About the Siberian and Other Husky Sled Dog Breeds
Siberian Husky Dog Development & History - The Husky Sled Dog Breed in History and Today...
The Siberian Husky belongs to the so-called Spitz Group of dogs and has variously been known at one time or another under the following names:
• Arctic Husky Dog
• Siberian Chukchi
• Chukchi Sled Dog
• Chukchi or Chuchi
The Siberian Husky developed as a purebred dog breed through its isolated existence with the native people known as the Chukchi that existed in the extreme north-eastern region of Siberia around Yakutsk located north of Stanovoi Mountains. Some legends in fact narrate how the word husky arose as a corruption in the pronunciation of the word "Chukchi" by European migrants to the region.
Some dog authorities are of the opinion that the Siberian Husky had developed as a purebred dog breed as far back as 3000 years ago through its isolated existence with the Chukchi.
Unquestionably there is Northern Wolf blood in the Siberian Husky dog breed mix and for centuries from generation through generation it was customary for the Chukchi people to only breed the very best of lead dogs while neutering the rest to eliminate the reproduction of undesired traits. In this manner the Chukchi not only vastly improved the genetic lineage of the Siberian Husky dog breed but also consolidated its genetic purity as a thoroughbred dog breed.Husky Dogs
When the Siberian Husky dogs of the village were not working there were cared for by the women of the tribe which meant that the dogs had to be in close proximity with them and their children. Thus another trait which the Chukchi people bred for in their husky dogs was a sound and balanced temperament, since naturally they would not want aggressive and ill-tempered dogs hanging around their children. Ironically enough it was this pleasant nature and temperament of character that moved many people to dismiss the Siberian Husky as an insignificant sled-racing dog contender; that is until the Siberian Husky "got on the ice and started performing!"
Siberian Husky Dog Racing History
As earlier pointed out the Chukchi people of Siberia had bred the Siberian Husky dog to the pinnacle of work performance on the snow and for excellence of temperament. In essence they bred a superb sled dog perfected to carry light loads such as hunted game for extensive distances at remarkable speeds. The Chukchi's unschooled dog breeding program was so successful that in effect they had bred the ultimate sled-pulling dog.
By the end of the 19th century news of these amazing sled dogs filtered to North America and in 1909 a team of imported Siberian Husky dogs debuted in a major sled race in Alaska.
Although the Siberian Husky was dismissed by many as being far too small and docile to match competitively against their bigger and more powerful counterparts (the Alaskan Malamute and the Eskimo Dog both of which average around 100 lbs in weight as compared to the Siberian Husky dog's relative featherweight of 60 pounds), as soon as the Husky started racing it quashed all doubt. Put simply, the Siberian Husky created quite the sensation by outperforming all the other dog breeds in the race.
One racer present was so impressed by the relatively "miniscule" Siberian Husky dogs' performance he imported 70 of them to prepare and ready for the next race in 1910. He wasn't disappointed. In 1910 his three dog teams comprised of Siberian Huskies dogs placed 1st, 2nd and 4th in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes Race, which covered a distance of 408 miles between the towns of Nome and Candle. The stage was set and from then onwards the Siberian Husky was recognized far and wide as the ultimate sled-racing dog.
Siberian Husky Dog: Perfection of Form to Function
Once it made its stunning debut in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes Race, the Siberian Husky dog breed literally became an overnight sensation in sled dog-racing circles. Even so its phenomenal success baffled both spectator and racer alike. How could such a comparatively lightweight and small sled dog drastically outperform and outrace the bigger dog breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute and Eskimo dog; both of which were more powerful and boasted a longer stride.
The secret to the husky dog's superior sled-racing skills lay in its inherent form that was beautifully adapted for speed sled pulling. At a maximum weight of sixty pounds, the Siberian Husky dog had attained the ideal pull- weight ratio for sled racing. An excess of 60 pounds in weight would result in a proportionally decreased surface area for heat loss or conversely a disproportionate increase in heat storage. Dogs are notoriously inefficient at losing heat, most especially big dogs, and such an issue would constitute a very big problem in long distance races such as those like the four-day 25 mile marathon race that sled dogs have to endure.
