How to Potty Train an Alaskan Malamute

Medium
3-6 Months
General

Introduction

If this is your first Alaskan Malamute you are in for a treat, ask anyone who has owned them. These incredibly beautiful dogs make one of the best large breeds for family pets. They are incredibly strong-willed, independent, powerful, and fun-loving. Don't let those wolf-like eyes and grin fool you--raised properly, Malamutes are gentle giants who will protect their pack to the death. 

But, until you get your pup potty trained, what you have is a bundle of fluff with oversized paws and ears that are too big for his head, who leaves you with not so little surprises all over the house. Fortunately, Malamutes are incredibly intelligent and can be trained to do a lot of things, including go potty outside. 

Defining Tasks

The task at hand is teaching your Alaskan Malamute that the only place he is allowed to go potty in outside in his designated spot in the yard. Sounds simple and in reality, it is. Potty training is, for the most part, about choosing a training method and then sticking with it until your pup starts to let you know when he needs to go out and is no longer booby-trapping every inch of your floors. The only real hard part is that Malamutes tend to be quite stubborn--it's not that they can't learn to go potty outside, it's more like, "Hey human, I will learn to go potty only when I am good and ready!" Be patient and keep working with your pup until he finally does what you are asking of him. 

Getting Started

The good news is that you can start working on potty training your Alaskan Malamute from the moment you bring him home. By the time he is 8 to 12 weeks of age, he is capable of starting to learn where he can and cannot go potty. You also need to learn to recognize his specific signs that he needs to go. These might include sniffing the floor, pawing the door, lifting a leg or starting to squat. Along with this, you might find these items come in handy:

  • Crate – To place your pup in when you can't be there to take him out
  • Treats – Use his favorite treats to reward your pup when he "goes" outside
  • Leash – To walk your pup outside to his "potty area" of the lawn
  • Cleaning supplies – For those occasional accidents that are going to happen

Beyond this, you will need plenty of time to work with your pup, and the patience to keep trying long after you start to feel frustrated. In the end, your pup's strong desire to please you will win out and he will no longer see the inside of the house as a place where he can go potty when he feels like it. 

The Outside Spot Method

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Pick your spot
Or in this case, pick your pup's spot in your yard that will become his personal toilet. Be sure it is close enough to the door that he can make it there without having an accident on the way, but far enough away to keep any smells out of the house.
Step
2
It's showtime
Start by picking a cue word, "outside" is a nice easy one. Clip your dog on his leash and walk him outside and straight over to his spot. Stay there with him until he goes potty.
Step
3
Good boy
Once he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat. This helps him to associate good things with going potty outside.
Step
4
Set a pattern
Setting up a training pattern is one of the most important aspects of potty training. At first, you should be taking him out every 30 minutes.
Step
5
Increase the duration
Keep working with your pup and extending the time between taking him out to help build his stamina. With hard work, consistency, and patience, your pup will learn to do his business outside.
Recommend training method?

The I Said No Method

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Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Lay in some treats
Head out to the store and pick up a healthy supply of tasty treats for your pup.
Step
2
Watch closely
Keep a close eye on your pup at all times. If you can’t, put him in his crate for a few minutes until you can. At the moment you see him behaving like he is thinking about going potty, tell him "NO!" in a firm voice.
Step
3
Outside
Pick your pup up, put him on his leash, and take him straight out to the yard so he can go potty. While you are on your way out the door, start using a cue word like, "Outside" so your pup associates the cue with going outside to go potty, and being rewarded.
Step
4
Be patient
At first, it might take your pup a while to go but be patient. In time, his need to go will overcome his nerves. When he does, be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Head back inside.
Step
5
Rise to the challenge
From here, all you need to do is remain consistent, and slowly increase the amount of time between when your pup goes outside until he is the one who is letting you know he needs to go.
Recommend training method?

