Do Alaskan Malamutes Run Away? Preventing and Managing Escapes

Alaskan Malamutes are large, strong dogs with a thick double coat that enables them to thrive in cold climates. Known for their power and endurance, they were originally bred as sled dogs and have a natural inclination for hard work. These dogs are highly intelligent, independent, and pack-oriented, which can sometimes contribute to their desire to explore beyond the confines of home.

The instinct to roam

One important aspect to consider is that Alaskan Malamutes have a strong instinct to roam. This instinct is rooted in their history as working dogs, where they were required to cover vast distances while pulling sleds. It’s important to keep this natural instinct in mind when addressing their tendency to escape.

Reasons Alaskan Malamutes Run Away

Boredom and lack of mental stimulation

Alaskan Malamutes are highly active dogs that require both physical and mental stimulation to thrive. When they are not provided with enough exercise and mental engagement, they may become bored and seek opportunities for excitement elsewhere, leading to escape attempts. Ensuring they have plenty of toys, puzzles, and interactive playtime can help alleviate this issue.

Unsatisfactory exercise routine

Due to their high energy levels, Alaskan Malamutes need regular and vigorous exercise to remain content. If their exercise routine is insufficient or inconsistent, they may become restless and try to escape in search of more physical activity. Providing them with daily walks, runs, and playtime will help burn off their excess energy and reduce the likelihood of escape attempts.

Curiosity and exploration

Alaskan Malamutes have a natural curiosity and desire to explore their surroundings. If they detect an intriguing scent or spot an interesting sight, their innate curiosity may drive them to venture beyond the boundaries of their home. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on them, especially in unsecured areas, to prevent any potential escapes.

Hunting instincts

Alaskan Malamutes have a strong prey drive and hunting instincts that can lead them to chase after small animals. If they catch the scent of a squirrel or rabbit, their instinct may kick in, and they might attempt to pursue their prey. This can result in them running away, following the scent trail without regard for boundaries. Proper training and supervision are essential to manage their hunting instincts and minimize the risk of escape.

Escape attempts due to fear or anxiety

Like any other dog breed, Alaskan Malamutes may try to escape when they feel fearful or anxious. This can be triggered by loud noises, unfamiliar situations, or separation anxiety. It’s important to create a safe and secure environment for them, provide comfort during stressful times, and seek professional help if their anxiety levels become unmanageable.

Preventing Escapes

Secure fencing and containment systems

One of the most effective ways to prevent Alaskan Malamutes from running away is to ensure you have a secure and sturdy fence around your property. The fence should be tall enough to prevent them from jumping over and buried to deter digging. Additionally, consider using reinforcement measures like coyote rollers or electric wires to further discourage escape attempts.

Proper leash training and handling

Leash training is crucial for Alaskan Malamutes to prevent them from pulling and lunging while on walks. Teaching them to walk calmly on a leash will not only keep them safe but also minimize the chances of escape during outdoor excursions. Remember to use a sturdy leash and harness to maintain control and ensure their safety.

Adequate exercise and mental stimulation

To keep Alaskan Malamutes content and prevent them from seeking excitement elsewhere, it’s essential to provide them with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Incorporate daily activities such as long walks, hiking, or playing fetch to satisfy their physical needs. Additionally, engage them in interactive games, puzzle toys, and obedience training to keep their minds sharp and entertained.

Establishing a consistent routine

Alaskan Malamutes thrive on routine and structure. Establishing a consistent daily schedule for feeding, exercise, and playtime will help them feel secure and reduce their desire to escape. By meeting their needs consistently, you can minimize their motivation to seek alternative sources of fulfillment.

Socialization and training

Proper socialization and training from an early age are crucial for Alaskan Malamutes. Exposing them to different environments, people, and animals will help them become more comfortable and less likely to feel the need to escape. Training them to respond to commands like “come” or “stay” will also prove invaluable in preventing escapes and keeping them safe.

Managing Escapes

Reacting calmly and quickly

In the unfortunate event that your Alaskan Malamute manages to escape, it’s important to remain calm and act swiftly. Panicking or chasing after them may further encourage their desire to run away. Instead, call out to them in a confident and calm manner, using a distinct recall command that they are familiar with.

Using recall commands effectively

Training your Alaskan Malamute to respond reliably to a recall command, such as “come,” is essential for managing escapes. Practice this command regularly in different scenarios and reward them with praise or treats when they come to you successfully. By reinforcing their recall skills, you increase the likelihood of them returning to you when they do manage to escape.

Using positive reinforcement for good behavior

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in managing escapes. When your Alaskan Malamute demonstrates good behavior, such as staying within boundaries or coming when called, reward them with praise, treats, or playtime. This positive association will motivate them to repeat the desired behavior and reduce the likelihood of future escape attempts.

Utilizing GPS trackers and identification methods

Investing in a GPS tracker for your Alaskan Malamute’s collar can provide peace of mind in case they manage to escape. These devices allow you to track their location in real-time, enabling a quicker and more effective response. Additionally, always ensure your dog wears a collar with proper identification tags, including your contact information, in case they are found by someone else.

Collaborating with neighbors and local community

Building a network within your neighborhood and local community can be instrumental in managing escapes. Inform your neighbors about your Alaskan Malamute and provide them with your contact information. In the event of an escape, they can alert you promptly and assist in the search efforts. Participating in local online forums or social media groups for pet owners can also be beneficial in spreading the word and increasing the chances of a safe return.


Alaskan Malamutes are magnificent dogs with a strong instinct for adventure and exploration. While their desire to run away can present challenges, understanding the reasons behind their escapades and implementing preventative measures can significantly reduce the risk. By providing them with mental and physical stimulation, establishing a secure environment, and equipping yourself with the necessary tools and knowledge, you can ensure that your Alaskan Malamute remains safe, happy, and content within the boundaries of home. Remember, a well-prepared owner is the key to preventing and managing escapes successfully!

ThePetFaq Team