In short, selective centuries of breeding by the Chukchi people of particular dogs with their most desired traits for loaded-sled pulling on slippery surfaces at high speed resulted in a dog breed perfectly formed and designed for just such a pursuit. The Siberian Husky was that dog, the perfect balance of weight to optimal sled-pulling ratio at high and sustained speed.
Siberian Husky Makes Its Mark In History
In the winter of 1925 a very serious diphtheria endemic struck the city of Nome in Alaska. Being deep winter the only routes accessible at the time were dog trails that spanned across hundreds of miles of snowy plains.
In an unprecedented feat of speed and endurance a number of teams of Siberian Husky dogs led by legendary Norwegian Champion Dog driver Leonhard Seppala streaked across 340 miles of unforgiving snow and harsh winter in a race against time to save the city. In what came to be known in history as the fabled " Serum Run" Seppala and his team of Siberian Husky dogs saved the city of Nome!
Following their amazing rescue mission Leonhard Seppala and a team of huskies went on a tour across the United States forever cementing this dog breed in the hearts and minds of the American public.
In Commemoration of the "Serum Run" to this day a statue of one of those heroic Siberian Husky dogs resides in New York's Central Park. Later thanks to the significant role that the Siberian Husky dog played in military search & rescue operations in the Artic during World war II as well as Seppala's State-wide tour people's admiration for this dog breed was further consolidated. The Siberian Husky was officially recognized by the AKC in 1930.
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How to Start Sled Training For Alaskan Huskies Puppies
The Alaskan huskies puppies are really not a breed of dog. Many vets consider the husky as a category of a broad range of species or types of dogs. While the literature on the husky is still quite contentious, many still agree that the husky, or more so, the Alaskan husky is an excellent sled dog. This is due to the very characteristics and the thick fur coat of the husky that allows it to survive for long periods of time in the cold. This can also be attributed to the high metabolic rate and extreme amounts of energy that young huskies have.
By nature, they love to run around, and many people have utilised this by sled training them in cold countries like Russia or Alaska. The dogs are also chosen as world class sled races held at demanding speed and racing events in Fairbanks, Alaska and other parts of the world. The type of dogs that take part in these competitions are normally these huskies, hounds, wolf bred dogs and even huskies that have been crossed with hounds. You would be quite amazed to know that a full team of Alaskan huskies can drive a sled over large distances with speeds that reach well over 20 miles an hour. That is an amazing level of endurance and stamina for dogs that often have to tow a combined weight of more than 300 kgs at a time.
This article will discuss how to start sled training for Alaskan huskies puppies, and before we get into the methods, you have to understand the temperament of the dogs. They are known for their stamina, strength and endurance, but they are pretty aggressive dogs that can have spells of indiscipline. Anyone who wants to train Alaskan huskies to run sleds have to do it at a pretty early age, usually one to two years after their birth.
Make sure that they are paired with dogs that they can get along with, as they are known to be quite territorial and protective of their masters. One of the reasons that huskies are great for the outdoors and activities like sled because they make for poor household dogs. They are extremely restless and do not like to be confined in small areas. But you have to intervene early, meaning that you have to place them in a routine of exercise that involves sled running. Once they expect it as a daily routine and part of their daily exercise, training them for speed and distance is only down to the method. Like any dogs they respond to treats and acts of kindness when they achieve something they should and you should always remember that a lot of patients is needed when training these dogs to run sleds.
Also, always ask the advice of people who have lots of experience in training Alaskan huskies as you might be able to pick up some tips and tricks on making them into world class sled runners. Good luck in training your Alaskan huskies puppies!
==>> Clarence Clark is an avid Husky dog lover providing valuable advice at http://www.huskytime.com for fellow Husky dog lovers where he shares Husky info and training tips with Husky lovers worldwide. Click Here to gain FREE access to this Husky networking website.
