Dawg person: Anne-Lise Nilsen puts Dubs II through his paces

I was a student handler for Dubs l

from freshman year until I graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology, specializing in animal behavior. I’m currently the official trainer for Dubs II.

Dogs have shaped my life.

My parents enrolled me in dog 4-H and I started to learn dog training when I was 7 years old. Over the years, my dogs and I competed in conformation, obedience and agility shows in 4-H and AKC and won many state and national awards.

As a puppy, a lot of Dubs II’s training

is socialization and exposure to new situations to make novel experience positive for him: riding elevators, camera flashes, meeting a 250-pound linebacker wearing pads and a helmet, while keeping his focus.

Dubs appears at about 40 events per year.

Both Dubs I and Dubs II are Alaskan Malamutes, an independent breed and yet very conversational. Dubs loves entering rooms with a dramatic, WooooWoooo! The younger Dubs is already a talker, too!

BJ, Jake and Charlie.

Growing up, our family eventually grew to include three dogs. My mom and I actually have dog allergies, so they were all Bichon Frises, which is a more allergy-friendly breed.

Pick of the litter.

I first met Dubs II when he was 9 days old. His eyes weren’t even open! He stood out as a confident puppy who takes in all the information before making decisions. And he has the mascot look!

Tail out and running like the wind

Malamutes are sled dogs and born to run and pull. It’s perfect for game days. Dubs plays an important role leading the football team onto the field. Everyone hoots and hollers for him!

I come from a house divided.

There is a rivalry in my extended family between Huskies and Cougars. I’ve always been a Dawg person, so the mascot is a huge bonus for me. It contributes to why I’ve always favored UW and I am so honored to be able to train our next live mascot!

Dog training is science:

The neurobiology of how dogs think, behavioral aspects of biology and psychology. It’s what made me pursue STEM. It’s a powerful way of getting girls involved in the sciences.

Approximately 90 families applied

to be Dubs II’s caretakers. His family includes two kids and a dog named Lucy. It’s a unique responsibility to share Dubs II with the entire UW community. The couple are alumni and have past experience with Malamutes.

Dubs turns 10 in November.

He’ll be at the 2018 football games with Dubs II shadowing him. It’s sort of like his redshirt season. Dubs II was born in January and will be ready for full-time mascot duties by the 2019 season.