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Hudson's Malamutes - Frequently Asked Questions

37. Show Malamutes - Giant Malamutes - Must there be hate?

Brief history of Alaskan Malamutes
The Alaskan Malamute is currently a member of the AKC Working Group and was first registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1935.

Eva B. Seeley is responsible for AKC recognition of Alaskan Malamutes.
Before departing for Antarctica in the 1928, Arthur Walden gave Seeley a dog of freighting stock (whose ancestry was unknown but had Malamute traits - according to a written Seeley account was a Greenland Eskimo Dog), "Bessie" (gray). Seeley purchased the Malamute Yukon Jad (wolf-gray color) from Leonhard Seppala (who was strictly racing and wanted only Siberian Huskies, not slower freighting dogs).

Seeley bred Bessie to Jad and had their first litter of "modern" Alaskan Malamutes 1929.

One of those pups, Gripp of Yukon, became the first AKC Alaskan Malamute show champion, and was also Seeley's lead dog on her Olympic sled team.

Seeley later received one of the Byrd Expedition Malamutes from Ed Goodale, whom she named Rowdy of Nome. She registered Rowdy as an Alaskan Malamute. However, Rowdy was on the BAE I roster and on the Labrador Husky (sled dogs from the Labrador region of Canada) roster, and so doesn't appear to actually be a Malamute. Click here for photo & info

Seeley's Kotzebue Malamutes were a mix of Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Eskimo Dogs and Labrador Huskies.

Paul Voelker acquired Malamutes for his M'Loot Kennels from many sources. He traveled to Alaska and brought dogs back; traveled coast-to-coast acquiring Malamutes he liked; acquired dogs from teams sold to Hollywood for use in movies; acquired dogs from the army at Camp Rimini, Montana (including Dude's Wolf and Dodge's Lou found at the back of many malamute pedigrees). He accepted a wide range of breeding dogs. The M'Loot dogs worked on sled teams and served with distinction in the military. A driver on the second Serum Run, used four M'Loot dogs on his team.

Voelker was an experienced sleddog driver. His Malamutes' ranged in colors, not confined to grey & white. His M'Loots were also heavier and taller and rangier than the smaller & more compact Kotzebue Malamutes. His male Malamutes reportedly averaged 130 lbs. Gentleman Jim, a M'Loot, served in World War II and is in the Hall of Working Fame.

Description of Voelker M'Loots from LegacySledDogs by Jeffrey Bragg
"My first contact with M'Loots was back in my green days in Ontario (1960s) when I used to visit with professional handler Lorna Jackson at her farm. Lorna was a real animal lover, a lifetime dog person, and had at one point been a breeder of Mals. When I knew her she had stopped breeding, but there were still two or three of her old ones on the property. And she had gotten her original stock from Paul Voelker. I remember chiefly a BIG cream-white male, about 130 or 140#, long-bodied, called Koonah, and a much smaller ancient white bitch named Kulik who had once whelped a litter of *19* pups. They were SO unlike the Mals I had seen in the show-ring, and a real piece of living history."

1950 AKC reopened stud book
The base stock of Malamutes dropped to 30 registered dogs (many lost to Military Antarctic Expeditions and WWII), and the AKC reopened the stud books. The AMCA, headed by Seeley, was resentful of this as they did not consider other Malamutes "representative of the breed". However, M'Loot and Hinman-Irwin owners were very happy. To be registered the dogs had to be shown and gain points, with multiple view photos accompanying their registration application. After 1950, the Alaskan Malamute became is mixture of Kotzebue, M'Loot and to a lesser extent Hinman-Irwin, which strengthened and improved the breed.
Seeley and others were upset over the inclusion of the M'Loots which many considered another breed, but for the AMCA to become an AKC member club, they opened membership of the AMCA to M'Loot owners.

