If your Malamute has been growling a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why Malamutes do it and what you can do about it.
Your Malamute might actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Why your Malamute growls
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.
The cause of the growling could be that it is warning you not to touch something that it thinks belongs to it. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when it is eating or when you are trying to sit where it normally sits.
Dogs that are normally friendly can become aggressive when they are being possessive. So, in this case, it would be advised that you seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist in your area to see how to train it safely.
The cause could be that something is causing it to be fearful or anxious. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more in situations such as when there are noises outside like fireworks or when someone is approaching it in an aggressive manner.
The cause could be that something has been causing it to be in pain and it has been growling out of frustration. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being in pain such as limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Uncertainty of what’s about to happen
The cause could be that it is unsure of what is happening. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when you are training it to do something difficult or when you don’t feed it at the same time that you normally would.
It’s having fun
Often, dogs will growl when they are having fun and it could be the reason why yours growls sometimes. This would be more likely to be the reason if it growls in situations such as when you are playing tug of war with it.
The cause could be that it is doing it due to being aggressive. This would be more likely if it also shows other aggressive signs such as being stiff, snarling its teeth or having its hair standing up. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a professional dog trainer.
What to do about the behavior
Below are a number of options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Fix any pain
If it seems like it might have been growling due to being in pain, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Malamute.
Remove anything it doesn’t like
If it seems like it might be growling due to something in its environment then it would help to take measures to get it to be more comfortable in its environment. This means that you should move any objects that it doesn’t like such as Christmas trees, noisy fans or whatever else it might be if possible.
Train it to not growl
Another option would be to make sure of positive reinforcement training to get it to stop growling. Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding it when it does not growl and stopping rewarding it when it starts growling.
You can watch the video below to see how to train it not to growl using positive reinforcement training. However, it would be advised to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer if it seems like it might become aggressive when it is growling.
Make sure to stop it when it’s still a puppy
If your Malamute is still a puppy, it would be very important to start giving it lots of positive reinforcement training now so that it is well behaved as an adult.
Get the help from an animal behaviorist
If you are unsure of why your Malamute has been doing it or it seems like it might be aggressive when it growls at you, the best option would be to get help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to see how to train it safely.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Malamute growling.
Keep your distance
If your Malamute is growling then you shouldn’t approach it since you’ll be risking it seeing you as a threat. Instead, wait for it to calm down and then try to rectify it with lots of positive reinforcement training. Alternatively, if you’re concerned, try and get help from a professional trainer who will be able to deal with it using a lot more experience.
Don’t punish the aggression
It would also help to avoid punishing it since it might not know why it is being punished, it could lead to feelings of resentment and it might cause it to become aggressive. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your Malamute did not always growl at you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because it started getting fed or walked at different times, it got an injury or because it learned that the behavior is rewarded.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider if there is anything special about the timing of when it normally growls. If it normally grows when you are leaving home, it could be a sign that it has separation anxiety. Whereas, if it does it when you are playing with it, the cause would be more likely to be excitement.