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Current as of 21/10/16 07:39PM NZST
Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Dogs on the throne as GoT inspires puppy love

Game of Thrones' direwolf cubs have sparked a husky frenzy.
Game of Thrones' direwolf cubs have sparked a husky frenzy.

Fancy a husky called Ghost or Grey Wind? You're not alone.

The worldwide frenzy surrounding Game of Thrones has resulted in a spike in dog owners wanting to shell out for huskies, including in New Zealand.

The hit Sky TV series, which is in its sixth season, features "direwolves" who have been adopted by the children of one of the main families. The oldest brothers' direwolves are called Ghost and Grey Wind.

In the past eight months, Trade Me users have made more than 360,000 searches for "husky" and related terms and more than 30,000 searches for "malamute" and related terms.

Paula Bosher, of the Alaskan Malamute Club, said they often get inquiries from people wanting a dog because they'd seen them on a TV show or movie - including Game of Thrones.

"It's not just Game of Thrones. They see a show or something online and then decide they want one because they're cute and fluffy or think it would be really cool to do sledding but the sledding they watch takes months or years of training.

"We get people on the right track and make sure they realise what's involved in having a malamute so they don't just make a rash decision."

But not all adoptions went to plan.

Husky Rescue NZ founder Michelle Attwood said she'd looked after several huskies with Game of Thrones-inspired names since the show went to air in 2011. "Some fans of Game of Thrones and Twilight think, 'oh my god, they're so cute' so they jump on Trade Me and get a pup without doing much research into their breed.

"Then a year later when they're no longer cute and need quite a lot of exercise and care they no longer want them."

- Herald on Sunday

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