The Utonagan is a mixed breed, so they don’t have history as their own breed. With that being said, all parent breeds of the Utonagan are well established and loved.
The Alaskan Malamute was one of the first cold-hardy sled dog breeds, developed primarily by the Mahlemut tribe in Alaska. The gold rush of 1896 brought a great influx to Alaska of dogs of many sizes and breeds who could survive the weather. These introduced dogs interbred heavily with native dogs, and the original Alaskan sled dogs were largely lots. The Mahlemuts were a relatively isolated tribe, so the Alaskan Malamute survived the incursion better than other breeds. The Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed in 1935 and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in the same year. During World War II, most AKC registered Alaskan Malamutes were loaned out for war duty due to a great demand for sled dogs. Tragically, most of them were destroyed after serving their nation on an expedition to Antarctica during World War II. Thankfully, dedicated breeders worked to restore the damaged gene pool to the breed’s former glory.
The Siberian Husky’s origins appear to be among the Chukchi, a tribe of Siberian nomads. The breed’s history is relatively unknown, but DNA tests do confirm that they are one of the known oldest dog breeds. The Chukchi used these dogs as a method of transportation via sledding. Outside of their work as sled dogs, they interacted with the Chukchi as a family dog. Huskies often slept with the children and provided warmth in the home. The Siberian Club of America was founded in 1938 and the Siberian Husky was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930 and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1939.
The German Shepherd, occasionally known as the Alsatian, is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. However, surprisingly, this breed’s popularity grew very rapidly — the breed’s origins only date back to 1899. Although German Shepherds made their way to the United States prior to the first World War, it wasn’t until the war that the breed became popular in the U.S. They gained purpose as a Red Cross dog, messenger, rescuer, guard, supply carrier, and sentry. After the war, the breed stayed popular as they went home with soldiers, and others wished for such a loyal and intelligent dog in their home. Post- World War II, American- and German-bred German Shepherds began to differ dramatically. The U.S. police departments and military now regularly import German Shepherd working dogs, because homegrown German Shepherds were failing performance tests and plagued by genetic health conditions. Many breeders strive for low backs and hips, which cause disorders such as hip dysplasia. Today, there’s a revolution of breeders trying to restore the German Shepherd to their old breed standard.