Alaskan Malamute History
Our sincere thanks to Sylvia Gremm of Kiyara's Wolf Pak - Alaskan Malamutes
for her research in compiling this article and permission to reprint.

Also called the Freight railroad engine of the high north, this is the name for the biggest and strongest sledge dog. He was named after the "Mahlemiuts", an Eskimo tribe whose forefathers emigrated 2000 years ago from Siberia to Alaska and settled down in the northwest along the shores of the Kotzebue sound. For many centuries the sledge dogs of the Mahlemiuts was a breeding product, resistant to this natural environment with its tough and hard conditions. The Malamute was bred by these primitive people by not complying with the same breeding standards as we know today. The "standard" at that time was to breed an effective freight pulling animal, a hunter and to be a guard dog  robustness in surviving in a very hard and difficult climate. With centuries of isolation of those regions, the Alaskan Malamute became a relatively uniform type of breed.

Mahlemiut Familie, Shaktolik -1881

When Russian seafarers discovered Alaska, they called it "Alashak" or "Alyeska" which meant "wide land". They acquainted themselves with the local natives, as they knew how to handle and use these dogs for heavy load sledding. Many reports of missionaries, discoverers and adventurers, visiting the area, reported on the Mahlemiuts and their dogs. The character and the temperament of the Alaskan Malamutes comes from the surroundings in which they were held with the breeding methods which were applied at the time. While sledge dogs elsewhere further north were treated rather rudely in comparison, the Mahlemiuts seem to have given more attention to the friendliness of their dogs. The Malamutes differed from the other sledge dog, as they knew how to relate to the Arctic traveller. Selecting friendly and reliable dogs was also the order of the day.


Mahlemiut family with sledge dogs, admission in 1881


The "All Alaska Sweepstake"

As the dogs of the Mahlemiuts were bred and kept in relative geographic isolation, this started to change as white people started to settle in Alaska. A big change also came when gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1886. With the gold fever came a big need for trained and stack dogs. The use of sledge dogs also became more and more popularly. The colonists and gold seekers started to acquire Alaskan Malamutes and for the period of 1909 – in 1918 the arctic sledge dog almost became extinct. In 1908 the Nome Kennel club was founded. They became the organisers of the 656,6 kilometers dog sled race to run through Alaska - called the "All Alaska Sweepstake". People from all over Alaska and neighboring areas packed their sleds and the quickest dogs to take part in this running. The winners received highly regarded recognition and prize money and instantly became famous within and beyond the region. Scott Allen, John Johnson, Leonhard Seppala were only some of the best Musher and coaches of thier time. Scotty Allen was especially important for the sport as he was involved in organisation of the first official sledge dog race.

Hinman-Irwin Strain

During the next 20 years the Alaskan Malamutes were imported to the most southern part of the USA with the main purpose to save this wonderful breed from extinction. Dave Irwin brought a pair of dogs to southern USA and descendants of these dogs ended up with Dick Hinman and they became the foundation of the the breed in the USA. This was the so-called Hinman-Irwin strain for the breed.

Byrd-Expediton (1928-1930)   Arthur Walden holding a different dog breed

 With the first Antarctica expedition of E.Byrd in 1928, Arthur Treadwell Walden, as leader of the sledge dogs, was responsible for the procurement and education of the dogs and some were recruited from Walden's Chinook Kennel.

Above all, Arthur Walden was also the winner of the first official international sledge dogs running in 1922 in the state New Hampshire. One goes out from it that this running with to the pure breeding of the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian husky has contributed. Arthur Walden was the first president of the New England Sled Dog club. In his kennel the beginning of the Kotzebue was also a line.

During the preparations for the expedition of admiral Richard E. Byrd, some dogs were also bought for Arthur Walden's kennels. Alan Alexander "Scotty" informed Eva Seeley that two dogs, greater looking than Sibirian Huskies, were and he said these dogs the big sledge dog to her " That of Alaska should embody. " One of these dogs excited the attention of Eva Seeley, she called him hooligan, his name described exactly the character of the dog. Hooligan was two years old at his first meeting with Seeley. The Byrd expedition still took some dogs which resembled hooligan what allowed to suppose the Seeleys, that these dogs as a group if not existed even as a race. Eva Seeley was enthusiastically from the big dogs whose gentle temperament the appearance similar to Wolf lies punished and began on it there the search for other copies of these big sledge dogs. They acquired the rough Yukon Jad of Leonhard Seppala and a bitch called Bessie von Arthur Walden. With these both dogs they founded her famous Kotzebue line. Yukon and Bessie brought in 1929 to four puppies - all Rüden-auf the world. They were called Gripp, Tugg and Kearsarge and Finn of Yukon. Gripp became later the first registered Alaskan Malamute.


About "Hooligan of Nome" said Eva Seeley: It was the beginning of all, a great dog. Scotty Allen brought this dog of Alaska and Arthur Walden gave him to me.
  Gripp of Yukon, the first champion of his race with the AKC. After him the first standard which was changed in 1960 was written. Gripp was 16 years old.

