There is so much to do with a Malamute, that the only limiting factor to do all of it is time. From engaging your best friend in active play, to training for excellence in sports – your Malamute will be happy to serve its purpose and be victorious at every challenge you throw at them. But before that, everyone should understand how much and what kind of exercise the dog should be doing at different life stages.
General rules on the environment and health
- Never train and don’t have long walks with the Malamute when it’s over 20° celsius outside.
- Don’t feed your dog at least 4 hours prior to an exercise.
- Keep your dog well hydrated, both in hot and cold weather.
- Don’t let the dog to lie down after an intensive exercise or a race – instead, walk it slowly for another 5-7 minutes to help it calm down and catch its breath gradually. Then give plenty of water, or something like Annamaet Glycocharge mixed with water to help your dog restore more quickly.
- Don’t push too hard, especially until the age of 2 years.
- Don’t do running activities on asphalt, pavement, rocky and edgy terrains.
Daily food ration should be increased depending on the duration and intensity of an activity. Click here for more info on what to feed a Malamute. There is quite a lot of data on the energetic cost of activities, but the following table should help in doing simple calculations on ration increase after a specific activity:
What activities and when to engage
Starting from early puppyhood, most important activities will be obedience training, playing, walking medium distances and exploring the world.
At 6 months, there should be a lot of long distance walking and trekking. Jogging in very short distances and basic mushing commands can be introduced as a pre-training for Canicross. The dog will also have a chance to get used to the equipment.
By 9 months the running distances will increase and you can start the Canicross training, as well as start trekking with a backpack (empty, at this time). In general, this is a hardest period for Malamute owners: the dog will have an excessive amount of energy, yet there are many restrictions on how it can be unleashed due to possible unwanted health consequences, such as hip dysplasia.
At 12 months you can start working your dog more actively: participate at Canicross races, start Bikejoring and Skijoring training. Packing weights can be gradually increased up to 1/8th of the dog’s weight. Don’t farget, that Malamutes are still growing at this age, thus do everything with caution and always observe the dog for signs of fatigue and stress.
At 18 months your Malamute is allowed to legally participate in most competitions, can carry 30% of its own weight in a pack, but is still not physically mature. Don’t push too hard in order to avoid injuries.
There is one activity which should be avoided until the Malamute is under 2 years old – weight pulling. It is one of the most exhausting and intensive activities and the dog should be physically mature before attempting it.