God's Wild Dogs!
So, what is a Kugsha?
Originally the Kugsha was a primitive, undomesticated working class dog. Understand the meaning of undomesticated when used in front of “working class”. This does not mean “wolf”. The meaning of *“undomesticated” when used describing the Kugsha\ Amerindian Malamute is that they have spirit which is needed for heavy weight pulling; very intelligent, independent, they are working dogs. When looking at dogs used in sledding for example, not just anyone can come up and pet the animal, the person trying this would most likely get bitten.
We always try to dissuade people from wanting a Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute. These animals you DO NOT own, they are part of your family. You do not play the "Me master, you dog" game. They are much too intelligent for that. They are companions, not to be left when you leave the house, they go with you or someone stays home with them.
Life with one is very demanding and heaven forbid, you should mistreat one. The Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute dogs have a higher intelligence level than that of the average dog. He is eager to learn, learns quickly and loves to please. Their attention span starts at an earlier age than the average dog and socialization is very important. It is best that puppies stay with their Mother or Mother and Father until such time you pick it up.
Some breeders, due to the high mortality rate, pull the puppies at as little as ten days old. Believe me, this is not the best thing to do. Even at the very earliest ages, the Mother is socializing and teaching, these animals need that. I can understand that since the animals only go into "heat" once a year, the parents are very large and rolling onto a puppy while sleeping may kill the puppy, breeders want to ensure the life of puppies. But a human cannot teach what a Mother Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute teaches.
NootkaBear had the intelligence of a nine year old boy and the emotional understanding of someone around twenty years old. Anyone you want these animals to care for should handle the puppies often. If you gain a new friend after the animal is older, you want to protect the animal from having to be touched by a new person until such time the animal shows proof positive that the person can touch them. It would take NootkaBear about six months of seeing someone regularly before he was ready. We would keep him on a horse lead attached to the porch where he could see the new person and the person could talk to but not touch him. After about six months, we would watch NootkaBear and see when he was ready. Then the day comes when he is ready to be pet by the person. You must know your animal very well.
There is not enough money on Earth to stop someone from suing you after being bitten by your dog. The bigger the dog, the more the damage. A Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute lacks the part of domestication that brought down the jaw power; they still have 1000 pounds per square inch pressure when they bite. They can literally severe an arm. They are not "known" biters, but you should never take a chance. NootkaBear did not want to be pet by people he did not know, no if's and's or but's. People too pushy toward him were showing him disrespect, this he did not tolerate. He did not bite them, but they always saw him on his leash, never to touch him. And I don't care what anyone says...When there is a gorgeous creature, extremely gentle with his family (James and Me), like a gentle giant, you are going to desire touching him. At 325 pounds, many people were in awe and the ones that got close enough to touch him, will never forget the luxurious fur, the gentle look in his eye, the understanding... These animals are highly sensitive, very sweet but can be very unforgiving.
These animals are not good with kids as these animals have the “predator\prey” instinct and a human child that falls down while outside playing and cries tends to bring out the instinct. It is best not to leave anyone under the age of 17 alone with the dogs. These animals do not like a lot of commotion, they much prefer a structured, routine, quite life. I found that the Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute prefer routine and schedule to spontaneity. We take our "kids" for a two mile walk every weekday. This excludes Saturdays and Sundays due to the amount of people at Parks letting their animals run unleashed. Someone will say: "Well my dog is sweet, he wouldn't ever get into a fight or bite anyone". Hogwash! All dogs in the right situation can and will bite. Even though your dog is domesticated, given the right circumstance, and no one knows what the circumstance may be, your dog can and will bite. When it is raining out, we still the kids for their walk, they do not get wet and their feelings are hurt when you do not take them for their walk. It makes the animals feel as if they have done something wrong and are being punished. And God knows we all need exercise.
