Ten Things You Did Not Know About Alaskan Malamutes

 1.       The malamute is the official state dog of Alaska as of 2010.  The students at Polaris K-12 school were behind the movement to make the breed the state dog.  The malamute won hands down because of its long history in the region, going back 5000 years as well as its presence in every aspect of the history of Alaska.  Siberian huskies were a distant second as they weren’t introduced into the area until 1908.

 

2.       Malamutes were so trusted by the Inuit’s that the dogs baby-sat the children when the parents would go out on hunts.  The malamutes were so gentle that they would allow the young children to join their own puppies, snuggle for warmth and even suckle milk.

 

3.       During the Alaskan gold rush, Malamutes were so highly prized as freight animals that prospectors would pay $500 for a single dog and nearly $1500 for an entire team.  In today’s dollars that would make a single malamute worth nearly $15,000.

 

4.       Alaskan malamutes were the dog of choice for the polar expeditions of Byrd, Perry, and Amundson without which the explorations of the vast Antarctic continent could not have been accomplished.

 

5.       During WWI, the Nome Kennel Club shipped 450 Alaskan Malamutes to the French Army where they were used to haul supplies to French troops in mountain outposts where trucks could not reach.

 

6.       The U.S. military used Malamutes during WWII to pull sled in snow covered areas as well as search and rescue dogs, but their attempts to make malamutes guard dogs failed because they liked people too much to attack them.

 

7.       Alaskan Malamutes participated in the historical 1925 serum run to Nome.  An event that saved thousands of lives during an outbreak of diphtheria.

 

8.       During their service in WWII, losses nearly eliminated the breed.  By the end of 1947 there were estimated to be only 30 registered dogs left in the U.S.  Many were killed by the military which found no more use for them.

 

9.       The Alaskan Malamute breed is considered to be one of nine “ancient breeds”.  Genetically distinct from modern dogs.  Its origins reach back nearly 5000 years.

 

10.   An average adult male Malamute can pull around 1,100 – 3,000 lbs. of weight.

 

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