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Author Topic: 9 month old Malamute is scared of everything...What is causing this. Please help  (Read 9024 times)
Prince of Mal
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« on: November 11, 2007, 11:05:59 PM »

Hi there, I am getting pretty desperate at the moment. I bought a 9 month old Malamute called Prince. He is a lovely dog, but although I am novice with dogs, i am finding alot of his behaviour worying.

First of all he gets scared at pretty much anything, he cowers and hides from moving pushchairs, any kind of banging noise and he hides under the bed, He is very affectionate around my partner yet, ignores me most of the time. He gets bored easily while playing and although we bought him some new toys, he will not touch any of them.

As a newbie owning a dog, i admit I was probably stupid in allowing my love for a Huskie in sledding films caused my rash move into buying him without researching, hence my doing it now. I have no idea what I should be feeding him and how much, or even how many times a day, the same with walks.....

Please help Sad

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Prince (9 months) Alaskan Malamute - My sled dog Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2007, 11:28:54 PM »

Welcome to BPO your Malamute is simply gorgeous.

Unfortunately I am not the most versed person here on raising and dealing with dog problems, the only Malamute I know is the one down the street that wants to kill my Harley dog.

As far as food are you feeding a good quality food?  Probably twice a day, with the recommended portion on the label, another thing to keep in mind is exercise if your dog is active it may need a bit more food.

Do you have any history on the first 9 months of your dogs life?  Was it socialized often with people and other animals?  Did it have any training? abuse?

Give us some more info and hopefully we can give you some more information.

Randy & Harley
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Prince of Mal
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2007, 11:55:43 PM »

Thank you for replying so quickly. The people who had him seemed very nice and they told us certain things that he likes and dislikes. Unfortunatly none of it seems to ring true to his behaviour. We are giving him a 600g tin of Tesco Premier chunks in gravy and a large cup of Premier dog meal, as instructed by the previous owner, twice a day. Is that enough??

As for abuse, my partner seems to think he was hence the scared behaviour around me and all male friends and relatives. I am worried that he is not getting what he needs and although he will wolf down his food in 5 seconds, to underfeed him scares me...
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Prince (9 months) Alaskan Malamute - My sled dog Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2007, 12:09:36 AM »

I would second the suggestion to take a positive reinforcement obedience class with your dog. It helped me with my dogs immensely.

Also, if he has been abused by males in the past, you will need to work with him to help him learn that you are a good guy--you could carry treats in your pockets and anytime you are interacting with him, petting him, playing together, walking, etc., give him a treat. That way, he can learn that yummy and good things happen when he is with you, not scary things.
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2007, 06:36:01 AM »

welcome, he is handsome! I have a 9 month old male malamute as well. They will go through a scared phase, as hard as it seems, do not cater to them during this time, they will work it out. As far as food, I personally feed Eagle Pack Holistic Lg. Breed Adult to Adak with wonderful results also I feed some raw, but do not feed raw and kibble in the same meal. He gets 1 1/2- 2 cups/twice per day, don't worry about underfeeding him, I would worry more about overfeeding as he is still growing. Definitely start him in training and socilization. Please PM me if you have any questions.

Again Welcome to BPO!
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Prince of Mal
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 07:14:42 AM »

Thank you all very much for all your advice and tips, I have just been out up the shops and when I came home, he was so happy to see me, knocked me for six?? Jumped up at me, so i just let him... Smiley

Lurvmymal, i will pm you with any other queries, would like to know where i can get the food you have recommended??

All the dogs you have posted on this thread are lovely and I am happy to have been accepted on here so quickly
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Prince (9 months) Alaskan Malamute - My sled dog Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2007, 02:15:37 PM »

Welcome to BPO!!!  Your Mal is BEAUTIFUL!!!  I have a GSD that is about 10mths old she is going through her second fear stage.  I took her to a dog event in town and at first she was terrified at all the noises, etc (she had never been afraid of this before).  I just ignored her behavior, acted calm, and began walking around, I walked around kind of a distance away and then moved her closer to all the action.  By the time we left she had a ton of people love on her, been smelled up and down by every different dog you can think of, saw some horses, and walked under a big rig that was there!!!  So there is hope!!!  He's young, and he'll come around, just give him some time since you haven't had him through all of puppyhood!

