Hounds

The Scandinavian (or Alaskan) Hound is the most modern type of sleddogs and is actually a mix between Huntingdogs/Gundogs/Hounds crossed with Alaskan Huskies. This kind of breed is nothing really new, but started already around 1920 in Alaska and a bit later in Europe. Due to the different race types in Europe and Alaska as well as strict quarantine-rules in Scandinavia, 2 different breeding lines were established. In recent times, caused by more easy import/export of dogs, they are basically the same.

In Scandinavia it is tradition already since almost 60 years to race with German Shorthair Pointers or English Pointers. When in the early 1980's the first Alaskan Huskies were imported, the European mushers soon realised that - to be able to beat the Alaskan mushers in races - they have to create something "new". The best pointers were cross-bred with the best Alaskan Huskies and the Scandinavian Hound was created.  The power and the desire to run of the Hunting dogs was given to the next generations and there is hardly another dog breed to find which can run as fast as they can. Probably everybody who has ever seen a dog-team of hounds, was deeply impressed by this power and speed.

The genetic part for endurance is given by the Alaskan Husky; the speed is coming from the pointers side. Important is also the quality of coat from the Alaskan side, as the Pointers have only very short hair. In a good breeding programs, only dogs with lead-potential are used. As hunting dogs have this desire to run and search in front of the hunters, they bring this quality normally automativally with their genetic background.

The Scandinavian Hound has a strong "Desire to go", which can be seen at every start to either training run or in races. The hound loves to work in front of the sled as much as playing with his humans. He has a very good social behaviour and is normally easy to handle and can be taken out for free runs even in big groups, without leaving for individual hunting excursions. His physical development takes a bit longer than for the classic sleddog types; often it is finished only at the age of 3 years. Good hounds have perfect angulations and are well muscled also in the summertimes.

Hound males can reach up to 72 cm height and 34 kg of weight. Females are a bit smaller and lighter. Hounds need the same high quality food as every working sleddog. Some of them need a bit more straw in their houses in winter time and love to have isolated houses.

Hounds have a very close relationship to humans and need a lot of direct contact. They are easy to have inside the house and if one has fallen in love with hounds, it is hard to switch to other breeds later.

At Eräkeskus there are only around 15 hounds, most of them used only for sprint races and private sled-runs. But some special ones like Diego, Rollo or Juha also join on our week-tours and don't care to run up to 70 km. For the nights in the wilderness cabins on tour, we use to take them inside for overnight.