Dubs Takes First in the 2010 NCAA Mascot TournamentPublished April 5, 2010
Dubs, the ever-so-cute mascot of the University of Washington Huskies, beat out fifteen other contestants to claim the title of the ULTIMATE Pet MascotAfter four rounds of intense competition there could only be one winner. Dubs, the ever-so-cute mascot of the University of Washington Huskies beat out fifteen other contestants to claim the title of the ULTIMATE Pet Mascot.
Dubs is an Alaskan Malamute and The University of Washington Huskies 13th live mascot. He made his official debut during the Husky football season in 2009 and was only three months old at the time. Dubs is familiar with online voting competitions. His name was chosen after two rounds of online voting by the university.
The University of Washington introduced the Husky as its mascot in 1922 replacing the confusing "Sundodger" mascot. Dubs was handpicked from a kennel in Burlington, Washington and trained by Diane Rich, the official dog trainer of the University of Washington. Dubs lives in Seattle with his owners Kelly and Jennifer, you can catch up with Dubs on Facebook or follow Dubs's blog at huskymascot.blogspot.com.
Petside spoke with Dubs' owners, Kelly and Jennifer, about Dubs' career as a mascot, his favorite sporting events and his favorite activities.
Q: Why was an Alaskan Malamute and not a Husky chosen as the mascot? A: The UW has always used an Alaskan Malamute instead of a Husky for the live mascot so at this point it is the tradition. How that tradition started, we don't know for certain. It could be because Malamutes are the biggest and strongest of the Northern breeds. But we've also heard that back in 1922, a large contingent of the student body wanted the mascot to be the Alaskan Malamute. But try chanting "Go Malamutes!" - it just doesn't roll off the tongue like "Go Huskies!" does. So they decided we would be called the "Huskies" but would use an Alaskan Malamute for the live mascot. It works out okay since the two breeds look so much alike.
Q: How did you train Dubs to become a mascot? A: We started working with Dubs' trainer, Diane Rich, the day after we brought Dubs home at ten weeks of age. Along with basic obedience training, Diane had us do things like play Husky Marching Band music while Dubs ate in order to create a positive association there. We also trained with Dubs in Husky Stadium from a very young age - always keeping it fun and positive for him. Diane's motto is "Catch your dog doing something right" so we have always tried to reinforce his friendly demeanor by telling him "Good" when he is using good manners with people. Dubs is naturally very confident and very social so he has the perfect temperament to handle his job.
Q: Does Dubs often get recognized? A: Dubs does get recognized sometimes and it's really fun to see how happy it makes people when they meet him. We never get tired of hearing "This makes my day!"
Q: How does Dubs prepare for a big game? A: A few push-ups, some howling - that sort of thing. Of course we have to make sure he is looking his best too.
Q: How does Dubs celebrate after a big win? A: A short nap and then he's ready to party.
Q: What's Dubs favorite toy and treat? A: I don't think Dubs has ever met a treat or a toy that wasn't his favorite in that very moment. He especially likes to chew up toy ducks, cougars, beavers, bears, wildcats and trees.
Q: What is Dubs favorite sport to cheer for? A: So far, he has only been to Husky football games but likes to watch other Husky sports on television, particularly basketball. This spring, he'll be going to baseball and softball games.
Q: Does Dubs get nervous or excited before games? A: He gets excited when we drive to campus. He never seems to get nervous about anything (except maybe the vacuum cleaner).
Q: What has been the highlight of Dubs career as a mascot? A: He loves running down the field with his student handlers in tow at the start of the football games - full speed ahead. Also, it was pretty fun to run into Jake Locker, University of Washington's starting quarterback, at the park and play with Jake's dog, Ten.
Q: Dubs name was chosen in an online vote by the university, was there another name you preferred more than Dubs? A: The other two names that were in the running were Sundodger and Spirit. We have to admit that Jennifer voted for Spirit and Kelly voted for Sundodger. It's probably good that we got Dubs. It's a good name. We can't imagine him with any other name now.