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Hello all! I just recently came to 'own'/permanently dog-sit two 8.5 month old Alaskan Malamute/ Central Asian Shepards. My sister, who got the pups when they were about 3 months old, has brought them out to the family land where I live with my partner. They are wonderful dogs, full of energy, playful, and loving. But here's my problem...the more I read about the breed the more it says that they need a job to stay engaged. I worry about them getting bored and destructive. I live on a 160 acre parcel of land, so I know that there is plenty of space for them, and I make sure to take them on runs 2-3 times a day. But is this enough? What kind of training can I do that will ensure them...happiness...satisfaction? I have not owned a dog, or been a primary caregiver, since I was a kid, and even them my role was to play while my father trained. My partner and I hadn't really anticipated this responsibility, and now we are wondering what we can do.

Any advice would be deeply appreciated, especially if you've had experience with the breed(s).

Thank you.
 

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Relax, Malamutes aren't that difficult to keep entertained. A "Job" for them can be as simple as getting part of their food out of a dog puzzle toy, ringing a bell to tell you that they want outside, fetching you a canned or bottled drink form the fridge. There are videos out there on how to train all of that and, a Malamute will take to whatever job you invent for them. They just want to interact with you and, think they are helping you, even if it's really no help at all.

One of my wolf/malamute cross wolfdogs thinks he's helping me by stealing tools out of my tool bag when I'm working on the fences around here LOL. Well, he's helping me get twice the exercise having to walk back to the front porch to get a tool every time I need it LOL.

Another "helps" by escape testing every new fence I put up. He wants to see if eh can get through, under or , over the fence, then proudly trot up to the front door to lead me back to his escape route. I din't train that, he invented the game on his own. Malamutes will do that and, are positively delighted when you play along and, pet or praise them for thinking up a new game.

My 14 week old pup thinks making me get out of a bath to get the shoes, wash cloth and, towel she hauled to the living room is a riot. Soaking wet, naked human leaving a trail of wet footprints through the house amuses her to no end LOL. (No she doesn't chew the things she steals, just takes them, then sits there, waiting for me to come get them.)
 
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