Kimuktuk Sled Dog History

sled dog

Alaskan Malamute
It all started when I was very young watching and admiring adventures on an old television series called “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” with his lead dog “Yukon King” driving his Alaskan Malamute sled dog team as a RCMP to police the territories while saving the day! 

I was offered a stray Alaskan Malamute 40 years ago I named Teke who was on his way to the pound when I rescued him. I had plans to leave in two days for a trip Mexico and back along HWY 101 in a Volkswagen, that started my adventures with the breed. He’s the one that started it all and provided a direction for my future sled dog accomplishments. 

After his loss I purchased a couple of AKC Alaskan Malamutes from known breeders/show handlers, then went on to achieve AKC championships. Unfortunately, major discrepancies were discovered with “Show Champions” and the original purebred Alaskan Malamutes. Kennel Club “Show Dogs” are bred for beauty, specific colors and markings. Puppies that did not meet the Kennel Club “Show Quality” beauty standards but may have met the most important standards such as health, temperament, endurance, etc. were not bred. We found this to be the ultimate detriment to the breed by not maintianing the inherant standards. Their endurance, proper conformation, attitude for working was not a dominant trait within the AKC  “Show Dog” bloodlines. This has also happend with the other northern breeds such as the Norwegian Elkhound to the Keeshond, Akita, American Eskimo, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky. 

I then went on to achieved winnings in the IWPA (International Weight Pull Association) with Alaskan Malamutes, and started to become acquainted and familiar with a very diverse “sled dog community”. I became much more aware of the major differences that were inherent within the different bloodlines of the Alaskan Malamute with their abilities.

This led to over a decade of study, training, building, planning, mentoring from professionals and participation in many different events. I as well ran mid and long distance back country travel teams as a hobby taking people on day and overnight trips in Oregon Cascade mountains. The goal which we finally reached was to have a working purebred Alaskan Malamute bloodline that could travel 75-100 miles per day.  Our best accomplished time was 435 miles in 4.75 days over the Continental Divide 6 times. Unofficial, however a “World Record” with purebred AKC Alaskan Malamutes. We were also taking 1st places in IWPA weight pull competitions and dogs that could “Win” in the AKC Kennel Club show ring. We as well participated for many years in the annual Oregon Dune Mushers Mail run traveling 75 mile over the Oregon dunes from North Bend OR to Florence OR with wheeled carts. There are memorial sites with placards at various locations off HWY 101 showing our participation. Even though we bred for temperament, intelligence, conformation and endurance, the Alaskan Malamutes were never bred to be a racing dog. During this time period I had the fortunate oppertuninty to “train the trainers” and provide my experience for the famous “International Transantarctic Expedition” guided by well known Will Steger

Alaskan Husky Hybrid
While running Alaskan Malamutes purebreds, I befriended many top professional sled dog drivers and kennels winning the most extreme races with theAlaskan Husky
Please note: Unlike the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Husky is a hybrid /mix breed type, that could include Hound, Setter, Pointer etc. for speed and endurance in the breed mix, which was in a development stage at that time to achieve the “Ultimate Sled Dog”. We studied race results, different highley successful kennels, studies from Cornell University and acquired dogs over several years from different award winning professional bloodlines. We learned in the past, “You can’t breed good dogs from bad dogs From studying diligently about the breed, kennels, and race results. I invested in proven top notch breeding dogs which rewarded us tremendously and ended up saving money, efforts and time in the long run.

We were able enter theRace to the Sky in Montana which many considered the toughest of the long distance races in the world. 500 miles 7 times over the continental divide in 4 days. This was in very brutal horrific weather. The gain and loss in altitude of the race was equivalent to climbing Mt Everest twice. Our best run was leading the race for half the way the way and ended the race in 3rd place receiving a bronze medal in last year the 500 mile race was run. 

We also accomplished winnings in the 50 mile, 75 mile, 100 and 200 mile classes and again, many years of participation with the Oregon Dune Mushers where I achieved ”Sportsmanship Award”“Team of the Year” and “Trail Boss” earnings.    

Siberian Husky
This is the breed we predominantley work with today.
Over the past several decades of being heavily involved with the different northern breeds I was around many different pet companion owners and racing kennels that worked with the original Chukchi Siberian Husky breed. 

To my dismay, there were not very many I came across I was fond of. Mostly due to the extreme aloof, independent and difficult nature for focus and trainability without the ablility to be let “off leash”.

However, every so often I would come across a Siberian Husky that I really liked. They were ones which were very friendly, listened and well focused, willing to please, knowing when and how to  be calm with wonderful personalities and wanting to be involved. They were ones that you could let “off leash” where they would have good recall to come back when called.

Just like the other breeds I worked with, the most important thing to know is the Siberian Husky breed are not all bred alike. Bloodline history made all the difference between a great Siberian and a very difficult Siberian. Especially important for the expectations to be a wonderful Pet/Companion within the home environment.

Research and support from other professionals along I was able to establish several wonderful bloodlines of the Siberian Husky with the intergrated bloodlines of Chukchi and Inuit Husky dogs. 

Many years of extremely hard work with endless hours and efforts spent has allowed us to come to where we are with our dogs today. It has always been a true passion which left us with the strong desire to help others sharing proper information to better prepare those looking for the right dog that best fits their home and lifestyle, along with supporting other Husky enthusiasts.

~ Jay