WELL-BEING OF THE DOGS

The Welfare of the Huskies

The starting point for all activities is a well-being sled dog. We have about 90 sled dogs, most of which are purebred Siberian huskies and a smaller number of Alaskan huskies. We pay a lot of attention to the well-being of dogs: the care, maintenance and planned breeding of dogs.  

 

Each dog has its own name

All our dogs have a name and we consider it important for the well-being of the dogs that the guides we work with know our dogs by name and as individuals with their own characteristics. We also strive to keep our employees as consistent as possible so that our dogs are familiar to our guides and our guides to our dogs. Each dog is considered an individual, and the dog also recognizes its own name.

Husky puppies

The manageability of dogs is also a very important factor in increasing the well-being of dogs, and the socialization of puppies is a high priority in our operations. We are spending a lot of time with the puppies to make people comfortable and reliable for them. We raise our huskies ourselves and all the puppies usually stay to grow for us in our own kennel and strengthen our future teams as they grow into adults. During all these years, only a few puppies have left us for private homes. We always have puppies according to our own needs and we always look at the future about two years from now. How many dogs are approaching retirement age will determine how many litters we need; usually, there have been 1-3 litters a year.

Retired huskies

Many of our sled dogs live in our kennel from puppy to retirement age and they are allowed to stay with us as long as they are healthy. Retired dogs (approx. 10–15 years old) are valuable to us, e.g. as an aid in educating young huskies and in teaching herd behaviour. We responsibly look for a new home for some of our huskies who are approaching retirement age. Often two huskies have left the same home together, or one has followed the other one later. Some of the dogs who left us have been able to run into a small team as hobby dogs, while a few enjoy their retirement age as couch potato.

SISU
SISU

Siberian Husky born 2018. Sisu has already grown into a big, strong and handsome sled dog.

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CANCAN
CANCAN

Siberian Husky 2008 She is a lightly moving steel grandmother. Inherited long-distance enthusiastic runners and ice blue eyes for her offspring. The great grandmother of the younger husky residents of our kennel.

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ELVIS
ELVIS

Siberian Husky, b.2005 Big strong male. Already moved to the Northern Lights Squad.

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SISU
SISU

Siberian Husky born 2018. Sisu has already grown into a big, strong and handsome sled dog.

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Life of the Husky Farm

We keep our kennel clean and we do the cleaning daily. The dogs are selected for the shelters so that playing with the roommate goes smoothly and stress-free. Usually, dogs always live in the same shelter with the same companions (2-6 dogs). This makes it easy for each employee to check that all huskies are safe, and they can also be found when the teams are assembled for a safari. Sometimes places have to be varied, for example, while bitches in season. Kennels and dog houses are repaired, or new ones are made as needed. All new dog houses are insulated throughout, but older houses are only insulated from the bottom. Most kennels have both versions, so dogs can choose what they prefer.

Free-running fence

The free-running fence is used almost daily outside the winter season. Running in the free-running fence maintains the basic condition of the huskies, but it is also important for their well-being: it is where the social relations between the dogs between the individuals are handled, as well as within the entire herd. We, humans, are also able to observe and monitor the behaviour of dogs, so we get to know our huskies even better as individuals.

Dog routines

Dogs love routines and when routines are okay, things happen in a controlled way even in a big herd. Routines vary slightly from season to season, in winter “everything” happens according to the same schedule (watering the huskies in the morning, preparations of the safaris, client arrivals, safari returns, feeding, cleaning, sleeping), huskies learn these and are thus happy to know what is going to happen. In the summer, when there are fewer programs, we break certain routines, for example, we are circulating the feeding time. That means at the beginning of the week the dogs eat in the morning, in the middle of the week during the day and from the weekend in the evening. This way, dogs are not always demanding food at a certain time but remain calm even if the food does not come at the same time of the day.

Feeding huskies

Our dogs eat quality food: dry food and raw vitaminized meat. We teach our dogs from a fairly young age that eating is done from their own cup. This way we can ensure that everyone gets to eat the right dose in peace. We also sometimes give pieces to the ground so that the huskies can use their noses to find them, and learn that even then there is no need to fight, but everyone can look for them in a harmony. In winter, when the working day of the dogs is long, they also get snacks, ie a small piece of meat / fat / fish.

RUNO & OLAF
RUNO & OLAF

Siberianhusky b.2018 & Siberianhusky b.2016 Runo runs alongside her father Oukioki as a lead dog student. She is a tough girl who has run a Finnmarkslopet 600 race at the age of two years. Olaf is named after Frozen's snowman. He is brother of the lead dog Oukioki.

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NUPPU
NUPPU

Husky 2016 Kinder one of two sisters. During breaks, she spins like a top, but she can also run as a leader of the customer team, because the sled will then move comfortably forward.

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ELEKTRA
ELEKTRA

Siberian Husky 2011 A hard worker like her father Keke. Elektra is also very good on climbing! Today, she lives as a home changer with her sister Eskimo and they are both nice hobby dogs.

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RUNO & OLAF
RUNO & OLAF

Siberianhusky b.2018 & Siberianhusky b.2016 Runo runs alongside her father Oukioki as a lead dog student. She is a tough girl who has run a Finnmarkslopet 600 race at the age of two years. Olaf is named after Frozen's snowman. He is brother of the lead dog Oukioki.

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Sled dog training and work

Sled dog training starts early, normally at the end of August, to get our dogs in good shape on time before the season. The basic condition is maintained over the summer in the free-running fence and running in its varied terrain is a good exercise for the dogs. We keep a diary that shows the working days and kilometres run by each dog, as well as the holidays.

Dog health

 

Our huskies are vaccinated according to the current vaccination program, and parasite repellents are given appropriately. We use our dogs whenever necessary at the vet, masseur or physiotherapist. The dog's diary records e.g. heat times, possible sick leave of dogs, and other important things to consider. Our huskies have good fur, but they wear jackets on breaks and/or safaris if necessary.

Dog breeding

We select dogs for breeding, which have shown an excellent working attitude, are good eaters and have a nice herd-social character. Males which we do not use for breeding are castrated. Bitches who are on heat are separated from males (even castrated) for the duration of the heat. Nor do we increase the number of dogs bigger, even though there has been a need, but we use subcontractors to make up for the missing number of dogs.

SOMA
Want to know more?

We are open about our work with huskies, and we answer questions as honestly and as well as we can. Our customers today are very interested in the conditions and care of dogs, and we are happy to answer questions.

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