Mountie Dogs: The Siberian Husky and German Shepherd - Two Solid but Aloof Dogs
When you see the Siberian Husky or the German Shepherd, it is likely that you think of them on the screen as King of the Yukon or Rin Tin Tin (especially if you grew up watching old movies).
In entertainment, these dogs have suffered through many generations with unusual and amazing names such as JFK's GSD, "Clipper;" Hitler's GSD, "Blondi;" and "Chucka," the Siberian Husky owned by Sgt. Robert Preston.
Both breeds are equally famous for their rescue work. Togo, a Siberian Husky, led the husky team carrying the Diptheria serum to Nome in 1925.
Tracker, the German Shepherd, served in the police force in the Sudbury District in Ontario where he was involved in approximately 500 searches for missing persons, criminals, drugs and security details in the early 1990's.
The Siberian Husky and the German Shepherd share many characteristics. They are both longer than they are tall, are friendly with family and friends but aloof with strangers, and are dedicated working dogs. Both have surprising facts associated with them, as well.
The Siberian is around 3000 years old, originating in Siberia, to pull sleds with small loads.
He is smaller than one would think, at about 35 - 50 pounds. He is known as the "escape artist" because of his ability to get over and under fences and this talent must be curbed since, as soon as he is free, he takes off running and will run easily for hours.
Siberians are also surprisingly strong - as of 1963, Charlie the Husky was the strongest dog ever - he shifted a 3,142-lb sledge. The Siberian also has some interesting physical characteristics such as a nose that stays dry at night so that it doesn't freeze in sub-zero temperatures and, often, blue or piebald eyes.
And Siberians are responsible for the phrase "Three Dog Night" originally coined by the Eskimos who were describing how cold it was by how many Huskies they needed to sleep with at night to keep warm.
There are also many surprising facts about the GSD.
As the Siberian seems small for his strength, the GSD seems large for his agility and grace. He weighs in at 60 to 140 pounds and is the only breed whose back legs have been bred to crouch lower than his front. This characteristic began to be seen as a deformity in the mid-twentieth century and many breeders now breed straighter back legs.
The GSD is part of the Herding Group as that was his original purpose though most dog owners would place him the Working Group. The first seeing eye dog, Buddy, was a GSD trained in 1928.
And the GSD ranks third in canine intelligence. The German shepherd is a recent breed even though it seems as if they've been with us for many centuries. He was developed in the early part of the twentieth century, which seems impossible considering how much he has accomplished in such a short time.
Both breeds make excellent companions but serious training is needed as both are stubborn and independent. Once trained, a Siberian Husky or a German Shepherd will prove to be a dedicated, obedient dog who is even-tempered. Both have high activity levels and tend to be a one-person dog.
These breeds certainly prove that dog is man's best friend and, properly trained, we can be dog's best friend, too.
==>> The author, Brett Carnganee lives in LA with his own lovable Prince, a Siberian Husky. When not writing in his blog or volunteering at the local pet shelter you can always be sure to find him playing with Prince at the local park.
How to Train a Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are notorious for having a mind of their own. If they think they're being forced to do something they don't want to, they'll scream as if you're trying to kill them. They will howl in protest if they don't like even your most gentle commands and will shriek as if being tortured if you sternly rebuke them. They're not the best pets to take out in public if you don't like being embarrassed.
Learning how to train a Siberian Husky can be quite a challenge, due to their strong will and independent thinking. To train them properly, you will require a lot of persistence and patience.
Siberian Huskies are easily bored with repetitive tasks. They will be happy to obey you as long as there isn't something more interesting to distract them. If you're looking for your typical adoring "man's best friend" do-anything-for-you type dog, you've got the wrong breed here! Despite this, they do bond easily and loyally to their human owners, but in their own way.
Siberian Huskies also have some bad habits.
They like to wander off and steal food after digging a hole under the fence. The digging instinct is strong and that, together with a need for exercise and a natural curiosity, often leads them into mischief. You will need a strong, well sunk fence if you want to keep your Siberian Husky at home. They have a strong desire to run, so should never be left to run free without a leash, for their own safety. They can forget where home is and just run forever.
