Showsight Presents The Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute Q& A

“They are a breed that takes your heart for so many reasons. They are clowns, huggable, clean and smart.”

Kate McCallum continued is well-furred and long enough to warm the nose (when curled up lying down). That’s it. Also there are misconceptions about a Malamute’s head. Many breeders prefer a very short muzzle due to the type/look it produces but it is a preference and usually comes at the expense of some other things. It is very difficult to get a scissors bite with this type. A by-product of this as well is an exaggerated stop which is actually not good in a true working environment where snow and ice could easily build in that area. A Malamute should show substance and its head have adequate back skull, but the entire dog should be propor- tioned and moderate, not extreme in anyway. Even the head piece. Many think massive is better but moderate is the correct form. Moderate and functional are the two most important words to remember when judging Malamutes. There are so many types and looks in the breed and none are any better than the other. It is easy to be distracted by type, but form and function are the most essen- tial in the breed. GLORIA TOUSSAINT Currently we live in south

we brought home our first Malamute. That was 44 years ago and have never been sorry. I am approved to judge the working group, Australian Shepherds and BIS. I only have one dog now who will be retired at the end of the year. I hope to do some judging to stay involved with the sport. We live in Grants Pass, Oregon. Although basically retired, I own an RV dealership with my kids in Medford, Oregon. I’m also enjoying five terrific great grand kids. How do I feel the breed is perceived by the general public? In my experience the Malamute is always admired for his beauty. Some react tentatively because of his size and usually ask me if “he’s friendly” but always want to pet the dog. Other dog fanciers are usually quick to notice a good example of the breed and are respect- ful of their unique personality sometimes. Has the breed’s popularity fluctuated during your involvement? I believe the popularity has diminished since I started in the breed 44 years ago. Legislation, economics, age of fanciers and changes in family situations have all played a part. The Malamute is a large, strong breed and as we get older sometimes we’re just not up to dealing with a large dog. Legislation has put limits on the number of dogs people can have in some areas so having fewer dogs limits breeding. The cost of dog shows, vet bills, food, etc has all played a part plus the cost of property makes smaller living conditions neces- sary for many. How does this big guy fit into a household? Malamutes generally love people including kids. Some aren’t thrilled with cats or even other dogs but in general they are great as long as the owner under- stands the breed and has received good mentoring from the breeder and asked a lot of questions prior to bringing one into the home. I only have one Mal now and he’s a house dog, loves people including kids and actually loves all other dogs. I must stress mentoring and understanding the breed because they are a great breed and make wonderful companions but, as all dogs, different breeds have differ- ent personalities and to understand them makes life so much easier. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? Of course the shear beauty is what most people notice. They are a breed that takes your heart for so many reasons. They are clowns, huggable, clean and smart. They draw you in before you even realize you’re hooked! To say just one thing isn’t possible for me. For most of us once a Mala- mute owner always a Malamute owner if at all possible. At what age do I choose a show prospect? I think that all depends on the pedigree and whether or not the parents have been bred before. I wouldn’t make a decision before eight to ten weeks at the earliest. Once in awhile a great dog will be obvious immediately for several reasons. I always use the term “show prospect” not “show quality” at that age because they change so much as a puppy. My favorite dog show memory? There are many, but I have two that stand out beyond all others. The first is the last dog show my husband was ever able to go to and he was able to see his absolute favorite dog of all time, EZ, get his first BIS! The other is watching that same dog win the Regional specialty during National week and also win the Top 20 event that week. I’ve had other breeds but the Alaskan Malamute is by far the most fun, frustrating, loving, stubborn, adorable, and addictive breed. He is smart, hearty, basically a healthy breed, self sufficient and loving. He deserves an owner who will respect him and earn the respect of the dog in return.

California but in the foothills of the San Bernardino Moun- tains at 3,400 feet so the dogs see snow on occasion. We golf, walk the hills, play pick- leball and swim and garden. We are both retired folks, my husband from Engineering and I from teaching. How do I feel the breed is perceived by the general public? By fanciers in other breeds? To the public abso-

lutely fascinating, beautiful and majestic taking you back to the wild. Other breed fanciers consider the Mal too stubborn, or a goof ball, possibly aggressive in nature, a talker and a lover. Has the breed’s popularity fluctuated during my involvement? Yes, very much so. Fewer folks are breeding Mals, fewer young peo- ple are involved and Mal Fanciers are aging. How does this big guy fit into a household? Gosh, anywhere from the couch to a bed to the yard to your lap to the shower. This breed loves people and will do anything you do! What is the breed’s most endearing quality? Loyalty, love, goofi- ness and fun. At what age do I choose a show prospect? We make decisions between six to eight weeks and hope we were right. Once you are selected to stay at our house you are with us for life! My favorite dog show memory? Our first dog, Juneau, known as the Whoo Whoo dog for his enthusiasm in the ring and my first BIS with him under Mr. Thomas Mayfield. SHARONWESTON I’ve had dogs all my life. My parents presented me with my first pure bred dog as a graduation present, a lovely white Minia- ture Poodle. After determining that was way to much grooming to keep in show coat and after moving to Oregon where we had space,

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019 • 255

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