The Good Spot Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Run to the pet store
For this method, you need a bottle of puppy potty training spray. This stuff not only helps him locate the spot you have chosen for his bathroom but is also designed to help trigger his need to go.
Step
2
Spray that spot
Find a spot on your lawn that is to become your pup's bathroom. Spray it liberally with the potty spray.
Step
3
Come have a sniff
Hook your pup on his leash, give him an "Outside" cue and then take him outside to the spot you have marked. Let him walk around and get a good whiff of the spray. Give him 15 minutes to go, if he doesn’t, no worries, just take him back inside and try again in a few minutes. Be sure you are keeping a close eye on him in case he starts to "go" inside.
Step
4
Keep to your routine
Along with the above training, there are specific times of the day when you need to take him outside, no matter when he was last out. These include after a meal or large drink of water, after a period of indoor play, when he wakes up in the morning, and last thing at night.
Step
5
Keep rockin' it
Keep working with your pup, taking him out when he looks like he needs to go potty, sticking to the routine, extending the time, until your pup no longer uses his indoor potty but instead bugs you to take him out where he can use his official outdoor potty.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Nala
Malamute x Rottweiler
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nala
Malamute x Rottweiler
17 Weeks

I trained her to potty outside and she was fine for 10 days but suddenly she’s now doing it again everywhere at home even in the crate.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Reham, First, know that it generally takes about 2-3 months for a puppy to become fully potty trained, so the accidents could be related to pup being given too much freedom at home too soon, before pup fully understands the concept of potty training. Check out the crate training method from the article I have linked below. Pay attention to how the crate is set up - something absorbent in the crate or too big of a crate can lead to accidents in there. Pay attention to the timing of potty trips - crating pup for too long can lead to accidents. Pay attention to how to manage pup's schedule so pup is only free with an empty bladder. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If pup is still having accidents after adjusting those things, I would consider a trip to your vet, especially if pup is having to pee more often than every hour or pooping more than three times in 24 hours. I am not a vet, so check with your vet about any medical concerns. Something causing incontinence or diarrhea could lead to potty training issues. If pup is still struggling after applying the above suggestions, then I would confine pup in an exercise pen in a room you can close off at night an when you leave, for pup to use a disposable real grass pad in that pen only during those times, then I would follow the Tethering method from the article I have linked below when you are home to teach pup to hold it while in the rest of your home. You want the exercise pen to be somewhere you can close off entrance too in the future because you want pup to learn that that's the only room in the home where pup can go potty and not in the general part of the home, then once pup can consistently hold it for the entire night and while you are away, you can get rid of the pen and grass pad in the future, and just be sure pup is staying in a dog proofed room to avoid destructive chewing dangers until pup grows out of that also. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Getting pup used to a confined area if needed - Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Shadow
Malamute
12 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Shadow
Malamute
12 Weeks

She will not stay in a crate and will not potty outside, when she does I reward her with treats.
Having a huge problem with potty, poop inside house even after she goes outside.
Teething and chewing up everything have teething toys not helping wants to bite constantly. This is our third malamute but not a puppy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cindy, Are you leaving the crate door open, and that's why pup isn't staying inside, or do you mean that she cries while inside so you let her out? If either of those scenarios, I highly recommend practicing the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. Know that the crying is very normal, especially the first two weeks of practice. If you let pup out of the crate when she cries she will learn that crying gets her out and won't have the opportunity to learn to settle in the crate and see that she is actually safe in there. Working pup through the crate now can actually prevent future adult separation anxiety later, which is far more serious. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If pup is physically escaping from the crate, then often wire crates can be reinforced to close gaps using zip ties or small carabiners, or by using a higher quality crate or different type of crate. Once pup is doing better with crate training, I would use a combination of the Crate Training and Tethering methods from the article I have linked below to potty train. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Check out this article for the chewing too, which includes using confinement like an exercise pen or crate when you can't supervise pup, like when you leave and at night. I would also work on some of the commands like Leave It, using deterrent sprays like bitter apple, and providing acceptable toys that interest pup to chew, like a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy or kong. Since you are new to puppies, I have included a link to download a free PDF e-book as well. You can click on the puppy icon that says AFTER Your Get Your Puppy at the website below. I hope you find that helpful too. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
loki
Alaskan Malamute
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
loki
Alaskan Malamute
10 Weeks

Loki is now 10 weeks he dose wees in the house and poos even when the door is open! he will also go in create after coming in from the garden help please!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Very cute! I would start training Loki again from day 1, and use the Timing Method or the Crate Method:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. You will have to give Loki guidance and instruction - he may see the door to outside open, but not know what to do. Take him out often, tell him "go potty, " praise and give him treats when he has success. Clean up the accidents inside with an enzymatic cleaner from the pet supply store. That is the only thing that will remove the odor. You may not smell it, but Loki still does. Be patient yet consistent with the training. Good luck!

