Yukon King

Yukon King and Sergeant Preston

Sergeant Preston and Yukon King

Sergeant Preston and Yukon King
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon radio show and Quaker Oats company premium.

Yukon King

Sergeant Preston’s staunchest ally, who often does more work than him, is the “wonder dog,” Yukon King, “swiftest and strongest lead dog, breaking the trail in relentless pursuit of lawbreakers in the wild days of the Yukon.” King is the lead dog for Preston’s sled team, and his personal companion. King has a keen instinct for sensing criminals, and was equally valuable dealing with wild animals, often fending off and killing wolves, and once saving a small child from a wolverine. King had been a Husky puppy raised by a mother wolf. When a lynx attacks the wolf and her cub, Sergeant Preston arrives in time to save King. Preston then raised the animal as his own dog team captain. It is never stated whether King is an Alaskan or Siberian husky, but his true mother was part wolf.

Challenge of the Yukon Radio Program

Challenge of the Yukon began as a 15-minute serial, airing locally on Detroit radio station WXYZ from 1938 until May 28, 1947, when the program acquired a sponsor, Quaker Oats, and the series, in a half-hour format, moved to the networks. The program aired on ABC from June 12, 1947, to December 30, 1949. It was then heard on The Mutual Broadcasting System from January 2, 1950, through the final broadcast on June 9, 1955. In November 1951, the title changed to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.

Each episode has Sergeant Preston and Yukon King battling a new crisis, whether it be tracking down a murderer, a gang of thieves, or claim jumping miners. Yukon King, is, at times, a central character, with several episodes revolving around an event centering on him. During the course of the series, Preston successfully puts down a rebellion, and captures assassins.

The most prominent radio actors to play the role of Sergeant Preston were Paul Sutton and Brace Beemer. The barks, whines, and howls of Yukon King were supplied by one of the station’s sound effects men, Dewey Cole, and following Cole’s death, by actor Ted Johnstone.

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon Television Show

In 1955 the television series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon began, starring Richard Simmons. Running for 78 weekly episodes over three seasons from 1955 to 1958, the series had only two characters, Preston and King, who appeared in all 78 episodes, with no other single character appearing in more than 20 episodes, and most appearing in less than five. The half-hour adventure series — which was shot in color at a time when most viewers still had black-and-white televisions — became a popular, snowbound version of the sagebrush sagas that dominated the era’s airwaves.

The theme music for both the radio and television series was Emil von Reznicek’s overture to Donna Diana. The show’s episodes ended with the official pronouncement, “Well, King, this case is closed.”

King

On television, Yukon King was played by King, an Alaskan Malamute. Trained by Beverly Allen, King received star billing right after Preston, alongside Rex the horse.

After retirement King went to live with the family of the President of Jack Wrather Productions, who produced the Lassie and Lone Ranger television shows. He lived on the 2 acres of William Carey Graves. King lived to an advanced old age well into the 1960s. King was a very loving, obedient, long discussed pet remembered with much affection.

 

96 thoughts on “Yukon King

    • Just found the show on new t v station FETV my cable just added .I would watch it when i was a kid on early Saturdays 7:00 am then the cartoons would come on at 7:30 am on all 4 stations back then till 11: am growing up back then was the best of times .!!!! I did not know they were in color we had a black and white T V then . GREAT show for the hole family back then . It comes on at 3:00 am and 3:30 am i record it and when my wife comes home we watch it she never had seen it when she grew up she loves it and so do my 2 dogs .!!!!

  1. “On King! On, you huskies!” For some reason I just started watching Sergeant Preston. In one episode he sides with the Indians against crooked white men, which the Lone Ranger also did. John Wayne was always killing them.

    • You need to watch “McClintock”. There was another, last name title that escapes my memory, in which Neville Brand plays an Indian who helps him recover his grandson who had been kidnapped by outlaws led by Richard Boone, I believe. I’m certain there are other examples. Don’t be talkin’ bad about the Duke.

    • 8 12 18
      I always loved Sgt Preston and Yukon King
      We watched them in the 50;s and 60;s
      Was on WGBh, Harrisburg PA
      I now get them weekly via Dish and FETV

      I could never envision anyone else could play Sgt Preston, than Mr.Simmons.

      Having had huskies and malmutes I still think Yukon King was a Malmute.
      Loved that dog….

      The horse Rex was such a handsome horse.

      Sad those types of shows kids never see and you learned something from those shows, like Bonanza etc.
      They all had a morale to the story.
      The funniest western still is the Bonanza episode with Hoss and the little people….

  2. I started watching this show and love it! It hasn’t come my favorite show. Does anyone know where I can buy some paraphernalia?

  3. Check out e-bay for Sgt Preston memorabilia. There is not much available it’s pretty much all DVDs and comic books. You can find some nice 8×10 publicity photos in B&W and there is one nice one in color of Sgt Preston & Yukon King that comes up every now and again. I’m looking for a Mounties uniform but the RCMP keeps pretty tight control of them.

