Ivan is the offspring of our two best lead dogs. I have high hopes for this guy.
Day two with Ivan. I like to study my dogs, for that is the only way you really get to understand them. They have many different traits and interactions with us and each other. It is really pretty fascinating watching them interact. Nikki is not happy but tolerant of the new pup. Cooper loves the new pup and stood between him and Nikki when things got a little heated.
Sammie our 12-year-old doesn’t care much for Nikki or Cooper but seems to like Ivan just fine. I guess they are like us in a lot of ways. Some people you like and others you don’t.Ivan is 3/4 Seppala Siberian. He shows that in his houndish body and big ears. Both traits of the line. Also, there is an attachment to humans more so than my regular Sibes. I can’t go anywhere without Ivan following me, or squealing for me.But more to the point is what is in his DNA. Ivan is the product of two proven lead dogs. Dogs that pull sleds and guide the way.
I saw a glimpse of what he has on our first walk. During the first half, I had to pull him along for his first time on a leash. I was wondering what was going on as I’m used to my trained dogs trying to yank me down the road. During the return trip, he decided to pull the leash tight and keep up with the big dogs. In fact, that wasn’t good enough and he wanted to be in front of them. He pulled, and lead them. That’s pretty amazing for an 11-week old puppy who just changed homes. It’s in his DNA, he just needed to be given the opportunity for that to come out.
And for him to find out who and what he is. I was pretty impressed by that first walk and today his second walk was the same. So, will he become a great sled dog? Time will tell but he’s already showing signs that he will. He just needs to gain his confidence and learn from the other dogs. He’s been on this earth for less than 3 months. I’ll give him what he needs to become what he was destined and bred for. I so enjoy watching him awaken to his inner self. This is what it’s all about if you are into breeding dogs. You help them become all that they can be. He’s a smart one and already has defeated the baby gates in my house. He’s going to be a handful because he’s so smart. A challenge I’ll enjoy as he grows up.
I left Friday morning at 4 AM. Virginia to Maine and back. Got back this morning (Sunday) at 10:30 AM and 2000 miles later. Welcome home Ivan! He needed a strong Siberian name and Ivan means Grace of God. Fitting for this new Seppala added to my pack. 11 weeks old today and a handful of learning to come. This was the only boy of our “Y” litter and I had to keep him. The product of two amazing lead dogs named Legacy and Delta. He’s only 3/4 Seppala but performance delegates breeding picks. Also, to reduce the COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) of the progeny. More to follow on his journey with us and his new life.
Heading to Maine soon to pick up Ivan. My pick of our last litter. 3/4 Seppala Siberian boy, product of two lead dogs being bred together. Time will tell what’s inside him as a sled dog.
First of all, both are purebred Siberian huskies. Next is there are certain traits that show up to the practiced eye for a dog of Seppala lines. Usually, they have tall ears, a houndish looking body. But most telling is the look. The intensity of the gaze and body language of this line. If you look at enough Huskies you can spot it right away.
I’ve decided to add this boy to my pack. I’m going to name him “Ivan.” A good Russian name for a Siberian Husky. It means, “Grace of God.” We will see how he lives up to it. 72% Seppala Siberian. The product of two lead dogs. 6 Weeks old in this photo.
This one goes into my famous Musher’s and or Dogs category. This is Gunner, the foundation dog of world champion sprint dog racer Ed K Streeper. I did this one for him. Still need to clear coat the frame, and mount it. I call it “Sunrise at Denali.”
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the four new huskies that entered the world in Caribou Maine. 72% Seppalas and the offspring of two lead dogs. Bred together to reduce the COI, and hopefully to produce more lead dogs.
Wolf is my favorite of this litter, and the only boy. Here he is compared to his mom “Delta.” Delta is a lead dog and a true Seppala Siberian at 94%. Large ears are a trademark of the Sepps.
On this fine Friday let’s get our minds off politics for a bit. I spent a while watching golden buzzer awards for America’s got Talent. Such mind-boggling talent! In fact, a few brought me to tears but I don’t want that to become common knowledge. It reminded me of watching the Ice Capades as a kid. That’s the only sport that made me cry. Why? The beauty, grace, and amazing athletes doing the impossible for us mere mortals. It struck me right in the heart that I was seeing true professionals. A professional meaning someone who makes the impossible look easy!
It suddenly appeared to me why I love the sled dogs so much. They do the exact same things only with four feet. Poetry in motion, synchronized swimming in a dance of snow, team-work, drive, and the willingness to achieve a goal or die trying. That is a talent of its own. A talent that allowed them to come this far. That is the hearts and soul of sled dogs. Why they put up with us I’ll never know for sure. But, I’m glad they haven’t given up, on us.According to the Smithsonian article, dogs have been pulling sleds for over 10,000 years! That’s 5500 years before the great pyramids were built.
Think about that for a minute, let it soak in and realize we are a race of newbies compared to dogs. They have seen it all, fought the battles, and that is why they have old wise souls, and lessons to teach us.I don’t claim to know any of these breeds but the Siberians. I do however think that the Northern breeds share the same DNA traits. They have the same drive and determination. The resistance of cold, and the joy of not only surviving it but flourishing in the most inhospitable lands on earth.I’ve had a lot of people ask me how you pick a puppy. It’s easy really, pick one that matches the life you have planned for them. You want a couch potato snuggle bunny? Pick the timid pup. You want a leader and a fearless dog? Pick the most fearless and aggressive pup in the bunch. Keep in mind training will be more difficult with such a dog but the rewards will be immense if you like to be on the edge.
In other words, pick one that matches your personality. If you are an adrenaline junky don’t pick a timid dog. Neither one of you will be happy. If you want a stay at home dog don’t pick the fierce one. For you won’t be able to give him/her what they need to be happy. Getting the pick of the litter is kind of funny. Most people pick on looks…pick your puppy on how well they will fit into your lifestyle by personality. It’s easy that way and both of you will be happy.
Don’t buy a mini-van if you need a corvette. Don’t buy a corvette if you are afraid to put the hammer down. The beauty of dogs is that there is a breed for each and every one of us. Designed, built, and bred for almost every personality. There is no perfect breed, however, there is the perfect breed for each and every one of us. You just have to be honest and pick one that matches your lifestyle. No shame in that, and you will both be happy. The joy of dogs is a blessing to all of us. Choose wisely and you will forever be blessed with the best friend you have ever had.
It’s hard to express how I feel about this guy. He changed my whole world. Mr. Cooper and I had a few battles when he was a puppy. The bottom line is I did not understand his kind. As a breeder of GSD’s this was a new type of dog I had no clue about. Trying to understand him and his “Siberian People” made me delve into the history of his breed. Learn every detail about them, in hopes that I could understand him.
Now 5 years later I’ve written 4 books on Siberians, painted them, and embraced them as amazing living beings that make me wonder what went wrong with us humans. He may not speak one word I understand, but he taught me through his body language, stubbornness, and eyes. Thank you Cooper for opening my own eyes to your magnificent race! I’m a better person thanks to you!