History Of Huskies And Their Origin

Where is Siberian Husky from? How old is this breed? Those were some of many questions I had on my mind when I bought my first Husky puppy. Now you say, “from Siberia dummy, isn’t that obvious?” Yeah, I know, but I wanted to find out more about the history of Huskies. So I’ve done some extended research and here I will share with all of you what I’ve learned so far. Off we go… Sibe is one of the oldest Primitive Dogs, in fact, it begun evolving from its wild ancestry earlier than most of modern dog breeds. Its long isolation in distant and harsh lands was the reason this dog, till this very day, kept behavioral similarities to its wild ancestors more so than other dogs. This, coped with its free will, is another reason why so many people often think that this breed is more similar to a wolf than a dog.

Siberian Husky Origin

Chukchi tribe developed the first Husky dogs

Chukchi people developed Husky breed

Siberian Husky breed history begins in the harsh northern landscapes of Russia. As its name suggests, the land of origin of the this breed is Siberia, its northeastern part actually. Siberian semi-nomads called Chukchi were the first people to breed these dogs among them. Endangered by the ongoing climate changes in the 19th century, Chukchis were forced to search for new distant hunting grounds. For that they required very enduring sledge dogs which can cross vast lands in harsh winter climates at a steady tempo – dogs capable to endure very low temperatures on scarce food supplies, with a great sense of orientation. So they developed their own dog breed known by the name Chukchi Sled Dog. First, they’ve done selection of puppies after a month of their lives – only the strongest and fittest are left to see another day. Next selection was done by their ability to pull the sledge. These dogs proved to be not just perfect for all their needs, but also as wonderful family and children’s companions. Although these Chukchi Sled Dogs are to some extent different from purebred Huskies, they have the same DNA and for that reason they’re rightfully known as their predecessors.

First Ever Dog Sledding Race

Dog sled race from Nome to Candle was the first ever race of that kind - it was one of defying moments in the history of Huskies

First ever dog sled race – from Nome to Candle

The first Siberian Huskies arrived in Alaska at the beginning of the 20th century. This new breed of Nordic dogs came to America quietly and unobtrusively, almost unnoticed. In the beginning, people were suspicious about this breed being a good sled dog because of its size. Indeed, Huskies are not that large if you compare them with other sledge dogs, like the Alaskan Malamute, so their suspiciousness was justified. However, soon their doubts were proven wrong, thanks to the one of the key events in the history of Huskies, which had happened in 1908. As always, when it comes to some indecipherable case, people seek an undeniable evidence. So, the stakes were raised and the bet was placed. The first official dog sledding race took place in Alaska with only two hunters as competitors. The route was established between two cities – from Nome to Candle and back (408 miles in total). You guessed it, the winner was the hunter with Husky dogs, who has finished the race in 119 hours approximately. That was a sufficient proof and soon Sibe was recognized as the world’s fastest and most reliable sled dog. That title is still valid today and this dog sledding event itself became tradition. From that year now on, dog sled racing became very popular sport in northern lands.

History Of Huskies Defining Moment – Great Race Of Mercy

Culmination of Siberian Husky breed history - serum run to Nome

Leonhard Seppala with his lead dog Togo during the serum run to Nome

These dogs became famous in winter 1925, when there was an outbreak of diphtheria in city of Nome, Alaska. That was the defining moment in the history of Huskies. Many people were in desperate need for antitoxins, but Nenana, the closest town, was almost 650 miles away. Since all roads were under heavy snow and ice, and since they couldn’t use airbourne transport because the planes were almost unflyable in those harsh weather conditions, they had decided that mushers should transport antitoxins all the way to Nome. The serum run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy,” was executed by 20 mushers with 150 dogs of which the most famous was Leonhard Seppala with his lead dog Togo. The action was successful and Siberian Huskies once again proved their worth to the world by saving many lives, not just of the diseased, but of their owners too. In the memory of this brave undertaking, starting from 1973. now on, every year a huge sled dog race is taking place on this same route.

AKC Registration And European Husky

Serum run to Nome was the reason enough for AKC (American Kennel Club) to officially recognize Siberian in 1930. and finally to approve Siberian Husky Breed Standard in 1932. CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) recognized the breed in 1939. The Siberian Husky Club of America was founded in 1938. The first Husky dogs arrived in Europe during the fifties. Many admirers there started to breed them, and soon afterwards, dog sled races have been organized in the northern parts of Europe too. With this being said, we will conclude our little story of the history of Huskies. The brave little fella was and still is this dog, say I must. It was a long and treacherous journey, but Siberian Husky succeeded in becoming the one of the most praised dog breeds in the world. I’m so proud to have one of my own – MY BEST FRIEND :)


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