If your Malamute has been very hyperactive, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you five common reasons why your Malamute might be behaving that way 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 not already calm
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
Malamutes are meant to get daily exercise. Not enough exercise would be more likely to be the cause if it calms down after it does get exercise. If your Malamute is not getting much exericse and it is a healthy adult it would help to make sure that it does start to get more exercise. It is generally recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily.
The cause could also be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it becomes less calm when you are about to leave home.
If it does seem to have separation anxiety, you can watch the video below for some tips on what to do about it.
The reason why it does it might be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when you have been ignoring it and if you tend to give it more attention when it is hyper.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it is not calm unless necessary.
It might also be the case that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
A problem with its diet
It might also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. This would be more likely if it has stopped being calm since a change in its diet and if it becomes less calm when you feed it certain foods.
It would help to consult with your vet on its diet and to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.
Ways to calm your Malamute down
Below are a number things you can do about the behavior.
Give it exercise
Malamutes are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise daily. When they do not get enough exercise, they will normally become a lot more hyperactive.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If yours is not getting that much it would help to make sure that it does. If it is already getting exercise you could also try getting it to wear itself out more by getting it to do things such as play fetch.
If it is a puppy, it is generally recommended to limit the amount of daily exercise that it gets. This is because its joints are still developing. Generally, it is recommended for them to get 5 minutes of exercise each day for every month of age (source).
It would also help to give your Malamute training. If you do not give it much training, it will behave the way it feels like behaving. This is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave.
By giving it training you will be able to teach your Malamute to be more responsive to your command and you will be able to get it to be better behaved when you want it to be. But, you’ll also be able to expend a lot of its energy in the process of training it itself.
If you haven’t started training your Malamute yet one of the first things that you’ll want to do is to train it to stay when you tell it to.
By being able to get your Malamute to stay when you tell it to you will be able to avoid problems in situations such as when you’re at the vet’s or when you have guests over.
Once you have taught it to stay the next thing that you’ll want to do is to teach it to stay when you open the front door which you can see how to do in the video below.
It would also help to start by training it to do basic things in an environment without many distractions and then to build up to more challenging tasks.
Ignore it when it gets hyper
It would also help to avoid inadvertently encouraging the behavior by making sure not to reward it when it is not calm. If you tend to give it things it wants when it is energetic, it might be causing it to do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to give it lots of training, to avoid giving it rewards when it misbehaves unless necessary and to wait for it to calm down before rewarding it.
Try a calming chew
In addition to the above, you could also consider giving your Malamute a calming chew or toy. By doing this you will be able to channel its attention into the toy and away from everything else.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why it has not been being calm.
How old it is
It is important to take the age of your Malamute into account. If your Malamute is still young then it should calm down a bit as it gets older. Despite that, you should still make sure to give it lots of exercise and training so that you can make sure that it calms down and that it is well behaved when it’s older.
If your Malamute’s behavior is causing problems then in addition to giving it lots of exercise and training you could consider crate training. When done correctly it gives your Malamute a secure place that it can go to and be calm.
If you cannot get your Malamute to be calm and the vet has not found any issues, it could also help to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see what you can do about the behavior.
It might be tempting to punish your Malamute for not being calm but it doesn’t normally work. If you punish it, your Malamute will think that it is being punished for the last thing that it did which was coming to you and not the thing that you are actually punishing it for. It can cause other problems as well such as distrust, being less responsive to your command and aggression.
Instead, it would help to train it to behave the way you want it to by giving it positive reinforcement training and to avoid rewarding unwanted behaviors.
When it started
If your Malamute was calm, in the past, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped being calm. If it stopped being calm suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in its diet, suddenly getting less exercise, attention or something caused it to be anxious.
When it is not calm
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be less calm since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it is not calm when you feed it a certain food, it would be more likely to be because of what you’re feeding it. Whereas, if it does it more at around the same time that you normally leave home, it would be more likely to be due to separation anxiety.