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SiberianHusky

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 9 months ago

The Siberian Husky Breed

 

The Siberian Husky started out synonymous with the original Siberian Dog. The word "husky" was just a nasty Alaskan racial slur that somehow got stuck to the wrong dogs. In the beginning, the Siberians that were imported into Alaska had only one purpose -- winter transport. Summer, too, sometimes -- because most of the early imports worked hard even when there was no snow, hauling supplies on a small flatcar on the Kougarok Railway.

Things started to change, though, when Siberians made their way south to New England. At first they were mostly still sleddogs; a few were sold to private owners as family pets. But very soon after their arrival, they were given American Kennel Club recognition as a breed, and registrations began. Many of the kennels breeding and working with sleddogs were not too interested in that; certainly Seppala Kennels in Poland Spring, Maine, registered only eight dogs in all though it sometimes housed as many as 160.

In 1938, the first breed club, the Siberian Husky Club of America, was organised. The first thing they did, of course, was to change the breed standard. That seems to be the one purpose for which breed clubs exist. And they started to "promote the breed" -- as a show dog, of course. They succeeded beyond all expectations. And why not? Trotting around a twenty-foot ring collecting ribbons takes much less energy than dog driving.

Today the Siberian Husky breed is no longer a sleddog. Yes, there are a few teams left, and a handful of stubborn folks continue to race with registered Siberians. But their dogs would not amount even to a small fraction of one percent of the total population of the breed today. Their genetic influence on the breed is nil, because neither the show dog people nor the backyard breeders of cheap pet stock use racing Siberians in their breeding. The American Kennel Club registered 9,452 Siberian Huskies in 2005, down from 10,569 in 2004 and 10,660 in 2003.

Siberian Husky owners like to claim that Seppalas are not Siberians, or are not purebred, or that they have German Shepherd and greyhound ancestry -- because they do not resemble what is seen in the breed ring. But the truth is that the Siberian Husky is changed, degenerated, from the original Siberian sleddog and from its foundation stock in the 1930s which was mostly Seppala strain.

 

Return to Introduction to Seppalas

 

Visit The Seppala Siberian Sleddog Project Website!

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