History of the Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies were developed over a period of 3000 years by the Chukchi people in Siberia. Siberians were a big part of their economy and daily life. They aided in the survival of the Chukchi people, who depended on their Siberians to travel in large teams over ice and snow to fish, for general transportation, and also used Siberians to keep them warm in temperatures that could reach below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the 20th century, smallpox spread through the Chukchi tribe, and those village leaders (also breeders) who survived were executed by the Soviets. The Soviets then began their own dog breeding program designed to produce a larger dog that would be more effective for their trading purposes. Their goal was to make people believe there never was a Siberian Husky.

Fortunately, Siberian Huskies were already becoming well-known around the world, and in 1908 William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, acquired a team on the Siberian peninsula. In 1909, he brought them to a race, the All-Alaska Sweepstakes.

In 1915, Leonhard Seppala won his first All-Alaska Sweepstakes with a team of Siberian Huskies, and became a legend. He used his team to haul freight, setting new records, and was involved in heroic exploits (chasing an armed kidnapper, transporting a man mangled in a sawmill accident). Then, in 1925, he became a national hero, as part of the famous “Serum Run” that saved the city of Nome from a diphtheria epidemic. In the years to follow, Seppala traveled all over the United States to march in parades and pose for photographs.

In 1930, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. Today, Siberian Huskies live in every climate all over the world and are valued pets.

This information came from the book, The Siberian Husky, by Michael Jennings.