New alaskan malamute cross german shepherd pup

Posted by Paulo
Feb 19, 2012

I've just brought home an 8wk old alaskan malamute cross german shepherd male puppy and wondered if there was anything specific I should try with him when training or watch out for behaviour wise. I don't want him to pick up any bad habits in the first few weeks that will be harder to correct further down the line.

We already have a 2yr old mallinois cross GSD bitch (who's very neurotic and barky but gentle when she gets to know someone) and they seem to get on very well so far (although I'm not sure the pup is quite so happy with the 2 cats we have!! - sounds like I live in a zoo when I write it like that!!). We have a fair size garden (about 80ft) for them to play in. After a quiet few days settling in he is now starting to come out of his shell.

I'm trying to crate train him, although at the moment he howls and whines when in there (except when asleep at night, although when he wakes up he makes sure the whole house, and possibly soon the neighbours too), so I ignore him until he quietens down (which can take a while, and then only for a few second window which I try to catch). When I try to give him treats, he doesn't seem particularly bothered about them (i've tried various bought treats and also bits of sausage which thought might tempt him but not really!)

I'm just looking for any hints and tips that might help with the specifc breeds.

Thanks for any help or advice
Posted by KOPCaroline
Feb 20, 2012
Hi Paulo,

Congrats on the new fur baby! Sounds like things are going as anyone could expect for a pup. I'm sure the whining/barking at night will decrease as he gets used to the house and being on his own.

As far as specific breed problems - the STDT package does include a link to a breed index which you might be interested in. I'll tell you what I know of the two breeds, which isn't much, but its a start

German Shepherds, as I'm sure you know from your other cross dog, are very intelligent and very active. So common problems rise from boredom - digging, barking, chewing. Just be sure to give lots of opportunity for energy burning. GSD are also predisposed to physical problems like hip dysplasia and some types of cancer - its worth having your vet do a more specific check up every visit to monitor how things are going. Some people say GSD are predisposed to aggression problems, but I don't really agree with this - I think the aggression issues seen in some GSD are a result of how they are brought up (not enough socialization) - so be sure to get your pup used to other dogs, cats, animals, and people. Puppy classes are an awesome way of doing this so I'd suggest checking your local area for any listings.

I have less experience with Malamutes, but have heard they can be solitary in who they like - by that I mean they can bond to one person and not many others, and sometimes develop a protective aggression over the one person they bond with. Again, socialization is key here - have your pup get used to as many people as possible!

You can always ask your vet about the breeds, as well as check the STDT breed guide and other online resources for what to look out for. I'm sure other members have experience with the breeds you're asking about as well.

Please keep us updated on how things are going! Hope they continue to go well