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Seppala Siberian Sleddog

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Seppälä Siberian Sleddog
Seppala Siberian Sleddog.jpg
Two Seppala Siberian Sleddog lead dogs
Breed statusNot recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

A rare working dog breed, the Seppala Siberian Sleddog is developed for the purpose of pulling a sled in cold countries. It is a moderate-sized dog averaging 18 to 23 kg (40 to 50 pounds) weight and 56 to 58 cm (22 or 23 inches) height. Colours and markings are considered of little importance; eyes may be brown, blue or any combination of the two colours. Seppalas are active and energetic but very docile and trainable.

Seppäläs show a primitive canine type, never having been bred or selected for conformation or the show ring. The breed shares its ancestral base with the Siberian Husky and for half a century shared the same registry with that breed, but was bred always exclusively as a working sleddog breed in its own right and kept apart from show bloodlines. In the late 1990s, it was recognized by Canadian agricultural authorities as a new "evolving breed" and in 2002 a similar separate breed initiative was started in the United States.

The line of huskies was first developed by musher Leonhard Seppala himself in Alaska, from the bloodline of his champion lead sled dog, Togo, a dog who became famous for dominating races and for his remarkable 264 mile run during the 1925 serum run to Nome, as portrayed in the film of the same name.


The Seppala Siberian Sleddog is a dog formed by nature and function. His original environment was the cold Arctic, in which survival required a well insulated coat, low metabolism, small to medium size and over-all physical toughness. His original function was to pull lightly loaded sleds over moderately long distances at a rapid pace. His latter function was to race, usually over moderately long distances with little or no load.[1]

Size and Structure[edit]

The Seppala is a natural dog weighing between 30 and 60 pounds and standing 19 to 24 inches at the shoulders. The ideal is 48 pounds and 23 inches for males, slightly less for females. The Seppala is slightly longer than tall at the withers, with a back proportional to the rest of their body.


The head is moderately sized, wolf or fox-like in appearance as is true of many other Spitz-type breeds. Ears are triangular and set at the top of the skull. Taller, larger and more upright-formed ears are often a hallmark of Seppalas which set their appearance apart from other Siberians.

Coat and Colors[edit]

Team of Seppala Siberians

The Seppala has a thick and dense double-coat with a soft and insulating undercoat, nearly as long as the coarser outer guard hairs.

Seppalas come in a variety of exotic and unique markings, many of which are not seen in show-bred Siberians. Any and all colors are seen, including pure white to pure black, and are permitted by ISSSDC standard, as well as spotted piebald, wild-type agouti, saddleback markings, and anything in between.[2] The sole color not found in pure-strain Seppalas is the "copper" red coloring commonly seen in show-bred Siberian Huskies, stemming from a gene causing the absence of black pigment and resulting in liver-colored noses and lips. "Red" colorings seen in pure Seppala lines are of a sable pattern, usually carrying a brownish tone and having black noses, lips, and points.

Colors and markings are never a consideration or factor in breeding choices for the Seppala.


  • Bragg, J. Jeffrey (1976). The Seppala Siberian: A Breeder’s Manual, Vicksburg, Mississippi: Privately published.[unreliable source?]
  • Bragg, J. Jeffrey (1996). The Seppala Siberian Sleddog: An Evolving Breed in Canada’s Yukon Territory, Whitehorse, Yukon: (Privately published brief submitted to Agriculture Canada).[unreliable source?]
  • Ricker, Elizabeth M. (1930). Seppala: Alaskan Dog Driver, Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Willett, Douglas W. (1986) The Seppala Siberian, Viola, Idaho: Heritage North Press.
  • Anonymous (2002). The International Seppala Siberian Sleddog Club, Seeley Lake, Montana: Privately published.[unreliable source?]

External links[edit]

This article "Seppala Siberian Sleddog" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Seppala Siberian Sleddog. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

  1. "THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE SEPPALA SIBERIAN SLEDDOG". www.seppalas.com. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  2. "THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE SEPPALA SIBERIAN SLEDDOG". www.seppalas.com. Retrieved 2020-11-26.