Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please
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Thread: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

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    Question Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I'll start off by saying the only thing I know about dogs is that they have hair and usually tails. I have had dogs as pets when I was younger, but they either "went to go live on a farm," or went to live with another sibling.

    But lets skip ahead shall we. Yesterday I went with my Mom and sister to pick out and buy a half-German Shepherd and Half-Malamute 8-week old puppy. Which is kind of funny since my Mom doesn't like pets and is alergic to everything. My sister and I have come to the conclusion that an alien parasite has taken over our Mom. She said she's been thinking about it for awhile though apparently.

    I guess it was a friend of the woman who sold them that had the dogs that had the puppies. I guess the German Shepherd stayed inside and the Malamute stayed with the horses and they somehow got together. But the Mom was a full bred 65-pound German Shepherd and the Dad was a full bred 100-pound Malamute.

    I guess the woman has been helping dogs like that for 20 years. Anyways, so we got a female puppy and have agreed on the name Riley. She's been fine so far. Obviously we are trying to potty train her and she has "piddled" (I like the word since she pees such a small amount) and pooped all over. We are taking her outside every once in awhile. We have a small collar and leash, but we haven't been using the leash since she seems to be very good about staying with whoever takes her out.

    One thing I really want to ask is how is Riley going to be with cats? We have an 8-year old cat that is pretty skittish. She--Isabelle--has pretty much hidden upstairs while Riley is downstairs. Riley was sleeping in my brothers room and went across the hall upstairs into my parents room and cornered Isabelle against their bed. Isabelle growled and hissed really loud and Riley just kind of stared at her like she didn't know what to make of her and then walked away. Will my cat get used to a dog? And will the dog be okay with a cat?

    Today we bought a large crate (when did cages start being called crates?) that should be big enough for her when she is fully grown even. But when she was put in the crate before my parents went to bed she just kept yelping really loud. I researched puppies and crates and read that it was suppose to be actually really good for them. After her yelping for more than an hour my brother finally took her outside again and then brought her to his room. She doesn't really bark or yelp or anything when she's awake and playing. But my brother and I don't usually go to bed till around 3AM anyways. Any advice for what to do about the crate? The only time we want her in it is while people are sleeping of course. Once she's older and potty trained and not going to eat everything then it would be fine.

    Has anyone owned a dog of this mix before and any advice or information? I've done some research on both German Shepherds and Malamutes, but I don't know what mixing them does.

    I think this is a picture of her: http://chicago.kijiji.com/c-ViewAdLa...828139_18.jpeg But it's hard to tell since their was 8 of them. Otherwise she looks exactly like that.

    I apologize in advance for my long post and newbie questions. All advice is welcome.
    Last edited by Wolf366; 03-01-2009 at 12:58 AM.

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf366 View Post
    I guess the woman has been helping dogs like that for 20 years. Anyways, so we got a female puppy and have agreed on the name Riley. She's been fine so far. Obviously we are trying to potty train her and has she "piddled" (I like the word since she pees such a small amount) and pooped all over. We are taking her outside every once in awhile. We have a small collar and leash, but we haven't been using the leash since she seems to be very good about staying with whoever takes her out.
    Please, please put a leash on your dog when you take her to any unfenced area. While GSDs are usually very biddable dogs, Malamutes are famous for being independent thinkers (read: won't give a hoot about you if it spots a tempting enough distraction). So far things have gone well but it only takes ONE cat or squirrel to run by, or one car, or one less-than-friendly stray dog to turn a potty break into a disaster.

    Read the "housetraining 101" sticky in this section of our forum; it will help. You might want to start putting together a schedule of when she eats so you know approximately when she'll need to go out. Puppies can only hold their bladders for as many hours as there are months in their age... so a 2 month-old pup will be able to hold it for 2 hours, and should be taken out every 2 hours, etc. (Yes, that means waking up in the middle of the night if you don't want to wake up to a crate full of pee.) It also helps a lot to tether her to you with a leash when you can... that way you can keep an eye on her and when she starts sniffing and circling, distract her and rush her outside on the leash. Of course, you should be praising and treating her like a crazy person every time she does poop or pee outside.

