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A question for the dog lovers among us

Ron G.

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Last July, while Andrew was away at summer camp, I got a puppy to surprise him when he returned. Andrew really took to the puppy and loved it, naming it Akela, the leader of the pack from Kipling and a Cub Scout thing. The puppy was so very cute playing with Andrew last summer. When running and playing in the yard, he kind of resembled a football strapped to a roller skate.

When I got him in July, he'd just opened his eyes, if that gives anyone any idea of his actual age. His daddy is a Malamute and his mama a timber wolf, and now he's about the size of a small horse. He still does that puppy thing where he jumps around when he sees us and is friendly and lovable to a fault.

He has this really bad habit of going around and collecting trash and other assorted items and strewing them around the yard. We've cleaned the yard up several times only to have him trash it again within an hour. He loves to lay in the middle of his trophys and treasures.

The worst habit he has is that he likes to kill passing animals such a racoons, opossums, squirrels etc. and brings their carcasses into his trophy yard. He has quite a collection of bones, skulls, feet etc., many with fur still attached. I even bury this stuff, but he soon digs it up, leaving us not only with a rotting carcass in the doorway, but a gaping hole in the yard.

I normally feed him at about 6:30 every morning and he's always waiting and quite eager for breakfast. This morning he wasn't at the door. I went outside and found him gnawing on a spinal column that was about two feet long. the ribs had been chewed off, but the meat was still fresh.

Since we've been hearing a lot of coyotes, lately, I sort of think he found a freshly killed deer carcass and made off with the spine and rib cage, but I don't know. He may have killed the deer himself or maybe he killed something else. I'm going to ask around if any neighbors are missing.

My question is how does one train a dog not to do this? Is a malamute/wolf mix even trainable? He definitely has a wild side to him.

He dearly loves his "chewies" but I really want my yard back.

Any suggestions?

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Well now. He is half wolf ya know. Now, is he leaving the yard and doing his killing? Or, is he just killing and eating what passes on through? If he is leaving the yard, I suggest this: "The Radio Fence". This fence is what is also known as an "invisible fence". It is a system, relatively cheap, that has a wire that is buried about three inches below the surface of the dirt, runs around the perimeter of your yard, and is connected to a controller box which sends out a signal along the perimeter wire. The dog wears a shock collar, and when he approaches the wire/perimeter, it gives off a warning beep from the collar. If the dog moves closer, then he gets a corrective shock. I used it on an extremely "alpha minded" German Shorthair, and it worked wonders. He had a whole acre to run on, yet never left the perimeter that was set. The neighbors though he was marvelous when he'd come to the front of the yard along the street, yet wouldn't leave. I didn't tell them why. Haha. But, he had wonderful freedom, did not have to be kept on a chain or a cable run (both of which will make a male dog meaner'n a snake), and everybody was happy, especially the dog, because he had huge freedom, and learned to protect his perimeter, our home. Also, once he was trained to the fence, I rarely even turned it on. Just google "Radio Fence" and you can read all about it.

Now, this will help solve your problem outside of your yard. Maybe a "corrective remotely controlled shock collar" when it comes to the trash? But you should try normal corrective discipline at first, which of course takes time and effort. Resort to the shock collar if all else fails, and only do so with the strictest of self discipline according to the instructions of "shock collar training". One can ruin a dog if one does it wrongly. Some may chime in here and say that this is a "Nazi Tactic", but, all I know is that electronic training helped my bone head dog to have wonderful freedom in his life. Our recent dog, Jake, never needed to be trained with a shock collar, because he was so "soft" and not bone headed. He was eager to please. He was trained to the invisible fence though, and it gave him all the freedom he needed. Hope that helps...


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Have you researched any dog training sites? Have you given your dog any training?

It sounds to me as though you have given him your back yard as his play pen.

Dogs thrive on leadership and if there is not an Alpha leader they will become one. Alphas get to eat the best food, sleep in the best places and do anything they want - they lead. It's also true with wolves.

You have to show your dog that YOU ARE ALPHA - NOT HIM.

I'm not a dog trainer but have trained my dog pretty well from a puppy and brought him to obedience school where I learned some of these things.

When he collects the garbage - do you tell him "No" ? Training a dog can be time consuming so you may have to watch him and when he heads for the garbage - come out and say, "No!" In a firm voice. If this doesn't work you can put pennies in a tin can and shake it (makes a loud noise) when he goes near the trash. It will take some time - you can't just expect one "no" and he understands.

As for killing animals - I have no idea. I know some of it is instinct. Is there anyway you can rid the animals by not burying them in your yard? Because that's his personal reward it sounds like. I've heard of dogs killing chickens and sometimes not even meaning to - just playing. The farmers would just consistantly and firmly say , "No" and point to the birds. Or if the dog got to close, again, "No."

