Your yard, your house and other basic equipment for a dog

Malamutes are happy when they are part of a family. They like being indoors and they also like the outdoors. The perfect setup would be a house with a dog door into a large fenced in yard. This house would also have a kennel run in the yard with a doghouse and block to keep the dog from digging.

One of our foster homes has had a problem with a neighborhood dog that routinely tries to visit her malamutes, knocks over trash cans, defecates on the lawn and porch and has twice attacked the dog two doors down. This dog has also fathered two litters of puppies that we know of, for the last litter, the dog broke a sliding glass door to get into the house and get the female! The town has reached the point that when this dog is caught loose again, they are going to be put to sleep.

Another foster home has a problem walking the malamute on a leash because there are so many loose dogs in the neighborhood.

Most towns have leash laws or dog containment laws. Owners run the risk of a citation if the dog warden arrests the dog, and they are liable for any damage the dog may cause on his excursions.

Some owners choose to tie their dog in the yard or to a doghouse. Although this keeps dogs at home, it often subjects them to teasing by children and other dogs and it can cause excessive barking and aggression. It also places them at risk of strangulation from the rope or chain and injury in a fight with a trespassing dog.

In Rescue's experience we have found that tying a malamute leads to frustration and tends to bring out unwanted temperamental characteristics. Also malamutes can chew through most things, and have also broken many chains! Tying a malamute is inviting a horrible situation, many a dog has tangled and froze to death, or strangled or broken teeth trying to break free. Do your dog a favor and do not tie them up! The old adage "Good fences make good neighbors" is especially applicable when the neighbors own dogs. There are many fencing systems available to satisfy personal needs as well as zoning and esthetic requirements.

Rescue recommends a 6' chain link fence but some dogs do fine with 5'. We do not allow rescue malamutes to live in yards with invisible fences. For an adult mal we recommend a minimum of 6'X 6'X 12' chain link for a kennel run. If the dog digs you will need a floor of patio block or a cement pad. Also be aware of things your dog can jump onto to help get themselves over a fence. With a fenced in yard you must check frequently to make sure your dog is not trying to dig under the fence!

Positive facts of fencing and a kennel run:

  • Fenced yard:
    • It keeps your dog where you want him.
    • It keeps other dogs/animals/kids away from your dog.
    • It keeps your dog poop on your lawn and not your neighbors.
    • Robert Frost says, "Good fences make good neighbors!"
    • Your dog can explore, exercise and get fresh air.
    • You have a place to play with your dog where it can't get into danger.
    • You have a place to train your dog.
  • Kennel run:
    • You can have a place for the dog when you don't want him to have run of the whole yard.
    • This costs less than fencing the whole yard and can be resold or moved in the future.
    • Your dog can stay in the kennel while you are at work, or if you want him out from underfoot for a while.

For extensive plans for kennels and kenneling

Building a malamute proof kennel

Fenced in yard

In addition to preparing your yard, you will need things for your house and for the dog. First on the list is a dog crate! Rescue recommends a heavy duty crate that is large enough for your dog to lay in and turn around in comfortably!

Positive facts about crates:

  • It gives the dog a quiet, private place for him to relax and be alone.
  • It keeps your dog where you want him.
  • It keeps other dogs/animals/kids away from your dog; a crate gives your dog a place to go inside where he will not be bothered.
  • You have a place to put the dog if he is hurt; recovering from an injury or just needs rest.
  • Your dog has a safe place to ride in a car.
  • Your dog has a place to stay in most motels (or at your inlaws house!)
  • You have a place to put your dog when you have activities in the house like a big dinner/party.
Malamutes have been known to be great in the house when left alone. They have also been known to eat the sofa! Rescue recommends using a dog crate or confining your dog to a single "dog proofed" room when you are not home!

Other resources, equipment needed and tips:

  • A reputable vet. Look in the phone book or ask your neighbors and friends.
  • Bedding material. Easily washable, hard-to-destroy, imitation sheepskin works well. (BEWARE: some dogs will eat bedding)
  • Food & water dishes: tip-proof, stainless steel or hard plastic
  • Buckle collar & lead for everyday use. Soft nylon types, rolled leather. Leash should be six foot long. Do not leave a metal training collar on your dog!
  • Rabies tag, town license and an ID tag with your phone number to wear on the collar.
  • A flexi-leash for exercising your dog. If your dog pulls, is dog aggressive or runs fast in multiple directions, you will be safer using a regular leash
  • Grooming supplies: a pin brush, a long toothed comb, a shedding brush, toenail clippers, anduaby wipes.
  • Dry dog food, ask the breeder or rescue person what they recommend and what the dog is currently eating.
  • Bitter apple, a safe spray-on product to discourage chewing on inappropriate objects.
  • A baby gate. Wire, wooden or plastic for blocking doorways.
  • Toys: stuffed animals, rubber chews, buster cubes, etc... Please be aware that in our experience, no toy is safe with a malamute, they tend to chew and swallow most toys.
  • NEVER leave any dog unattended with toys, they may eat them or choke on them.
  • Dispose of toys if they break or get chewed up.
  • A kennel in your basement. It is much like an outdoor kennel (this is not mandatory). It can come in handy if you have to leave your dog alone during the day and you can not have him in an outdoor kennel, in a crate or loose in the house. Sometimes it only requires buying a few panels and the basement walls can act as the other sides to the kennel. If you add a little bit of carpet, your dog has a nice safe home!.

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