    I can't really advise you on the cat issue because I've never owned a cat, much less alongside a dog... Others should be able to give you advice. Generally, GSDs and Mals tend to have pretty high prey drives. This isn't to say that they'll never get along -- training can make a world of difference, and the fact that Riley's still a pup holds strongly in her favour. I do know that sometimes all it takes is a particular bold cat to swat an excessively curious puppy across the nose and then the two of them will have a perfectly respectful relationship from then on. Hopefully some other members will post on how to introduce them properly. In the meantime, though, you should never leave the two animals together unsupervised. You might also want to prepare a "safe room" for Isabelle -- basically just a room closed off with a baby-gate where her food, water and bedding are, that she can climb into but Riley can't.

    Today we we bought a large crate (when did cages start being called crates?) that should be big enough for her when she is fully grown even.
    Actually, to help with house-training, a puppy's crate should be only large enough for her to stand up and turn around in. Otherwise, she'll poop and pee in one area of her crate, and sleep in another... which defeats the purpose of using a crate to house-train. It will still work just as well for a sleeping area and confinement, though.

    But when she was put in the crate before my parents went to bed she just kept yelping really loud. I researched puppies and crates and read that it was suppose to be actually really good for them. After her yelping for more than an hour my brother finally took her outside again and then brought her to his room. She doesn't really bark or yelp or anything when she's awake and playing. But brother and I don't usually go to bed till around 3AM anyways. Any advice for what to do about the crate? The only time we want her in it is while people are sleeping of course. Once she's older and potty trained and not going to eat everything then it would be fine.
    You really need to just leave her in there and bear it with it for awhile. Unless you plan on letting her sleep with your brother from now on -- which isn't a good idea till she's properly housetrained -- she should be made to sleep in her crate. Otherwise, she learns that crying will get her the attention she wants, and she's just going to cry even harder and longer next time. It helps to bring her crate into someone's room -- yours/your brother's -- so she can see, smell and hear the presence of someone else.

    Has anyone owned a dog of this mix before and any advice or information? I've done some research on both German Shepherds and Malamutes, but I don't know what mixing them does.
    Mixing two breeds is basically like playing genetic lottery with both breeds. She could grow up to be more like a Malamute or more like a German Shepherd. (To be completely honest, I hope she's more like a German Shepherd. Malamute personalities tend to be less forgiving on inexperienced owners. ) I can pretty much guarantee you though that she's going to shed a TON. And I really mean carpets' worth of fur. She will also likely be very beautiful!

    Training-wise, the first thing I would do is start looking up puppy classes in your area. Puppy classes will provide socialisation for your pup, and also help you start working on obedience classes. They usually also address typical puppy problems like barking, digging, jumping, play-biting and potty-training. I'll assume you've found a vet and set up a vaccination schedule with him. You also need to start working on socialisation -- basically introducing your pup to as many new experiences during these formative months so that she isn't as freaked out by them when she grows up and experiences them for the first time.

    The information here is VERY useful for first-time puppy owners:
    http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/behavior.html
    Read as much of it as you can, but especially the parts on socialisation.

    I would also read the NILIF and Doggy Zen stickies in the Training section of our forum; that will start you off on the right foot.

    All the best!
    Last edited by rosemaryninja; 03-01-2009 at 01:06 AM.
    -Melissa
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Crate training is good for puppies... it can help with housebreaking. She might cry until she gets used to the crate. Since it's a rather large crate you should probably put a piece of cardboard in the middle to make it smaller. Dogs don't want to use the bathroom where they sleep so if you reduce the space in it until she gets bigger she will learn that the crate isn't a potty. I've also found that draping a sheet over the crate at night quiets them down a bit until they get used to the crate. Before you put her in her crate, I'd wear her out as much as possible. GSD and Malamutes are both high energy dogs, so she is going to need a lot of exercise.

    We've always had puppies and cats. I've found that if a cat doesn't want to have anything to do with something, they won't. We've had skittish kitties and cats that were rather bold. The skittish kitties usually left the puppies alone and the bold ones try to play with them. The cats always let the puppies know they were the boss though (kind of what yours did). The cat may never get totally used to the dog, but she might eventually tolerate the dog. It sounds like the dog isn't that interested in the cat though.

