What's The Difference?

~ Jessica Breinholt, Kaylenberg Siberians ~


Tega and SittaraOver time, and due to the interests of the individuals involved with the breed, the purebred Siberian Husky has "split" into two particular types of dog. There are those whose ancestors come from predominantly conformation-oriented lines (show lines), and those who come from predominantly racing-oriented lines. At Kaylenberg, we have both types of Siberian, and there is a distinctive difference.

Isis and Tundra - photo by Maren GibsonTo the right are Isis (left) and Tundra (right). Isis is a Racing Siberian Husky -- that is, her background is based almost entirely in racing lines, such as Sepp-Alta and Foxhaunt. Because she -- and her ancestors for several generations -- has been bred primarily for speed in sled dog racing, little emphasis has been placed on appearance. Because of this, many Racing Siberians have light to no coloring (i.e. they're pure white), and lack the more symmetrical markings that typify most Siberians from conformation lines. They are lighter in bone and often leggier in build. They also tend to have less coat.

Isis and Tundra - photo by Maren GibsonTundra, as you can see, has symmetrical markings, and is solidly black and white - versus Isis, whose grey and white splashed coat is less typical. Tundra's ancestry is based heavily in conformation lines. Because many of the dogs in her background have been bred predominantly for the show ring, they maintain many of the more classic Siberian traits that one thinks of when they picture the breed. She has a bit more bone than Isis, and her legs are more in proportion to her body than those on the leggier Racing Siberians. She also has a thicker coat.

It is important to remember that although the difference between these two types of Siberian comes from the intent and focus of those who bred them, both are equally capable of doing the job that the Siberian Husky was orginally bred for: RUNNING IN HARNESS!

Badger and Gunner

© Copyright 1998, by Jessica Breinholt. Please do not reproduce without written consent.
Images of Isis and Tundra provided by Maren Gibson - Denali Photography

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