The activities of the Minnesota Malamute Club include the following.

Backpacking with the dogs

Dogs are expected to pack 30% of their weight on an excursion of at least ten miles. A total of 40 miles is required to earn a Working Pack Dog title (WPD) from the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. The Minnesota Malamute Club has several backpacking excursions each year.

Dog Sledding

Dogs are run in teams ranging in size from two to six dogs. Occasionally larger teams are run. Dogs can earn a Working Team Dog title (WTD) by running at least 40 miles with each excursion at least ten miles in length. Dogs can earn a Working Lead Dog title (WLD) if they run the requirements as a single lead dog (as opposed to a double lead, which is two dogs working together in the lead position). The titles are awarded by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. Many members of the Minnesota Malamute Club actively work their dogs in teams, and sledding goes on all winter.

Freight Racing

Because the Alaskan Malamute is a freighting dog, meaning it is built for heavy-duty hauling rather than speed, freight races are a popular event. In freight races, the sled is loaded with a certain amount of weight per dog in addition to the weight of the sled itself. Generally the weight is in the form of 40-pound sacks of dog food, one sack for each dog in the team.

Weight Pulling

Weight pulling events are sponsored by the Minnesota Malamute Club. Dogs are divided into three divisions according to their body weight. Weight pulling is a timed event, in which the dog has 60 seconds to pull the weight 16 feet. The owner or handler cannot touch the dog during the pull. Weight pulls can take place either on snow or an artificial surface, such as a carpet or mat. Depending on the surface, the winning weight at a pull can be over 2,000 pounds. Dogs can work towards completing a Working Weight Pull Dog title (WWPD).

Snowflake Days

Snowflake Days sponsors a two-day event that is held during late January or early February. Events include freight races for various-size teams, a weight pull, skijoring races, and a mini-mush for the kids.

Alaskan Malamute Specialty Show

The Minnesota Malamute Club hosts at least one show each year for Alaskan Malamutes. Sometimes these specialty shows are held in conjunction with the all-breed shows of the St. Croix Valley Kennel Club, held in August at the Washington County fairgrounds near Lake Elmo. Other times they are a part of the specialty shows held the day before the Land O'Lakes all-breed shows held in St. Paul in January.

Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Linda Dowdy, last revision 061110