How could anybody imagine a trip in Lapland without meeting the fluffy, lovely huskies? Because… Yes, when we think about Lapland, we obviously think about Balto, White Fang, or even Hatchi. Whatever the dog we think about, we expect beautiful, clear-eyes and devoted animals.
But did you know that there are several breeds of sled dogs? In Lapland, there are in fact three main breeds doing this job: the Siberian husky, the Alaskan malamute, and the Alaskan husky.
These three are different, in their physical appearance, but also in their state of minds.
The most famous husky, considered as the stereotype of the sled dogs, is the Siberian husky: it is a purebred, native from Siberia. A Chukchi tribe (nomads from the North-East Siberian coast), tells a legend about a love story between the Moon and a gray wolf: the Siberian husky would have been born from a unique trip from the sky to the Earth, a unique meeting between the wolf and the Moon. Thus, the Siberian husky has the appearance of a wolf and a crescent moon tail.
This sled dog usually has blue eyes, brown, or minnows eyes. About his coat, the chest and belly are white; the back and the rest of the coat can be sprinkled with black, gray or brown.
The Siberian husky is a very smart dog, strong and loving.
The Alaskan malamute could look similar, but don’t get me wrong! He has the same mental qualities as the Siberian husky, but shows a few physical specific aspects.
His chest is more abundant, and his fur is much more dense. He is also much more muscular, and is however much less enduring.
The malamute comes originally from Alaska, in the Great North: more precisely, from the Mahlemut tribe (in which he was a hunting and sled dog). We can also recognize the malamute thanks to the pattern between the eyes and ears: usually, the Siberian husky has two lines (usually, the same color as the coat), or at least a vertical white line. The malamute has a different pattern: a tip, going down from the ears, almost until the eyes (and looks like the upper part of a heart).
Finally, the Alaskan husky is THE racing dog: he is the result of thoughtful selections. These successive crossings were made to improve his physical abilities, but always keeping (and improving) his natural mental qualities. The history of this breed starts in America, during the XIXth century, during the gold Rush. It was decided to cross different breeds to keep their qualities, such as the speed of the greyhound, the strength of the pointer, the dense coat of the Siberian husky to be strong enough in low temperatures… These dogs could tow heavy loads, they were strong, fast and enduring.
Thus, the Alaskan husky can’t be defined with physical characteristics, nor fur colors. All types of Alaskan huskies have different coat or eye colors, and physical shapes.
If you are willing to have a husky tour, it does not matter the breed of dogs you will meet: they all are lovely, nice dogs, and really enjoy being pet after running for you. That’s the only way to thank them for the experience, and they love it!