  4. Dickinson Simmons was my uncle. He told me that they used two dogs for Yukon King, one for closeups and another for shots with the dog team. King always fault with the team dogs. He was a one dog show. Early in the show where he received a broken arm an finished the show in a cast. Well, in location outside Colorado Springs, a Badger spooked the Palamino he was riding and threw him really breaking his arm. Remember they rode English, no Western.

    • I thought Mr Simmons first name was Richard ?? I never saw a ‘Dickenson Simmons’ in the credits and I’ve seen most of the shows. Is your uncle still living ?

      • Richard Simmons, not the Fitness Guru. Credits showed Dick Simmons. He married my Father’s Sister, Nora. Don’t know where that Dickson came from. He was the Grand Marshall at the Christmas Parade in 1958 in Lynwood, CA. At least everyone in the Jr. High Band finally learned he was really my Uncle as I got to go talk to him before the Parade when no one else was allowed to get near him. I can remember seeing his show on his TV set when they first aired in LA area.

          • Maybe somewhat. I met Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jane Mansfield thru him. But that was literally decades ago. He lived in Encino, CA then. I dated my Astronomy Professor in College and on day we were talking about childhood heros. She said her hero was “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. Well next time we went out, I said I had to drop something of at my Uncles. Some in we walked into his office and she like to have died when she realized her childhood hero wad thete right before her eyes. That’s the best surprise I’ve pulled on anyone.

        • I recently started watching again. I remember it as a kid. As an actor, I really enjoy watching a good ole wholesome show. Don’t see much of those anymore. The show has inspired me all over again.

        • WOW your uncle.
          I would have loved to have met him and Yukon King.
          I saw him recently on the FETV network on Death Valley Days.
          I recognized his voice right away
          He was I think the President of a boxing club.
          Funny to see him dressing in a suit vs that red mounties uniform.
          I still say no one else could ever have been Sgt Preston.
          When I went to Canada as a kid from the USA my 1st visit I was so disappointed that the mounties did not look or sound like your uncle.
          Mounties always get their man….
          Thank You for your sharing….

    • It’s ‘watch out where the huskies go and don’t you eat that Yellow snow’ written by the late great Frank Zappa. Circa 1967. As always the dog was the real star of the show. I grew up watching King and Lassie and Rin Tin Tin….and I have Labradors.
      Support all breed rescue groups!!!

      • I started watching “Sgt. Preston…” recently. I first saw it when it ran in the mid 1950s. Corny a bit, but SQUARE-JAWED and GREAT! I also have my ORIGINAL “SQUARE INCH OF KLONDIKE” from The “Big Inch Land Co.” The “Deed” came in a box of Quaker Oats.
        I understand, due to a financial error by the “Big Inch Land Co.,” the land went into receivership. I no longer own my “Square Inch of Klondike,” but I still have the “Deed.” I also have a genuine Alaskan Gold Nugget, weighing in at 22Gms.
        The program showed Love of Dogs, and my Trust will help all dogs it can finance after I’m in the Next Life. GOD Bless you, Sgt. Preston and King (and, “Rex”)!

  5. Sergeant Preston was really great show to teach watchers the true meaning of officers, police, cops and how helpful they are to those under their protection.
    Yukon King to me was the star though and show animals are man’s best friend, helper, and partners in our lives.

  6. I watched the show when I was a child. I recently found a station that has reruns.They are in color.I never saw them back then.MyTV was black and white. The show is bringing back fond memories.

  7. Dick Simmons was married to my Father’s sister, Nora. Everyone called,her Jonnie. I believe that there 82 shows in all. When show,was beginning, he rode a Pali mini up a trail when a Badger ran in front of the horse, spooking it and it threw my Uncle to the Ground, breaking his arm. They changed to Rex and threw my Uncle down a mine shaft, breaking his arm for the revision. Most of the shows were shot in color when everything was still black and white.
    He was married over 50 years to my Aunt and his best friend in Hollywood was Ronald Reagan.

  8. Thanks for that Dick Simmons trivia. I grew up on Quaker Puffed Rice because of Sgt. Preston and still have them at least once a week! I when I was a teen I tried to enlist in the RCMP but you had to be a Canadian in order to be a Mountie!

    • At close to 70, Puffed Rice is still my go to cereal over all of the others, except for Tony;s Frosted Flakes….
      Next time you make sloppy joes add some Quaker Oats and for a treat some puffed rice…talk about great binders and fillers…

  9. Dick was from Minnesota. Was discovered by Clark Gable way back when. Also hung with the Rat Pack on the edges. Did many films with those in the Rat Oack.

  10. I still have my Certificate of Ownership for 1 square inch of Yukon real estate from the Quaker Oats company although from what I understand it’s now part of a golf course outside the Dawson city limits! The land was foreclosed upon due to non payment of real estate taxes.

  11. The shows first few episodes were B&W, then filmed in color. It was one of the first color shows. My Uncle played Sgt. Preston. I believe there are 82 Episodes.