How to train a Siberian Husky is therefore a more subtle art. You cannot force them. You must manipulate them so they see you as their leader, their inspiration. The trick is teach them to perceive you as more important than them, without them knowing. The following is a sample of some everyday things you can do to achieve this.
To start with, teach the puppy his name. All instructions should begin with your dog's name, followed by the command. We all pay attention when we hear our name called.
Eat first, then feed your dog. When you play with your Siberian Husky, make sure you end up with possession of the object. Go through doors and passageways before your dog. Rite of passage is important to dogs. Don't allow your husky to sleep on the bed with you, at least not until you have trained him. You don't want him to perceive that he is your equal. If your dog is blocking your path, don't go around him - make him move out of your way instead.
You need to get your husky used to having your hands around his food bowl. Start by adding tasty treats while he is eating, then get to the point where you can remove the bowl while he is eating to add the treats.
You want to get your dog used to seeing you as dominant, but under conditions of trust. Gently put him down on his side or back and touch his ears, paws and so forth and give him a massage to make it enjoyable for him.
It is better to use a harness instead of a collar and chain for your husky. Animals attack at the throat and jugular, so if you are trying to train a Siberian Husky by tugging on his neck, he will be too preoccupied with a sense of alarm and danger, to obey you.
There are many more ways how to train a Siberian Husky, but the above are good starting points for becoming your dog's friend. Remember that security and trust are important to a dog, so good training involves these two elements.
FAQ: Siberian Husky Training - Frequently Asked Questions
Many people receive a rude awakening after buying their first siberian husky dog. They look so cute as puppies ... and the thought of owning a husky has a kind of magic charm to it. But it isn't long before they discover that siberian huskies can be the most unreasonable, stubborn and embarrassing pets to own.
So how do you get them to behave? In this article, we will look at some of the most frequently asked questions about siberian husky behaviour.
How do I get my dog to respect my commands?
You cannot force a siberian husky to do anything. You must manipulate them so that they perceive you as more important than themselves and see you as their leader, without them even realizing it. It must become instinctive for your dog to want to obey you, not a choice. Your dog must see you as the dominant one, but under conditions of trust, not oppression.
So where is the best place to start?
From the very beginning, you should teach your puppy his name. We pay attention when we hear our name, so this is important. Every instruction you give it should include his name in the command.
What are some practical ways I can use to let him know who's boss?
Remember, you need to be subtle about it. Make sure that your dog becomes used to having your hands around his food bowl. This is the source of his nourishment and he must learn where it comes from. Start the process by adding a few tasty treats while he is eating, but move to the point where you can remove his bowl while he is eating in order to add those treats.
Whenever you play with your dog using an object, make sure you end up in possession of it. Another thing which is paramount to a dog is what is called "rite of passage". So make sure you go through doors and passageways before your him. If your dog is blocking your path, make him move out of the way and don't go around him. He must not perceive that he is your equal.
How can I get my siberian husky to trust me?
While you are doing all the above, remember to show him affection. It's not just about speaking harshly so he fears you. He must know you care. Dogs like to have their ears rubbed. Gently put him on his side or back and massage him by touching his ears, paws and so forth in a way that he enjoys.
How do I stop him wanting to escape when I take my dog for a walk?
A good idea is to use a dog harness instead of a collar. You have to understand how a dog thinks - and one thing they all have in common is that they understand the throat and jugular as being first objects of attack. So if you are trying to train your siberian husky by tugging at its neck, he will be too preoccupied with a sense of alarm and danger to be thinking about lovingly and trustingly obeying you.
There are many other strategies for siberian husky training, but the above are some good starting points for getting an otherwise independent and strong willed dog to be your best friend. Remember these two important words - trust and security. They mean a lot to your dog and should mean the same to you.
==>> Training a Siberian Husky doesn't have to be frustrating and embarrassing. For a complete guide, visit How to Train a Siberian Husky