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Have You Heard Of The Siberian Husky?

Jul 11, 2008
Joe Redington, "Father of the Iditarod" looks over his supplies at the checkpoint. One arctic parka, one heavy sleeping bag, an ax, a pair of snowshoes, musher food and dog food, as well as dog boots to protect the feet of the Siberian Husky team. He concocts a strategy in his mind for when to feed the dogs their meals and when to feed them their snacks. Should he travel by day or travel by night? When and how much should they rest?

Every musher has a different technique, but unexpected blizzards, dog sicknesses, a slip into the icy river or losing the course could all threaten their time. The challenge is to cover 1,150 miles in 10 - 17 days with 12-16 dogs heading from Anchorage, Alaska to Nome. This race is sometimes called "The Last Great Adventure" but most importantly, it's an Alaskan adventure and a part of history and pride.

One needn't be a die-hard racer to love the Siberian Husky. Sure, these dogs are clearly bred for racing. Their slender, agile frames shout "long distance runner," while their thick double coat and heavily padded feet exude "endurance." This breed is incredibly resilient, requiring little food and little sleep, but demands exercise and attention.

The Alaskan Husky likes to dig, loves to run and enjoys the hunt. Smaller dogs, cats and other animals may become prey for this wolf-like dog, so they function best with similar-sized dogs of the opposite sex and the companionship of the whole family. Early obedience classes will help these native Alaskan dogs be all they can be and it should be understood that positive reward works best for these docile and devoted animals.

Siberian Huskies are a popular show dog at the American Kennel Club. If you're looking to enter your Alaskan Husky in the show, then the most important characteristics are medium size (23" males, 22.5" females), moderate bone structure, well balanced proportions, ease of movement, well-groomed/colored coat, pleasing head and ears, correct tail and good disposition. Penalties are doled out for clumsiness, stubbornness, excessive weight or a coarse coat. In other words, the Husky should exude "powerful endurance and agility." The Siberian Husky Club of America provides more information on show dogs.

The lifespan of a Siberian Husky is 12 - 16 years. Sight problems are one of the most common health ailments, with juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy affecting some older dogs. As with many larger breeds, hip dysplasia can be found and sled dogs may come down with gastric disease, bronchitis or "ski asthma." If you take your dog to the vet regularly and ensure proper feeding/exercise, then your dog should live a long, healthy life.
About the Author
Learn more about the siberian husky at Mike Selvon portal. While you are there leave is a comment at our alaska travel blog, and receive your FREE gift.
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