Recall Training with Kialeah
Training for “off-leash” hiking can be nerve-racking for even experienced dog owners. The most important thing is to make sure that there are no leash-laws prohibiting off-leash dogs in the area you are in. Always abide by the laws and rules governing any public trail you are on – and it’s always a good idea, especially during hunting season, to have your dog in a brightly colored hunting jacket. Training is really important, as is practice, for anything off-leash. Malamutes can be stubborn in this department, so make sure you KNOW your dog before attempting to go off-leash.
Also keep in mind, someone could mistaken your dog as a coyote, or even a wolf, and may shoot first and think second. This is another reason to consider using a hunting jacket. We are not using one for Kialeah today because she was on private property, and the owners knew we were there…
Another bit of advice, if you are in a very rural area, know that Malamutes are hunters by nature. The deer and elk population is very healthy and the wildlife is abundant here in Colorado. Make sure you scope the area for any herds of animals that could be nearby as your dog could very well take chase.
Keeping tiny treats to reward is helpful, and remaining calm is extremely important. Dogs can feel the tension when you are nervous about them “running off”. Instead, stay in control, stay calm, be proactive to avoid potential problems, and have confidence – be a leader. This is the one thing I had to “train myself” to do, as I’d often take on a motherly role for our dogs, and would let my emotions control my demeanor. This is not good, you have to go from simple “pet owner” to pack leader in order to maintain control and respect.