Is your dog tied to a leash? That may help in the beginning until he learns and give him plenty of praise and love when he does well. I would also suggest not to make a big fuss if he brings another animal home - quietly it pick up (ignoring your dog) and dispose of it without him seeing you. By you taking the animal and giving him no praise - sort of shows him you're the Alpha - he killed for you and now it's YOURS - NOT HIS. To a dog - any kind of praise is GOOD praise - he doesn't understand if you're saying, "Oh my gosh, why did you bring this back home...blah, blah...." He just hears - "I'm king ALPHA - owner is speaking praise."

Hope that helps a little. Surf around on the internet. And, maybe contact a dog trainer.

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It was always my understanding that once a dog got a taste for fresh kill, it was darned near impossible to train him not to do it. Add to that the particular mixed breeds you have and that's a double wammy. Wolves can actually be quite shy and timid, but Malamutes are very independant and strog willed dogs.

Your best bet is to build a very solid and large fenced in area for him to run and play. And I mean secure. My uncle's malamute could eat through a 6' wooden privacy fence in no time flat!!! Also, if you are only feeding him once a day, that is not enough. Feed him at 2 - 3 times a day with treats in between. Make him WORK for the treats - sit, lay, stay, roll over, etc. etc.

This will help with training and boredome. Malamutes are work dogs - they need to work or they will get bored and stir crazy!!!

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Ron - as you can imagine -there are a fair number of wolf-hybrid breeders here - and in New Mexico it does require a permit (if one is inclined to buy permits)


Google Wolf Hybrids and you will get a lot of info.

I am friends with a guy from Belen. I believe the following link is one he is involved with and he also breeds hybrids.


I know the link has a wierd name, but it should take you there. While it is a Wolf link -- they deal with hybrids as well.


and finally a book --


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Wolves are harder workers than Malamutes. They kill to survive. They do not look for a Big Bowl of "Ol Roy", they kill and eat red raw meat, and it is in their blood to do so. Check out what I told you. Modern technology can work wonders for you. And, re-inforce your training with stern voice commands. The Poster who went into the "Alpha Thing" is absolutely right. YOU need to establish yourself as the bada$$ Alpha Male. Let him know who is The Man. I once tackled my German Short Hair (right after he bit me!) and bit his neck with my teeth and growled until he submitted to my dominance. He turned over on his back and submitted. Dogs are what they are. "It is what it is." You are the one who picked the "half wolf", and now you get to deal with it all. And, from what I gather about you, you are an outdoors kind of guy, and will no doubt enjoy what you will have learned from this whole thing. But don't under-estimate the greatness of modern technology and electricity. You will be happy with the results... :)

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My dog that was killed by lightening last year was a malamute/wolf cross. Beautiful, beautiful dog.

First of all wolves and wolf hybrids are pups a lot longer than you would think. They stay a pup for at the very least 2 years. If he is male I highly suggest that you have him neutered. These kinds of dogs are very hard to train but well worth it once they get older.

I don't know about the killing fresh meat. Mine never did that. In fact he would lay and watch all the animals. Most of the time wolves are very shy and very pack oriented.

As far as the alpha thing you need to let him know that you are the alpha. How you do this is by taking him by the neck (not rough but with a strong hand) and flip him around where he is laying and his tummy is on the upside. It will need to be more than once because he may try again. The reason you do this is that since you are part of the pack in his eyes you need to let him know like they do in regular packs. They will bite the other's neck and flip them to the ground. Malmamute and wolf are a very hard combination but very very beautiful and since they are so very very big they can be kind of scarey. Don't ever let him see the fear. Then he begins to be the alpha.

I agree, he really needs to be fed a lot more. That may be the reason of killing for fresh meat. As someone said before this kind of combination, they tend to get bored very easy. I suggest getting super big bones or something for him to chew on. Mine loved plastic buckets. We never could use them in the yard for water as he would immediately play with it.

As I said, it will be well worth your effort to use these and other's ideas. When he gets older you will definitely see the difference. Its a matter of waiting.

Right now, I have a 93% timber wolf with the rest being german shepard along with my shih zhus. I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. They are all wonderful!!!!

There are also support groups online for people like us that have these beautiful animals. Its great to learn and get the support from everyone. If you would like to get one of the groups addy let me know and I will give it to you.

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have an electrified pen but I need to get a new charger.

I also feed him 3, sometimes 4 times a day but just mentioned the 6:30 because that's his first feeding of the morning.when I saw his treat...and I feed him what I get at the feed store. It's not "Ol' Roy", it's called "Proud Paws 28/12" for puppies and it comes from the Tindle Feed store where I get my chops and other feeds.

