Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Are the dogs friendly?
Absolutely! While they love to work hard, Siberians are great family dogs by definition and, in fact, will insist that you say hello with a rub behind the ears and some will roll over and say, “Belly rub please!”
How do you tell the dogs where to go?
The team follows the leaders, the leaders listen to the musher and the musher listens to and watches the leader's body language.
There are no reins or or physical connection between the musher and the dogs at the front of the team. Therefore, the relationship between the musher and the lead dogs is critical. It is built on a lot of practice that results in two-way communication and mutual trust and respect.
How far and fast do the dogs' go?
Siberians love to run! They can run at speeds up to 20 mph, but average 10-12 as they are built for endurance. With occasional breaks, a well conditioned Siberian can run 100 miles a day. The colder the temperatures, the faster they go – the single numbers and below are perfect!
How many people can ride on a sled?
Each sled can carry 2 adult passengers, one sitting and one standing, or the equivalent thereof in children. Older children who are at least 48” tall can stand. Smaller children sit on an adult’s lap or on the bed of the sled. Therefore, depending on sizes and weights, we can take 2 to 3 people per sled; the whole family!
Please note: we have a combined guest passenger weight limit of 375 pounds per sled. This limit is for the sake of the dogs.
Are Siberians the dogs with blue eyes?
Yes. Blue eyes are very common in Siberian Huskies, along with a few other breeds such as Australian Shepards. They also have eyes that are dark to light brown, amber and, less frequently, brown and blue in the same eye. Contrary to popular belief, blue eyes are not less sighted than any other color eye. (Examples Of Eye Color)
How many dogs does it take to run a sled?
Generally speaking, a sled can be run with as few as two dogs or up to 20 or more. It depends on the type of sled and the type of running. We typically dogsled with teams of 8-14 dogs depending on the type of snow and the terrain.
Are Siberians part wolf?
Siberians Huskies are an ancient breed going back hundreds and hundreds of years, as old as some of the hound breeds that originated in Africa, but they are not related to wolves any more than any other dog. However, they do function much like wolves in that they display and respond to a wider range of the signals that wolves use to communicate things such as status and emotional state. For example, ear position, tail position, stance, and vocalizations such as the group howl (one of our favorites!). They can also “look like” wolves to the uninitiated in that they have thick coats, most often in varying shades of gray and white.
Where do our huskies live?
Outside in kennels in groups of 3-12. Each dog has his own house. In the winter these houses are filled with straw as straw has good insulating properties. When the temperatures drop into the teens and below, the house is generally too warm for them (just as it would be for you wearing a heavy winter parka indoors). However, the dogs do come into the house for visit time and the older dogs will often spend the nights with us as well.
Do huskies get cold?
No. They are a northern breed dog and well adapted to cold temperatures, much better than we are! They have a thick undercoat that serves as insulation (much like down does on a duck). This is why you will see them curled up comfortably in the snow with their nose tucked under their tails. However, like down, if their undercoat gets wet in cold temperatures, it loses its ability to retain body heat and then he dog will get cold.
How do we tell our dogs apart? Most of the dogs look so much alike!
How do parents' tell their identical twins apart?! Once you spend any time with our dogs, you will notice distinguishing features such as coat color, markings, eye color(s), size and of course each one has its own personality.
Is it mean to make huskies work by pulling us around?
No. Nothing makes them happier than a cold winter day (the colder the better), snow and a sled to pull! If you have any thought about it somehow being “mean” to ask them to work, let those reservations go! What would be “mean” to a Siberian Husky is to keep them cooped up in the house with only leash walks; this is not what the running lines of Siberians Huskies are designed to do. This is not to say that they don't enjoy couch time: they do! But not as a steady diet. A Siberian needs to be a Siberian.
What do our huskies do in the summer time?
Our dogs run about 1500 miles October – March and so they have a well deserved vacation! We also have lots of social and down time with them, work on any training or behavior issues, and continue to share them with others through emotional therapy work. Summer can be challenge because while it is not difficult to keep a Siberian warm, it can be challenge to keep them cool enough. When the temperatures rise above 70,
they begin to feel uncomfortable and we have to help them keep cool. We hose down the kennels, provide swimming pools to wade in, take them on leash walks in the brook and swims in our pond, and, on occasion, bring the more heat sensitive dogs into an air conditioned room.
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