Dubs, the Alaskan Malamute “Husky” Mascot

As canine mascots go, Texas A&M’s “Reveille,” and the University of Georgia’s Bulldog, “Uga,” are probably the best known, but we think you should meet “Dubs,” the University of Washington’s purebred Alaskan Malamute mascot.

The tradition of mascots goes back a long way with “U-Dub,” unofficial ones having been part of the school as early as 1920. In 1922, the Husky was officially introduced as the new mascot, though the school chose the Alaskan Malamute “because it is the largest and strongest of all Husky breeds.” And yes, one wonders why the school has a Malamute and not a Siberian Husky. An explanation comes from UW alumna and staff member, Jennifer McBride: “People sometimes want to know why we have an Alaskan Malamute for a mascot instead of a Husky. ‘Husky’ is actually a generic term that can be used for any type of sled dog, which includes Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies, among others. Of all the husky-type breeds, Alaskan Malamutes are the strongest and largest. They also tend to be the most laid-back and friendliest.”

A full history of these canine mascots at U-Dub can be read here, but the current “Dubs,” was born in 2008 at a Burlington, Washington kennel and named the University’s 13th live mascot in 2009. Even before the dog stepped foot on a field, however,  the school launched a naming contest for the dog. Over 1,400 entries were received,  and committee members narrowed the field to names that included Admiral, Dubs, King, Koda, Legend, Reign, Spirit and Sundodger. In two rounds of on-line voting, 20,000 votes made the name, “Dubs,” the winner.

He’s the first UW mascot to both live with a family and have student handlers. “Dubs has the best of both worlds,” McBride says. “He gets to live in a home with a family as a regular pet, and has UW students involved in handling him for his official mascot duties… handlers work in pairs. The team consists of four to six undergraduate students who have experience working with animals. Dubs’ owners work with the student handlers to ensure that everyone is using consistent handling techniques.”

Dubs started training as soon as his family brought him home as a 10 week old puppy. He got basic obedience training, learned how to handle crowds, behave around children, and remain unfazed by noise. He was a natural from the start. “During Dubs’ media debut at 11 weeks of age,” McBride explains, “he walked onto the football field in Husky Stadium and immediately peed in the end zone. He was marking his territory! It was good luck though — the football team went from a 0-12 record to a 5-7 record that first football season.”

When not doing his duties, Dubs lives with his owners as a family pet. He goes on walks and naps on the couch, but sometimes a student handler will take him for a walk on campus.

Dubs has his own Facebook page, and when asked his opinion about going to the playoffs in 2016, Dubs had this to say:



2 thoughts on “Dubs, the Alaskan Malamute “Husky” Mascot”

  1. I have been in the husky band with Dubs 1. Most of his game career. My children were raised on the 50 yard line in the band section. Now as an Alumni Band member it was my pleasure to be at the game that Dubs 1 gave up his thrown to Dubs11. Go Dawgs! 🐾🎶🌹

    • What a wonderful experience, Tina!! Thanks for sharing it with us (and any pictures are welcome!)

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