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Huskies

Here we would like to give an insight into our breeds of dogs, their offspring, their retirement, as well as into the training of sledge dogs

Siberian Husky

The Siberan Husky is the fastest of all registered sledge dog breeds (the other breeds are: Alaska Malamute, Greenland or Eskimo Dog and Samoyed). The dogs are medium sized (approx. 18 to 27 kg) with strong feet and a thick fur, providing good protection against the icy winds of the north. They are friendly to humans and enjoy running and working. The breed originated in eastern Siberia, in the areas of Tschutschki. At the beginning of the last century they where brought to the United States. There are many stories about the Siberian Husky and the animals have made an important contribution to the development of the North.

Alaskan Husky

The Alaskan Husky is not considered a pure breed in the official sense. Nevertheless, the animals were cultured for one purpose only: to pull a sledge. For breeding purposes only specific races of animals were used which would improve the quality of the dog, ie. the old sledge dogs from the Indian and Eskimo villages, Siberian Huskies, Hounds, Greyhounds, Eskimo Dogs and occasionally Wolves too. There are many variants of the Alaskan Husky, each bred for a different purpose, for example, for sprints or long distances. They are highly specialized and some lines are well known as the ultimate racing huskies (Aurora Huskies, Attla dogs or dogs from Susann Butcher's Trail Breaker Kennel). The appearance of the animals plays only a minor role in breeding, nevertheless there are some very beautiful dogs to be found amongst the Alaskan Huskies.

   
         

Puppies

Most of our dogs come from our own breeding programme. Pregnant female dogs are kept in small enclosures with a comfortable kennel full of hay. The puppies stay with their mother, even when they no longer drink their mother’s milk. At three weeks they are already weened onto normal food. At the age of three to four months they are relocated, either to the big kennel with the adult dogs or to the kennels with old and injured dogs. There they spend their days playing with other dogs, learning proper social behavior from the adults. At the age of seven months we slowly begin with first training exercises.

Pensioners

The dogs are our friends. They spend many years in our care, working for and sharing many experiences with us. We believe that the dogs have a right to stay with us, even if they are old and no longer able to pull a sledge. We are probably the only company that keeps its retired dogs (about 80 or 100 animals) until it is time for them to ‘pass on.’ This is a difficult and expensive task but one which is full of joy and satisfaction for everyone involved.

   
         

Training

Huskies are born to race, nevertheless it takes a lot of work and dedication to become a good sledge dog. Training starts in the puppy stage. Our puppies are used to having free run in the enclosures. Therefore, our first task is to teach them how it feels to wear a harness and show them that that their freedom is restricted when on the leash.

An exceptionally important and critical phase begins when learning to pull a sledge or training wagon along with other dogs. This responsible work is carried out only by experienced Mushers, because this is the point at which it becomes clear whether the dog will enjoy the work or if he is unsuitable as a sledge dog. Thanks to our outstanding employees, we have successfully been able to train all dogs from our own breeding programme to become good sledge dogs.

Before we start our tours at the beginning of December, the dogs have already run about 600 Km in training. Some of our teams travel over 5000 Km during the winter season. This is only possible because we do not have to force our dogs to work. The positive motivation of the huskies and their natural desire to race and work is enough to make them achieve maximum efficiency.

Sledge Dog Centre

Huskys