Growth of Sleddogging - windshot

Go to content

Main menu:


Siberian Huskies and the Growth of Dog Sledding

Nome Residents 1900

The Siberian Husky as a breed first took hold in Alaska. Dog Sledding became not only a means of transport, but also a popular sport for the adventurers who had journeyed north in search of gold. Local races quickly evolved into large events with numerous entries.

The dogs used in the early races were primarily Alaskan sled dogs which were originally bred to haul freight. They were larger and stronger than Siberian Huskies and accordingly not as quick. They were well adapted to the terrain and had great competitive spirit. In 1908 William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, entered a team of Chukci dogs in the All-Alaska sled race from Nome. He hired a local driver familiar with the 408 mile course to lead the team but the driver was not familiar with the Chukci dog style of sledding. The team finished third against the experienced dogs and drivers, but the dogs' speed and enthusiasm attracted a lot of attention to the breed. Many Chukci dogs subsequently were imported from Siberia.

Leonard Seppala

Back to content | Back to main menu