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Question
Luna
Malamute
15 Weeks
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Luna
Malamute
15 Weeks

Okay....Deep breath.
Luna is 14 weeks old. She is sweet tempered and we hv decades of experience in trading Labradors. Luna is great in all areas except night kennel trading and potty trading at night. We hv had a few per tiny puddle incidences over the last 2weeks but that we can deal with. The real concern is night crate trading. In our experience we crate train at night until potty trained then only use the crate with company or when working or out of the home.
3 days ago Luna decided she was over the crate. We got the largest 1 to accommodate her grown size...she is a giant maly already over 30 pounds at 14 weeks...tonight we will try reducing its size with the divider per a recommended idea read earlier here this morning...but...she has learned to poo in the crate at night. An hour's long cleani g process for me that gets her out of the crate..and I feel like she knows it since we restrict food after 8pm...take her out before bed/crate sleep time...and she howls for HOURS and HOURS at night. The instant she goes in until she is out.
She is upset and sleep deprived..we are sleep deprived. Please help without a link. Tell me what to do to help us all sleep and xxx the poo torture in the crate. The howling is heart breaking for us and her. Quarantine is on so we are avail now but we have weeks to see successful results. Should we consider boarding training?
I've never come across this depth of helpfulness...we are patient and not spammers or tellers but she is not getting it after 2 weeks and last 3 nights are the worst...ever.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, It sounds like it's time to be a bit firmer with the training and use a Pet Convincer to interrupt pup's anxious aroused state - that is leading to her staying awake and potentially going potty in the crate. Once that anxious state is interrupted, you can also practice giving treats during the day for quietness, to further desensitize her to being in the crate, and condition a calm response. For this to work, you also need to make sure that other things aren't causing the pooping at night too. How often is pup pooping during the day? Be sure that you are taking pup potty on the leash and pup is pooping at least twice during the daytime - if pup isn't, and is holding it or getting distracted while outside, you are going to have accidents at night. Make sure puppy is healthy - if something is causing pup to poop more then 3-4 times in a day, I suggest a trip to your vet. You won't see success overnight until pup's GI system is functioning normally if that's going on because pup won't physically be able to hold it overnight. The last thing to check is pup's schedule. It sounds like all food and water is being removed at least 2 hours before bed and pup is being taken potty right before bed (on a leash so that you can make sure they actually finish going). If not, adjust that though. To address the crying with the Pet Convincer, here is what you are going to do... First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, practice crate training during the day too. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours (during times when you are there to reward quietness) each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. This will accomplish the training/learning that pup needs to have, for you to then implement it at night too. Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. Either continue ignoring the crying at night during this process until she is catching on during the day, then add corrections at night also, or go ahead and tackle nights with just the pet convincer at the same time as days - without treats at night. When she cries at night before it has been 4 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Only use a Pet Convincer with unscented air - not citronella, and only spray at her side briefly through the crate's wires, and not at her face. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Roanoke
Alaskan Malamute
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Roanoke
Alaskan Malamute
11 Weeks

I have had him for about 3 weeks now. He is nowhere closed to being potty trained it seems. we go outside and I am out there for about 30 minutes maybe more. I have tried the be outside for ten minutes come in and watch them. But nothing works, he seems to go outside sniff get distracted then not pee. But right when we come inside its like the flood gates open. I understand hes a puppy but its crazy. I also tried the spray but nothing works.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mary, I suggest following the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. It contains instructions for how to teach "Go Potty", motivate pup to go, and keep them focused using a leash and movement to help with distractions and pup learning to hurry up and go. Most important, it has instructions for what to do if pup doesn't go when you take them - place back into the crate and try again in thirty minutes - repeating that cycle until pup finally does go. Be very strict with this method. At first it will take a lot of crating and trips outside, but it should result in pup pottying only outside more often so that pup begins to go potty faster whenever you take them. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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