Sir Eats-a-lot

We got first snow in october but unfortunately it didn't last long. We had to wait our first sledding trip until 28.11! Dogs were running so fast that I had tears in my eyes - not because I was so touched of their harmonic gallop but because of the wind in my eyes. Valo was leading when we passed some kids sliding down the hill with their sleds and all I heard was kids yelling how cooool our team was! I've been hitching the dogs alone so it's always exciting to wait if the sled will stay put and does the knot hold! We hope MORE SNOW so the snow anchor wouldn't be as useless as it is now.

Valo is also starting his shedding and usually it means we are getting colder weather. He's been off treats because he is too heavy! Keeping fit has always been a little problem for him because castrated dogs tend to gain more weight. And he loves to eat! Sero and Odessa have their regular fastings but Valo is always where the food is. So it's interesting to see how he looks without his undercoat. Here is a picture from last year and there is only about 10 days between those two photos. It is incredible how much the dog can change but it also shows how thick true arctic coat is. And he even has a little bit too short guard hair.

In the first photo you can see Valo has already shed about 1/4 of his fur but he looks still very "typy". People who don't know how much the fur changes the dog might see Valo too heavy in bone. In next photo Valo has shed all his undercoat and is actually grown some new fur. Without his undercoat you can still see that he is moderate in bone! It is a common fault that Siberians are too light in bone. Just look at all the old photos and you'll see! You can also notice a trivial thing in his coat color. Gray and wolf gray Siberians have yellow or brownish cast on their undercoat and that is why you can see more of that "rusty" color when he has his undercoat on.

Regular exercise is very important to castrated dogs and we always have to watch that he won't eat others meals. Valo sure would eat a lot but he isn't as omnivorous as Odessa! She eats everything: oranges, potatoes (raw, boiled, smashed, you name it), carrots, all berries, cucumber, popcorn etc. etc. The difference is that normal Siberian Huskies (that aren't castrated) knows how to regulate their food. They only eat as much as they need and then hide the rest. It's funny how Siberians try to hide their food inside the house, they just lift imaginary dirt on their bowl or try to hide it somewhere. That's how they keep fit and save food for the rainy day, which is very important for arctic animals. They usually eat all their food if they have a correct nutrition and they get enough exercise. Obviously Valo hides his food inside his tummy! Valo knows his fat will keep him warm in the icy blizzards of Siberia.

Eating habits are just one part of a working dog. I'd like to write a little something about working dogs that actually work. So I call them "working working dogs". Breeder of our dogs is always happy to hear all the shenanigans Siberians bred by her have done. When they tear down the tapestry, destroy whole interior of a sauna (when dog is closed inside a prison like that) or make holes in parquet. It takes a certain state of working dog mind to figure out something to do when people are away and they are left alone! Siberian Huskies are very intelligent and therefore "humanlike". True Siberians don't only have the stamina and guts in pulling the sled but it is also in their character. They are determined, gutsy, devoted and will find their way through all obstacles. That is the Siberian sleddog that the early breeders knew. That was famous Togo who even jumped through a window to get what he wanted! One Kuuhaukun Siberian Husky was seen by a famous Finnish dog trainer who said he is a true working dog and there is a dog like that only 1 in 500 working dogs. And that is much to say.

Of course it's important that working dogs have a good nervous system and they don't "jump on walls" if they don't get to work every day They also need to have strong nerves and know when and how to calm down.

It's sad to see how people are breeding Siberian Huskies for pets and show dogs. People living in city-apartments sure don't want a Siberian that is a true working dog! They want a small and easy pet that is easy to train and is happy with only little exercise and other activity. That dog is not a Siberian Husky. It's sad that people take a working dog and can't provide him the conditions he needs. Siberian Husky is a primitive dog but his tractability makes him an agreeable companion. Working working dogs need to be strong and have enough temperament. Siberian Husky can be all that and still be friendly and gentle - never shy and looking oppressed.