Huskies are amongst the best sled dog breeds for racing. If we think about mushing, our mind will surely see the image of a wolf-looking dog, pulling a sled majestically across the tundra. This is not strange, since the memory refers us to the sled dogs associated to those that historically populated the frozen north and that we generically refer to as Huskies.
Its name derives from what Eskimo tribes (skims) were called, and although we have already introduced some of them in our articles Top 15 Sled Dog Breeds I and Top 15 Sled Dog Breeds II, in this article we have grouped five Husky breeds that can pull the sled.
Huskies are fast athletes and, throughout evolution, they have physically adapted to withstand low temperatures. They have almond shaped eyes for an enhanced ability to see as well as a double layer of fur and hairy ears, tails and feet to keep warm. They are agile, intelligent and very easy to train. They are ideal for sled racing, perfect companions for outdoor sports, and affectionate pets.
Siberian Huskies are working dogs who pulled heavy sleds over long distances while the Chukchi people of Siberia traveled to hunt, about half a million years ago. They were introduced into Alaska to compete in long-distance races in the early 1900s, where they were also used for sledding services, such as mail delivery and transportation.
Although it hasn’t been officially recognized as a kind of mixed dog, the Alaskan Husky originated by a blend of various Nordic breeds with the goal of having a highly efficient sled dog for spring dog races. They are ideal and very popular dogs for practicing mushing as a sport due to their great performance in sprint races, that is to say of short distance and high speed.
The Labrador Husky is a hard-working purebred from Canada. They are spitz-type dogs, i.e. not known dogs, although most of them originate from the Arctic or East Asian regions.
Contrary to what one might think, this is not a mixture between Labrador and Husky as its name implies. It is actually a pure breed similar to the wolf. The Labrador Husky has been the loyal companion of the Inuits of the Labrador territory and pulled their sleds for centuries.
MACKENZIE RIVER HUSKY
The Mackenzie River Huskies are a group of different dog populations of the Arctic and subarctic regions of Alaska and Canada.
They resulted from crosses of freighting Huskies or Eskimo dogs with European big dogs such as Newfoundlands and St. Bernards.
The Sakhalin Husky is a sled dog breed that faces imminent extinction. This spitz-type dog originated in Japan and was related to other Japanese dogs.
During an expedition from Japan to Antarctica in 1957, fifteen Sakhalin Huskies could not be evacuated from a storm and perished. Only two miraculously survived. The Japanese film “Nankyoku Monogatari” that inspired the Disney film “Eight Bellow” tells the story of Taro and Jiro, the two dogs that survived.