He looks like a wild wolf, but the nature of the husky is friendly and peaceful. These handsome men can not sit still and always tear apart. Long ago, their ancestors served people in Siberia, and then thanks to the Chukchi came to Alaska during the gold diggers. Husky hoes are so fond of Americans that they turned this breed into a national treasure and made it popular all over the world. And that no one forgot about the birthplace of these noble, good-natured animals, they were called Siberian.
An American from Siberia
Near the lake Baikal found rock paintings, which depicts the first four-legged friends of man. Judging by the age of the find, they appeared 4 thousand years ago. These pets served as nomadic hunters in the vicinity of the Anadyr plateau. Moreover, all the dogs were sledges - in conditions of severe Eastern Siberia, it was impossible to survive without their help.
Faithful dogs were transported in harness not only by the hosts, but also by equipment, as well as booty and trophies. They were not strong, like deer. But in endurance no one was inferior. Pets of Siberian hunters could spend hours walking along snow-covered plains, overcoming snowstorms, deep drifts and piling up ice. And the needs of seasoned dogs in food and rest were minimal.
A rich pedigree
It is believed that the first sled dogs appeared in Greenland. But this breed has no family ties with the Siberian husky. However, the relatives of our hero have more than enough: Alaskan husky, Siberian husky, Alaskan klikai, American Indian Husky, dog Seppala and Chinook.
To its centuries-old development the breed is obliged to the Okhotsk nationalities, in particular to the Asian Eskimos and the Chukchi. For one team, at least 9 dogs were needed. Try, feed this crowd!
Fortunately, the Siberian peoples not only successfully hunted, but also actively extracted fish from the seas. All the catch was dried in reserve, so that the hunters always had, than to provide the faithful pets.
By the way, the nameless breed has acquired a name, too, thanks to its bold masters. Pale-faced people called the Eskimos in abbreviated form - "Eski". And their dogs with a wolf's muzzle and a thick coat were given the nickname "husky".
Scientists believe that the ancient ancestors of the husky were descendants of real wolves and preserved the external signs of this relationship to this day. There is also information that dogs from Eastern Siberia were constantly mating with wolves. To do this, the owners specifically tied the bitches in certain places. Offspring with wolf blood fell into the harness.
But the owners left only the best dogs, which could be relied on, and the aggressive and uncontrolled dogs were mercilessly destroyed. Otherwise, in the wild conditions of the north it was impossible - the slightest non-obedience of the pet could cost the hunter of life. If any dog could not cope with the work in the harness, he was castrated. Thus, only elite dogs could breed.
On the harness for wealth
The first detailed description of the ancestors of the husky was made by the researcher Hooper in 1853 during the study of Eastern Chukotka. The scientist was already familiar with the sled dogs of the North American Eskimos. He noted that the Chukchi dogs are more compact. They have light build, dense wool of medium length and a wide variety of colors.
The history of the breed began a little later - after the purchase by the Americans of Alaska in 1867. Soon gold was found on the peninsula, and thousands of wealth hunters rushed north. Many of them did not even expect the conditions of life to be severe. It turned out that without sled dogs Alaska did not conquer. But even when the town of Nome was laid near the gold-bearing area of the Klondike, it was possible to reach the places of extraction only by sledding.
In the beginning, the gold diggers used any dogs that came to hand: mongrels, indigenous people, and pedigreed dogs. It is not known how many people died on snowy plains because the dogs for the harness were not picked up correctly. A clear understanding of who can actually pull the harness came only at the end of the century.
The mystery of the name
Why did the huskies brought from Chukotka come to be called Siberian? Just everything that was on the other side of the Bering Strait, gold diggers were considered Siberian. In addition, the Chukchi region has always been part of the historical region, called Eastern Siberia.
Transport, which are proud of
Over time, gold diggers began scrupulously to select dogs for their teams. More often the large malamutes of the North American Eskimos were used, but among them came small specimens imported from Chukotka. Each harness was the pride of the owners. And soon for the entertainment in Nome was organized the first race.
This happened in 1908 thanks to the trainer sled dogs Alexander Allan, who was called the king of the Arctic ice. Here the Huskies showed themselves. They did not win prizes, but they did not lag behind the rivals a single step. Spectators dubbed small four-legged riders "Siberian mice."
The next time more than 20 gray hussians bought in the village of Markovo in the Chukotka Territory took part in the competitions. One of the teams with the "mice" came third. And the next year the husky took first place.
This Siberian breed completely changed the idea of the harness. The construction of the sled was facilitated, so that it would be easier for compact dogs to pull. It turned out that the lightweight harness from the husky moves faster. So even the North American Eskimos set four-legged "Siberians" instead of malamutes. Now it was possible to travel along snow-covered plains to the lungs.
What happened next?
The last delivery of Chukchi sled dogs to America occurred in 1930. By this time the Siberian Husky was considered a separate breed and differed markedly from its ancestors. After 2 years, a standard was created, and six years later, a club of Husky lovers appeared. In Chukotka, however, the breeding of compact sled dogs was neglected. They were considered too small to transport cargo. Therefore, the ancestors of the American breed survived a little.
But modern Siberian Huskies differ from sled dogs of the beginning of the last century. Over time, the speed of the rock was not enough to win the race. Because of the breeding included hounds and cops. The received mestizos are different from the husky, but the breed is not considered.
The working type of Husky is rare. He does not shine with external beauty. These pets are smart, unpretentious and hardy. However, they are not used to transport cargo. Usually sled dogs ride sleds with tourists in Alaska throughout the winter season. Sometimes the breed of dogs also participates in ski races on dogs - skijoring.
The Great Race
In 1925, in the already mentioned Nome, an epidemic of diphtheria occurred. Hundreds of children were on the verge of life and death, but the doctors could not do anything - there was no serum. She was taken directly from Seattle by plane. But over Alaska began the Arctic storm. The medicine did not reach its destination, but was dropped in Anchorage. Through the storm, you could only get on a dog harness - it's more than 1000 km of the way!
For the work took Leonard Seppal on a team with the leader of the husky Togo. He took the medicine and, without delaying a single minute, set off on the return journey at night. The storm did not subside, and the man chose a short road: right on the icy surface of the Norton Bay. Although the temperature was -30 degrees, the ice frightenedly cracked-the sea was too close. In a moment the ice floe with the harness broke away, and it was carried away. (Read the articles: "Dogs heroes" and "Monuments to dogs")
Fortunately, a couple of hours later the drifting sled was nailed to the shore. Immediately the leader Togo jumped to the bank and pawed his feet in the snow drifts. The dog kept the harness until all the dogs moved to the hard ice. Thanks to this, the crew was rescued, and the medicine arrived in Nome. Five days later the epidemic was stopped. But the race for the snow storm was the last for Togo. When they arrived at the place, the paws were taken away from the dog.
Togo was a unique leader: he was perfectly oriented in the dark, he could easily inspire frozen, hungry and tired dogs, he knew how to find cracks and holes in snowdrifts.
The most famous feat clearly illustrates the outstanding abilities of this breed and recalls its needs. From the Husky does not work flat and sofa dog. But if you lead a sporting life, the descendant of the ancient riding dogs will be your best companion.