Robert Zoller - Husky-Pak Kennels
Zoller served as a naval officer in Newfoundland during WWII and was impressed with "appearance of fierceness and power, yet gentle disposition" of Alaskan Malamutes. He went to Chinook Kennels (home of Seeley's Kotzebue Malamutes) to look at Malamutes, but found them too small. Chinook Kennels sent him to see Dick Hinman and Zoller loved the look of what he saw (Hinman-Irwin dogs). He felt they compared favorably to both Seeley's and Voelker's dogs. He and his wife bought Hinman-Irwin, and M'Loot dogs. Zoller credited the Hinman-Irwin dogs with giving some balance to the M'Loots and making a better overall dog. He still admired the Kotzebue look and did incorporate them in his breeding program. The success of his crosses influenced other M'Loot breeders, who incorporated Zoller's Husky-Pak dogs into their breeding programs. Some incorporated Kotzebue's into their breeding programs, while some M'Loot breeders stayed with their own strain, as did many Kotzebue kennels stay with their own.
Zoller's Husky-Pak Alaskan Malamutes won an impressive amount of championships over an about 12 year period with just 12 litters. A very frank look at the early AMCA days and the ridiculous political infighting and dirty tricks that went on with Seeley's camp trying to discredit any Malamutes (M'Loots and & Zoller's Husky-Pak) but her own as not purebred (especially as M'Loots and Husky-Paks began winning championship after championship) is here in an interview with an 83 year old Robert Zoller

"The logical next question is where did Walden and Voelker get their dogs. Some they brought from the Arctic and others they bought from people who did. A lot of the early fanciers of sled dogs knew each other, and the dogs were bought and sold among them. A number of men were part of a U.S. Army sled dog program during World War II. The Army assembled hundreds of sled dogs. Some were malamutes, and some of these were bought by their drivers at liquidation sales when the war ended. At least two of these dogs ended up with Paul Voelker and became a part of the M'Loot line. A few others also ended up as ancestors of various malamutes of today.

The important points to be made are that in the mid-1940s, all Malamutes went back only a couple of generations to "Unknown;" that most people who brought dogs out of Alaska, or bought them from people who did, really didn't have much to go on but opinion, and opinions varied widely; that most were more interested in good sled dogs than in scientifically isolating pure Malamute type and in starting a registered malamute breeding program."

Robert Zoller

Summary:
We will never know what malamutes really looked like before white people invaded the north. Perhaps the closest thing is today's Inuit dogs, but we will still never know for certain. Today's Alaskan Malamute breed is to a certain extent a modern man-made breed.


That having been said, why must there be "hate" by a minority of show breeders for Giant Alaskan Malamutes? Is it just the political extension of what Eva Seeley felt for Robert Zoller's dogs and M'Loots?

I responded to a show breeder named Mike C, who asked why I had the right to say I was affiliated with the AMCA (please note, I have never said I was a member):

From: Jolene Houghtaling
To: MIKE C
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: Alaskan Malamute ad at PUPPYDOGWEB.COM

I am affiliated with the AMCA by only weight pulls. I won the AMCA weight pull unlimited class at the nationals last year. I also came in second place at the Region Specialty in the same class. I am very proud of my dog. God Bless
Jolene

He responded hatefully:

From: MIKE C
To: Jolene Houghtaling
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 3:07 PM
Subject: Re: Alaskan Malamute ad at PUPPYDOGWEB.COM

Participating at a weight pull is not affiliation, your plainly a puppy mill. do not use AMCA affiliation, that is not true. anyone can participate at AMCA events. Dishonesty is not a righteous trait.
Most AMCA members shudder at the breeding of giants, for multitudes of reasons. I consider your kennel pond scum personally
. please pull the affiliation from your ad, thanks, Mike C

I wrote to the AMCA president, and I believe at least one other board member asking them if this was their idea of sportsmanship and did they have a problem with me. I never received a response to my email.

Perhaps this person is a vigilante against Giant Alaskan Malamutes. Who knows, politics, hate it!

One of the most common questions I get about my dogs is why do I breed "Giant Alaskan Malamutes" this page is a explanation of some of my opinions and reasons I breed Giant Alaskan Malamute and would no longer consider breeding "standard" Alaskan Malamutes or show dogs.

