Alaskan Malamutes at Artic-Luv Ranch, USA

Bernadette P. Quercio | articluv@earthlink.net | 661.269.1994


Tradition and History

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Artic-Luv Alaskan Malamutes


malamuteThe Alaskan Malamute is one of the most beautiful dogs in the world: a wonderful family pet, a people oriented breed & a very easy keeper. We produce an average of 2 litters a year and never inbreed. These litters are planned breedings that produce Championship quality.  Our gene pool and preserving our breed … our Beloved Alaskan Malamutes come to mind first!   

Artic-Luv is NOT affiliated with any other Artic-Luv anywhere else on the globe!!

We at Artic-Luv came to be in 1971. Our start in this breed was from the West Coast Kodara lines, that produced the First in Breed History - Best in Show Winner Ch. Sno Crest Mukluk. This line has top producers, backpacking, sled & weight pulling, history making Alaskan Malamutes! Our dogs are the “Work Horse of the Arctic”!

True working dogs that are used to save lives for Search and Rescue where heavy equipment cannot go because of unsettled ground. Due to their friendly nature and their love for people they have been used for therapy issues with people who have disabilities and elderly who need companions.  

We continue today perpetuating these lines that some of our Charter Members of the Alaskan Malamute Club of America wrote the Standard on. With this strong foundation our line has flourished into again producing Multi Champions, Multi-Specialty, Multi National Ranked & Multi Best in Show Winners...

Because of our dedication of producing an Alaskan Malamute true to the AKC Standard, our dogs are used by many Movie & TV Studios in Hollywood.


Our Malamutes have appeared in such television shows and motion pictures as:
  • Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman 
  • Lost Boys
  • Animal Planet—Night of the Wolf! 
    (to name a few...)

Our clients come from all walks of life - Celebrities, Politicians, Olympic Gold Medalist - to the family looking for the right companion for their children or themselves.

Our clients include (to name but a few):

  -Gene Simmons, Shannon and Sophie Tweed-Simmons (Lead singer - KISS) 
 -Brent Fitz (Drummer - Slash's Snake Pit, Vince Neal of Motley Crue, Grammy winning band Theory of a Dead Man & Union, etc.)
 -Bill Katt (Actor) 
 -Mrs. Buster Keaton
 -Nina Blackwood (Original VJ for MTV, Entertainment Tonight, Dick Clark Rock N Roll Specials, Radio Shows Absolutely 80’s plus Sirius Satellite Radio)
 -John Corabi (Rock n Roll Singer formerly of Motley Crue, Union, Ratt & Angel City Outlaws)
 -Eric Singer (Drummer for Kiss, Alice Cooper, Brian May & Black Sabbath) 
 -Bruce Kulick (lead guitar player for Kiss, Michael Bolton, Union & Grand Funk Railroad) 
 -Shana Moakler (Miss USA 1995, Playmate Miss December 2001 & Actress)



Oscar winning actress Ann Archer playing with
the Artic-Luv pups.


Animal trainer, Clint Rowe taking time out with the Artic-Luv pups.


Dom DeLuise enjoying a moment with the pups.

At Artic Luv, we spare no expense for our Alaskan Malamutes and breed to the American Kennel Club Standard that the Alaskan Malamute Club of America has written. Feel free to call or e-mail with any questions you may have about this exceptional animal - the Artic-Luv Alaskan Malamute.

We support efforts of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for the welfare of all dogs! We urge all dog lovers to do the same!!!         

Visit the American Kennel Club Website



"Back to the Future"

by Bernadette Paula Quercio


flynnOver thirty years ago I fell in love with the breed named the Alaskan Malamute. As a child growing up in New Jersey my grandfather always had dogs. In his shoemakers shop his dogs were always obedient----they knew English and Italian. One time someone stole my Grandfathers dog. We went to court and of course I was a witness to the fact that this was my grandfather’s dog----Spotty. The guy who stole the dog claimed he had it since a puppy. My grandfather asked the judge if this guy taught this dog any tricks---Of course the guy said no! My grandfather in Italian told the dog to play dead and he did!! Shake hands and he did! Roll Over and he did! Than he repeated in English! We went home with Spotty! I told my Grandfather I wanted dogs like this when I grew up. So the dream of having Spotty’s and World Champions started! The dream ended when I became a teenager and interested in other things!