    Your dog should always go outside on a leash. Even if she stays near you or whoever she's out with, you never know when or if she'll see something she suddenly wants to chase. Leash training is essential for all dogs, at any age.

    Sorry I don't have specific advice. There are also a lot of got stickies at the top of the Training Forum, so read up on them!
    Good luck.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Ladyshadowhollyjc is right... she is going to need TONS of exercise once she gets older. Probably something like two or three 45-60 minute walks a day. There are Mal owners here who hike regularly with their dogs, and run/bike for up to 10 miles.

    Be careful about over-exercising her now, as placing excessive stress on her joints could cause growth problems. At this age, her bones haven't fully calcified yet -- this will only happen when she turns about 2 -- so permanent damage can still be done. In the meantime, no long walks or runs. Go at her pace and watch her carefully for signs of fatigue. Swimming is also a great way to burn off energy without stressing the joints.
    -Melissa
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Thanks for the information so far. I believe it was my sisters logic that since it would be nice not to have to use a leash in your own yard, she wouldn't use one since Riley was doing fine without one. I personally have been shirking any responsibilities of taking her out or cleaning her messes up. It is technically my Mom's dog since she was the one who wanted it. I figured I'd pull my own weight with research instead. God knows they are going to do a bad job training her.

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    Senior Member skelaki's Avatar
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I had a GSD Malamute mix but mine was about a year old when I got him. I won't go into the crate training or housebreaking parts since you've already got some good pointers there. Mine was a very dominant male so what I'm going to suggest is based in part on that fact.

    You've basically chosen to live with two breeds that are not generally recommended for, what is basically, a first time owner. But it can work. Both these breeds generally require owners that are willing and able to set firm but reasonable rules and boundaries that are consistently enforced. Don't let her get away with anything as a cute 8 week old pup that you won't want her doing as a (probably) 80lb + adult. Start immediately teaching basic attention and obedience skills using, at this stage, games and other all positive methods. Also start her on a simple nilif program and have her earn everything she gets by obeying a simple command such as sit (help her obey).

    As far as the cat goes, introduce them slowly while she's still a puppy and do so in various locations around the house and yard. Be sure the cat has plenty of escape routes and high places to get to when it wants to get away from the puppy. Supervise all interactions as the pup grows into adolescence and adulthood. Malamutes and GSDs both tend to have high prey drives so, as a safety precaution, I would not leave them alone unsupervised at any time. They might be absolutely fine once used to each other, but I would tend to error on the side of caution.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by rosemaryninja View Post
    Ladyshadowhollyjc is right... she is going to need TONS of exercise once she gets older. Probably something like two or three 45-60 minute walks a day. There are Mal owners here who hike regularly with their dogs, and run/bike for up to 10 miles.

    Be careful about over-exercising her now, as placing excessive stress on her joints could cause growth problems. At this age, her bones haven't fully calcified yet -- this will only happen when she turns about 2 -- so permanent damage can still be done. In the meantime, no long walks or runs. Go at her pace and watch her carefully for signs of fatigue. Swimming is also a great way to burn off energy without stressing the joints.
    As well as excessive exercise not being good for growing bones/joints it's also advisable to grow large/giant breed puppies slowly.

    For all your puppy questions check out www.dogstardaily.com You'll find out what you need to know by asking questions in the search engine. You can also download for free the book by Dr Ian Dunbar 'Before You Get Your Puppy' which takes you through to the 1st few weeks of puppy in your home. There are also exerts from 'After You Get Your Puppy'. If you type in training videos you'll also be able to see how to go about the exercises.
    Your puppy will need lots of socialisation to everything, person/animal/dog, situation she will come into contact with as an adult.
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    We've been using the leash now. But we've been taking her in the front yard since the back is muddy from rain. She only uses like 10 feet of the yard and hasn't really been exploring so that's why the leash didn't seem necessary before. Our back yard is 1 acre long though, but the problem is we don't have a fence since it would be extremely expensive to buy material for one.

