What were their breeds?

What were their breeds?

An analysis of the cartoon characters from ALL THREE Balto cartoons, and their possible real breeds (based on my opinions).

Okay...I pondered and pondered as to where to place this topic, and then I figured, 'what the heck, I'll just place it in the Balto 1 folder'. While this topic covers characters from all three of the cartoons, most of them are from Balto 1, so...

Like many of you, I have wondered about the real breeds of the dogs represented in Balto 1, 2 and 3. Now, keeping in mind that they ARE cartoons, and so there's going to be plenty of poetic license at work (that, coupled with the fact that the production teams never really spelled it out, and left it more or less to guess work), here are MY opinions about the real breeds of the various characters from the three (of course, your opinions may differ on this, and that's totally cool! In the end, it doesn't really matter...this is just my take):

Well, this one is pretty obvious...as are his offspring (Aleu, Dingo, Kodi, Saba, and the other two officially unnamed pups). Balto's a wolf-dog...half Siberian husky (Chukchi sled dog), and half wolf. Some visual comparisons (in order: the cartoon Balto, a real wolf, Kodi, Aleu, real Siberian huskies of various colors):


The two pure-bred Siberian huskies in the cartoons. Here are some comparisons (in order: Jenna, a real red-hued Siberian husky, Dusty, a real silver/gray-hued Siberian husky):


Both Steele and Ralph are large dogs (well, Ralph may just be a fat husky...lol. After all, in Balto 1, the artists and animators made all of the background huskies exceedingly FAT. Any look at a real working Siberian husky or Alaskan Malamute will demonstrate clearly that they AREN'T fat! And that concept, how the artists flubbed that, always bothered me. In the two sequels, I think they did a much better job at drawing and animating the huskies). The way I see it, Steele and Ralph represent Alaskan Malamutes. (Alaskan Malamutes can indeed have blue eyes (almost all northern breeds can). It just so happens that only the 'breed standard' refers to them not be a 'desirable quality'." ) Here are some visual comparisons (in order: Steele, an Alaskan Malamute puppy of Steele's color, Ralph, and an adult Alaskan Malamute in winter coat):


This one's a bit tougher. In my estimation, Dixie's DEFINITELY one of what is known as the 'bichon' breeds (of which there are several). I don't, however, think she's a bichon frise. In fact, I think she's a 'Havanese'. And here's why (L-R: Dixie, a real Havanese).


Here's another toughie. It's at least clear that Sylvie is a representation of the sighthounds (Greyhounds, Afghan hounds, Borzois, etc.). However, each breed has slightly different physical characteristics, and Sylvie is a mixture OF them. She has the luxuriant coat and bushy tail of a Borzoi, but the ears of an Afghan Hound (Borzois have short ears). Here are some comparisons (in order: Sylvie with Dixie, an artist's conception of a Borzoi, an artist's conception of an Afghan Hound):


In Balto 1, you can see several of what are supposedly Siberian huskies with some unusual markings and characteristics (small, thin, whatever). I personally think they are representative of Alaskan huskies. The Alaskan husky is not a recognized breed per se, but a 'type'. A mixed breed that does have certain characteristics. It's similar to the Siberian husky, but sometimes has drop ears, or a wiry coat, or unusual tail or markings, etc. Here are some comparisons (in order: Kaltag, two Alaskan huskies with markings like Kaltag, Star, an Alaskan husky which looks a little like Star):


Nikki has to be the fattest dog in Balto 1! And he has another unusual feature...TINY ears! Someone once suggested to me that Nikki might not be a husky or malamute at all, but a chow chow! Well, chow chows are a northern breed, related to huskies, malamutes, and other Spitz-type dogs, and so could conceivably have the instinct in them to pull (no matter how small in their case). And, historically, it has been shown that MANY breeds were used at the time to pull sleds...not just huskies and malamutes. Here is a visual comparison, based upon this possibility (in order: Nikki, an artist's conception of a chow chow):


The funny little bulldog with the tick, who belongs to the telegraph operator. A comparison (in order: Morse, an artist's conception of a bulldog):


