Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Alaskan Malamutes Focus of Dog Museum's Program

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Alaskan Malamutes Focus of Dog Museum's Program

Article excerpt

Alaskan malamutes are magnificent dogs, says Diana Edwards of St. Louis. They're smart and good with children.

"But don't ever be tempted to buy one without giving the matter a second thought - or even a third or fourth one," said Edwards, 42, who owns four of them. "Malamutes are working dogs - and if you don't find work for them to do, they'll find their own" - and it might be digging up a yard or tearing up a house.

Edwards will give a program about the breed at 1 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Dog Museum, 1721 South Mason Road.

Bred originally by the Inuit Indians in Alaska, the malamute dates back 5,000 years, said Edwards. They hauled freight.

That made size important, said Edwards. "According to American Kennel Club standards today, a male malamute can stand up to 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh 85 pounds, and a female can stand 23 inches and weigh 75 pounds."

Now that they're eating high-protein chow instead of fish and whale blubber, the breed has grown, she said.

"Some breeders think bigger is better and are raising malamutes that weigh as much as 185 pounds," said Edwards. "But I don't encourage that much weight, as it puts too much stress on the dog's hips and can cause damage if he pulls. …

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