Ivan turned 10 months old today. We celebrated with a run on the bike. Now at 60 lbs. and 25” tall at the shoulder he is reaching whatever his DNA has planned for him in size. He crossed 80 miles total in harness today. This video is a great example of the difference between a standard pure-bred Siberian vs. a racing line Seppala. The body lines are most self evident. Ivan has more of a “Hound” type body, and a short coat compared to Cooper.

True Ivan is an outcross and a product of two lead dogs. But, I’m very happy with this breeding. Cooper Lee on the left has his flag tail up and waving in the wind. Ivan’s tail is down and he wastes no motion in his gait. Coop when loping or galloping is somewhat of a rocking horse motion. Ivan is straight-line thrust. Ivan always has a least one foot on the ground pushing forward. A dog that runs with air-time is known as a “Floater.” Why is that important? Mainly because that air-time means a momentary lack of forwarding thrust. It’s the little things that matter. Constant thrust is better than momentary air-time where no thrust is being applied.

Rocking horse loping is not smooth. It is a series of jerking movements of thrust. In other words, it’s a lack of efficiency of motion. Coop is strong as a horse, but he cannot produce the speed that Ivan can. You can see in the video that at times Ivan is pulling him along. Attitude is another attribute, Ivan never stops. He always wants to go faster and eat up the ground. Coop wants to enjoy the sights, which is good unless you want a racing dog.

So is Ivan perfect? Hardly, he has quirks. His latest is being a klepto-maniac. In particular, he favors stealing the basement toilet brush and taking it outside like a toy. Nikki had the same fetish for toilet brushes. Perhaps dog toy manufacturers should just sell toilet brushes? I’ve countered this new tendency with some toys. Hopefully, his fascination with toilet brushes will subside with the introduction of fuzzy squeaky toys he can shred!

Ivan is a hard charger with issues dealing with his enormous amounts of energy that needs an outlet. This would not be a dog for a first-time husky owner. You have to understand so much about them that a novice would give up and take them to a shelter. Mainly because they just can’t understand it. If you don’t find a positive outlet for this energy your house will be eaten. That may sound funny but it’s truer than you think. If you have a car with 700HP and drive it to church on Sundays only, eventually it will break down. Same with high-performance dogs. They need to run, not because they want to (which they do), but because they have to. If they don’t get that release, they will break down, in ways that will come out in various forms.

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