I'll never discourage him from killing little animals as that's his job...to keep unwanted racoons, rabbits etc out of the garden. If he eats his catch, that's his business as long as he leaves the chickens alone.

I think vickles has it because he still acts like a little tiny puppy, even though he's huge. He's the biggest dog I ever had and still growing. He has a wolfs face and is probably the prettiest dog I ever had with his long smokey brown hair.

The problem with his garbage and all that is like vickles said...the world is his chewy toy. He chews up everything. Fortunately, he hasn't carried the car off and chewed it up is because he isn't big enough...yet....although he did manage to take the seat off my riding mower and chew it up.

I took him by the neck and rolled him over as per vickles suggestion and that seemed to make a big impression on him. He acted a little more subsevient each time.

We're still thinking about dying him red and renaming him Clifford.

He's a wonderfully friendly and lovable dog and beautiful, so he's a keeper...if I can just get him trained.

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Is a malamute/wolf mix even trainable? He definitely has a wild side to him.

Wolf/dog mixes are not trainable like dogs-they combine the wolf nature with an

unpredictable element from the dog.

This doesn't mean he's untrainable- no animal is untrainable. However, this

is not an easy task.

I would read up on wolves for some insight. If you can "see things from a wolf's

perspective", you can figure out what he wants, and maybe work something out.

From what you said, he wants his trophies. Possibly you can set up a wolf-den

for him, and socialize him to associate that with "his spot", where he can relax

and play with anything he wants. (Maybe he'd leave the rest of the area neater.)

I knew someone who "owned a wolf", and it socialized well- about as well as a dog.

That's an incredible exception-not a rule. (This wolf was allowed indoors in winter,

which should tell you how well he was socialized to that home.)

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It seems you are rural Ron, so that may account for all the animal parts coming in to the yard. Our pasture renter has two smaller dogs that are constantly bringing back animals parts, whether deer or calf parts, or whatever.

They may get a mole or groundhog on rare occassion, but they seem to find anything that has been killed and make some part of it their toy. For all the hours they spend barking at treed squirrels, they hve never brought one back dead. Fortunately they don't usually bring it right up in the yard.

I don't have any answers, but am interested in getting my own dog sometime ... not sure I'd want to feed a wolf though, or have it chewing up equipment parts.

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he might be teething Ron.

my sister had lab once and she had a problem she loved dead animals not to bring home but to roll in till she stuck so bad i could smell her ten feet away.

she loved to stink that dog.

anything dead and she rolled and rubbed it she never ate them tho. poor old dog .

we would go to the beach and the dead fish along the shore would make her Crazy.. she would keep trying to sneak just one roll please the car ride home was just great with her fur ll wet and god only knows what died all over her.

she was a good dog.

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Ron, your dog sounds awsome! Most large breed dogs take a couple of years to mature, espescially a male ...but it is seriously worth it. Some breeds, some dogs simply have a higher *prey drive* than others.

I have taken in may a stray through the years, and the prey drive seems to be different in each dog. It doesn`t mean that they are bad dogs, they just have this instinct. The ones that had that high prey drive, there was nothingfor it but to keep an eye on them. It seems to afflict all breeds. I have a dane that is an absolute sweetie, the vet talked me into taking another one in...and she is a whole different story(cats have been dissapearing)

I had an australian shepherd once that slaughtered anything she could get her teeth into...I have had shepherds that were dolls and shepherds that were prey driven. All were good dogs, some just needed more structure than others.

I agree with the poster that said that the malamute is a breed that needs a job. The wolf side probably imbues him with great intelligence.

I also agree that neutering him would make him much much more manageable. I think over all though, that he sounds like a wonderful companion, and that given time, he will understand the rules. I think that he will be absolutely worth the time and effort in the end :)

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Electric shock never did any good for my big wolf dog. In fact I think he may have enjoyed it except of course when he got hit by lightening. :( :(

I lost a lot of money when he decided to chew on the cord of my deep freezer that was out on the back porch. He must have had one powerful shock, but it didn't deter him. If you have a zoo near by it might be helpful to ask them if you can get a lion or tiger's urine. What you do is spread it around your yard line to mark the territory. I never have done this but have been told it really works. I'm thinking that their waste would work too as it would be easier to get than urine.

I'm so glad Ron that you are going to work with your wolf dog. I don't recommend anyone breeding these kind of animals as its not fair to them but if they are already there they can be a lot of work and fun. Word Wolf had really good advice. Read up on everything you can get your hands on about wolves. You will learn a great deal on how to handle him and how they are in wolf packs for you and your family. Really, to him your his family and you and your family are part of the pack.

I'm still amazed on how beautiful these animals are and have learned to respect and love them. A lot of whats been said about these animals (not here but out in the world) is because we grew up thinking about the big bad wolf, like Little Red Riding Hood, etc. So, a lot of people are afraid of them and if people don't understand them, they tend to be afraid of the unknown. Human nature, I guess.

