About Malamutes

Arctic anthropologists indicated the presence of Eskimo civilizations at Cape
Krusenstern as early as 4850 B.C.

Early life for the Eskimo consisted of nomadic travel in extreme most prized
possessions.  Without them, travel and hauling would have been impossible.  
The dogs also hunted Polar Bear and other Arctic mammals for food.  These
Arctic dogs, which descended from wolves, were also used as baby sitters
when the parents went out and hunted which explains whey Malamutes are
so fond of children
Eskimos migrated to the northeastern areas of the Seward Peninsula.  
Fishing and game possibilities varied according to the weather and costal
areas may have had more to offer.  This accounts for the spreading of the
dog population to both north and south from the original settlements
around Kotzebue Sound.
These Eskimos, know an Kuubangmiut or Kobuk people, had a good standard
of life, working hard and developing their dogs to a high level of strength,
intelligence and reliability. They were said to feed the dogs as often as they
fed themselves.  This humane treatment may explain the better temperament
of the Alaskan Malamute as opposed to certain other Arctic Breeds.  When
you consider that many working dogs were badly mistreated, underfed and
overused, it is not surprising that many Arctic dogs had bad dispositions.  
The Malamute Eskimos had only the best and most promising of the
puppies and treated their dogs well.  They did not over use because of the
lack of food.  White men found it difficult to purchase Malamutes because
of the shortage and the high value placed on them.  That explains the small
foundation to which we trace today’s Malamutes.

The Alaskan Malamute is a member of the Spitz group of dogs.  We
have the wandering explorers, merchants and roving armies to thank for
their wide distribution around the globe.  But until recently, the
Malamutes had remained almost completely native to Alaska.  Some
think the Malamute is a cross of the early dog and a domesticated wolf
from centuries ago.  One of the earliest Malamute breeders, Paul
Voelker, believed the Malamute to be the oldest breed on the North
American continent.  According to Voelker, bone and ivory carvings
dated at 12 to 20,000 years ago show the Malamute as he is today.  
Voelker is quoted as saying “Don’t forget that the Malamute for untold
generations was raided with the Eskimos, puppies and kids on the floor
together.  I’ve seen little babies crawling in among the puppies to nurse
from a Mother Malamute.”

The Three Foundation Lines

– Kotzebue –

Kotzebu stems from Arthur Walden’s dogs which were taken over by Milton and Eva Seeley when Walden went to Antarctica. The Seeley’s Chinook Kennel at Wonalancet, New Hampshire was the best known sled dog headquarters in the United States. Dogs for both of the Byrd’s expeditions and for the United States Service Expeditions to Antarctica were trained and provided by Chinook Kennels.

Walden’s dog, Rowdy of Nome, became the first registered Malamute. The Seeley’s acquired Yukon Jad from Poland’s Spring Kennel and Bessie from Arthur Walden. They whelped the first litter of Alaskan Malamute as a proper breed in 1929. One of the pups, Gripp of Yukon, went on to the show ring and became not only the first Alaskan Malamute to be registered with AKC but also the breed’s first recorded champion anywhere in the world. Gripp also served as the model for the AKC standards. With the number of Malamutes increasing, the Seeley’s took the next step in gaining AKC recognition for the breed by forming a National Breed Club. On April 17th, 1935, the Alaskan Malamutes Club of America had it’s organizational meeting at the Seeley’s home. The President was Milton Seeley; Vice President Vonley Hure, and Secretary Eva Seeley. The Seeley’s were instrumental in AKC’s recognition of the breed. When the AMCA was finally made a member of the AKC in 1953 Eva Seeley was the first president.

– M’Loot –

Paul Voelker originated the M’Loot Malamutes in Marquette, Michigan,  that figures strongly in many
pedigrees, including the foundation for Silver Sled Kennels that is behind most of the Alaskan
Malamutes you may find in the Midwest.  The M’Loot Kennels produced the first champion female, Ch.
Ooloo M’Loot
, owned by Silver Sled Kennels. Moosecat M’Loot became a foundation sire for
many kennels, including Husky-Pak and Red Horse.  Although Voelker was interested in the same
breed, he came up with a slightly different type of Alaskan Malamute but did not pursue AKC

– Hinman (or Hinman-Irwin) Strain –

This strain involved only a few dogs but made important contributions to breed quality. The Hinman line in combination with the M’Loot strain and Kotzbue in development of the “HuskyPak” line, produced many champion and foundation dogs for the breed. Robert Zoller acquired Kayak of Brookside from Dick Hinman and added Ch. Husky-Pak Mikya of Seguin, Ch. Apache Chief of Husky-Pak and Ch. Artic Storm of Husky-Pak. These dogs were the foundation of his Husky-Pak Kennels.

