Our kennel history of Alaskan Malamutes
The beginnings with the breedat the end of the 70's, at 6 or 7 years old, I lived with my family in the "Lot et Garonne" French county, in a little town called "Puch d'Agenais". In this town, there was one of the first french Alaskan Malamute kennel, with "Du Bois de la Queille" as affix. One day, my father, passionate of the Paul-Emile Victor's polar adventures, took us to visit this sled dogs breeder. I fell in awe of the beauty and strength that gave off that dog. But, we were too poor to purchase our first dog.
Bunkie Du Bois De La Queille
In the early 80's, we moved to "Hautes-Pyrenees" county, and we're away from this kennel which, meanwhile, also moved to another town in the "Lot et Garonne". In approaching the mountain, we wanted to taste the joys of snow, and making cross-country skiing at the Payolle station which was access free and which accepted everyone, we met Nordic dog teams. Every time we met Malmautes, I was captivated by the big dogs, but my parents (especially my mother) did not want to take a dog.
In 1991, during April, going to take my bus for school, I found a litter of Malamute puppies in the garden of a neighbor. Also were present the mother and the father of this litter, the father being a typicaly M'Loot Malamute.
Every day, I passed this house, and I spent some great moments to cherish these little fur balls of extraordinary beauty. Of course, every day, coming back to my home, I bothered my parents for a puppy. I was in a revision of the bachelor level, but I only thought these little Malamutes. On June 4, 1991, the eve of the test of Philosophy, my mother gave in and allowed me to go buy our first Malamute. My brother and I went immediately to the house of the litter, hoping that they still have a little boy. There were two boys, but there was one a lot more sturdy than the other one, with a broad chest and legs monstrous, despite his two months. He looked like a little bear, and was called Grizzly . At 18, a first Malamute came into my life.
Grizzly, my first Malamute
Our first activities with our MalamutesFrom the start with Grizzly, and maybe even too early, I tried to make him work, including with a bike. I attached him to an old BMX which I had removed the pedals that I replaced with footrest motorcycle. Grizzly pulled me and I pushed with one foot, the other foot was on the footrest, a bit like we do with the sled. So, we have done for miles and miles. He was not running too fast, my big Grizzly, with his 50 kg, but we ran our eight miles, with all weather, during fall and winter.
Subsequently, we started to do races in off-snow (with bike) : I had heard there was going to be a run-off snow sled dogs race in my area, so I contacted the organizers to participate in the bike-one dog category. With Grizzly, we competed very often against huskies against which we had no chance to win. At 20 years old, you are young and fiery, and you are always upset to lose. I did not realize that the Malamute is NOT a dog race, but primarily a dog for pulling heavy loads.
Bike with my first Malamute Grizzly
So I decided to stop this kind of races, and especially I need to move further and further over the years to find races to do, and then as a student, the funds were missing. But to finish in a beautiful way, I did one last race with the husky of friends of mine, Hooker, in "bike-one dog" category, and my brother who was highly trained in running, had done the race in cani-cross category with Grizzly. I won the race with Hooker, this dog is the fastest dog that I've known : he could support a race at a speed of 30 km/h for miles and even 20 km/h during climbs. My brother finished 2nd in canicross with a Grizzly who was in top form.
Hooker, my Husky friend
Despite my studies, I always tried to ran as much as possible with my Grizzly either alone or with his friend Hooker, or hiking. With my father, we tried skiing pulled by Grizzly, but we were not good enough skier without that we will eventually fall and we will be irritated.
Every year, we saw a sled dog race on snow, which was held at the "Col du Soulor" station, and we dreamed that one day we can have as many dogs in order to be able to stroll with them. At that time we became acquainted with Mrs. Sorin and his Malamutes of the kennel name "Of Maeva's Nest" : beautiful dogs. At the end of his breeding, she tried to make white Malamute, which is still rare today in our country.
White Malamute from the affix "Of Maeva's Nest"
In late 1999, the postman in my village who loved dogs, had often told me that there was someone in the municipality who wanted to get rid of his Malamute bitch because she could not manage her. He insisted, saying she would end up in a refuge for dog, and I could at least go to see her. The trap has closed on me when I went to see this little dog, a little thin, but very lively and full of affection towards me as I did not know her for several minutes. Her owner said she could no longer manage her, she often ran away, she cried all the time when she was outside and she did her need inside when she was in the home. I decided nevertheless to adopt her. Thus Oxane came into my life and she became the companion of Grizzly in his later years of life. After a few weeks to restore correct behavior, she has become very easy going, even if she is a bit temperamental.
Oxane, my first female Malamute
With a couple, I got the idea to breed, but alas, a few days after she came to live with us, Oxane has an infection of the uterus after her first heat. She had to be operated and she became sterile.
In autumn 2002, Grizzly died. He was our first dog, it was a great loss for the whole family, but also for Oxane who finds herself alone in the new house where I had just moved. After one year, I decide to find a companion for my little Oxane, and I fall on an ad in the newspaper that talks about Malamute puppies for sale. So I went in the Strzepek Gerard's kennel, "Of Maikan Quest", and I chose my big Urok. I brought to my parents' home this little ball of fur, a day of December 2003, and I am very worried because he is scared to death and hides behind the furniture desperately : impossible to approach or caress him. Would I make a mistake by taking this dog ? Very worried for the future, I bring Urok at home, in what would become his garden, and he becomes very happy and he gratifies me with a great "whooooo" : I realized, my Urok will be a dog who like to live outside, not inside a home. He got to know Oxane and they quickly become best friends : he did not even cry for his first night away from his mother.
Urok, my beautiful Malamute
The bike with the dogs is good, but the sled would be better. Once Urok is an adult, I began to sled with Oxane and him. We do beautiful sled rides around Payolle, but the years 2006 and 2007 are very poor in snow in the Pyrenees.