After marriage at a young age and moving to California----I was introduced to an Alaskan Malamute at a Swap Meet!! This Hugh Black & White male laying underneath a pick-up truck. I asked the guy what kind of dog he was --A Malamute--A sled dog! He then told me he had a litter of pups at the house not too far from where I lived. My husband and I went to his house and there they were 8 pups running loose in the yard. $150.00 and I get the pick of litter! WOW!!

That was a lot of money in 1971!! Two weeks had gone by and the breeders of the litter came by and wanted us to go to a puppy show. What is a puppy show? A dog show for pups---Actually called a Puppy Match! We went and there were about 30 dogs entered and they were not all puppies! My puppy’s brother went BOB and I had the best female BOS!

This started a career of showing and breeding Malamutes! It was not an easy beginning! I was hooked in the breed and I started hunting down every puppy match there was! I was off every Sat and Sun to some park for that Puppy Match challenge. As time went by we met other people in the breed with more years than I had in experience and one such person was Jan Shelton for Frostwind Kennels! She was the Breeder of my pups MOM!! WOW! She was the first one to have a Red and White Champion on the West Coast: Ch Kodara’s Makushime who was my Pups Grandfather---WOW! Jan wanted to know how many points my female had? What did she mean by points?? First lesson in AKC Shows!! A year after my first match - I was in my first AKC SHOW. What an eye opener that was! Men wore suits and women dresses and skirts. They all looked like they were going to church.

warlanceMy Dog was in the American Bred bitch class and there were two exhibitors in that class. The other female won with some guy they called a “Professional Handler”. He looked like the Good Humor man to me! He was dressed in a white suit and he had a handle bar moustache. Jan was outside the Ring waiting for me and asked me if would like to come back to her house for lunch? At the time there were other people I had met from the Puppy Matches that were Jan’s clients and she sold my pups mom too. We all went back to Jan’s house and she started teaching me how to handle a dog and how I should dress. This was the first of many weekends at Jan’s House. Not only did she teach me to handle, but also we looked at her photo album viewing the dogs behind my dog and asking all kinds of crazy questions. With a lot of understanding and patience I would get my answers from her.

This was the beginning of me becoming into a human sponge and trying to understand everything I could! As I learned, other people and kennel names came up. Some of the names were like out of space to me. Going to shows and winning a little, seeing the big winning dogs of the day, that were doing a lot of winning, I decide that this is what I wanted to do. WIN AND HAVE THE EGO!!!

Through the dog shows I met a few other mentors, people who really influenced the breed in the early days. This was the 70’s -----Tigara Kennels with D.C. Dillingham, Sam Maranto the owner of Ch.Cochise of Husky Pak, Martha Guiffre from Pak N Pull Kennels, Dr Leo Rifkind from Kodara /Snocrest Kennels, Dr. Rifkind bred the first Best In Show Winner in Breed History who’s Sire was Ch Cochise of Husky Pak. So there you have it the Mentors that came into my life that made a major impact on which line and what direction I was going to go!

The top winning dogs of the day on the West Coast were the Tigara Kennels and the dogs of Kodara bloodlines!! But what really impressed, me was the Tigara dogs. They were consistent in there with, looks (Breed Type) and Boy did they get those ribbons! So with a lot of guts and “No Glory” I worked myself into the Tigara Camp and managed to have DC Dillingham be my mentor. “How did you get to breed all those dogs that look alike?” I asked. Then answers dawned on me. The Magic pill must be to breed to a Tigara dog! The hunt was on for a Tigara stud! D.C. Dillingham was the person who hurt my feelings first!! He told me to spay my female and take her home and love her. He told me to get a good female, “BITCHES ARE A BACKBONE OF A KENNEL AND A BLOODLINE.” Gee!! The people at the show did not feel that way they loved to see me come and they were very encouraging too!!

