Our breeding program is very selective in order to maintain a healthy number of capable working sled dogs for our touring company. We only breed for the number of dogs needed to replenish the dogs retiring in a years’ time. We do not breed to sell and we do not lease our dogs to other mushers. We strongly advocate a no cull policy and have aided in many sled dog rescues in which culling was practiced. Our kennel is managed in a responsible, humane and sustainable manner with careful consideration given to the number of huskies we have. We never take on more dogs than we can adequately and expertly care for. Each husky hero stays with us as a part of our family for the duration of their working career and are either kept as official “couch warmers” for the rest of their lives or placed up for adoption to carefully screened homes.
Although sled dogs are bred for the purpose of work, we feel it is best to breed “companion sled dogs” not just “working dogs”. We breed for disposition, build, genetic integrity, work ethic, warm coat, tough feet and of course, the desire to run and pull! Think of these dogs like marathon runners – they are bred for their endurance, quick speed and their incredible ability to adapt to all sorts of rugged terrain and weather.
How it works:
We try to breed our females in the springtime which allows the females to have their puppies in the summer when it’s warm and relatively quiet around the kennel. This also allows the puppies enough growing time before adjusting to their first winter. We select our very best sled dogs for our breeding program. Each female (dam) is given a male partner (sire) that was carefully selected based on genetics and what type of dogs we would like to produce. For example, are we breeding for leadership skills or raw power.
Once there is a successful mating we monitor the female for signs of pregnancy. If the mating took the gestation is 62 says – not a lot of time to get ready! We begin bringing her into our cabin for sleepovers and soon after we introduce the whelping pool. We use a kids pool and add blankets…not water! This provides mom with a safe and comfortable “nest” to deliver her puppies. We are there for the entire process of delivery to ensure mom is comfortable and doing well at all times. She has our full support in whatever she needs! We feed her vanilla ice cream, message her, bring her water bowl over so she can have a drink, help dry off her puppies and reassure her when she has a contraction.
Once the puppies open their eyes at 2 weeks old we begin talking to them softly so they can start putting a face to the voices. We begin holding the little squirts and getting them use to human interaction so that they understand that we are their family. Once they start feeling more confident and begin to walk and play with each other we will introduce toys, allowing the puppies to develop normal social and playful behavior. Once our new additions are 6 weeks old and receive their first set of vaccinations we can then begin their social development outside of the kennel. These free run walks with our older, retired sled dogs help the youngsters build muscle, confidence and healthy social behavior. These walks offer association to the sounds and smells such as grass, flowers, trees, rivers, wind, rain, wildlife, insects and other trail users.
Respect given is respect received:
Our females will be bred for the first time no younger than three years old. We allow our females to have up to two litters in their life time with one year to two year intervals in between each pregnancy. Once the brood females have accomplished these goals, we spay them to ensure their future health and security.