For most people, the name Husky implies a sled dog. And while the Siberian Husky isn't as fast as its cousin the Alaskan Husky, or as tough as the similarly looking Malamute, it can pull more weight over longer distances. Without sled dogs, none of the early Arctic and Antarctic expeditions could happen, and the survival of the Arctic native would be impossible.
But even in the far Arctic, about half of the year there is no winter, hardly any snow on the ground, and the Husky must employ other ways to stay in shape. In Alaska, they are often tied to a regular winter sled, sometimes with wheels, and just run dragging it on the bare ground.
But with the first sign of snow, the real show begins! Just as we are excited about the start of the ski season, the Husky can smell the dog-sledding in the air. The DNA in every cell in its body starts shaking with excitement!
And when the opportunity to start running is there (in this clip behind a snowmobile) - there's no stopping the excitement! Turn the volume on your speaker up and watch:
But if they need to, they can run at 25 mph (almost 40 kph), and stay at that for more then five miles (or until they catch that cat or snow rabbit). Because the dogs need to listen - and obey - to their master, Huskies' ears are like radar antennas: with a whisper from behind, their ears seem to be turning 180 degrees backwards.
Riding the sled, it's a great experience, exhilarating and calming simultaneously.
Read my post Arctic Antarctic Present to see more fun pics.