TigaraJoDAnBut I kept losing! Oh the Magic pill I need a Tigara Stud!! Someone told me this guy out in the Boondocks had an old Tigara dog. So I went to his kennel and there were a lot of Malamutes, just like D.C. had at his Kennel. There must have been at least 15 or 20 Mals! But this guy had some that were different than Tigara! Here comes this guy to me and it’s the Pro Handler that looked like the Good Humor man! He had a Tigara dog “Ch Tigara’s Jo Dan of Arctica”. I told him I wanted to use him for stud. He said, “Fine, give me $150.00 and you can use him, on top of that he is yours to keep”. Jo Dan had a growth on the back of his neck and it looked bad. I took him to the vet to get him back in to shape. At the time he was Nine years old. I had my litter of pups and about 9 months later the l973 National Specialty was held here in California! Shelly Dillingham came to me and asked if it was true that I had Jo Dan. I answered her “YES”. Jo Dan won the Vet class at the National and DC came up to me and asked if one of his daughters could show Jo Dan in the specials class and so it came to be that Shelly Dillingham handled him and did a fine job!

The handler that gave him to me wanted him back after that. My reply was “NO WAY”. His son out of my first litter was placed in the ribbons out of a big class, and later in his career Jo Dan’s son “Champion Artic-Luvs Jonas of the North” finished at the West Coast Area Specialty. D.C. being the gentleman he was still trying to convince me to start with new stock! The question of CHD came up. There was a lot of high probability of dogs behind my lines and by breeding to Jo Dan I played the numbers game to a lower Chd rating to clear Jonas! But did I?? No! Later on I would come up with a dwarf litter from Jonas! Here stepped in my Mentors to help me and start my new beginning!

Each of these people had different views and about things. The question I asked were they wrong? NO! They just had different ways of doing things, their very own unique way. D.C., Sam Maranto, Martha Guiffre, Jan Shelton, & Judy Cronk were onto me. Well as the saying goes “any press is better than no press”. This statement could not be truer. My name was mud, my self-esteem was at very low point, but I did love the Alaskan Malamute. My new friends and only friends were my Mentors. They have been through the Wars and they knew there would be more setbacks in the future. Marty would come down from Idaho, and stay at Sam’s house. I call this space of time “the brain washing on bloodlines”. They both saw something in me to become a breeder of their Line of Malamutes. They did not talk genetics that much, but they did explain each dog in the pedigree the strengths and their weakness. Marty line bred and never did a half-brother/sister breeding, but grandfather to granddaughter was her favorite.

HERE STEPPED IN “CHAMPION PAK n PULLS KODIAK ATTU” who was a product of “CH KODARA'S KODIAK OF EROWAH” bred to his granddaughter. Ch Pak N Pulls Kodiak Attu would be my Foundation dog of ARTIC LUV KENNELS. Now that I knew and I loved Attu, he was also CHD clear (test Bred), I acquired a daughter of Attu. I was now running around with Marty’s stuff at the show and doing some winning. Sam Maranto and Marty Guiffre brainwashed me into breeding the Kodara lines and Marty had her last litter with a Kodi son of Bob Carsten Ch Car Mal Kodiak Kaniq. The bitch was from Sid Flerthy breeding out of all Pak N Pull of Marty that was test breed!! I bred 4 Champions out of that bitch. Meanwhile I was talking with DC Dillingham on how to be consistent in breeding because Sam and Marty bred to dogs they liked within the lines, but they were not intensely line-bred.

kodiakD.C. Was disappointed that I did not go with his line, although I still had great respect for him and his wife Dorothy. He corned me at a show and said ‘SO YOU THINK JUDY’S ATTU IS A GREAT ONE?” “Yes, D---I do.” “Prove it” he said. “Do a ½ brother/sister breeding on him”. I went to Judy and she said “NO”. So I went to a pet son of Attu behind Judy’s back and I did the breeding. The bitch was one month in whelp and I had to come clean, so Judy calls Marty and Marty tells Sam. “It’s a good breeding if D.C. told her to do it”. So Champion Artic-Luv's Swashbuckler “ROM” aka “Flynn” was born. This line is a very slow maturing line and at six months old I told Marty “he looks like nothing”. Marty looks at him and tells me he is a good one. He is a slow mature quite typical like her line is known for. Years later a Malamute person goes up to D.C. and asks him “What do you think of that dog, D.C?” His answer was “don’t ask, I told her to do the breeding and he is a good one”. Now behind Flynn are dogs that were inbred and heavily line bred, so Flynn is also heavily line bred and produces what I wanted. He was National Ranked 4 years in a row and #1 West Coast Malamute. Flynn never went Best in Show but has 15 Group ones and many group placements. I started line breeding half-brother sisters and Uncle/Niece breeding.