  12. The Quaker Oats people swear that they never missed paying the tax bill on the 18 acres and they blame the town of Dawson for bad record keeping. In any event my square inch of the Yukon is gone forever.

  13. There were two Yukon Kings, one that would work with the sled dogs and the one that was in solo shots otherwise it would fight with the other dogs.

    • I’ve noticed that as well. The malamutes’ facial markings are different. I believe there were always at least two dogs used in any production (prior to CGI, of course!). It’s easier for the dogs – less stress, time under the hot lights, etc. I start every weekday morning watching Sgt. Preston & Yukon King!!!

      • Malamutes/Huskys can look quite different after they shed their undercoat – something they do twice a year. The feature that does not change is their mask (facial markings). There was one dog used for most of the episodes, but they occasionally used a substitute. There’s one episode of the TV show where Sergeant Preston remarks on how King looks different and has lost weight, and King is noticeably a different dog.

  14. Such a great show. GRIT has them at 6am. Especially love noticing how the same props are used multiple times in the different shows. A very clean & bright striped hooded jacket was owned by an old prospector & also a young lady.

    • For many episodes, one cabin interior was used for many different uses. I know it was a store, office, home and others. After the exterior sets expanded, so it other interiors. Finally, they had towns built with serveral different interior sets.

    • The same with the old time actors.They would change clothes,wear beards or go unshaven.Also some actors were given their starting roles on the way up.

      • Every once in a while you’ll see a actor that got parts in major movies. Dick Simmons played a Colonel in “Sergeants Three” and an Attorney in “Robin an the 7 Hoods”. He also played the Navigator in “Eola Gay”.

    • The very clean bright striped hooded jacket (if I am thinking of the right one) is actually a Hudson Bay Jacket and was VERY common in the Yukon (as were the Hudson Bay blankets (4 stripes on the blanket means its value was 4 beaver pelts. The six striped blanket was worth 6 beaver pelts.

  15. I grew up with with Yukon King and Sergeant Preston ,I enjoy the series, I used to listen to Sergeant Preston and Yukon King on radio back in 1958

  16. When I was young about 1960 (I was 6yo) my father told me King would be at our Roosevelt Field shopping mall ( on Long Island NY) I couldn’t wait to go see him. We went and I got to pet him,…it was a great memory. I just found it on TV and started taping it ( 6am) to watch with my wife. We both have gotten into old shows instead of the garbage on now

    • I’m almost 70 and my best buddy and myself been friends since grade school. Did everything together, even Nam about same time. We enjoy watching the old shows and talking.

  17. Very cool …..just watched my first episode of “yukon king ” this morning on grit..6:00am Sept. 27th 2016 ……
    What a great show !!!!……..amazing how great the old tv shows were, simple sets,no crazy effects, no cursing , nudity …….BUT still cool !!!!
    ERIK

    • I watched one this morning in which a deceased gold prospector used Bible verses to lead his nephew to his hidden gold stash. The bad guys had stolen the letter to his nephew but their “limited knowledge” of the Biible prevented them from finding the stash. You won’t see anything like that on modern shows except for “Walker, Texas Ranger” which is also in reruns on GRIT just before “Sgt. Preston”. I have “Cut the Cable” so I watch a lot of GRIT.

  18. I fondly remember Sergeant Preston of The Yukon, but forgot his dog was, of course, a Husky. My last two dogs have been Malamute/wolf and Husky/wolf mixes. Great animals. The first was 85% Gray Wolf and only 15% Malamute. She was the smartest dog I have ever met. People who met her almost instantly liked her and, when she passed, all my kids friends came over to hold a wake for Sasha. The next one was a 50/50 Husky/Gray Wolf mix. Kiska was a great friend, but never was the same willing animal that Sasha was. She understood all the commands but would only execute them if I had a cookie in my hand. I think her brain was pure Husky. She lived to be 14 yrs. 7 mos. and I miss her and Sasha equally.

    • When the criminal was caught he would say those gran word
      I arrest you in the name of the Crown…
      Then it was well King this case is closed.

      If ever you wanted a cop as a friend Sgt Preston and Yukon King were the truly good guys.
      Every Saturday on our little 12 inch B&W tv my friends and I would watch Sgt Preston and King.
      Then it was Roy Rogers, then the Lone Ranger.
      Before TV we had to go to the movies to see Tom Mix and all.

  19. I’m so glad. Sergeant Preston is on tv again. Its been many many years since I last watched it. I love the stories and Yukon king. He is a beautiful hiskie dog.

  20. I also would like to have King as a friend on Facebook. I can’t believe he has his own Facebook page ! I watch all the old shows on FETV in Florida.

  21. The 50s were a wonderful time as people pulled together and did not turn on each other so readily. The show epitomizes what is right with man and dog working together for the benefit of man. I love this show as it relaxes me and I am reminded there are still good in this world. Mark

  22. My late great uncle Ted played King the dog on Sergeant Preston. With his howling and barking I took him once to my third grade show-and-tell day. I was about eight or nine years old. He was a great man a great actor and did some modeling in Chicago in his early years. He was very lucky to have met my in Aunt Nanette in Detroit. They had a great life together and he passed away and Homestead Florida in the late 60s..