Issy also gobbled her food when I first brought her home, she was 4mths and had been in a shelter.  Now, she's my slowest eater!!!  She even eats laying down!!  I would definitely look into what other foods to maybe feed but I wouldn't worry about how he eats at the moment, just the fact that he's eating is good!!!  Good luck!
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 11:44:18 AM »

I'll chime in my 2 cents with the importance of daily walks. It not only helps him get comfortable with you, it gives him an activity he can look forward to that you initiate and that helps create that bond you are looking for.

Also, please don't feel bad about adopting on a whim. You're right, it's not the most responsible thing to do, but there are hundreds of us on this site you have either done the same thing or nearly done the same thing.

At least you realize that you acted on impulse instead of researching the breed first and you found the best group of people to help you (US!). You are going to LOVE BPO - if you don't already. They have saved my life many times.
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"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between dog and man." -- Mark Twain
Prince of Mal
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 10:53:55 PM »

Well apart from last night when he sneakily got to about 6 pieces of carrot cake, leaving what i can only describe as chocolate mousse on the floor, and ripping apart a tennis ball and 2 pairs of trainers (he was told off for it) he is behaving 100 times better, there are times and situations which i understand with him still settling. We are taking him to the vets for a once over check up today so we will see how he is at the dreaded place lol
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Prince (9 months) Alaskan Malamute - My sled dog Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 02:22:24 AM »

Malamutes are notorious chewers so make sure to keep everything that is not doggy friendly put away out of his reach or he could ingest something that could cause major troubles such as intestinal blockages that require surgery.  Make sure to have plenty of indestructable chew toy options (such as KONG products) around for him to play with instead.  Also, are you crating him while you're gone or keeping him in a confined area?  Not only will this help to prevent him from destroying your things but since he is anxious already it will help him to feel more secure.  It will create a den-like feel for him, which dogs instinctually like, and will prevent him from becoming more anxious by pacing and wandering around and becoming overstimulated .  Also, a good long walk before you leave will leave him tired and less likely to become anxious or destructive.

He's adorable, good luck with him!  Also, what did the vet say about his general health and his weight?
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2007, 03:59:52 AM »

I think Jack's mom is spot on with the fear stage:

This is a really good article that discusses some of the stages they go through in puppyhood.
http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm


Quote
Second Fear Imprint Period (6 - 14 Months) The Second Fear Imprint Period is similar to the one that occurred during the socialization period, but, it is much less defined. It occurs as dogs enter adolescence and seems more common in males. It is often referred to as adolescent shyness. Your dog may suddenly become reluctant to approach something new or suddenly become afraid of something familiar. This behavior can be very frustrating to the owner and difficult to understand because its onset is so sudden and, seemingly, unprovoked. If you notice this behavior, it is important to avoid the two extremes in response: Don't force him to do or approach something frightening to him and don't coddle or baby him. To get through situations that make your dog fearful, be patient, kind, and understanding. Desensitize him to the object or situation by gradually introducing him to it and using food rewards and praise to entice him to confront the fearful object or situation. Do not coddle or reassure him in any way that will encourage his fearful behavior. Do not correct him either. Simply make light of it and encourage him give him food rewards as he begins to deal with his fear better. Make sure you lavishly praise his attempts! This phase will pass.


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Prince of Mal
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2008, 05:01:04 PM »

Thank you everyone for all your help, Prince has become such a friendly dog and no longer is afraid of new people be around, he is still having an issue with pushchairs although we have tried introducing one to him many times.  He  does however scare the life out of himself by bumping into things, also he seems to have no idea on how to walk arounnd things, he just refuses to move???

Other than that we are very grateful for all advice received,

Thank you all
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Prince (9 months) Alaskan Malamute - My sled dog Smiley
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