I adopted an 8 month old malamute about 3 weeks ago and he is just a beautiful placid dog (except for back yard destruction even though he has 50 toys to play with). I know they are stubborn and expected some problems but trying to train him on his lead is getting worst, not better, and I am not sure where else to turn. He follows me everywhere through the house and listens to me most of the time and I know I need to be a little more consitant for the best results, but I am sure he understands I am the "alpha" he should be listening to. He lets me do all the things that show this, waiting to be invited inside, walking through doors after me, producing his belly when requested for a scratch, sitting when asked, shacking hands etc etc. (But of course he still tests me with the sneaking into bedrooms and stealing my socks or something I have yet to put away to chew on cheeky little bugger lol).
When I first got him he was pulling desperately on the lead. After trying so many different things (pulling on the lead, holding him firm by my side, treats when the lead is loose, stopping when he pulls, changing directions suddenly) I have managed to get him to the point that when we start out there is no pulling at all, but it starts when we get onto our normal path. The moment I stop (as he is pulling) he either sits, or walks back around behinds me to my left side and waits until I start walking again. But the last few days he has started getting frustrated and "attacking me" by jumping and nipping at me. I tried turning my back but today I got angry and pulled the lead to the ground and basically sat on him until he settled down (this actually did setting him a little, but he still insisted on pulling on the lead).
I walk him every morning but we are not getting as far now because he just wont walk with the loose lead for more than a few seconds (if I praise him he thinks it is ok to walk faster). I have no time to wear him out before we go (although I try for a least 5 minutes). I spend and hour and half with him every morning before I start getting ready for work (where he then follows me for the next hour while I get ready). I play for him for another hour when I get home (3 nights a week I go to the gym after this) then its time to settle down for the night (but follows me again). I am also waiting for the dog training classes to start in 2 weeks to take him to this. There is also no chance of letting him off the lead as he chases birds, pounces on small dogs and refuses to return to the lead.
So I need some help for now on what to do before I get too frustrated and don't want to walk him anymore (which will just cause more backyard distruction)
How long should this really take? its been 3 weeks already! Or is he still just trying to settle in?? Do I put up with the pulling until I start trianing classes? Or are there other ways? Am I reading him wrong and in fact he does not respect me at all? He sometimes just gives me the look that he is actually playing me for what he wants and when he chooses he does what he wants instead, almost like he doesn't care for me at all.