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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 4 month old Alasken Malamute x northen innuit
from day one we have done things to establish pecking order, everyone eats first
when we feed him he has to wait when we place the food down give us his paw and then wait for the command to go and eat it

We have toilet trained him, he is crate trained, he walks on a lead, he knows not to go into the kitchen if the doors open, he drops on command and he can sit gives us his paw on command and hi 5's

sounding great yeah?

Well when my husband takes him out perfect sits on command, waits before a road for the cross command when he gets to the door he sits and waits to be told to enter...

Hubby alfa male so thats great
Kids he shows enough respect to leave us to think they are his equal if not higher up
Me... when hubbys with me he does as he is told
When i take him out another story!
He chews the lead (i have remedy by changing to a metal lead) he bits at my clothes, he when told to sit barks at me like (best way to describe it) a teenager giving lip
when we get to the door its a nightmare i tell him to sit he tells me off does it then he gets back up and ignores me then he will nip at me its taking me like 20 minutes to get back in the house cause I WILL NOT let him in if he hasnt sat and waited, unfrotunaly the only way im acheiveing this is to force him buy pushing his back legs down into sit (iykwim) and holding him there

I think he is testing my domminance because he is good with me infront of my husband but when we are oout of the house he isnt

3,842 Posts
I don't think you need to assert your dominance, per say - in fact forget all that alpha-smalpha crap. Trust me, he's not trying dominate you. ;) Sounds like he's just a typical Malamute pup testing his limits and seeing how far he can push it. What you need to do is just set the same boundaries that your husband has with him.
Have you heard of NILIF? http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

When he bites at your clothes, turn and ignore him - What you are doing is taking the attention away from the unwanted behavior. When he stops, praise him and get him involved in something else.

Also, he's a pup - he's a malamute, too and most Mals are not going to do things simply because you tell him to - what you need to find is something that motivates him to want to listen to you. Whether it's a treat or a toy - use it to your avantage, make him want to work for it. An practice, practice, practice with him, in every place you can.

I might recommend you get the book "The Other End Of The Leash" by Patricia McConnell.

And "Cluture Clash" by Jean Donaldson

I would also give these articles a read:

Debunking the Dominance Myth

History and Misconceptions of the Dominance Theory

The Macho Myth

Why Can't A Dog Be More Like A Dog

7,939 Posts
First of all, toss all the "dominance" stuff out with the garbage.. because that is EXACTLY what it is. The sequence of who does what when (like eating) is just so much nonsense.. and comes from the erroneous nonsense that dogs are pack animals like wolves with a linear pack structure. Dogs do not have such pack structure. Dogs do not have wolf behavior. Dogs are a separate species and scavengers as opposed to hunters. Puppies do not "dominate" their owners.. (think about it a minute.. 8 week old puppy is just a baby and not dominating anything.. and Older dogs are either trained or not trained and it has nothing to do with dominance).

Now that this is clear I will share with you a secret.

Dogs do not generalize behavior OR commands between locations and people.

Your dog is not "dominating" you or the kids. He is simply not transferring (generalizing) the cues your husband has taght him to you or the kids.

If you want this dog to respond to your cues, you need to retrain him to do so. If the kids want him to obey their cues, they need to train him too. This means working with him for 15 minutes 2X a day on all the basics such as sit, stay, walking on a lead, come when called etc. Yup. You get to do this work all over again if you want him to be obedient to your cues. Same with the kids. And you need to work on it w/o hubby there.

Next, if you want him to do things in places besides home, then you need to take him to different places and retrain there too.. this generalizes the behavior response to cues any place you go. They say you need 20 new locations b4 the lightbulb comes on and the dog says, "Oh. Sit means sit no matter where I am!"

I suggest you take a look at this site:
www.clickertraining.com and I suggest you get this book and give training this way a go: The Complete Idiots Guide to Positive Dog Training (Pamela Dennison).

If you want to understand the dog's behavior, read this book: The Other End of the Leash (PAtricia McConnell).

You have been doing somethings really right. Next, read the stickie labeled NILIF at the top of the dog training forum and invoke that for everything the dogs wants.. and YOU need to do it. This will reinforce your cues.

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