With Dani and Sheba, I use haltis if I take them together. Separately I just give them a firm yet gentle yank on the choker and they get the message. I do agree though, a halti on such a young neck is not a good idea, but could be useful in 6-9 months!
I can't even count the number of collars my husky BROKE pulling. Strangely, he didn't pull as crazily when I put a harness on him, which is un-natural when you think about it. Maybe the lab in your malamute will stop him from pulling ... eventually.
Or you can try an obedience course!
With Sheba, the halti is not connected to her collar. She won't run away should she get loose. Dani on the other hand, has a short lead from the halti to the collar, just in case.