  23. I had dog as a kid that my dad trained that was as smart as king and Lasse watching these shows reminds me of him I miss those times and my dog Prince

  24. I get the show on our cable network . I like seeing the old cereal boxes at the end of each show. We had the mothers oats in the winter time and puff wheat and rice in warm weather. I agree the 50s where great tv shows and a great time to grow up in . I was born in 1950 . I recently saw 2 episodes where Sgt Preston didn’t say the famous line “well King this case is closed” . They did reuse a lot of the same coats on different episodes. I also record each episode and save it !

    • I too record them ,they bring back our happy years of growing up in the 50’s,the frosting on the cake would be Sky King,Rintin tin,Fury reruns also

  25. I recently discovered this show on the channel FETV which I get on satellite in the northeast.
    What a treat to see this show I had never heard of it and am enjoying it.
    It’s a great show and I am a fan of both Mr. Simmons and King.
    I was able to learn more on line all about the show and it’s history; it’s great!
    ThankYou

    • Hi Freddie – The dog that played King in the TV series was a malamute. King is described as a husky in both the radio and TV shows. Fore a few months the phrase “On King, on you malamutes” was used on the radio show before returning to “On King, on you huskies.”

  26. Does anyone out there know whatever became of, “Jay Michael” who was the Announcer and Narrator on “The Challenge Of The Yukon,” later “Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon” on radio from 1947 to 1956!? Also any portrait type of pictures of him when he was at WXYZ in Detroit in the 1940’s?

  27. I bought An 8 by 10 Portrait Photo of Paul Sutton in his”Mountie”uniform when he played “Sergeant Preston” on radio in1949! It was personally autographed to his own daughter! These Photos were Quaker Puffed Wheat And Rice Premiums from the radio series!I was lucky to get it! I highy prize it!

  28. The television version of “Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon” was filmed in Colorado and up at Cedar Lake, now owned by the Los Angeles Congregationalist Church as a recreational area for the church, up by Big Bear Lake, California!

  29. I learned to love classical music as a little child by listening to the radio show, Sgt. Preston and his dog, King. Great way to start out life. By the way, I tried to enlist in the RCMP also but they wrote back and told me I had to be a Canadian Citizen. I didn’t know what a ‘citizen’ was so gave up the idea.

  30. King was all Malemute. That I can tell you. I had a Wolf/ Malemute growing up. He was Chief & chose me to be his person. Somethings I’ve learned over the years. One from an Iditarod veteran of many years experience. He told his interviewer, you don’t mix teams. You drive all one breed or all the other. Malemutes are tall & rangy, plenty of muscle & meant for lighter weight, high speed running. The have stamina for long distance and can go high speed over distance. You give them a break to yellow the snow, eat the clean snow for. Water feed them, hitch up and off you go again. They lived on frozen whole salmon, protein & fat with the innards, that kept them healthy. Malemutes have won the Iditarod plenty of times. With their high speed the could easily have been the choice for the original Run to get that vaccine delivered ASAP. Huskys are shorter, heavy set, strong, but slow. For heavy loads, over long distance, but much slower but they came through. You needed more of them 8-9 in the traces where Malemutes you’d have 5 or 6. Huskies run white man style single file in full harness from lead dog to wheel dog. Malemutes run Indian style a single harness on the leader then a trace back to the sled. The other 4-6 on side harnesses attached to that lead trace. The Malemute was the Indian’s choice. It was more adapted to how wolves work in a pack. Most of their dogs had Wolf in them. If King was Wolf hybrid that is why he couldn’t work with a team. Too much Wolf.! They don’t respect the dogs. Teams are not mixed sex either. They could not afford the fights if a female went into heat. The team would not be hitched until 1 won the right to seed her. Then they would be short dogs! Either dead in fights or dead because their wounds were too severe to go on. Havoc on a freighters schedule. Arrive late their pay got docked. Arrive too late short of dogs, they got no pay and people might have starved to death waiting for their food to arrive. But a Malemute is an individualist even in a wolf pack each wolf has a distinct personality. They also have a specific role within the pack and a strong, iron clad code of conduct. There is 1 Alpha Male & his life mate is the Alpha Female. No other Male touches the Alpha.Female ever! Sometimes loyal lieutenants may be allowed to mate another female if permitted, or on ocassionally they will leave the pack. But a strong, confident Alpha pair do not feel threatened by other pairings so some packs may have 2 or 3 pairs. Otherwise no casual mating seven if a spare female is in heat. The low ranking bachelors are allowed to leave to live alone & eventually find a pack they can be content in. Because they have a strong pack mentality, a single wolf is dangerous because they might not be normal. That is where the phrase lone wolf comes from. A loner without a definite role is abnormal in their society. It has passed into Man’s. Indians respect wolves. The wolf is considered a very strong Totem. Indian society was not very different from the Wolf society. The Chief & in the Northern tribes they often have 1 mate. But if the wife proves infertile or unable to bear a child, & gives her permission the Chief may take a second wife, but the primary wife retains her position, authority, rights, even sleeping rights. The 2nd wife is often chosen for the Chief by his primary wife. She selects a woman that she feels will make her husband content, fit into their lives,accept her secondary place comfortably, and has all the skills necessary to be primary wife if she should die. Practical! Like the wolves. A woman she is comfortable with & a woman who shows a physical build capable of bearing children. Even a widow at times, whose ability to bear is documented. Or a girl who fooled around & got pregnant before marriage, if she has matured since. The Chief’s wife makes the call. The tribe must go on, and wisdom is paramount in Indian Society. Many Western men in their early years in North America were shocked at the power the women controlled. The Indians were very strong studies of the natural world about them adopting thought and Ideas that appeared to work well. As the Wolf society did. When they needed pack animals in the North they looked to the dog at their fire. Often with a good deal of wolf in them. They used sleds in Winter & travois in Summer. They let they dogs decide how to work together. Wolves may go in single file in close woodlands but in open fields they went as a group the alphas in lead, but the lieutenants would run a close crescent formation behind, ready to go into battle to protect the Alpha pair. The Indians thought this an excellent idea and adapted it to their needs.

