Man’s Best Friend: The Husky

If you want to race the 1,049 mile (1,688 km) Iditarod Trail sled-dog race, these are the dogs you’ll want to race with.

9 comments

These beautiful and thick-coated dogs are my favorite breed.

Husky for postFrom:  Russia
Height:
20-24 in (51-60 cm)
Weight:
 35-60 lbs (16-27 kg)
Coat:
 Variety of colors from black to pure white, with markings
Grooming:
 Several times a week, maybe every other day
Exercise:
Several hours of playtime each day
K-9 Qualities: 
Friendly and sociable

Cute puppy

History

These dogs were bred by the Chukci people of North-Eastern Siberia, and they are internationally recognized as endurance athletes.

In the early 1900s, the Alaskan people heard about the Siberian sled dogs, and imported some and raced them against Malamutes, who were twice their size, and, the huskies dominated the sled races for the next decade.

 

Appearance 

Siberian huskies are the ideal sled dog.  Their shoulder width, the length of their backs, and their hip angles make for long strides, and their slightly smaller size does not allow for overheating.  Unlike greyhounds and other sprinters, who leap through the air, huskies actually always keep one paw on the ground at all times, which helps with pulling their sled forward.  And, they have thick fur on the bottom of their paws to keep them warm, unlike other dogs!  They even sleep in the snow, and stay warm!  They curl up in a ball and wrap their fluffy tails over their noses so they breathe warm air.  So cute!!

Siberian huskies are not just hardy endurance athletes:  They’re also playful and sociable, qualities the Chukchi knew very well were the key to sled teams working together smoothly.  Those qualities make them fun and loving members for their new packs: Their families.

 

The Husky Heroes: Togo and Balto

In 1925, Nome, Alaska, U.S.A. was in a crisis.  They were threatened with an outbreak of diphtheria, a deadly disease that was infecting mostly children.  Back in 1925, instead of vaccines, they used antitoxin serum, but there was none to be found in Nome.  The nearest supply was 674 miles (1,085 km) away, and it seemed impossible to get it there because most of the transportation had been shut down on account of the harshest winter in 20 years.  Nome’s only hope lay in their sled dogs.  Normally, it would take the dogs 25 days to get there, but the antitoxin would be ruined within six days by the extreme cold.  Haste was essential, and 20 dog teams were lined up along the serum relay.  When Leonhard Seppala and his teams finally received the serum, two days remained.  The only way to make it in time: Taking a shortcut across an inlay in the Bering Sea, and it was dangerous because it was not completely frozen.  When he set out, their path crossed with that of a blizzard, and Mr. Seppala was blind in the whiteout, so he counted on Togo, his lead dog, to lead the way.  Togo led them safely across, and the serum was given to the final team, led by Balto, and half a day was left when Balto arrived, and 10,000 lives were saved.

 

Related Breeds: The Alaskan Klee Kai and the Malamute

9 comments on “Man’s Best Friend: The Husky”

    1. I don’t really have any personal experiences with that, but the maximum for any dog is 8 hours. A lady I talked to had a rather bad experience with her husky being very destructive when left alone.

      Like

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