    We have one of those baby gates at the bottom of the stairs to go up to the second floor. We moved the cats food and water upstairs as well. The cat didn't seem to care. So Isabelle is safe upstairs (not that Riley could get up them I don't think), and Riley is usually downstairs.

    My sister just took Riley with her to petsmart to try and find a crate small enough just for her to sleep in. My Mom said she would try putting the crate on the end of her bed so Riley could hear, see, and smell someone and might not have as big of a problem. Since she doesn't seem to like being alone. She slept on my brothers bed last night and woke him up every 20 minutes for the most part. But Riley will have to learn to be in her crate from tonight on though. If things don't go any better tonight and she's still yelping by the time I go to bed then I will have to use some earplugs to sleep for the first time.

    For training classes they said she has to be at least 6 months old. So we can't do that yet I guess. I hope when Riley does go things will be better with her than with our last dog which was a Shiba Inu (he looked kind of like this: http://www.breederretriever.com/phot...ba_inu_pup.jpg). The most he ever learned was to sit. Even after years of walks on leashes he pretty much liked to choke himself. That's why after a few years he went with my brother when he moved out at the time and became his dog.

    I also wanted to ask about Riley's ears. Right now they're floppy. Will they stay that way or do they not stand up until she's older? Both GSD's and Malamutes have ears that stand up. And if it's not till later what age is it that they change?

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf366 View Post
    My sister just took Riley with her to petsmart to try and find a crate small enough just for her to sleep in. My Mom said she would try putting the crate on the end of her bed so Riley could hear, see, and smell someone and might not have as big of a problem. Since she doesn't seem to like being alone. She slept on my brothers bed last night and woke him up every 20 minutes for the most part. But Riley will have to learn to be in her crate from tonight on though. If things don't go any better tonight and she's still yelping by the time I go to bed then I will have to use some earplugs to sleep for the first time.
    I recommend you go dig up those earplugs... she'll probably be yelping for another week or so. It's hard to get puppies used to sleeping in their crates, but it's even harder once they've had a taste of snuggling in bed!

    For training classes they said she has to be at least 6 months old. So we can't do that yet I guess. I hope when Riley does go things will be better with her than with our last dog which was a Shiba Inu (he looked kind of like this: http://www.breederretriever.com/phot...ba_inu_pup.jpg). The most he ever learned was to sit. Even after years of walks on leashes he pretty much liked to choke himself. That's why after a few years he went with my brother when he moved out at the time and became his dog.
    Well, Riley's level of training will be completely up to you Dogs aren't that difficult to train, but it does take patience and research.

    I also wanted to ask about Riley's ears. Right now they're floppy. Will they stay that way or do they not stand up until she's older? Both GSD's and Malamutes have ears that stand up. And if it's not till later what age is it that they change?
    Regarding the ears: yes, they will most likely stand up when she's older. GSD pups have floppy ears. I don't know what age they will start to stand up but some of our resident GSD lovers can probably help you out with that.
    -Melissa
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I have some good and bad news. The bad news is that on Friday Riley got sick with Parvo. I did lots of research on it and the doctor also said that she had a 50-50 chance. My mom called the woman who sold us the puppy and said she might want to warn the other people who bought the puppys, but I guess she was convinced Riley got Parvo from being with us. From what I read Parvo doesn't affect the dog till after 7-10 days and we only had her for 7 days. She was puking and had diarrhea. But now on Sunday the vet called us and said she was doing excellent and they were taking out her IV's and she was eating solid food and drinking some water. We might be able to take her home tomorrow.

    We had a dog die of Parvo 15 years ago as well. But like all the articles said my Mom has bleached everything and washed all bedding and used lysol on everything aswell. Can anyone else give some useful tips on what else should be done? They said Riley won't have an immune system for 2 weeks and she can't get the Parvo shot for another month or she might get it again.

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I'm sorry to hear about Riley falling ill. It doesn't sound like her breeder was doing a particularly good job. Anyhow, it's good that she's making improvements. Please let us know how she's doing.
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Riley is home now. She seems to be doing pretty well. She's running around and playing, chewing on her toys and on people. The only problem is that she isn't really eating but she is drinking some. Hopefully she'll want to eat more soon. Otherwise so far so good.