    Now as for the question of King’s sex the same producer for Sgt. Preston & Lassie. The original book was A male collie named Laddy. The movie was made as Lassie Come Home. Why they switched sex I have no Idea. But there were 2 series named Lassie. The 1st in the 1950’s was Lassie & a boy named Jeff. I saw it in reruns, the second was Lassie & a boy named Timmy in the early 60’s. Now in both series Lassie ( the feminine form) was referred to as female and that fiction was maintained for years. I don’t know how the trainer & dog worked on the first series. I was born in 55 so I saw it in reruns. But in the 2nd series the dog needed close handling so the trainer played the untalkative handyman, so he could give “Lassie” his hand signals. I don’t know how the truth came out but in Hollywood it always does. It got out that Lassie was a purebred male stud collie with a name as long as your arm. It was a huge scandal and rocked the country! How could Lassie be played by a male. She was a female. The times were simpler, things like that got everybodies notice. Lassie was one of the top rated shows. The problem! The show was written for a female, after all they got away with it on the first show, so when a trained female was not available the took the Best they could get. But he wasn’t as good as the 1st male Lassie. He needed hand commands wasn’t particularly friendly especially kids. So they created a truculent handyman for the dogs trainer who had to be very close. If you have seen both Lassie series there was a very good relationship between “Jeff” and that “Lassie” but the relationship between “Timmy” and the 2nd “Lassie” was strained & distant even though they worked hard. The child actor playing “Timmy” was several years younger, & small for his age. He might have been a bit afraid of that “Lassie” The show was very popular, it was on for quite a while. I think the scandal might have possibly brushed on King. King was very much a male even though his fur was fluffy enough to hide certain appendages. Looking at that pin tonight the first thing that hit me was King’s no husky! He’s a Malamute! I had a Wolf Malemute hybrid growing up. My Chief had tight fur more like a wolf, he also had those yellow wolf eyes, the ability to stare right through like any real wolf. And he only barked rarely! When he barked he would also growl very audibly. When he did it was grab the shotgun something’s wrong. We lived out in the country on a farm. It could be anything from a bear to a prowler. Normally he yodeled! But barking, growling & standing stark still meant trouble. I have seen wolves in the same stance on documentaries. They have an uncanny ability to sense a man. Likely by smell! Wolves don’t bark, usually he let Brownie do the barking, she lived to bark. She taught Chief when he was a puppy. But if they were both out on their respective chains(Brownie was an inveterate car chaser we saved from euthanasia by agreeing to keep chained) & he was barking while she was silent, it was trouble! It was usually an animal, mostly varmint, but sometimes a Bobcat. One night it was a small bear cub. I rushed Brownie in while. telling Chief to go quiet then raced back out and dragged him in by force. He wanted to checkout the cub. The rule of thumb is see a cub, get out of there. Bears have poor eyesight, but very sharp hearing, they can cover ground like a Cheetah over short distances. I knew she wasn’t far the cub was small and starting to bawl for Mama. It was 10 at night pitch dark, and I knew she’d be close by feeding. Probably in the Raspberries on the other side of the drive way. The next morning my Father and I found her tracks. She had been less than 30 ft away in the Raspberries like I thought & exactly where Chief had been staring. Wolves have excellent vision, he had to have seen her! The cub was a curiosityonly. She was the danger! The female with child is the most dangerous in any species! That cub must not have stayed in the den. She probably had a den up the mountain behind our house. Our farm was at 2000 ft and about 1500 ft up behind was a huge amount of debris rock left by the last glaciation. It was riddled with small caves just large enough for hibernation or denning. That Fall we did find it, she had moved on but had been very close all year. Bears we dealt a lot with but they were wilder then not looking for garbage like now. They even show up here in Boston. They relocate them to wild country but they don’t know how to live wild. So back the come to fat pickings. They get tagged when relocated. They get sedated wrapped in nets & chopper lifted up north but the tags prove they don’t stay. They hustle back to the dumpsters full of garbage as fast as possible. Until we change people behavior we won’t change bears. If there is something edible they smell it and have very sharp noses. That bear was still hungry after her hibernation but had to live off more fat until the cub could be left to forage. The early Berries were in and she was hungry. I wouldn’t blame her Berries are a normal food for wild bears. She had no idea her cub was not back in her den. If he had bawled just a couple minutes earlier Chief & I might have been history. A lucky shot in pitch black wasn’t, likely. I wouldn’t want to kill a mother with a young cub anyhow I was lucky my Mother was at the door & opened it I had 160 lbs of dog in one hand & a loaded shotgun in the other & not about to let go of either, I told her we had to get in the house, and call my Father to tell him she was going to be very late to pick him up. She hadn’t heard the cub bawl. Didn’t know until we were inside! She called as I said, and he had her put me on. I told him look there’s a cub maybe 15 lbs behind the propane tanks bawling for his Momma. She’s in the Raspberries. Chief pointed her out. Right now she’s coming for that cub & I’m not letting anyone out until we are certain they are gone she must be denning close enough to smell the Berries & her cub followed. It’s too little to have come very far! I’m not risking anyone outside if she’s on the front lawn looking for her cub. He finally got home, his helper drove right up to the door I stood guard with the shotgun until he was in but other than smelling her she and cub were up the mountain. They can carry a cub just as a cat carries her kittens but only when really young. Their teeth are for grinding food like we do, not fangs like carnivores that grab and swallow whole. Bears are omnivores, they only take meat when no other is available, and eat carrion that no cat will touch. But they fight with teeth and give a dangerous bite.