Kotzebue Strain

n 1931 the Seeley's took over the kennel "Chinook" from Kate and Arthur Walden and from now on were Alaskan Malamutes and Sib. Huskies the center in her life. In 1935, after 7 years of intensive breeding, the Seeley's allowed to recognize the race by the AKC. The first registered dogs were called: Gripp of Yukon (*24.08.1929), hooligan of Nome, Taku of Kotzebue, Finn of Yukon, Kearsarge of Yukon, Patsy of Kotzebue, Sheila of Kotzebue, Kobuk of Kotzebue, Kotlag of Kotzebue, Navarre of Kotzebue and Wanda of Kotzebue. On the 17th April, 1935 the Alaskan Malamute club with Milton Seeley was also founded as the first president who was renamed later as Alaskan Malamute club of America. Soon on it this became Register of the AKC closed. For a while it looked in such a way as if the only founder's animals of the race should become this animal of the Kotzebuelinie from new England. But the second world war and the second big Antarktis-Expeditonen (in 1933-1935) from Byrds reduced the dog continuance dramatically, so that from this emergency situation, because not enough breeding dogs existing around the existence of the race to protect the register renews for first registrations was opened.

Eva's kennel name was "Kotzebue". In the 50zigern she came along it to the custom the Malamuten so to call that "Kotzebue" stood at the beginning and "of Chinook" at the end.

In 1970 Carol William's collaboration began with Eva Seeley. Eva Seeley died on the 28th December, 1985 at the age of 94 years. Eva Seeley with Carol William had their last throw in 1986, because it was put down as a co-owner of the bitch in the genealogy table. Eva Seeley a last will was, that Carol William under her kennel name what she has also held on in her testament. There are many kennels them try to receive the inheritance from Eva Seeley and the line Kotzebue.

Milton Seeley with Gripp and friends

Eva Seeley (photo in 1933) v.l.n.r. Wendy of Kotzebue, Finn of Yukon, Gripp of Yukon and Kearsarg of Yukon

M'Loot Strain

When the war was to an end, many leaders disposed of her dogs and of two these dogs reach in Paul Voelker''s hands and became therefore co-founder of his kennel. This was the breeding pair Dude's Wolf and Dogde's Lou. He acquired some of his dogs in Marquette, Michigan and he also traveled to Alaska around dogs there to get. He was with his kennel "M'Loot" with one of the most high-powered breeders. One of his most famous dogs was gentleman Jim who served in the second world war and is thought in the sound of Working Fame.


Paul Voelker, February 1947

  Robert Zoller with Ch. Apache Chief of Husky-Pak and (clockwise) Ch. Cherokee of Husky-Pak, Ch. Husky-Pak Marclair's Sioux and Arctic Storm of Husky-Pak

 In 1947 Robert J. Zoller began with the construction of the third famous line. His purpose was to be united it in the "husky Pak line" the best qualities of the M'Loot and the Kotzebue dogs. Robert Zoller and his Mrs. Laura aimed at a Malamute type of uniform size, strong skeleton and building.

His search began with a visit of the Chinook-Kennels, but for his feeling the Kotzebue dogs were too small. In a visit with Dick Hinman Zoller was very much enthusiastically from two dogs Irwin's Gemo and his son Hinman's Alaska. As a result he bought he a grandson from Gemo called Kayak of Brookside. Zoller decided that he still the second Malamute wanted. For the choice stood a M'Loot bitch of Seguin, Texas and a dog and bitch their father Alaska, late Ch. Spawn's Alaska, was. Because they could not decide, they bought everything to three. Apache Chief and Arctic Storm of husky Pak, which bitch Husky-Pak Mikya of Seguin called the brothers and sisters pair.

Apache Chief of Husky-Pak


Arctic Strom of Husky-Pak


Husky-Pak Mikya of Seguin

Apache Chief and Arctic Storm corresponded to the images of Zoller and they were to 3/4 M'Loot and to 1/4 other lines. He verpaarte Kayak with Miyka and Arctic Storm. Around type and head form tried to improve the Zollers for her C throw after a qualitative, not to small Kotzebue dogs. Their choice a lot on Toro of Bras coupe (Kim of Kotzebue Kotzebue Kleopatra). Owners of Toro were Earl and Natalie Norris. From the connection Arctic Storm of husky Pak and Toro six puppies were born. A puppy was never issued, but the remaining ones received everything the champion's title: Ch. Cliqout of husky Pak (his head is to be seen on the logo AMCA); Ch. Cheyenne of husky Pak; Ch. Cochise of husky Pak; Comanche of husky Pak and Cherokee of husky Pak. In 1968 Robert and Laura Zoller of the breeding and show resolved to move back.

Ch.Cherokee of Husky Pak

Ch.Cheyenne of Husky Pak

Ch.Cliquot of Husky Pak

Ch.Cochise of Husky Pak

Basically the Alaskan Malamutes go back to the dogs of the Kotzebue, the M'Loot and Husky Pak line.

 Lines from the Past

Since the 60s the Malamute is also known in Europe. By American soldiers and over Switzerland and Holland the Alaskan Malamute found the way to Germany. The first Alaskan Malamute to South Africa found it's way in 1966. 

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