Showsight Presents the Siberian Husky

that’s designed to run all day at a moderate speed, pulling a light load. They should be able to do it day after day after day, which means that any heaviness or clunkiness should be faulted. Think of a marathon runner—the Sibe- rian is the canine equivalent. Speed isn’t that important, but endurance is. All of the parts should flow together, be moderate and should be wrapped in a jacket of arctic characteristics as described in the Standard—oval eyes set slightly obliquely, medium, triangular, well-furred ears, muzzle the same length as the back skull and a well- textured double coat for insulation. Add thick footpads under oval feet and you have a dog that can work in arctic conditions. AC: As a person who worked and raced my Siberian Huskies, I have always delighted in exposing other judges to teams in harness. If an interested judge contacts our national club, I can guarantee he or she can find a club member who will volunteer to take them for a sled dog ride. There are even sled dog clubs in sunshine states. There, they use wheeled carts or ATVs to train their teams. The judges who have come for rides have their eyes opened to the essence of our breed and they become better judges—plain and simple. DE: The Siberian has a proud history. Looking back at the 1925 Serum run dogs and seeing that drive and instinct into today’s Siberians is comforting. We do not want to lose that. Understanding that and why our standard calls for and describes each characteristic is essential to understanding and correctly judging the breed. From our well-furred, triangular, medium-in-size, thick erect ears set high on the head to the placement and carriage of the fox brush-shaped, well-furred tail set on or just below the level of the topline—each is critical to the survival in the harsh weather and ensuring the dog can perform its function. That holds true for all our breed characteristics. They each serve a defined and critical purpose. MF: Handlers and some owners chop up the coat to give the appearance of more leg or tuck up, but this totally destroys the natural beauty of the breed. KK: I have loved my breed fore more than 56 years. They are not the most compliant breed for the average dog owner (a bit like teenagers who just want to party). They need a strong den mother and someone with a sense of humor. If you are a very serious, rigid, rule follower, do not get a Siberian. DT: If there are novice readers of this article, I would urge you to get to know the Siberian before purchasing one. Furthermore, find someone to give you a sled ride. Visit the home of a Siberian kennel and read the many books about the Siberian’s temperament, care and needs. SW: They’re like potato chips, you can’t have just one. All kidding aside, they do better with a companion. They are very social dogs and thrive with constant companionship. They do very well with their own kind.

since 1971. Scissoring changes the quality of the coat and the ability of the guard hairs to protect the undercoat from getting wet. This is a survival issue. I know most Siberians do not sleep out in the snow nor have to go through over- flow, but trimming needs to stop. It has become rampant all over the world and several top multi-BIS winners from US, Canada, Europe, Australia and the Asian countries are trimmed. If you want to trim dogs, then exhibit dogs that are to be trimmed—such as Poodles, Kerry Blue or many others. JS: 1) We have more than one look or style that adheres to type. 2) They don’t always understand what Siberian breeders perceive as moderate. 3) They get hung up on “pieces”—the head, the coat, etc. I was listening to a judge discuss a “two-part” dog. I told her I didn’t understand. She replied, “You wouldn’t. Siberians are a one-part breed.” Siberian people are looking for “a whole package”; i.e.—how the dog comes together. DT: I believe new and old judges forget that the function of a Siberian is to pull a sled for long distances at a moder- ate speed. This thought should be in the forefront, which lends itself to choosing Siberians with good legs and length as well as proportions. SW: I don’t think that new Judges (and many judges in general) understand the importance that the SHCA puts on the workability of the breed. We are very proud of the fact that our dogs are still competitive sled dogs. Many purebreds are incapable of competing in the type of work they were bred to do. It is important to us that we retain the traits that make a Siberian Husky a good sled dog. Many judges look too much at how pretty and showy they are and don’t consider the kind of athlete the Siberian Husky is supposed to be. Every judge would ben- efit from riding on the back of a dogsled to watch a team of dogs and how they work. It gives you a whole different perspective. 8. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? DB: One of the most beautiful aspects of this breed is when a well-built Siberian gaits around the ring. His movement should be easy; ground-covering without exaggeration; smooth with no rolling, pounding, lifting or kicking up; balanced and as our Standard states, “seemingly effort- less.” And, this movement should be accomplished at a moderately fast trot on a loose lead. When you see this harmony in the ring, it is breathtaking and you know you are seeing a Siberian Husky. SC: In this breed, more than in some, there is one type but many styles. Some have shorter, tighter coats and some are longer-coated without being wooly. Some have plainer heads and some are drop-dead gorgeous. Some have more refined bone, some less so, but both are still within the “moderate” definition in the Standard. They should all look like long-distance athletes. This is a breed

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