    Anyhow a normal dog would not have realized the danger, but his wolf blood spoke and he gave warning, then showed me where Momma was by pointing. He could likely see her, then Brownie whimpered as I unlatched her and she pointed the cub. She was a mongrel with a batch of terrier in her & doggie smarts! Between the 2 I got the picture. It’s Chief’s wolf blood that saved the bacon. He got us in doors. He would have ripped my arm from its socket to protect me.

    I saw Sgt Preston & King in reruns when I was 4-5 yo. And Sky King that got revamped into another show some years back, called Whirlybird Bird. The 2. Lassies, Fury, another called Rescue 8 that got revamped and re-emerged as Emergency in the recent past. When I went to Northeastern in the 70’s their mascot was a Huskie. The first time I went into the student center & saw the mascot statue it looked like King or Chief sitting there. Their Huskie was a Malemute. I went over to rub his nose for luck then rubbed his head and told him well Chief I see you found a way to be with me after all. The next day I was walking to class & suddenly had paws planted on my shoulders and my face getting washed. He startled me so much I said OK Chief settle down, I’ll be late for school. By that time his owner got him to sit and was apologizing profusely. I said it’s ok ma’m he’s a Malemute right? She said yes how did you know? I’ve got one back home on the farm. They must be telepathic. Maybe they were, that dog adopted me. I got to be good friends with them. It helped when I was lonely for Chief. My Chef had a very long life so did Frosty the cat. He had a stroke on about his 17th birthday, exceptional long life for a MaleMute. Two weeks later Frosty also crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Also 17 yo exceptional for a cat back then. When my time comes we’ll be reunited up there. God Bless all you Sgt Preston & King fans. This site brought back so many memories tonight.

