog over threshold we actually calm the dog, but that is step one. By avoiding creating the emotional state, we strengthen the trust that the dog has in use because it realises that we will keep it safe and so it doesn't have to do anything but wait for us to manage the situation and then reward it. Eventually the threshold isn't there at all, because it has been replaced with confidence in the owner.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Shell17
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Re: Malamute mix

Post by Shell17 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:38 am

Okay great, thank you so much for your help

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