They are very good travellers,with arctic type fur, you must be cautious about leaving them in automobiles as they easily overheat. NootkaBear and HoneyBear have a Suburban with a generator on the back carry all and 9000BTU AC unit in the back window. Whenever we stop anywhere, the AC is turned on. If you leave the widows of the car open, they will jump out to come find you. These guys have a different sense of time than normal dogs. The normal dog, you can leave in a vehicle, with the proper ventilation, and whenever you get back is good enough. The Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute knows the difference: If you tell them you will be back in a couple of minutes, they begin watching for you within a couple of minutes. If you tell them it is going to take a while, they know that it will take a while. There should be plenty of toys in the car. When we used to travel in the RV, before we had Honiahaka, NootkaBear would gather all of the toys he planned to take with him on a trip much as a child does. AS James and I would get our belongings together, NootkaBear would place the toys in a neat pile. We would place his toys on the bed in a nice orderly manner. He loved this! Many times while traveling, NootkaBear would be left in the RV while James and I went into Caves, Museums, etc. When we returned, I would bring NootkaBear a new toy, present it to him upon opening the door to enter. NootkaBear would take the toy and dance around (he did this really cute little dance), to show his pleasure. The first toy he got when he was four weeks old, was still in the house, intact the day he passed away. These animals love and prize their possessions.
I made the breeder many promises when she agreed that I could take NootkaBear. She says that I kept all the promises and then some. The Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute flourishes the more spoiled one is. HoneyBear's "little song" to the tune of "If your Happy and you know it": "I'm so spoiled that I've rotted, yes I have. I'm so spoiled that I've rotted, yes I have. I'm so spoiled that I've rotted, and it makes me really happy, I'm so spoiled that I've rotted, yes I have." Never: chain them up; raise a hand to punish; leave them alone unless you have more than one; Always: give plenty of toys; exercise regularly; treat with respect; only positive reinforcement never negative;
Domestication is not necessarily all that it is made out to be. Look at what are considered "domesticated" dogs: Pit Bill, Rotweiller, Doberman, Chow, etc. There are many dogs considered domesticated that have been recorded as "biters" where as the Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute, are not considered as such. Even the wolf\wolf hybrid as a lower number of bite incidents than the normal domesticated dog. Dogs bite not because they are mean, it is because that is what humans have taught them or brought out in them. In the end it is the dog that pays. Take the human that "fights" dogs. A lot of times it is the Pit Bull that is taught to fight, now the Pit has a really bad name and a lot of cities and Counties have even talked of banning the Pit Bull. In all reality, the Pit Bull is a very loyal, loving animal, the human is what caused the "bad" name for the Pit Bull. I am including part of an article by David Brown from the Washington Post about dogs, in hopes that people will finally, once and for all understand what a dog is: Dog DNA to the rescue? Now tracking human diseases should be less rough David Brown - Washington Post Thursday, December 8, 2005 All dogs are descended from gray wolves, which were originally domesticated in East Asia. Some breeds, such as the Akita, are more than 1,000 years old. Most, though, are the product of selective breeding in the last 400 years by dog owners who wanted animals with specific characteristics. That breeding has, in effect, concentrated specific versions of specific genes in specific populations of dogs. The result is a population with physical and behavioral traits that existed in ancestral dogs but are now greatly magnified. This results in animals that can look and act very different even though they scarcely differ from one another in their genetic identity. On a genetic level, breeds differ from one another only about as much as individual human beings do. Gray wolves, the ancestor of all dogs, have more in common with Mexican hairless Chihuahuas than with coyotes, which they more closely physically resemble. I have heard many different explanations. I have tried to provide you with the information that I have acquired over the last eight plus years. The Kugsha\Amerindian Malamute is a competition weight pulling dog that is undomesticated, primitive, strong willed, independent minded animal that tends to be rather large in size. Let's explore the word(s) domesticated: Source <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=00-database-info&db=ahd4>: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved *do·mes·ti·cate ( P ) Pronunciation Key <http://dictionary.reference.com/help/ahd4/pronkey.html> (d-mst-kt)tr.v. do·mes·ti·cat·ed, do·mes·ti·cat·ing, do·mes·ti·cates To cause to feel comfortable at home; make domestic. To adopt or make fit for domestic use or life. To train or adapt (an animal or plant) to live in a human environment and be of use to humans. To introduce and accustom (an animal or plant) into another region; naturalize. To bring down to the level of the ordinary person.