“Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled”
by Hudson Stuck, D.D., F.R.G.S.
“The malamute, the Alaskan Esquimaux dog, is precisely the same dog as that found amongst the natives of Baffin’s Bay and Greenland. Knud Rasmunsen and Amundsen together have established the oneness of the Esquimaux from the east coasts of Greenland all round to Saint Michael; they are one people, speaking virtually one language. And the malamute dog is one dog. A photograph that Admiral Peary prints of one of the Smith Sound dogs that pulled his sled to the North Pole would pass for a photograph of one of the present writer’s team, bred on the Koyukuk River, the parents coming from Kotzebue Sound.”
“There was never an animal better adapted to environment than the malamute dog. His coat, while it is not fluffy, nor the hair long, is yet so dense and heavy that it affords him a perfect protection against the utmost severity of cold. His feet are tough and clean, and do not readily accumulate snow between the toes and therefore do not easily get sore-which is the great drawback of nearly all “outside” dogs and their mixed progeny. He is hardy and thrifty and does well on less food than the mixed breeds”
“The Malamute is affectionate and faithful and likes to be made a pet of, but he is very jealous and an incorrigible fighter. He has little of the fawning submissiveness of pet dogs “outside,” but is independent and self-willed and apt to make a troublesome pet. However, pets that give little trouble seldom give much pleasure.”
“His comparative shortness of leg makes him somewhat better adapted to the hard, crusted snow of the coast than to the soft snow of the interior, but he is a ceaseless and tireless worker who loves to pull. His prick ears, always erect, his bushy, graceful tail, carried high unless it curl upon the back as is the case with some, his compact coat of silver-grey, his sharp muzzle and black nose and quick narrow eyes give him an air of keenness and alertness that marks him out amongst dogs. When he is in good condition and his coat is taken care of he is a handsome fellow, and he will weigh from seventy-five to eighty-five or ninety pounds.”