Showsight Presents the Siberian Husky

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SW: Not every Siberian Husky or even every champion has movie star quality in the ring. There are always those special ones that demand your attention and have a special presence about them that draws people to them. The movie to which this question refers is one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs. 3. Describe the breed in three words. DB: Endurance, arctic and sled dog. SC: Moderate, arctic and sweet. AC: Our Standard provides these three words: power, speed and endurance. DE: Moderate, moderate, moderate—we need to keep in mind that the Siberian is bred to carry a light load at a moderate speed over great distance and often times in harsh conditions. Their structure and outline should begin to bring you to that conclusion. And your hands on examination should confirm that.

since these also are essential to them doing their work safely and effectively. DE: The Siberian is a true athlete and one must keep that in mind when looking at the Siberian. The Siberian is a Working dog and as such must have a good front in order do its job in harness and survive. Correct proportion with the length of the body from point of shoulder to rear point of croup being slightly longer than the height of the body from the ground to top of withers. The Sibe- rian coat should be a double coat with the undercoat soft and dense and of sufficient length to support the outer coat. That coat should be medium in length. Trimming of the coat should not occur and must be severely penalized and should never be rewarded. MF: Proper length of leg to body, prominent prosternum and angled shoulders with strong back. Northern protective traits, well-muscled and no excess weight. JS: Dogs and bitches must be moderate as defined in the AKC standard. They must be sound in movement. They must have correct temperament. And you must recognize that they are a Siberian Husky… not a Malamute, not an Alaskan, not an Akita, etc. DT: Good temperament, good proportions, attractive type and soundness are my “must have” traits. SW: Proper proportions, smooth and effortless movement in a show dog. A friendly, outgoing personality. Well-bred and healthy. 5. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? DB: My biggest concern is that we are losing good shoulder assemblies in our breed. This, when coupled with the tendency toward shorter legs and longer bodies, changes the structure and outline of the dog from the functional athlete called for in our Standard. SC: As with most breeds, we have our challenges with unbalanced angles—it’s very tough to breed a great front assembly. But we have a lovely range of styles in Siberi- ans and I don’t see any one style predominating at the moment. It’s wonderful to judge in different parts of the country and find great examples of the breed every- where. One trend I just hate is coat-trimming—according to the Siberian Standard, it’s to be severely penalized, yet there seems to be a lot of it going on. Siberian coats are a lovely, important functional part of their arctic heritage and shouldn’t be sculpted. AC: It is not so much an issue of exaggeration as an issue of misinterpretation. The best way to understand essential traits of Siberian Huskies is to watch them work in their original environment. As humans become more and more distant from nature, they are less apt to consider the traits that allow any animals to survive and to work and more likely to emphasize what is pleasing to the human eye. As a result, you get “cute”, short, cobby Siberians that look like stuffed toys and lack the attitude required

MF: Northern, effortless and moderate. KK: Functional, balanced and moderate. JS: Intelligent, independent and inquisitive. DT: Athletic, adaptable and clowns. SW: Independent, strong and stubborn.

4. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? DB: Although with Siberians we often take it for granted, temperament is most important. Siberians are team dogs that must be able to work in harmony with dogs and people and have the desire to run. They must have the correct structure, beginning with the shoulder assem- bly (good shoulder layback and bone length) which is matched by the hindquarters. These angles, along with the correct proportion called for in the Standard (slightly longer than tall; legs slightly longer than the depth of the body) and moderate height with proportionate weight enable the Siberian to carry “a light load at a moder- ate speed over great distances.” And his “arctic” traits, including the double coat, muzzle and skull proportions, toughly cushioned paws, among others, make certain of the Siberian’s ability to live and thrive in its original environment. When put together, we see the “basic bal- ance of power, speed and endurance” reflected in the Siberian’s “smooth and seemingly effortless” gait. SC: Assuming you’re talking about breeding stock—proper proportions, balance and arctic characteristics come first. Okay, first, after the hips and eyes have been certi- fied as clear of genetic abnormalities. Temperament is very important. I value a dog with a great work ethic, a friendly demeanor and a normal, stable temperament. Too shy, fearful or sharp isn’t something I want to play with—either in a dog I own or one I breed to. AC: Proper proportions, since this is the absolute key to them being able to perform in harness. Proper attitude— a booming, outgoing personality, which gives them the attitude to carry out their work. Proper coat and feet,

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