Yet another myth about training a malamute is busted: Taiga has not only participated in her first Pitch & Go competition, but also ended up in the Top 10 list and became a TV star!
You can also find a lot of pictures from the event taken by nikodema photography in their facebook album.
Pitch & Go is a fun activity, when you throw a dog’s beloved toy/ball/etc. into the marked field and the dog has to retrieve it as fast as possible in total of 90 seconds. The field marking has a point system and winners are determined by the calculation of total collected points.
The best thing about Pitch & Go is that you can organise a fun event with your friends without any hassle or the need to wait for someone else to do that – just get a can of spray paint (nature friendly), make the markings on any grass field, get your stopwatch on the phone ready and go!
Pitch & Go training
As Malamutes are made of two basic instincts – pack dog and survival, both averaging at roughly 50%, probably the best strategy to make you Mal play with you and retrieve things is to play with yourself: grab a toy (fat rope, tennis ball or anything else), start running around with it, throw it into the air and catch it immediately, throw it on the ground (nearby) and grab it back before your dog reaches it. If the dog manages to get a bite on your toy, growl on it (no jokes here – be an alpha dog!). Ignoring your dog and doing something fun without it will make it enormously jealous and anxious to play. Then, after you’ve got the full attention, suddenly throw your toy far away with a command ‘retrieve’ (or any other word you use for this purpose) and watch your dog running like crazy to retrieve the object and, most importantly, bring it back to you. It worked from the very first time for us, because by playing with yourself and not inviting your dog to do the same you make the dog feel as if it is banned from the pack, but, at the same time, your playing looks way too interesting for the dog to drop attention and find its own activity. And when you finally let your dog into your game, it will continue to play until you stop, as it doesn’t want to be left out again.
For more information on how to train a malamute, read the training page of this website.