  31. King was all Malemute. That I can tell you. I had a Wolf/ Malemute growing up. He was Chief & chose me to be his person. Somethings I’ve learned over the years. One from an Iditarod veteran of many years experience. He told his interviewer, you don’t mix teams. You drive all one breed or all the other. Malemutes are tall & rangy, plenty of muscle & meant for lighter weight, high speed running. The have stamina for long distance and can go high speed over distance. You give them a break to yellow the snow, eat the clean snow for. Water feed them, hitch up and off you go again. They lived on frozen whole salmon, protein & fat with the innards, that kept them healthy. Malemutes have won the Iditarod plenty of times. With their high speed the could easily have been the choice for the original Run to get that vaccine delivered ASAP. Huskys are shorter, heavy set, strong, but slow. For heavy loads, over long distance, but much slower but they came through. You needed more of them 8-9 in the traces where Malemutes you’d have 5 or 6. Huskies run white man style single file in full harness from lead dog to wheel dog. Malemutes run Indian style a single harness on the leader then a trace back to the sled. The other 4-6 on side harnesses attached to that lead trace. The Malemute was the Indian’s choice. It was more adapted to how wolves work in a pack. Most of their dogs had Wolf in them. If King was Wolf hybrid that is why he couldn’t work with a team. Too much Wolf.! They don’t respect the dogs. Teams are not mixed sex either. They could not afford the fights if a female went into heat. The team would not be hitched until 1 won the right to seed her. Then they would be short dogs! Either dead in fights or dead because their wounds were too severe to go on. Havoc on a freighters schedule. Arrive late their pay got docked. Arrive too late short of dogs, they got no pay and people might have starved to death waiting for their food to arrive. But a Malemute is an individualist even in a wolf pack each wolf has a distinct personality. They also have a specific role within the pack and a strong, iron clad code of conduct. There is 1 Alpha Male & his life mate is the Alpha Female. No other Male touches the Alpha.Female ever! Sometimes loyal lieutenants may be allowed to mate another female if permitted, or on ocassionally they will leave the pack. But a strong, confident Alpha pair do not feel threatened by other pairings so some packs may have 2 or 3 pairs. Otherwise no casual mating seven if a spare female is in heat. The low ranking bachelors are allowed to leave to live alone & eventually find a pack they can be content in. Because they have a strong pack mentality, a single wolf is dangerous because they might not be normal. That is where the phrase lone wolf comes from. A loner without a definite role is abnormal in their society. It has passed into Man’s. Indians respect wolves. The wolf is considered a very strong Totem. Indian society was not very different from the Wolf society. The Chief & in the Northern tribes they often have 1 mate. But if the wife proves infertile or unable to bear a child, & gives her permission the Chief may take a second wife, but the primary wife retains her position, authority, rights, even sleeping rights. The 2nd wife is often chosen for the Chief by his primary wife. She selects a woman that she feels will make her husband content, fit into their lives,accept her secondary place comfortably, and has all the skills necessary to be primary wife if she should die. Practical! Like the wolves. A woman she is comfortable with & a woman who shows a physical build capable of bearing children. Even a widow at times, whose ability to bear is documented. Or a girl who fooled around & got pregnant before marriage, if she has matured since. The Chief’s wife makes the call. The tribe must go on, and wisdom is paramount in Indian Society. Many Western men in their early years in North America were shocked at the power the women controlled. The Indians were very strong studies of the natural world about them adopting thought and Ideas that appeared to work well. As the Wolf society did. When they needed pack animals in the North they looked to the dog at their fire. Often with a good deal of wolf in them. They used sleds in Winter & travois in Summer. They let they dogs decide how to work together. Wolves may go in single file in close woodlands but in open fields they went as a group the alphas in lead, but the lieutenants would run a close crescent formation behind, ready to go into battle to protect the Alpha pair. The Indians thought this an excellent idea and adapted it to their needs.

