Beginning in 1922 the University of Washington used live sled dogs as mascots, first a line of Siberian Huskies and, beginning in 1961, a hereditary line of Alaskan Malamutes. Due to the size of the animals, difficulties of travel logistics and schedules, the mascots would generally only appear at home football games. In 1995 officials in UW's athletic department commissioned a costume and recruited a student performer to appear as a secondary mascot for use at events at which the live mascot was unable to attend. A contest and public vote two years later named the new mascot Harry the Husky.
Dubs is the University of Washington's 13th live mascot. Dubs is an Alaskan Malamute from a kennel in Burlington, Washington. He was born in November of 2008. A contest was launched and fans were asked to submit their favorite name for the live Husky dog. More than 1,400 different nominations were received and a committee that consisted of campus and community representatives narrowed the field to a reasonable list of finalists, including Admiral, Dubs, King, Koda, Legend, Reign, Spirit and Sundodger. More than 20,000 votes were received in two rounds of online voting, with Dubs emerging victorious.