Another marker in history for this breed occurred in 1925, when the city of Nome in Alaska was struck by a diphtheria epidemic. There was only one way to get the urgently needed antitoxin to the sick residents of Nome, so many of the nations sled dogs and their drivers were sent to get the lifesaving serum. From then on, this run was known as the heroic serum run.
One of these drivers was Leonhard Seppala, a Norwegian man who came under the spell of the Siberian Husky in the early 1900s. Today, there is a breed of the Siberian Husky known as the Seppala Siberian Husky. Seppala became a legendary dog driver after he was given a team of Siberian Huskies by his employer. By the end of 1913, Seppala had earned a reputation as a capable driver, and from 1914 to 1917, his dogs dominated the All Alaska Sweepstakes races.
Seppala received significant press attention for the serum run and took his dogs on a personal appearance tour. He was then invited to compete in the sled dog races in New England. The superior racing ability and delightful temperament of Seppala’s Siberian Huskies won the respect and the hearts of sportsmen across America. According to the American Kennel Club, it was through the efforts of these pioneer fanciers that the breed was established in the United States and AKC recognition was granted in 1930 and then later in England, Europe and Australia.
Huskies at home
At home, the Siberian Husky is known to be a loving family dog that enjoys being with its owners. Since they are such energetic and strong-minded dogs, they can be hard to train. According to Sheri Bain, who has been breeding Siberians for nine years, you just need to be creative in your training methods.
A happy Siberian is one that knows its boundaries, so basic obedience training is a must, Bain tells Dogs Life. Whilst they are generally harder to train, it is by no means impossible. Many Siberians enjoy participating in obedience, as well as the sport of agility.
Bain loves her Siberians and finds them to be great characters, although they can be a handful in some areas due to their independent nature. The most important thing to be aware of is the Siberians strong desire to run. Your dog should never, ever be let off its lead. They are excellent family dogs that thrive on being included as a part of the family pack, Bain says.
Daily: Walks, runs and games. Access to fresh water and shade a must.
Weekly: Regular brushing helps keep coat and skin healthy. The Husky will blow its undercoat once or twice a year so brushing during this time is essential.
Monthly: Heartworming and bathing when needed.
Regular: Three-monthly gastrointestinal worming, more frequently for puppies. Regular vaccinations.
Hereditary diseases: Hip dysplasia and the eye problem Progressive Retinal Atrophy. But buying from a registered breeder who tests for hereditary diseases will significantly reduce the risk of a dog having or developing these problems.
“There was a Boxer that became famous for his water-skiing antics on the Hawkesbury River. They’re an all-round fun, family dog; whatever the family wants to do the Boxer wants to be in it” – Liz Gunter, Guntop Boxers