The dogs we now know as Siberian Huskies are an amazing example of selective breeding over time to produce a form which perfectly fits the function of the breed. Imagine the complex specifications if we tried to produce such a breed today:
- Survive and function effectively at temperatures down to -50 degrees C without any artificial aids.
- Pull a lightly laden sled tirelessly day after day over vast distances in arctic/sub-arctic conditions and enjoy it!
- Survive and thrive on the bare minimum of food.
- Be intelligent enough to take instructions from the sled driver, and also intelligent to ignore such instructions if they are likely to lead the team into danger
- Survive and function effectively at temperatures up to 35 degrees C
- Be capable of hunting and catching its own food if necessary.
- Be able to live happily with large numbers of other dogs with minimal friction.
- Love people in general and children in particular so that they can be used in winter to sleep with the children and keep them warm.
- Look absolutely beautiful at all times.
- Combine an infinite capacity and appetite for work with an ability to sleep anywhere and everywhere at the drop of a hat.
- Be capable of jumping/climbing high fences.
- Be capable of digging escape tunnels worthy of “The Great Escape” or “Colditz”
- Be capable (if given the opportunity) of destroying almost anything in seconds.
- Combine the characteristics of an iron-hard sled dog with that of the softest lap dog.
The Siberian Husky, which is directly descended from the sled dogs developed over a period of several thousand years by the Chukchi people of North-eastern Siberia , fulfils all these “functions” within its efficient and beautiful “form”.