Pyrenees, sled and Malamutes
In early 2007, Sarah enters the family; such as Malamutes are very social dogs with humans, the meeting goes well, and they learn to know each other.
During 2007, the idea of doing more sledding and also to do breeding comes to my mind again. Having kept in touch with Gerard Strzepek who had problems that forced him to reduce his breeding "Of Maikan Quest", he proposed to me a Malamute puppy, but without pedigree. Looking to start a breeding with pedigree dogs, I declined the offer, but I suggest to my parents who agree to take this Malamute puppy. So it was the arrival of Cazan during the summer of 2007.
Cazan, the superb Malamute
In early summer 2007, I seek, therefore, to buy a female Malamute to complete my team and she will be, perhaps, with Urok, the starting point for my future breeding. Being in a financially difficult period, I contact a small family breeding "Du Clan d'Ukiok" and they sold me my little Coleen at a reasonable price for a Malamute registered with a pedigree. Not yet aware of genetic considerations, I chose this little dog, because the father is black and white, the color I like for the Malamute, and because the breeder runs with his dogs.
Coleen, the future mother of our Malamutes
Coleen arrives in summer 2007, and quickly acquainted with his future "husband" Urok, who is happy to be with one more female and with Oxane that ends to train this newcomer by showing sensitively that she is the leader.
2008-2009 and 2009-2010 winters are fantastic for dogs, Sarah and I, during which the snow is present; the four dogs are strong enough and not too old (for Oxane) to pull the sleds either with 2 dogs per sled, either with 4 dogs per sled . And when we do not sled, we do snowshoes in the winter or hiking in the summer.
Our Malamutes, Sarah and I
The beginning with our breeding "De la Coleen d'Urok"During 2008, I have more desire to get into breeding with Malamute. I don't want to do professional breeding, or even regularly, but I want to have from time to time, a litter of Malamutes. I also wish to preserve the unique qualities of my Urok, which is the ideal Malamute for me and also for the judges that have always given good rating to him in dog show : ideal height and weight (not too small as Malamutes of Kotzebue type or too heavy as M'Loot type ), a breathtaking beauty with hiss large head and short muzzle, his beautiful white and black mantle, his flexible nature and always cheerful, and his great desire to run more and more.
I want to get into a small family breeding, much like the one where I went for Coleen ("Du Clan d'Ukiok"). For that, I must choose a name that will represent my breeding kennel and allow me to follow the descendants of my future puppies. It must be an original name, and I chose "De La Coleen d'Urok ", a play on words in french which can be translate as "Hill Rock" and which contains the names of my two future parents.
I also need a "window" to present my future puppies and the breed of Malamute. Being a computer engineer (but not in the Web), I start developing my website. I am trying to stand out from other sites by offering new things, lots of pictures and videos of the activities we do with our Malamutes, the history of the race, something that fascinates me, and the genealogy of the race.
At first, I am interested in genealogy to find out if my dogs have origins form the Kotzebue type or from the M'Loot type. So I build the beginning of my database from information gleaned on the Web that I centralize in a free genealogy tool for human beings. But this tool is not designed for dogs and functions of viewing/printing does not suit me. My base already contains 600 dogs, when I decided to create my own tool to be integrated into my website. It will allow you to view the pedigree of a dog with enough depth to go back to the first Malamutes and must be able to print the entire genealogy tree of a dog. And all this with as much information as possible including the photo of the Malamute.
After months of work, I put my website online in November 2008 with a database containing 1500 pedigrees. Currently I have 15 000 pedigrees in the database .
Example of Malamute pedigree with my tool
Before our first litter, we have to get some "reward", and despite the lack of interest that we find at dog shows where the judgement is too similar to me in the judgement of the ice skating competition (if you are known, you almost won), we do some shows where Urok always comes out pretty well, but Coleen a little worse. We finally get our first CACIB and CACS in September 2009 for Urok and Coleen .
The CACIB, and CACS of my Malamutes
After so many years of work to be in good standing with the SCC (Société Centrale Canine) and AMCF (Alaskan Malamute Club de France), it is now time to have our first litter. September 2009 is the heat for Coleen, but the heat only lasts a few days and she can not be taken by Urok. For, a year and a half, I made her take injections to mute the heat, and I think that these injections were still effective. In early 2010, is again the heat for Coleen, just 4 months after the previous. Will it be good this time ? Unfortunately not, again, the heat only lasts a few days and she can not be taken. In June 2010, it has been over a year since the last injection took place, and the heat is back. This time, it works !!! Coleen and Urok make their business a dozen times. This time for sure the puppies are on the way, especially as Coleen is gaining weight. In late July, we will do an ultrasound to see how many puppies there is, and stupor, Coleen is empty, no puppies. What despair for us !!!
Until the next heat, we had to redo the eye exams to detect eyes diseases (hereditary ocular dog diseases ) for our two parents.
The heat of Coleen arrived as planned in early December 2010. To make sure that it works this time, our vet advised us to do a battery of tests for Coleen and Urok.
Alas, my beautiful Urok will not be a good sire, it is not enough fertile !!!
Fortunately, after contacting the breeder of the affix "Of Mountain Pack", we make a covering between Coleen and "Black Kodiak Of Mountain Pack", a beautiful dog that looks exactly like our Urok.
Our breeding has started in the real sense with the arrival of eight puppies, six males and two females, February 10, 2011.
And now come full circle, as Kodiak and Coleen have any two of the blood of kennel "Du Bois De La Queille", where I met for the first time the eyes of a Malamute at the age of 6.
Now, another adventure begins with the monitoring of our production, Malamutes with our kennel-affix name, which will be, perhaps, in history of the Malamute.
"De La Coleen d'Urok"
Gérald et Sarah