Mel's obviously a terrier. The question is, which kind? Most people would come back with 'Airedale'. He does look like one. But he's short. And Airedales are NOT short! Then again, there is a closely-related breed of terrier known as the Welsh terrier, which is a little shorter than the Airedale. That's what I think Mel is. To wit (in order: Mel, an artist's conception of a Welsh terrier):


Doc's a little tough too. He has characteristics of several large breeds. The obvious thought is that he's a Saint Bernard. Possible. But in some ways, he looks very UNlike a Saint Bernard. He does, however, look a heck of a lot like a rare German breed called a 'Leonberger'. To wit: (in order: Doc, an artist's conception of a Saint Bernard, a Leonberger):


At first, I thought Dipsy might be a mixed breed. And she talks like she's an American diner waitress. LOL. But after considering it, I figured she just might be a fat spaniel! There are many breeds of spaniel, but I think she most closely resembles the English Cocker Spaniel (again, just a fat one). Keep in mind that English Cocker Spaniels don't look much like American Cocker Spaniels. They're a bit larger, and longer in the snout. To wit (in order: Dipsy, an artist's conception of an English Cocker Spaniel):


Kirby doesn't have much of the look of a Siberian husky, or a Malamute, or perhaps even an Alaskan husky. But he does look sorta like a Greenland Dog! And they DID exist at the time (if mostly on the other side of the new world)! To wit (in order: Kirby, a Greenland dog):


Remember that little guy? The one who announces to Balto and Boris that Jenna's had her puppies? Well, first glance might suggest a West Highland White Terrier (he has the Scots accent, and he's white). But he also has a long, grayish moustache. And 'Westies' don't have a prominent 'beard'. But Scottish Terriers do. But you might say 'SCOTTISH terrier? But those have black fur!' True. And they also come in white and brindle! LOL! Lookie (in order: the terrier, a white Scottish terrier):


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June 30, 2014
Usa Is not currently on the site
NIKKI can't be a chow chow because they have a blue/black tounge it is one of the tings they are known for and nikki has a pink tounge.

February 19, 2014
Usa Is not currently on the site
Dixie is defiantly a pomeranian and Havanese mix.

March 14, 2013
Australia Is not currently on the site
I haven't seen the first movie... EVER, so I never realised there were so many different characters/breeds of dog! The second movie cut down so many of the characters I'm so disapointed, ah well; I'm gonna have to find the movie.

January 14, 2010
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
RAWRRRR!!! Imma' kitty :3
I think dixis' a pom

August 13, 2009
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
THANK YOU!!!! finally somone who speaks the truth about steele's breed!! An Alaskan Malamute CAN have blue eyes but it is not the standard in the AKC ( American Kennal Club) so it is rare and not in most breeding indristies of Alasken Malamutes. and have you ever heard the expression ' Steele Blue eyes', ' icey blue eyes', and 'cold blue eyes' Steele is the bad guy right?? So he should have blue eyes. Oh and the expression ' soft brown eyes' the animators didn't want steele to have ' soft brown eyes' because he's the bad guy!! A perfect explination why steele's a malamute with blue eyes! and by the way Great Article!!:P

July 25, 2009
Uk Is not currently on the site
I heard from another article that kaltag might be a caiotie/wolf thing:p and i thought dipsy is a basset hound

June 19, 2009
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I think Slyvie is a Saluki.

June 05, 2009
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I actually think this is pretty good.That is a HUGE compliment, for me.I love the pics(Go annoying scottish terrier!)

June 23, 2008
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Dixie is clearly NOT a Havanese or a LHASA APSO. Why is Lhasa always
guessed for her? She looks nothing like one. She's most like a
Pomeranian type!

June 15, 2008
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Looking for one to take me in
I agree with everything, except Dixie. She's an Alasa Apso or
something like that.

June 13, 2008
Is not currently on the site
This site helped me learn a lot about Balto but it confused
me about aniu.Is it his mom or dad?

