If your Malamute often ignores you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you eleven common reasons why Malamute 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.

Reasons Why Your Malamute Is Ignoring You

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Dogs understand actions more than words

The first possible reason is that you’re trying to communicate with it only with words. If you try to communicate with your Malamute solely through words, without training it to learn their meaning, you’ll have a hard time getting anywhere.

Instead, Malamutes are better at understanding emotions and actions. If you’re trying to teach your Malamute to sit then it would be easier to initially lure it into sitting using a treat than to simply try telling it to sit without any other kind of direction.

Lack of training

If your Malamute has not gotten much training it will not know how you want it to behave, what it means when you tell it to do things and it will behave the way it feels like behaving. The way it feels like behaving is not likely to be the way you would like it to behave.

This is why it is important to make sure to give it lots of training so that it learns how to behave and what you want it to do when you ask it to do things. If it has not received much training, it would help to start with the basics in an environment without many distractions and to build up from there.


It could be the case that something has been causing it to become overly excited. If something is causing your Malamute to get overly excited, such as someone being at the front door, then it will be less likely to listen to you.

To fix this it’s important to train your Malamute to be well behaved in these situations and to give it lots of exercise so that it has a chance to expend its energy.

Not enough exercise

Malamutes are a breed that should get daily exercise when they are healthy adults. When they do not get enough exercise they can be much more difficult to manage and it might be the reason why yours has been ignoring you.

Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.

You’re in a different location

The cause could be that there are distractions in the environment that are causing it to struggle to keep its focus on you. This would be more likely if you are able to get it to listen to you in environments where there are not many distractions.

To fix this you can try re-doing the training at the different location. You’ll probably find that it is much easier the second time around.

Lack of trust

If it did listen to you in the past but it has stopped doing it, the issue could be that it has learned that listening to you results in it getting things that it does not want.

For example, you might have been tapping on its food bowl to get it to come inside when it’s not actually time for its dinner.

Overtime, doing things like that will teach your Malamute that doing what you say won’t necessarily be rewarding for it so it doesn’t listen as much.

To correct this it’s important to employ lots of positive reinforcement training where you reward it with treats for doing the things that you want it to do.

You’ve been rewarding the behavior

Another possible cause is that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats and extra attention, when it ignores you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Ruptured eardrum

It could be the case that it has a ruptured eardrum and it has been causing it to struggle to listen to you. This would be more likely if it has started ignoring you suddenly. If you think that this might be the case then the best thing for you to do would be to take it to the vet and to get it checked out.


It is possible for Malamutes to become depressed and it could be the reason why yours has been behaving that way.

If your Malamute has suddenly become unresponsive after an event like losing its friend, changing homes or a change of owner then it could be the cause.

Here, you can try giving it lots of attention and exercise but you might also want to get help from a vet as well.

You’re command nagging

The problem could be that you have been command nagging. This is where you tell your Malamute to do something repeatedly without it complying.

It’s important to remember that your Malamute can only respond to you the way that you want it to if it knows that’s what you want and that it will get it what it wants. This is why it’s important not to make large jumps in what you ask of it when you’re training it and to take it in small steps instead.

An ineffective training method

It could be the case that the training method you have been using has not been appropriate.

An effective way to get your Malamute to listen to you is with the use of positive reinforcement. This is where you reward your Malamute when it does things that you want it to do. This is why many trainers like to train their dogs by giving them treats or access to a toy when it does the training exercise the right way.

It would help to start by getting it to do basic things in an environment without too many distractions and then to build up to getting it to do more challenging things.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your Malamute has been ignoring you.

What else happened when it first started

If your Malamute did not always ignore you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that it learned that the behavior is rewarded, there was a change in its environment, it became ill or another sudden change.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to ignore you. If there is, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it does it more when you are in a certain location, it might be because of all of the distractions in that environment.

How to get your Malamute to stop ignoring you

Below are some things you can do in order to get your Malamute to stop ignoring you.

Give it training

One option would be to give it lots of positive reinforcement training. By doing this you will not only be able to teach it to listen to you in certain situations but you’ll also get it used to listening to your command which will make it more likely to stop what it’s doing when you tell it to.

You can watch the video below for some tips on how to train your Malamute to come when called using positive reinforcement training.


It is also important to make sure that your Malamute is able to get enough daily exercise. If it does not get enough exercise it will make it more difficult to keep its focus on you. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.

Regain trust

If you have been trying to trick your Malamute into behaving the way that you want it to in the past then it would be a good idea to change your approach.

Instead of tricking it you’ll likely find that it is much more effective to train it in small increments using positive reinforcement.

Seek professional help

If you cannot get it to stop ignoring you, it would likely help to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been ignoring you and how you can get it to start listening to you.

Be consistent

It is important to be consistent when training your Malamute. If you just train it once or twice, it is not likely that you will be able to get noticeable results. But, if you train it consistently over the course of weeks and months, you can get much better results.

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