    Edit:
    She still wasn't eating or really drinking and she started throwing up again. My Mom and sister took her to the vet and they gave her more fluids that should last 12 hours if she doesn't eat or drink any more. They also gave her an anti-vomiting shot that might make it so she would want to eat later. I guess if she isn't doing any better in the morning they will want to do x-rays and all kinds of tests.
    Last edited by Wolf366; 03-09-2009 at 06:20 PM.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Sigh. Parvo can be really tough on pups. I'm really crossing my fingers for her.
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Thanks rosemaryninja. Hopefully she'll be 100% soon. She really doesn't seem to be doing too bad other than the not eating. She was wagging her tail and trying to make friends with the cat even though she growled and hissed when Riley got to close.

    Edit:
    My Mom took her back to the vet so they could get her another fluids shot. I guess she didn't seem that energetic and they didn't think that was too good. So they kept Riley so they could do x-rays and blood tests. They are going to try and force some kind of baby food into her and see what happens.
    Last edited by Wolf366; 03-10-2009 at 01:25 PM.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I'm sorry to hear this. Hope she pulls through this. Please continue to update us.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Oh, I'm so sorry about your baby girl. This thread sparked my interest as my sister has a GSD/Mal (or at least, that's what we THINK he is)... I'm so sad to read Riley has Parvo. My fingers are crossed for her and I hope she gets better soon. Please keep us updated.

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    Thanks. Riley is home again. They said there weren't any worms inside her. She's drinking a bit again. She won't eat still so they gave us this big plastic syringe and they told us to get cans of soft cat food and fill it with that and try and force her to eat it. She definitly dislikes that. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before she gets better. But this certainly is one way to turn a $300 puppy into an almost $3000 one.

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    It's great to hear Riley's back. She sounds like a little fighter. I can't wait to see some pictures of her! My best wishes to you and your family, I hope she picks up soon.

    Puppies can be very costly when they fall ill. That's why it's usually recommended that people purchase puppies only from reputable breeders, who take measures to ensure their pups don't contract parvo or any other sort of illness, and have health guarantees. Many people are attracted to puppies from less responsible breeders (otherwise known as backyard breeders, or BYBs) because they're sold at lower prices, but what they're usually not aware of is that they'll pay the difference at the vet's clinic later.

    I'm not criticising you or your choice of breeder, but take this as a learning experience to be discerning about the people you buy any future puppies from. Also issue a word of caution to friends or family members who are thinking of buying pups, but who won't go to a reputable breeder because the pup costs $1000. Save $500 now, spend $2000 on treatment later.
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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I'm glad to hear she's back home. Still keeping my fingers crossed that she is back to full health soon.

    rosemaryninja's right, buying from a reputable breeder, in the end, can sometimes cost the same (if not less!) than from a less than reputable breeder when it comes to vet bills. I'm glad to hear your family is putting in the extra cost and effort for little Riley. Some people wouldn't do that

    I'm no vet, and am just cuirious... why canned cat food and not dog food? I know that cats can't live off dog food and that dogs shouldn't live off cat food, as they have different nutritional needs. I would hope a vet would know that, so I'm wondering why he said to give the pup cat food... if somehow it's easier on the system or something like that??

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    Re: Half-German Shepherd Half-Malamute puppy - general advice please

    I'm not sure why about the cat food. I was wondering that myself really. There must be some reason why they've told us to do that more than once. Maybe easier too digest or maybe in the end it's only because Riley would like the taste and it would entice her to eat. I don't see why wet dog food wouldn't have worked just as well as wet cat food. But she started drinking some more last night and I guess my Mom was able to hand feed her some of her dry kibbles this morning.

    As for breeders, I think the family has learned a lesson. We probably should have reconsidered when we saw their small one-story house that didn't look that good. Yet they had an expensive SUV out front. I think my Mom is going to try and get her money back, which won't happen of course. But I think she is going to report the woman to someone about the animals. The vet agreed that the Parvo must have come from there.

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