I've often wondered why in the Bible they use the wolf as an example (wolf in sheep's clothing) as being bad. I wonder if that is man's interpretation of that and put in there.

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And, like I said, I only used the shock collar on my bone head dog, but not on any of our other dogs who were very "soft" and trainable. Certain things for certain dogs.

An Incredible read, if you want to know The Truth about Alaska's wolves is "Alaska's Wolf Man" by Jim Reardon. It is the story of Frank Glaser, a man who came to AK in 1915 as a young man and hunted for the Alaska Railroad crews, as well as trapped wolves for the Federal Government. It is an awesome biography of one of the most remarkable Outdoor guys I have ever heard of. He owned a number of half wolf/malamutes and used them as sled dogs. He preferred them over any other sled dog after that. And, from the kind of guy you seem to be, I am sure you would love the book. Huge amounts of info about wild wolves as well as wolf hybrids, and many modern myths about wolves are dispelled as well.

And Ron, it definitely seems as if Vickles has great experience with wolf dogs and therefore no doubt can help you a lot! Happy training and rearing! :)

Edited by Jonny Lingo
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I had some customers who used that electric fence on their puppy this was a very large yard.

their son called the puppy as he stood outside the line and the dog would run to him.

the parents did not know the son was doing this.. they turned up the heat, then he did it again and the puppy ran through the line got so badly shocked he became afraid of grass.

he would not set foot on any ground. they gave the dog to the pound and he was killed.

I think Johnny is wrong.. and i do not have time to write big long reason why but IF this dog has such a call to chase and to eat animals he may out run the line shock again and again until it is at a point it will harm the dog either by to large of a shock to his system or mentaly where as he would become NUTS and be put down.

or if used with moderation it will have no effect what so ever.

strong willed animals are not always in a position to educate their own safety with reason.

with enough motivation most animals will defy personal pain to gain their impulse. We had stupid cows who stayed in their yard with a simple electric fence until one day one got a hair on their butt and decided it didnt hurt that much and they would all follow in tow and indeed "forget" the fence and its shock.

i would not want to be the one to consider a pet as somone i would willingly hurt or put in mental anguish because i have rules he can not comply with. to me it is a close call on abuse.

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I think Johnny is wrong..

Whatever. I have had great success with it. But, one must do it properly, and make sure that they have their kids in line as well. One must actually train one's dog to the fence, which takes time and effort. I knew a woman who had two Walker Hounds (serious long distance travelers) who had them trained to a five acre perimeter in Potomac, Maryland. The dogs could run till their hearts were content! They had far more freedom than being kept in a chain link kennel run. But, the woman worked with her dogs regularly before she trusted them to the fence system. There is a training video that comes with the system.

But, this is turning into an argument about the merits/non-merits of electronic training. So, I'll stop, and anyone else can have the last word on it, that's okay. Like I said in the beginning Ron, no doubt someone will disagree. And, do what you decide to do. It was only a suggestion based on my success with the invisible fence system. Cheers! :wave:

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The only thing I've ever used my hot wire for is pigs. I used a very low setting...maybe 9VDC (?), just enough to startle the pig when it's nose touched the wire. The pigs only had to touch it once or twice and they'd avoid the fence from then on. It was so effective that the the pigs and I both forgot it and the battery died, subsequently corroded, and yet the pigs and I continued to avoid the fence.

I was considering using it for a goat pen, but I've pretty much decided on not fooling with goats any more. I never even considered it for a dog pen until this thread.

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I'm sorry Jonny!! I wasn't saying I was against the electric fence idea. It might work. I was just making a comment that the wolf/malamute I had, it wouldn't have done nothing for him.

Hey Ron, I had to use the alpha techique again today. I hadn't done it for a long time. My wolf/shepard seemed a lot more calm the rest of the day and evening. We are thinking about getting a couple of pig troughs as we can't keep him watered when he is outside (we have him outside most of the day and bring him in at different times for socialization. We also have him inside at night.). He loves to chew and spill the water on purpose.

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I'm sorry Jonny!! I wasn't saying I was against the electric fence idea. It might work. I was just making a comment that the wolf/malamute I had, it wouldn't have done nothing for him.

It's quite all right, I wasn't responding to you, for, I understood what you said. Someone else here seemed to be getting worked up over the idea, so, I just decided to drop the subject. And like I said to Ron, no doubt YOU are the "go to girl" on this subject here concerning wolf dogs. I have never been around them, and really, I am pretty fascinated with the whole thing. What do you call your new wolf dog?

And Ron, to show your dominance as the Alpha Guy, remember, you may just have to mount him.... :biglaugh:

Edited by Jonny Lingo
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