How I love the look of this breed. And in harness, well, in our opinion, Siberian Huskies are the loveliest of all. <smiles> It was photos of Siberian Huskies in Harness that pulled me, as well as other people I have known, into the sport of Sled Dog Racing.
I did not start out driving Siberian Huskies. I lived in the county and had close neighbors, and a neighbor about 2 miles away with a Siberian Husky that used to come and visit my dogs, he came often, and one day the owners offered him to me....no thank you. I do my homework before buying animals, lots of research, it was in that research that I found out about how Siberian Huskies are not that loyal to their owners and love to run, and can not/should not be off leash. I like a dog that stays with me, comes when called, not one that jumps fences and runs as much as the Siberian's love to do. It was actually a Siberian Husky Book that make me decide on German Shepherd Dogs, the other breed I was researching at the time. The book, on Siberian Huskies, said that German Shepherd Dogs make great Sled Dogs....and I bought a GSD.
Deron on the other hand started his Sled Dog Racing with Alaskan Huskies. He soon, very very quickly, got out of them and bought Siberian Huskies, all due to him needing a good lead dog.
Our AKC Registered Siberian Huskies are directly out of Leonard Seppala's line straight out of Siberia. You can look up his history of the Serum Run and Racing he did in Alaska. If you enjoy Sled Dog Stories you will love the rich history of Leonard Seppala.
Our Siberian Huskies have done so many things. From Sled Dog Races, to Therapy Work, Weight Pulling in IDPA events, Pulling Wagons, Backpacking, Obedience, and more, and they did it well. The two dogs I did the most training and entered the most events with were, Petey and Traveler. Not that I did not have much training into many of our other Sibes.
Deron mostly ran and raced our Sibes in Sled Dog Harnesses, but he also did more with them. Before he and I hooked up he was talking his Sibes to Schools, Scouts and other dog events for Demonstrations of them working. Deron did a lot of manner training with his dogs. There were never any "tuffs" in our kennel or while ties to the truck....if one broke out, the dogs remember quickly that it was not allowed. Deron had his dogs behaving before he ever attended a Sled Dog Race where there is much excitement.
When I moved in with Deron I started working with this beautiful dog named Petey, well that was his call name, his AKC name was SeppStar's Drake. One of the things I trained him doing was Weight Pull. I had already had very successful pullers, that earned Titles, in the International Weight Pull Association.
There is a story that goes with this photo. Deron and I went to an IDPA Pull in WI. Believe it or not, THERE WERE SIXTY THREE DOGS in Petey's Weight Call. This was the biggest pull I had ever competed in. The competitors knew one another and were friendly, but you could see them snicker at my Beautiful "Fluffy" well groomed dog in the Fringed and Beaded Harness. As the day wore on and Petey was doing well, atitudes changed. Then they started trying to "Scy Me Out", telling me who the best dogs, winning dogs were. One particular Pit Bull, they told me, "....wins every match, and can really pull". Later when Petey beat the Pit Bull and there were just a few dogs left still pulling,a couple even told me, "We did not know your dog would do so well. He is so pretty and your harness is so fancy." Ha3 As if a dog can not look good and win!
The day wore on and Petey's class was down to the last FOUR dogs. Petey was still competing. In this photo Petey is pulling 1200 pounds on the area that had become ICE! That is quite a feat for any dog. No other dog could pull the sledge at this point. Everyone was routing him on. Unfortunately, he did not pull it all the way to the finish line. He pulled it about half way and stopped.
When no dog can pull the weight cart/sledge to the finish line in a Weight Pulling Round, the judges go back a round and use the times for finishing places. Petey had fourth place that day. BUT EVERY SINGLE COMPETITOR CAME OVER AND MADE A BIG FUSS OUT OF PETEY AND SHOOK OUR HANDS. Two out and out told us that every knew that Petey was the strongest dog there that day. And that Petey should have had first place.
I like Flashy Animals. I like my teams to match. When Deron and I hooked up, I drove a team of all Black Labrador Retrievers in Bright Pink and Bright Yellow <read NEON> Harnesses with all matching gear, including my coat. My Labs were fast too!
My Labs did not stay young as long as I would have liked and I started training some of Deron's dogs. He will admit that at first it annoyed him I chose them by color. All White Dogs. I would rather work with dogs I like to look at, I would rather enjoy the ride, I would rather have a well trained small team of four to eight, then to have a large team of non matching dogs and not win anyway. <winks>
I worked with eight of our Seppala Siberian Huskies and raced four. Four is what I could handle well on the race trail. I just hate it when folks take out more dogs, untrained dogs, that they can not handle. It is not fair to the other racers. Untrained dogs can and do cause problems and tangles on the trail.
I even won an award at one race for "looking good". Winning is NOT ALL Sled Dog Racing or any speed sport is about. Is it important? Yes! Is it your goal? Yes. But if you only have fun when you win, if you are not happy if you loose or even come in second....please don't put your dogs through this. Don't put the other mushers through this. Don't put your family and friends through the unhappiness you will have, because you can not win every race, most people can not win many races, some people will never win a race!
I loved the dogs, the training, the speeds, the fun, the other mushers conversations, the sport. Winning, and yes I did a few times, was icing on the cake!
And Then There Was Traveler
I have to say, must say, gotta add, that not all Siberian Huskies are the same. I know someone will write me insulted, and I do not know why, they need to take this as a compliment.... When I was breed searching for a large dog, before I got into Sled Dogs, I was reading and talking to a lot of folks with the breeds I wanted to own. I knew people with Siberian Huskies. The dogs they had were not the type of dog I wanted. So I bought German Shepherd Dogs....and they WERE what I wanted at the time.
Then came the Antigo, WI Sled Dog Race. I learned about the Seppala Siberian Huskies. I liked them. I almost bought a pup from a gal I, a few years later, became friends with. But when Deron got the line of dogs.....I fell in love. How many times did I ask "Where were these when I was looking for a Siberian Husky?"
Of course, and Deron and I say this allllll the time, a person will get out of a dog what they put into a dog. If you do not train, spend time with, train, work with, train, and teach your dog, you will raise a dog you and no one else cares to be around. Spend the time, each and every day, train and teach your dog, take it out with you, socialize it, you will have a dog that everyone loves and wants to own! However, breed traits are bred in and are very strong, stronger in some dogs than others.
Deron had a great dog named Cheval. He was wolf gray and just a gentleman. Cheval was a hard working and on Deron's main team. I wanted a puppy out of Cheval to for me. All me. My dog. So I picked a bitch and we bred them. I picked a large wolf gray male out of the litter and started holding him every day, more than once, before his eyes were open. I named him Traveler.
much more to come
much much more to come
The contents of this page for Siberian Huskies is still under construction. Please check back later!
-- The Working Big Dogs Team
Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:50:27 -0400