I travelled 3,000 miles and stayed a month on the East Coast showing dogs and won a lot of points in the Breed and Group placements with the 4 dogs I had with me. It was a lot of work. So I went to Candy and Bob and got Buffalo Chip out of Ch Uyak Buffalo Bill. I then went to Terry and bred some dogs there. Richie Harrison let me have Wild Bill for a year so that I can breed to him. Other dogs I also bred to were Ch Karahonta SkyMaster, Ch J Len Arctic Windjammer and from these breedings came Multi Best In Show winner Ch Artic Luv's Skullduggery (Trick). In between those breedings I bred almost 60 Champions using these dogs!!

In 1981 at another National in California an old breeder of the Tigara bloodlines ask Dorothy Dillingham “there is a Tigara dog over there isn’t it? Dorothy tells her “no”. The women asked, “Whose dog is that?” Dorothy answers “One of Bernie’s: CHAMPION ARTIC LUVS SKULDUGGERY aka “TRICK”! Dorothy’s comments were that she has D.C. Dillingham’s formula


Politics can ruin the Breed----Peer pressure can ruin the Breed. Do your own thing, but first go to the people who have been through wars and know the dog’s history well, the TRUE DOG MEN AND WOMEN. Not the people or so called breeders that mention style of Malamute but the ones that breed to the “CORRECT ALASKAN MALAMUTE” that the standard of the breed blue prints out for you to follow.

Now that I got some of this history behind lets go to the 60’s and 70’s when the old time breeding kennels had anywhere from 15 to 50 dogs in their breeding program. Although I did know of a breeding kennel that had 75 Saint Bernard’s and the top-winning kennel around back then. Were they moneymakers? Did they produce sound dogs and top winners? There were much more of those breeding kennels back then. For reason beyond my thinking I asked, “Why can’t breeding kennels be a money maker?” To make money you have to spend money I knew a lot of breeding kennels in all breeds in the 70’s some of them had 10 to 20 litters a year. I was told they did not make money or a profit. Ok this money was turned back into the dogs their breeding stock to produce health dogs and have nice facilities to house them. All those litters they produced were not all quality and they could afford to try breeding—they did not have to settle for mediocre ---they kept the best— there was no DNA in those days for scanning dogs for genetically defects. Breeders kept records of what these dogs produced and always bred to the Positive or healthy dogs. The pet person back than were lucky—they got nice healthy pet puppies out of Champion stock and from breeders that were always a phone call away to answer any questions they may have. Puppy money went back into the dogs ---the feed—the extras in vitamins and fresh meat—the Veterinarians etc. This is how they kept the quality up and the producing in the right breed type that the standard called for ---not breeding to just the top winner of the day and going all over and having open pedigrees that produce uncertainty on the unsound dogs that are not healthy! In those days of the Big Breeding Kennels--- the quality was up and the competition was stiff!!

Another issue when selling pups is many top kennels put them on breeding contracts for the bitches to come back to them for the first breeding and this helped in strengthening the bloodline! REMEMBER BITCHES ARE THE BACK BONE OF A BLOODLINE AND KENNEL. Some breeders believed if you want to have a good strong line going, then you actually need 100 dogs in your program. That is why breeding contracts are important today, especially with the lack of space and zoning its important today more so!! Today many people can only have one litter a year because again of the zoning and space. This one litter a year – may be produce mediocre or even worse. These dogs are all they have to work with. Suppose your mediocre dog has a problem, such as CHD. That can end your career as a breeder! This is the reason why DNA mapping of defectives genes is important in today’s world. I therefore appeal to all that are passionate and that are in The Sport of Dogs to support The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation that does studies on defected genes. These studies will in the long run help all dogs and not just the pure bred dog.