Far too many people seem to be under the mistaken impression that crate training an Alaskan Malamute is cruel and that putting a Mal in a crate is akin to putting him in solitary confinement. While it is true that Malamutes are indeed highly social dogs that want to be with their pack at all times, they also have a strong "nesting" instinct. When approached properly, crate training your pup is, in many ways, just like handing him the keys to his own home.
Alaskan Malamutes prefer their "nesting places" or "dens" to be in a place that is free of distractions, a place where they can rest. This is an important fact to consider as you look for the perfect spot in your home for your pup's new "den."
So, the basic idea here is to train your Alaskan Malamute to think of his crate in terms of it being his den, a place he can go when he needs to and a safe place for him to stay while you are out or at night when everyone is sleeping. Of course, if you expect your Mal to see his crate more in the terms of his den, it needs to be a comfortable place where he can relax.
While you need to make the crate comfortable, you don't need to get carried away, your dog will not appreciate it. Start by cutting a nice piece of durable rug to fit the bottom of his kennel, then add a large comfortable bed for your pup. If you want, you can toss in a few toys and cover the whole thing to create a cave. You can use a blanket to do this or there are ready-made covers you can buy. The idea is to make the crate into a place your pup wants to spend time in.
Before you can start crate training your Alaskan Malamute, you need to make sure you buy the right size crate. This is important, even if it means buying more than one crate. If you buy one that is too small, your pup won't go into it as there won't be enough room for him to move around in it. If you are starting with a pup, you can get away with buying a full-size crate, but you will need to create a partition to keep the size of the kennel appropriate to the size of your Mal.
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Beyond this, you just need time and patience. Alaskan Malamutes are extremely intelligent, but at the same time they are quite stubborn and learn at their own pace. Take your time, and your pup will learn to love his den.