May 28, 2008
Usa Female Is not currently on the site

March 19, 2008
Is not currently on the site
Nice article but I think the "Dixie being a Havanese" thing is wrong,
because we own three Havaneses named Mei (Tsumeato's dog), Felicity
(My dog), and a big one named Fievel (Kosuke's dog). and let me point
something out.
One: She dosen't even look like one. She would
be REALLY fluffy.
Two: If she were a Havanese, she would have
floppy ears. She has POINTY ears.

July 10, 2007
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Dixie cannot be a Havanese; they're not nearly enough like her! It seems a sort of random choice just b/c "bichon" indicates fluffiness. BTW, there are only about 6 "Bichon" breeds. Dixie is obviously at least part Spitz!! Please, stick with Pomeranian (maybe mix)! Lhasa Apso is not nearly similar enough either.

Sighthounds are my true love! ^^ Sylvie is pretty much an Afghan Hound...most likely with some Borzoi in her family as well, as her face, tail, etc., do somewhat suggest. But everything about her that's not completely Afghan-like in the way that we typically think of one...can be chalked up to the fact that she's a cartoon, after all, and that she's just a somewhat "different" Afghan, or one who's been clipped or something. ^^ Like a few other animated ones--it appears to be how some animators like to draw them, with exaggerated features, or whatnot. And sighthounds HAVE always varied a tremendous amount irl, too, before and after being streamlined into a certain number of specific 'breeds' that we have today. Heck, Sylvie could be seen as a (Khalag) Tazi, Bakhmull, or one of them early/aboriginal sighthound types that paved the way for modern Affies and Salukis and all, despite their extreme rarity! Still, Afghan is probably your #1 choice. They originally varied a lot in coat length and in type (and still do to a great extent), and "Balto" took place in much earlier times, so...

Animated Borzoi (like Boris from Lady & the Tramp) tend to look very distinctively like the breed though, I’ve noticed—where other characters are much harder to pinpoint, falling between lots of breeds or not looking like anything in particular.

Doc: Oh man, I won't even go there! XD He has traits of too many large heavy-coated working breeds to name. He's like a mutt.lol But I can go with St. Bernard for at least the dominant breed. I mean, the barrel around the neck doesn’t PROVE anything. But Saint works well enough for him, particularly since he’s a cartoon; I always thought of him that way.

Dipsy: Basset hound/cocker spaniel. It accounts for her just about perfectly. And Morse is like some kind of Bulldog/Pug/French Bulldog type thing. Lastly, the white Scotties are called wheaten. ^^

June 02, 2007
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Looking for one to take me in
Dixie might be a Lhasa Apso?

April 22, 2007
Is not currently on the site
i like it too

March 25, 2007
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
i really don't think that dixie is a havonese
i have
my own idea of what she might be, and i guess it is a small
dog but not from the bichon family
anyways, great
article and wonderful pics

February 24, 2007
Belgium Male Is not currently on the site
I tough that Kirby a Siberean Husky was. Over Greenland Dogs
I hearded never before.

February 11, 2007
Is not currently on the site
This has got to be one of the best articles on the entire
site, I'm suprised new members don't comment on this.

January 28, 2007
Female Is not currently on the site
nice aritcle

December 29, 2006
Is not currently on the site
I agree Snowpaws!

December 03, 2006
Germany Female Is not currently on the site
Nice pics.

December 03, 2006
Germany Female Is not currently on the site
Nice pics.!

December 01, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
I never put much thought into it, but those are all good
answers. Good job

December 01, 2006
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
I never put much thought into it, but those are all good
answers. Good job

November 17, 2006
Is not currently on the site
I agree. I like the way you showed examples of your thougts.
Very good article

November 14, 2006
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
I like the show . I'm really glad that you told us the
breeds in balto 1,2 and3. However I do not remember The
terrier. MAN I wish I had. Just glad I don't have to listen
to his annoying vocie.

November 09, 2006
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
this is really awsome! well we all know that balto is part
wolf but what kind of wolf. my thoughts are that he is part
dire wolf (cainnus Dirus)
please correct me if im

October 30, 2006
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
I agree mai your so smart ^^

October 25, 2006
Is not currently on the site
lovin it sooo much it is the best ever


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