Discover How The Husky Has Earned Its Place In Finnish History!

Discover How The Husky Has Earned Its Place In Finnish History!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 7th Dec 2016

Ever dreamed about sledding through the snow? If you have, chances are you’d thought of two different animals that could be at the helm: either the mythical flying reindeer (what do you mean, Rudolph isn’t real!?) or the glorious husky. While we can’t promise you a tour upon Santa’s sleigh, we can give you a round-up of husky history, and offer you the option of working alongside these animals, too.

So how did huskies begin to find their place in Finnish history? While dogs these days are best known as household pets, man’s best friend earned their title hundreds of years ago for a number of reasons. A number of breeds have been used for hunting purposes, whilst others have been used simply for company (there have even been reports of dogs accompanying soldiers at war!) When it comes to Finland however, our canine companions were historically utilised in a particularly useful way: for pulling sleds. This task could be for anything from carrying heavy loads, or as transport throughout the country. This tradition was already prominent in both Siberian Russia and in Alaska (circa 2000BC, at estimation), but since the Finnish breed Lapphund was already being used for the herding of reindeer, it wasn’t all too long until mushing took off too.

Thought to have initially been brought in for racing, the Finnish Lapphund were born to run. Agile, obedient and athletic, these dogs are naturally the ideal breed for activities such as reindeer herding and, of course, pulling along sleighs. And it’s with this that, throughout history, the Finnish have managed to coin a great tradition – sledding! People flock from around the world to experience the tranquillity this activity offers: can you imagine anything more peaceful than serene snowy surroundings, the air cold and silent as you dash across terrain, guided by beautiful huskies? One of the main draws of a trip such as this is to see the huskies in their natural environment, free to run and to be pampered after each trip by their grateful owners and visitors alike. It’s also a different perspective on not just wildlife in general, but the way we perceive our animals – while many of us enjoy sitting at home with our dear faithful Fido, feeding him treat upon treat simply for showing his belly, the Finnish have a much different approach to their huskies.

Cute husky

Rather than bringing the dogs inside every night, many huskies call the farm their home, or spend the night sleeping in kennels. To some of us, the very idea of this may seem harsh – how could anybody leave their animals out in the cold? – but to the Finnish, the notion of the animals being at one with nature is key. It must be remembered that sled dogs have incredibly thick coats, and that room temperature is actually quite uncomfortable for these animals. And, while they are not exactly regarded as ‘pets’, their owners are well-educated about the animal’s etymology and understand that to work, mush and simply be wild at heart are all innate behaviours. As such, the owners take great care of their animals, all the while respecting their strength and instinctive way of life.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you can get involved with huskies, and what exactly you may have to offer to the organisations. As well as having the opportunity to head out on your own husky trip, you will be able to assist with general maintenance, care of the dogs themselves, and further your education about these animals. You’ll also be granted the freedom to explore your surroundings, tracking predators and other such wildlife in the area. A tour with sled dogs will no doubt be one of the most unique, peaceful and relaxed options across the whole volunteering spectrum, so get involved today and spend some time with these fantastic creatures!

Husky sled


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