    Now as for the question of King’s sex the same producer for Sgt. Preston & Lassie. The original book was A male collie named Laddy. The movie was made as Lassie Come Home. Why they switched sex I have no Idea. But there were 2 series named Lassie. The 1st in the 1950’s was Lassie & a boy named Jeff. I saw it in reruns, the second was Lassie & a boy named Timmy in the early 60’s. Now in both series Lassie ( the feminine form) was referred to as female and that fiction was maintained for years. I don’t know how the trainer & dog worked on the first series. I was born in 55 so I saw it in reruns. But in the 2nd series the dog needed close handling so the trainer played the untalkative handyman, so he could give “Lassie” his hand signals. I don’t know how the truth came out but in Hollywood it always does. It got out that Lassie was a purebred male stud collie with a name as long as your arm. It was a huge scandal and rocked the country! How could Lassie be played by a male. She was a female. The times were simpler, things like that got everybodies notice. Lassie was one of the top rated shows. The problem! The show was written for a female, after all they got away with it on the first show, so when a trained female was not available the took the Best they could get. But he wasn’t as good as the 1st male Lassie. He needed hand commands wasn’t particularly friendly especially kids. So they created a truculent handyman for the dogs trainer who had to be very close. If you have seen both Lassie series there was a very good relationship between “Jeff” and that “Lassie” but the relationship between “Timmy” and the 2nd “Lassie” was strained & distant even though they worked hard. The child actor playing “Timmy” was several years younger, & small for his age. He might have been a bit afraid of that “Lassie” The show was very popular, it was on for quite a while. I think the scandal might have possibly brushed on King. King was very much a male even though his fur was fluffy enough to hide certain appendages. Looking at that pin tonight the first thing that hit me was King’s no husky! He’s a Malamute! I had a Wolf Malemute hybrid growing up. My Chief had tight fur more like a wolf, he also had those yellow wolf eyes, the ability to stare right through like any real wolf. And he only barked rarely! When he barked he would also growl very audibly. When he did it was grab the shotgun something’s wrong. We lived out in the country on a farm. It could be anything from a bear to a prowler. Normally he yodeled! But barking, growling & standing stark still meant trouble. I have seen wolves in the same stance on documentaries. They have an uncanny ability to sense a man. Likely by smell! Wolves don’t bark, usually he let Brownie do the barking, she lived to bark. She taught Chief when he was a puppy. But if they were both out on their respective chains(Brownie was an inveterate car chaser we saved from euthanasia by agreeing to keep chained) & he was barking while she was silent, it was trouble! It was usually an animal, mostly varmint, but sometimes a Bobcat. One night it was a small bear cub. I rushed Brownie in while. telling Chief to go quiet then raced back out and dragged him in by force. He wanted to checkout the cub. The rule of thumb is see a cub, get out of there. Bears have poor eyesight, but very sharp hearing, they can cover ground like a Cheetah over short distances. I knew she wasn’t far the cub was small and starting to bawl for Mama. It was 10 at night pitch dark, and I knew she’d be close by feeding. Probably in the Raspberries on the other side of the drive way. The next morning my Father and I found her tracks. She had been less than 30 ft away in the Raspberries like I thought & exactly where Chief had been staring. Wolves have excellent vision, he had to have seen her! The cub was a curiosityonly. She was the danger! The female with child is the most dangerous in any species! That cub must not have stayed in the den. She probably had a den up the mountain behind our house. Our farm was at 2000 ft and about 1500 ft up behind was a huge amount of debris rock left by the last glaciation. It was riddled with small caves just large enough for hibernation or denning. That Fall we did find it, she had moved on but had been very close all year. Bears we dealt a lot with but they were wilder then not looking for garbage like now. They even show up here in Boston. They relocate them to wild country but they don’t know how to live wild. So back the come to fat pickings. They get tagged when relocated. They get sedated wrapped in nets & chopper lifted up north but the tags prove they don’t stay. They hustle back to the dumpsters full of garbage as fast as possible. Until we change people behavior we won’t change bears. If there is something edible they smell it and have very sharp noses. That bear was still hungry after her hibernation but had to live off more fat until the cub could be left to forage. The early Berries were in and she was hungry. I wouldn’t blame her Berries are a normal food for wild bears. She had no idea her cub was not back in her den. If he had bawled just a couple minutes earlier Chief & I might have been history. A lucky shot in pitch black wasn’t, likely. I wouldn’t want to kill a mother with a young cub anyhow I was lucky my Mother was at the door & opened it I had 160 lbs of dog in one hand & a loaded shotgun in the other & not about to let go of either, I told her we had to get in the house, and call my Father to tell him she was going to be very late to pick him up. She hadn’t heard the cub bawl. Didn’t know until we were inside! She called as I said, and he had her put me on. I told him look there’s a cub maybe 15 lbs behind the propane tanks bawling for his Momma. She’s in the Raspberries. Chief pointed her out. Right now she’s coming for that cub & I’m not letting anyone out until we are certain they are gone she must be denning close enough to smell the Berries & her cub followed. It’s too little to have come very far! I’m not risking anyone outside if she’s on the front lawn looking for her cub. He finally got home, his helper drove right up to the door I stood guard with the shotgun until he was in but other than smelling her she and cub were up the mountain. They can carry a cub just as a cat carries her kittens but only when really young. Their teeth are for grinding food like we do, not fangs like carnivores that grab and swallow whole. Bears are omnivores, they only take meat when no other is available, and eat carrion that no cat will touch. But they fight with teeth and give a dangerous bite.

    Anyhow a normal dog would not have realized the danger, but his wolf blood spoke and he gave warning, then showed me where Momma was by pointing. He could likely see her, then Brownie whimpered as I unlatched her and she pointed the cub. She was a mongrel with a batch of terrier in her & doggie smarts! Between the 2 I got the picture. It’s Chief’s wolf blood that saved the bacon. He got us in doors. He would have ripped my arm from its socket to protect me.

    I saw Sgt Preston & King in reruns when I was 4-5 yo. And Sky King that got revamped into another show some years back, called Whirlybird Bird. The 2. Lassies, Fury, another called Rescue 8 that got revamped and re-emerged as Emergency in the recent past. When I went to Northeastern in the 70’s their mascot was a Huskie. The first time I went into the student center & saw the mascot statue it looked like King or Chief sitting there. Their Huskie was a Malemute. I went over to rub his nose for luck then rubbed his head and told him well Chief I see you found a way to be with me after all. The next day I was walking to class & suddenly had paws planted on my shoulders and my face getting washed. He startled me so much I said OK Chief settle down, I’ll be late for school. By that time his owner got him to sit and was apologizing profusely. I said it’s ok ma’m he’s a Malemute right? She said yes how did you know? I’ve got one back home on the farm. They must be telepathic. Maybe they were, that dog adopted me. I got to be good friends with them. It helped when I was lonely for Chief. My Chef had a very long life so did Frosty the cat. He had a stroke on about his 17th birthday, exceptional long life for a MaleMute. Two weeks later Frosty also crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Also 17 yo exceptional for a cat back then. When my time comes we’ll be reunited up there. God Bless all you Sgt Preston & King fans. This site brought back so many memories tonight. Doesn’t Mr Simmons look a lot like Clark Gable & maybe Nelson Eddy a little too. Maybe it’s the uniform.

  32. I was born in ’48 so I was the perfect age to sit in front of the old Zenith and soak up Sgt. Preston and King, “swiftest and strongest lead dog, breaking the trail in relentless pursuit in the wild days of the Yukon.” The love of dogs, the defense and understanding of native people’s and the mountie’s unerring politeness were admirable themes throughout.

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