It was after an encounter with an Alaskan Malamute in Montville and exposure to the breed on overseas trips that the idea of having an Alaskan Malamute was first entertained.

Having ¾ Acre meant that my partner (Brad) and I, had the space for a Large Dog, however due to the nature of our fly in and fly out occupations meant that we needed a second home for this new puppy when our rosters didn’t match up.

Thankfully, my Mum and Dad came to our rescue and volunteered to share the burden of responsibility (Alaskan Malamute not yet seen!).

They knew how much training I had put into my previous dogs that passed at 14/15 years old prior to the Fly in/out job change. Whilst my parents live 1.5 hrs away it would be worth the drive to catch up with them regularly, let alone give the new puppy a large acreage and 2 Labradors to play with.

After deliberating on our reservations, researching the breed and visiting numerous Malamute owners and breeders, a decision was made to invite an Alaskan Malamute in to our home, having both had experiences with big dogs in the past.

We found a breeder and after 6 months of communications, left for Monto in July of 2010 to pick up the ‘Furry Boy’ that we had chosen.

ICE, (named because of the ‘snow dog’ association along with a variety of other reasons), was a grey/white furball that had grown from a guinea- pig look alike at birth to the cutest furball on legs at 8 weeks old, and we joyfully placed him in a crate in the back of the car.

Having driven 5 mins from his home, we had to pull over and check that someone hadn’t exchanged him for a human baby when this raucus ‘wailing’ was heard from within the crate!!  Check completed – we indeed had one furry Malamute and continued on our 5 hour journey home with no more bewildering noises.

Through our previous experiences and research on the breed, we knew ICE would be a big dog and would require a degree of training and socialisation (alternatively brute strength as he reached his final adult weight of 54kg). We made a decision to spend the next 2 months ensuring he was socialised with a variety of dogs, enrolling him in puppy classes at 2 different venues, including Buderim vets and Mountain Creek Vet.

With an intention to undertake Obedience Training (due to our responsibility to my parents to have a somewhat obedient dog that didn’t cause a nuisance) we then found that the general Dog Training venues that we approached were unable to accommodate his Training due to our Fly in/out absences.

TThis is when we discovered The Canine Classroom and enrolled him in his 3rd puppy class and in fact signed him up there and then for the full range of courses up to and including Advanced.

I think I remember it was then that Dave mentioned that training would be a Challenge with an Alaskan Malamute (combined with our ongoing absences) as they were one of the most difficult breeds to train…….not to mention that ICE decided to spend his first session asleep under the chair! The Canine Classroom offered us a flexible Training arrangement, where we turned up for the specific classes when we could fit it into our fly in/out schedules.

DeDespite our reservations and the stubbornness of ICE (his breed in general!), he graduated from Young dogs in November 2010. It was at this stage, we called on Dave for a one-on-one session at our home to advise us on processes to resolve separation anxiety issues that ICE seemed to have when we left him at home alone at intervals during the day.

Whilst ICE does not Bark as such, (he can and will on a ‘Speak’ Command), he was reportedly ‘howling’ when left alone at home for periods of time. We monitored him through recordings and ICE is now settled when left at home – this is quite an achievement for a dog that comes and goes to 2 different homes, one of which has 2 dogs for company all hours of the day!

ICE has gone on to be quite successful at Obedience, transitioning from Basic Dog in Feb 2011, Intermediate in April 2011 and Control in December of 2011.

After ICE entered into the Advanced Classes in 2012, Bradley and I both went on a 6 month training course and abandoned ICE with my parents (I think they were thankful that he was quite well trained!). We (mostly Bradley at the Helm) returned with ICE to Canine Classroom in 2013, to successfully pass out of Advanced in March 2013. We continue to turn up to The Canine Classroom with ICE when our rosters allow us, as it provides him with a good environment for socialisation and allows us to top up our training skills with ICE.

To help with his maintenance and the possibility that he may be in a kennel once or twice should my parents be unavailable, we decided to Crate Train ICE. This has worked out to our advantage, particularly with this breed, as he loves going in and out of his open crate during the day for sleeps and is easy to transport in the car and has been on numerous camping trips, settling easily into a ‘known’ environment no matter where he is. He LOVES his Crate and takes himself to ‘bed’ if we stay up later than normal as part of his routine.

ICE is quite popular around Buderim, with many children requesting to pat and talk to him on his walks, rides and at the supermarket as he lies patiently at the door.

The confidence in Ices’ social abilities has all been achieved through the ability to undertake adhoc training as fits our roster, returning to The Canine Classroom for top-up skills. This has resulted in a well -trained Alaskan Malamute that Brad and I are comfortable to take to a wide range of settings.


With an intention to undertake Obedience Training (due to our responsibility to my parents to have a somewhat obedient dog that didn’t cause a nuisance) we then found that the general Dog Training venues that we approached were unable to accommodate his Training due to our Fly in/out absences.
Tina Derry and Brad Mulcahy


Socialisation · 20%
Confidence · 20%
Obedience · 10%
Dependability · 20%


Socialisation · 80%
Confidence · 70%
Obedience · 90%
Dependability · 90%

* Assessments made by Tina.