I am a powerful, energetic dog that loves to work. Ancient people in northeastern Asia (a tribe called the Chukchi) used me as to pull light loads on a sled long distances in cold temperatures. I was brought to North America in 1908. In 1925, teams of my breed led "serum runs" in Nome, Alaska. Many people in the area got sick from a disease called diphtheria, so sled-dog teams raced to bring them medicine that would help them get well. You may have read the story of "Balto", a famous member of my breed who who led his sled dog team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome.
My breed also served in the U.S. Army's Arctic Search & Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command during World War II and in the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions. During these trips, Richard Byrd used airplanes, snowmobiles and sled-dog teams to take photos and learn about the geology and science of Antarctica.
My breed loves to have fun! We are often chosen to compete in sled-dog races around the world. We were recognized by the AKC in 1930, so now we compete in dog shows in the Working group. We also participate in rally, obedience, agility tracking and other events.
I have erect ears and a fox-brush shaped tail. I usually carry my tail over my back in a gentle curve when I am at attention. A trailing tail is normal when I am relaxed.
My breed has a medium-length double coat that can be any color from pure black to white. Be prepared with a brush when I shed my coat once or twice a year! According to our national breed club, our coats are very dense and can fill an entire basket at shedding time. Our eyes can be brown, blue, one of each, or multi-colored.
Because my breed was bred to run over long distances, exercise is important. We have a lot of energy that needs to be channeled in a positive direction to keep us from developing any bad chewing or digging habits. It's very important I have a fenced yard to run in or a way to exercise on leash.
We are intelligent, personable, affectionate and outgoing. Add those traits to our independent spirit and eager-to-please attitude, and you get a great breed for working and companionship!
What breed am I?