Siberian Huskies – sled dogs of the frozen north

Siberian Huskies are used on many of our dog sledding tours in Sweden, from the challenging Dog Sledding Across Jämtland expedition through the majestic mountains of the north-west to Northern Lights Dog Sledding in the far north of Swedish Lapland inside the Arctic Circle.

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Dog sledding is a close partnership between musher and dog team, and at the end of your adventure you should find you have formed a real bond with the dogs in your team. For many participants, developing this relationship as you work closely with your own teams of sled dogs each day is one of the most enjoyable parts of a dog sledding holiday.

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The Siberian Husky is one of the recognised breeds of sled dog, the others being the fast and light Alaskan Husky (used on our Dog Sledding and Winter Bushcraft and Family Husky Sledding Adventure experiences), the Samoyed and the Eskimo dog.

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Siberians are beautiful dogs, ranging in colour from pure white to black with eyes of striking blue, brown or amber. Some dogs have dramatic eye colourings, being “parti-eyed”, with eyes half brown and half blue, or with one brown eye and one blue eye – “bi-eyed”.

Where does the Siberian Husky come from?

As the name suggests, these sturdy sled dogs originate from Siberia, where they were used by the Chukchi peoples. Able to move at reasonable speeds over long distances with fairly heavy loads, the Siberians were workdogs by day and companions (and furry heaters!) for humans at night.

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During summer, the dogs were allowed to run free, hunting for themselves. Over the centuries this led to Siberians retaining strong pack characteristics while at the same time being very good-natured and affectionate.

In 1909, Siberian Huskies were brought to Alaska by fur traders, where they were used for racing as well as working.

What makes Siberian Huskies good for dog sledding?

Siberian Huskies are powerful and resilient dogs with excellent stamina, ideally suited to the low temperatures of the Lapland winter. They have a dense undercoat and a soft outer coat, which can cope with temperatures down to -50 degrees C or less! (Don’t worry – you are very unlikely to encounter temperatures this low during your dogsled tour!)

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With their strong pack attributes, Siberian Huskies work well together in a team and are intelligent and trainable. Given the considerable energy they expend on the trail, Siberian Huskies eat surprisingly little, reducing the need to carry so much heavy and bulky food during a tour.

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Travelling through the winter landscape on an extended tour in command of your own dogsled team is an unforgettable experience. You may begin with the expectation that it will be the thrill of dog sledding itself, the deep Arctic winter, perhaps even a spectacular display of the Northern Lights, that stays most in your memory from your dog sledding holiday in Sweden – but you may well find that you come home with equally fond memories of your four-legged companions!

Best regards

The Nature Travels Team

Nature Travels offers a wide range of Sweden dog sledding tours, from child-friendly experiences to challenging winter camping expeditions.

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