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Advanced Working
Dog Rules


Working Dog Advanced Certification Requirements

The application for Advanced Titles is the same application as for “basic” titles.  Please visit HERE for these applications.

1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of the Working Dog Advanced (WDA) program shall be to recognize those
dogs that show advanced working capabilities. These accomplishments should reflect
endurance, attitude and training above and beyond that of the average working dog, without
undermining the high level of dedication it takes to achieve an Excellent title.
1.2. The certification committee has the right to reject any application that does not reflect the
spirit of the program.
To provide Certificates for those Alaskan Malamutes proven in these pursuits.
1.4. To thus encourage the breeding of a better Alaskan Malamute.

2. Administration

2.1. The Working Dog Advanced (WDA) program shall be a continuation of the Alaskan
Malamute Club of America’s Working Dog Certification rules, and unless otherwise stated,
those rules and definitions apply.
2.2. The WDA Committee shall be made up of three AMCA members from different
geographical regions. Recommendation for the chairperson of the WDA committee will be
made to the Board of Directors by the Chairperson of the Working Dog Committees. The
WDA chairperson shall then appoint two committee members of his or her choice from
different geographical areas. It is recommended that all committee members shall have
worked a dog to the WDA level and that the committee represents all aspects of the
2.3. Rule changes. The WDA rules may be modified, amended corrected, changed, or
discontinued upon recommendation of a majority of the WDA committee and upon approval
of the Board. If the Board deems necessary the change may go to the membership for a

3. Eligibility

3.1. The Alaskan Malamute shall be registered or registerable with a recognized kennel club
(AKC, CKC, etc.). An IPL or PAL registration number is also permitted.
3.2. Deceased Alaskan Malamutes meeting registration requirements and having fulfilled all
legs of certification after January 1, 1980 are eligible for Working Dog Certification. All
necessary paperwork must be completed and submitted for review to the Working Dog
3.3. Any Alaskan Malamute holding a basic title in the field for which is being applied.

4. Fields of Certification 

4.1. Dogs may earn certification in the following fields:
4.2. Working Weight Pull Dog Advanced (WWPDA)
4.3. Working Pack Dog Advanced (WPDA)
4.4. Working Team Dog Advanced (WLDA)

Certification Requirements

5. General Rules

5.1. Competitive Events must be open events. Open events are those that are not restricted to
certain breeds or club and are sufficiently advertised so that the public has the opportunity
to participate. Exceptions to this will be events sponsored in conjunction with an AMCA or
AKC event and therefore limited to a given breed(s) or dog(s).
5.2. Witnesses
     5.2.1. Witnesses for competitive events of club-organized excursions shall be an event
     official or organizer.
     5.2.2. Witnesses for non-competitive sledding and pack excursions shall be impartial, which
     excludes family members, residents of the applicant’s household, the dog’s breeder, etc.

5.3. Documentation – Documentation for back country packing and sledding trips may be
difficult to obtain in some situations, but the applicant must provide sufficient evidence that
the trip has taken place as stated.
     5.3.1. Maps such as USGS topographic maps or Forest Service maps with the route
     designated on it must be included with the application.
     5.3.2. Other documentation must include the signature(s) of an impartial witness(es)
     encountered on the trail and a statement verifying that the applicant was at the stated
     location on a given date. A GPS printout may be submitted as documentation if an
     impartial witness is not available.
Verifiable photographs of the applicants’ team or pack dog at a specified location (for
     example at a trail sign) and a detailed narrative about the trip must be included.                                                                                                    5.4. Variations – Anyone planning a trip or race they are not sure will qualify under the WDA
rules should check with the committee at least four weeks prior to the event. Checking with
the committee in advance of a leg/title does not constitute pre-approval nor a guarantee the
committee will approve the application.                                                                                                                                                                          5.5. Sportsmanship – Common courtesy and good sportsmanship shall prevail during all
events and trips. Any applicant who is abusive to his dogs or other people shall not be
eligible for a WDA award for his dogs. Dogs must present a good example of the breed,
being manageable non-aggressive workers and not posing a threat to other dogs or people.
5.6. Application – Mileage/pulls used toward one title may not be applied toward another.
5.7. Lapping – During the course of a day, a trail or a section of trail, is not to be passed over
more than 3 times in that day, unless the applicant does not wish to include those miles in
the total.
5.8. Excursion Addenda – Any terrain or area that doesn’t meet the description of an
acceptable trail can be crossed or accessed; however, this terrain or area cannot exceed 5%
of the total mileage required nor can be applied toward toward the required mileage needed
and must be documented.

