How did we begin?
The name Uyak (pronounced oo yak) was taken from a native village on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Our kennel began with a family pet, Ch. Sena-lak's Simka, who was owner handled to his championship. In the process of training dogs and attending dog shows as a family activity, we discovered that the ideal malamute existed only in our mind's eye. Therefore, we focused on intensive research and study of the breed with the goal of developing a breeding program to produce better malamutes.
Where did we start?
We made a fresh start in the late 1960's by acquiring our foundation bitch, Ch. Karohonta Conestoga. Connie was a California-bred, pure Kodara dog bred by Cassandra Becker Hager and was selected because she was very tightly bred (on Kobuk's Dark Beauty) and exemplified good Malamute type, confirmation, balance and movement. This important bitch, Connie, finished her championship entirely owner-handled, taking both the New York-New Jersey AMCA Area Specialty under legendary breeder & judge Short (Eva B.) Seeley and the Mid-East AMCA Area Specialty under highly respected all breed judge, Melbourne T. Downing.
What did we do?
The Uyak line was established through repeated breedings of a highly select and concentrated gene pool which was achieved by the discrete crossing of our Kodara stock to specific T'Domar studs. These studs improved coat, feet, bone and pigment. All of these dogs were heavily rooted in the Husky-Pak line from Bob Zoller. Since Harold had become a professional handler, showing Ch. T'Domar's Bismarck to Winners Dog at the 1968 National Specialty and Best of Winners that same year at Westminster, we were intimately familiar with the best qualities of these dogs.The Uyak bloodline was not established by a single breeding (Ch. T'Domar's Kulak x Ch. Karohonta Conestoga) but by many similar breedings and parallel pairings that included Ch. Uyak Buffalo Bill and two of his sons, Ch. Karohonta Skymaster and Ch.Uyak Bison Bobby as well as our splendid bitch, Ch. Karohonta Voodoo Muskie (Ch. T'Domar's Voodoo King x Ch. Karohonta Ta-Lo-Wah, a full sister to Ch. Karohonta Conestoga). Their impact can be traced in many of today's pedigrees through Ch. Kiwalik's Tiger Woman, Ch. J-Len's Artic Windjamer, Ch. Kiwalik's Vykon Indiana Jones, Ch. Kiwalik's Taolan Quilleute and many others. On an overall percentage basis, Ch. Uyak Buffalo Bill, ROM (his headshot is part of the Uyak logo) is probably one of the most outstanding producers in the history of the breed.
Who has been involved?
We are proud of having spent many hours in the early years being mentored by Short Seeley, Bob Spawn, Bill Dawson and Cassandra Becker Hager. Others, including Steve Nash, Bob Montheard, Terry Sewell, George Meyers, Rich Harrison,Marilyn Curtis, Joyce Fahlsing, Vera Jane Lulkowski and Ken Hyatt have collaborated on our breedings in various ways. Ben Ogburn's expertise in Alaskan Malamute pedigrees has also been an important resource. Most recently,we have been working with Jennifer Kurtz (Nike), Rich Harrison
(Kuskokwim), Bernadette Quercio (Artic Luv) Jim & Bonnie Martin (Snocreek), and Nick Federoff & Kriste Stromberg (Kodak). Other breeders from around the world have also used the Uyak bloodline to improve their own breeding programs. Krista Nuovo, a noted professional handler, has also advised us on the showing and breeding of current dogs. We continue to be receptive (as mentors and collaborators) to others who want to participate in furthering this outstandingly prepotent and unique bloodline.
Expanding the Uyak Family.
Based on a single, unhappy experience in placing a puppy during the early 1970's in Brazil, Uyak refused to ship dogs overseas for more than 30 years. That policy is now an outdated relic of the past century thanks to Horst Kranz (Artic Luv SA ) of South Africa, who visited our kennel a few years back and convinced us to trust him with Uyak Icicle Izy. Also, Dr. J.A. Watkins (Snowlion) sold frozen semen overseas from Uyak Aleut Alex, who she co-owned with us. Further, Terry Sewell sent some Kiwalik dogs (carrying the Uyak bloodline) to Europe. Consequently, a few malamute breeders in Europe and elsewhere have a chance to experience the prepotency and quality of the Uyak bloodline. Recently, Cesare Giammiro (Bear-Pak) of Italy and Kirsten Poulsen (Mullnaeset) of Sweden have flown to America to bring back Uyak dogs to Europe. We are pleased to share the Uyak bloodline globally in the 21st century because we now have the internet, frozen semen and improved transportation.
Dr. Harold B. Schwartzapfel c.