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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The I Said No Method
Lay in some treats
Head out to the store and pick up a healthy supply of tasty treats for your pup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Good Spot Method
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.
Spray that spot
Find a spot on your lawn that is to become your pup's bathroom. Spray it liberally with the potty spray.
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.
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.
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.
Written by PB Getz
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021