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Why Does My Malamute Run Away?

If your Malamute keeps trying to run away, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why dogs 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.

Possible Reasons Your Malamute Runs Away

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

It wants attention

The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for extra attention and it knows that running out the door is a good way to get it. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when it has not been getting much attention.

It would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it and it would help to use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop.

It wants to mate

It could be that it wants to find another Malamute to mate with. This is especially likely to be the case if it’s a male. To prevent this from happening you should consider getting it neutered.

It’s curious

Malamutes are often very curious dogs. The reason why it tries to run away is like to be that it is curious about its surroundings.  You can try to reduce this by giving it lots of exercise in your local area and to train it to not run away when you open the door using the method in the section below.

Trying to get home

If you recently moved it won’t consider it as home for a while so it will try to escape so that it can go back to its old home. To prevent this from happening make sure to get it used to your new home, to be extra patient and to be extra observant of your Malamute during your first few months in your new home.

It’s distracted

Malamutes are dogs that can have a high prey drive. If they see a cat or a squirrel running then it won’t hesitate to run after it. This is why it’s important to start training them from an early age and to continue to train them regularly.

It’s in its nature

It is natural for all dogs to try to run away when they get an opportunity since it is exciting for them and they know it will cause them to get lots of attention. So, it is important to consider that it does not mean that it does not like you since it is natural for dogs to do it.

How to get your Malamute to stop running away

Below are a number of things you can do in order to get your Malamute to stop running away.

Prevent it from being able to run away

Since it is natural for Malamutes to try and run away, the first option would be to take measures to prevent it from being able to run away.

Some ways to do this would include:

  • Having high fences
  • Using baby gates
  • Making sure the exits are secure
  • Using a chain lock on the front door so that you can open it without your Malamute escaping
  • Give it crate training
  • Giving it distractions such as toys to play with
  • Using a long leash so that it can run while you’re still in control
  • Making sure to keep the front door locked
  • Making it more difficult for it to dig under parts of the fence

Give it lots of exercise

Malamutes are a breed that is meant to get exercise on a daily basis in order to be fully stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise, it can cause them to be hyper and it could be contributing to yours trying to run away.

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

How to get to stop running away at the door

If your Malamute tends to try to run away when you open the door, it would help to train it to stay when you open the door.

In order to do this, it would help to first train it to stay in general situations.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put a leash and harness on your Malamute and have some treats that it likes handy
  2. Go to the door for your backyard with your Malamute
  3. Start by telling it to stay and then just put your hand on the doorknob
  4. If it stays give it a treat
  5. Tell it to stay then turn the door handle
  6. If it stays give it a treat
  7. Tell it to stay then open the door slightly then close it
  8. If it stays give it a treat
  9. Repeat each time opening the door a little further
  10. Repeat. This time, when you open the door, gradually keep it open for longer periods.
  11. Repeat. This time walk away to a small distance
  12. Repeat this time using a toy that it likes start by just putting it just outside then try throwing it.
  13. Continue to do it regularly

Below is a video that shows you how it is done.

Teach it to stay off the leash

It would also help to use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop running away when it is not on the leash.

You can watch the video below to see how it is done.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about your Malamute trying to run away.

Don’t punish it

It would help to avoid punishing it, when it does try to run away, since it might not understand why it is being punished. Instead, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training so that it learns how it is meant to behave.

Don’t take it personally

Malamutes are a breed that are known for running away when given the chance and it’s something that comes naturally to them. With this being the case, if it runs away, it’s not because it’s not happy with you but more due to its nature.

What is different when it does it

It would also help to consider if there is anything different about the timing that it tends to run away. If it normally does it at a certain time it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it tends to do it more when you are not home, it might be because it has some separation anxiety.

If it has always done it

If it did not always do it, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in its environment or suddenly getting less exercise.