1. there is a recognized AKC standard that is from the Parent Club's, AMCA's approval as to size it says: "Size, Proportion, Substance
There is a natural range in size in the breed. The desirable freighting sizes are males, 25 inches at the shoulders, 85 pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. "However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes" the full official standard can be seen at http://www.akc.org/breeds/alaskan_malamute/index.cfm

This stipulation was put into the breed because these "were" working dogs when this standard was set. Working dogs are set to do a specific task. The standard is a generalization that is set to give people something to work towards. But it shouldn't outweigh what the breed was meant to do. And that is pull a sled.

A minority of "Standard" show dogs are worked in sled harness, weight pull and/or packing.

A majority of "Standard" show dogs are not worked. Many have been made into "Foo Foo" dogs as I call them. Even today the one registry (AKC) that set that standard is trying to change this breed from the "Working Group" of dog breeds into a "Spitz Group" of dog breeds. Is this because the "Show" standard breeders are getting away from what the breed was meant to do and they are no longer being recognized as a working breed at all?

The show breeder, Mike C (of the hateful email above) says on his website that Malamutes have Never been historically even close to the sizes of today's giants. However, if you read above, there were indications of 130lb & 140lbs M'Loots.

Those indications help substantiate my claim that there is no such thing as a 200 lb Malamute, at least not a healthy Malamute of that weight. Please see my 200 lb Malamute FAQ , or Large Malamutes & their recorded weights . In the past it has been speculated that other breeds including the Tibetan Mastiff, St. Bernard or other breeds were integrated to make those "Supposed" 200 lb Malamutes. Most malamutes of today are largely M'Loot/Kotzebue crosses and as far as I know there are no all "pure" M'Loots left anywhere. The last I've been able to find in pedigrees is from the mid-1970s. Those were bred to Wakon dogs who had Kotzebue in their pedigrees.

If I wanted to be political and hateful I could say:
Other than trotting and looking pretty around a show ring I feel some "standard" show dogs are inferior because

  1. Generally significantly shorter lifespan - Because of the inbreeding I have found that when many of these highly inbred dogs reach 5-6 years of age there are more Cancers and genetic problems because of the inbreeding.

  2. More risk of HD. Because of the breeders lack to care about the breed and hide behind a piece of paper instead of spaying/neutering the dog if they are a known carrier.

  3. Lacking as a freighting dog - Because they are "dolling" them up to run them around the rings they are getting away from what they were originally bred for and that is pulling. Even AKC is considering no longer recognizing them as a "working" dog.

  4. Generally inferior health warrantees from most breeders because they do not stand by their dogs health problems and hiding behind the "fine print" and planning on your care for the dog so even with genetic faults you will keep the dog anyways.

  5. A disproportionate amount of "standards" in rescues, breeders not taking their dogs back.

Although that's the inverse of what Mike C says on his website about Giant Alaskan Malamutes, it's too broad a brush. Vast numbers of show breeders truly care about the breed.

There are also no statistics to back up any of those "opinions", either the hypothetical above or on Mike C's website.

Whether it be standard Alaskan Malamutes or Giant Alaskan Malamutes, the breeder must care about the breed and do their best by the breed. There are bad breeders in both of those worlds. So, why the hate? Just political?

If you want to show Alaskan Malamutes, then a puppy from a show dog breeder is for you. If you want to work your Alaskan Malamute, then a dog from working lines is ideal for you. If you want a pet, then Giant or Standard is for you depending on your size preference.

One more opinion on this matter -
Is there also a different standard for selling puppies for Show or Giant? From emails forwarded to me, Mike C sells puppies to pet owners with full breeding rights, even if they're not going to show. I'd be crucified if I didn't limit my puppies to pet owners. I don't limit to avoid being crucified, but limit the registrations because it's the right thing to do in my opinion. Pet people don't need to be breeding their dogs, they don't have the knowledge to do so responsibly.


Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
© 2004-2013 Jolene Houghtaling
Hudsons Huskies and Malamutes
P.O. Box 241
Baxter, TN 38544
(931) 432-0955
Pups@HudsonsMalamutes.com