Siberian Huskies are recognized the world over as hard working, long lasting work horses of the arctic. The distinction comes as no accident-these are dogs that have been bred for generations to perfectly suit their need.
Siberian Huskies descend from the dogs of the Arctic Chukchi tribe in Siberia. They were selected for their optimal cold-weather design and bred for traits that would situate them as working animals in a climate that was not fit for many other animals.
Physical characteristics of the Siberian husky which have proven favorable in the inhospitable arctic climate include thick, double-coatings that insulate to keep heat in and keep water out, high-energy, strength, swiftness, agility, and very importantly, endurance.
Siberian Huskies rose as arctic workers also because of their intellectual gifts. Siberian Huskies are very intelligent, can track and navigate well, have excellent intuitive senses, and have friendly personalities, which makes them excellent companion animals on lonely arctic plains. Also, Siberian Huskies are social dogs that love other dogs, so they make a prime team-member.
Originally, the Siberian Husky ancestors were larger in stature; over time, the dog was bred down to medium size because their masters found that Siberian Huskies were more valuable as team-dogs capable of working together. The added benefit to keeping smaller, more compact work dogs is that they require less food and water, which was important as resources in arctic winters could be sparse.
Today, Siberian Huskies serve in a sporting capacity, driving dog-sled teams to victory in arctic sled dog races; historically, and still in some reaches of the arctic, Siberian Huskies were used as sled dogs because they had excellent speed and stamina, and as a team they could pull a significant load. Siberian Huskies have been relied on in the past to carry much needed medicines and supplies to otherwise inaccessible residents in Northern towns.
Siberian Huskies have served in more capacities as arctic work dogs besides being sled-pullers. In their original native Siberia, Siberian Huskies served as herd-dogs, herding reindeer for their Chukchi handlers. Their great noses and intuition have made Siberian huskies successful search and rescue dogs, too.
A number of working dogs have been instrumental to life in the arctic; in fact, in America, the Siberian Husky is a relative late arrival-Siberian Huskies were not introduced to Northern American until the early 1900's, and were not widely recognized until the famed relay dog sleds which brought badly needed Diphtheria serum to a dying Alaska town through an Alaskan blizzard. Since that time, though, the Siberian Husky has proven themselves as a sturdy, willing, and able work dog of the arctic.