6. Working Weight Pull Dog Advanced 

6.1. All dogs pulling must have attained one full year of age.
6.2. All dogs must be weighed at each event. All dogs must be pulling in the weight class
appropriate for the individual dog. All weights are rounded down to the nearest whole
number. They may not move down or up a weight class. In the case of a multiple day event,
dogs need not be re-weighed each day unless they are within two pounds of the class limit.
6.3. Dogs must qualify in 5 competitions by:
     6.3.1. Pulling 14 times his body weight on snow with a sled.
     6.3.2. Pulling 16 times his weight on any other natural surface with a wheeled cart.
     6.3.3. Pulling the following weights by weight class, on a man-made surface:
    60# and Under Class – 23 times the dog’s weight
    61-80# and Under Class – 23 times the dog’s weight
    81-100# Class – 21 times the dog’s weight
    101-120# Class – 19 times the dog’s weight
    121# and Over Class – 19 times the dog’s weight
6.4. ISDRA, AMCA, IWPA or other previously approved rules shall be used.
6.5. In addition to requirements 1, 2, or 3, if at a competition, over 75% of the total number of
dogs entered in the entire competition (encompassing all classes except Novice) pull the
required weight, that pull will be disallowed.

7. Working Pack Dog Advanced 

7.1. The dog’s weight and the weight of his pack must be verified by an impartial witness or trip
official prior to the start of the trip. The dog shall carry an initial load of at least 30% of his
body weight. The weight carried shall not decrease except by normal consumption of items                                                                                    such as food or water. At no time should the pack weight be less than 10% of the dog’s
7.2. Pack trips must be on natural terrain such as hiking trails or cross-country. One overnight
camp-out is required.
7.3. A total of 80 miles shall be completed in 1 to 4 trips.
7.4. Each trip shall be a minimum of 20 miles with an average of 10 miles per day on traveling
days. Day trips from a base camp must adhere to the 30% starting weight requirements
unless the applicant does not wish to include those miles in the trip total.
     7.4.1. Applicants must include evidence of pack weight for day trips from a base camp be it
     via a photo of the pack weighed with a hand scale or a log of what was replaced in the
     7.4.2. The 30% starting pack weight requirement does not apply to the last day when camp
     is broken and there is a return to the trail head.
7.5. Because some trips will take place in mountainous terrain, each 1,000 feet of elevation gain
may be substituted for a mile of the total mileage requirement. Elevation gain will be
figured as the difference between the highest and lowest points of the trip each day.
7.6. Photographic evidence and the signature of an impartial witness on the form must be sent
to the Committee verifying proof of distances and dog competing or a GPS printout with
sufficient photographic evidence.

8. Working Team Dog Advanced 

8.1. Race rules shall be ISDRA, other nationally recognized rules, or rules previously approved
or agreed upon by the WD title committees.
8.2. Dogs may run on any size team and need not run on the same team for each event. The
team does not need to be an all-malamute team.
8.3. Sledding may be Alaskan style, Nordic style (single file team pulling a pulk), or dryland.
The vehicle may be a snow sled, 3-or 4-wheeled vehicle (see glossary or definition), , or an
ATV without motor assistance.
8.4. Because some trips will take place in mountainous terrain, each 1,000 feet of elevation gain
may be substituted for a mile of the total mileage requirement. Elevation gain will be
figured as the difference between the highest and lowest points of the trip each day.
8.5. Total mileage for all applicants shall be 110 miles.
     8.5.1. Method 1 – Races must be a minimum of 25 continuous miles. Races need not be
     completed so long as the minimum 25 miles per race are met. Alternatively, races may                                                                                                 consist of two or more heats of at least 15 miles each where the applicant has completed
     at least two consecutive heats.
     8.5.2. Method 2 – Back country excursion trips shall be a minimum of 25 miles per day. The
     team must travel as a self-sufficient unit, hauling supplies necessary for the trip.
     Examples of suitable places are national forests, parks, or other areas where trails and
     roads are not maintained for winter use by vehicles, except snow machines, or
     maintained for ease of travel for vehicle traffic at other times of the year.
     8.5.3. Method 3 – Back country camping excursions shall be a minimum of 15 miles per
     day, with a total minimum of 30 miles per trip. The team must travel as a self-sufficient
     unit, hauling supplies necessary for the trip. Examples of suitable places are national
     forests, parks, or other areas where trails and roads are not maintained for winter use by
     vehicles, except snow machines, or maintained for ease of travel for vehicle traffic at
     other times of the year.
     8.5.4. Method 4 – A combination of Methods 1, 2, and 3.

9. Working Lead Dog Advanced 

9.1. THE DOG MUST RUN SINGLE LEAD on a team consisting of 3 dogs minimum.
9.2. Lead Dog Advanced requirements are identical to those for the Working Team Dog
Advanced with the dog running lead for at least half of those requirements.
9.3. The dog does not have to lead the same team each time to qualify.
9.4. The dog must run on the LEADING team for approximately 50% of the time, if several
teams are traveling together.


Effective January 1, 2008

Revised February 9, 2022

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