The Malamute Story

I am an Alaskan Malamute. The secret of where I first came from is
hidden deep in the blizzard snows of the polar ice, and there is where
it will stay. Modern man has no idea where I came from, and the
ancient Mahlemut Indians that worked to develop my breed will not
reveal the secret. I will tell you that I am a breed that loves man
beyond even my own understanding. I am one that has a sense of
humor, I find joy in work that causes other breeds to cringe.
Some humans think that I am stubborn, and therefore not very smart,
but I am one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. I have often
used my brain and humor to frustrate my human friends, but if you
take the time to understand me and my independence, you will find
out how smart I really am. If I sound as if I am bragging, I’m not. I do
not believe in false modesty, nor any other falsehoods. I do not know
how to lie. You will see in my eyes the kind of honesty that men can
only hope to find.
Through my bloodlines God blessed me with a body that contains
power that other breeds envy. Of the northern breeds, I have no peer.
My fur is such that the most frigid winter blast is to me but a
refreshing breeze. While my size and appearance can intimidate some
people, most are drawn to my looks.
If you help me understand what you want (by working with me a lot),
and you treat me with love and respect, I will usually do as you ask of
me. I have courage that any Marine would be proud to claim. If forced
into a fight, I am ferocious; in competition I do not like to lose. If a
human chooses to become my companion, and treats me with love
and kindness I will sacrifice my very life to keep that human from harm.
When you fully comprehend the Aurora Borealis; then will you
understand me…
I am an Alaskan Malamute
Maxwell Riddle

The History of the Alaskan Malamute

In the Alaskan Malamute’s 5000 plus years in North America, it’s been involved in
Earliest Native People (3000 BC to Present)

The Alaskan Malamute, one of the twelve ancient breeds and one of the oldest Arctic
sled dogs, was named after the native Inuit tribe called Mahlemuts, who settled along
the shores of Kotzebue Sound in the upper western part of Alaska, within the Arctic
Circle over 5,000 years ago. They worked closely with early the Arctic settlers to
hunt and track and pull heavy sledges loaded with supplies. They kept a lookout for
bears and guarded the caribou herds. They even baby-sat the Inuit children while
parents were out on hunts, which is one reason they make very good family pets.
They were so gentle that they allowed the human babies to crawl in and snuggle up
with their puppies. Their use of dogs was a partnership for survival.

European Explorers — 1700-1800’s

The journals and logs of Captain Cook and other European explorers to Alaska
showed that they were VERY impressed by the big, strong, hardworking Alaskan
Malamute who got along and worked so well with humans. They note that the dogs
kept by the Mahlemut people were better cared for than was usual for Arctic sled
dogs, and this seemingly accounts for the breeds affectionate disposition.

Russian Alaska — 1731-1867

Travel logs of the early Russian and English explorers often reported a superior and
better kept type of work dog kept by the Mahlemut people. They wrote about them
being less “wild”, more friendly and easy going, and capable of an enormous amount
of work, both hunting and hauling.

Alaska Purchase & Statehood — 1867-1959

and could pull very heavy loads to areas that were otherwise not accessible. Often,
they carried a thousand pounds of mail at a time, and it is said they would arrive in
Nome, frisky and ready to run again. Their efforts helped to open up Alaska for
settlement and development.

By the time of the Gold Rush, Alaskan Malamutes, with their ability to haul equipment
and people, were in high demand. They were so highly valued that a prospector would
pay $500 dollars for one good dog and $1500 for a small team!

Polar Expeditions — Multiple expeditions between 1909-1956

Alaskan Malamutes contributed to the polar expeditions of Perry, Amundsen, and
Byrd to the South Pole. They were employed to pull the heavy supply sleds. The
successful exploration of this vast continent could not have been accomplished
without the help of the Alaskan Malamute. They were able to work for weeks on end
without negative effects of the daily strain. They still actively do this work today.

Helping France in World War I. — 1914-1918

During World War I., the Alaskan Malamute was called into service by the French
army where troops in far-reaching mountain outposts were surrounded and cut off
from supplies. The Nome Kennel Club shipped 450 Alaska Malamutes to France
where the dogs easily tackled the harsh conditions and moved needed supplies to
save the day.

The Serum Run — 1925

Alaskan Malamutes participated in the historical 1925 Serum Run to Nome, a fact
that most people do not know.

World War II. — 1939-1945

The Alaskan Malamute was important to America’s efforts during World War II. They
pulled sleds in snow covered areas that were not accessible to other, more
mechanical means of transportation. They were used as pack animals to carry
weaponry and ammunition, served as search-and-rescue dogs, and sniffed for mines.
The military tried to make the Alaskan Malamute guard dogs, but they failed the test
because they just liked people too much to attack a person.

Working in the Expeditions that First Discovered Prudhoe Bay — 1906-Present Day

Alaskan Malamutes provided transportation for Ernest de Koven Leffingwell’s
pioneering mapping of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge geology and the Arctic
coastline. They were there when Leffingwell first speculated that Prudhoe Bay would
one day become what it is today…the largest oil field in North America.

Source: Jamie Rodriguez, Polaris K-12 School in Anchorage

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