ISSSC Breed Preservation Project


The purpose of the project is to preserve key breeding lines and maximize genetic diversity in the total population.  This will be accomplished by collecting and storing semen from key studs.  The semen will be collected in a professional canine reproduction clinic and stored in a cryonic facility. 

The semen will be made available to future generations of breeders long after the stud is incapable of natural breeding.  An application process will be opened to I.S.S.S.C. members.  A careful review of the applications by a qualified committee will determine the breeding that will most benefit the Seppala Siberian Sleddog breed for future generations. Thanks to companies like Ruff Hero for supporting our cause.

Selection of Key Studs:

1. An application may be submitted at any time. 

2. An application will include a resume, photos of the dog, and any other information requested by the reviewing board.

3. The dog must be registered with the Continental Kennel Club in the Seppala Siberian Sleddog classification. (i.e. 93% or higher Seppala Content)

4. The dog must have a proven performance record. 

5. The dog must have produced at least one litter meeting all of the above criteria.

6. The application will be reviewed and approved by the Project Coordinator and the Board of Directors of the I.S.S.S.C.

An announcement will be made to active I.S.S.S.C. members when the sperm becomes available.  At that time, the committee will open the application process and set forth application requirements and deadlines for submitting applications.

Selection of Bitches for Breeding:

1. All bitches must meet the same criteria as male donors. (See above)

2. A fee will be determined in advance based on cost of collection, storage, shipping, and any other fees related to collection and storage of the sperm.

3. Applicant breeder will retain full ownership of the pups.

4. All pups must be registered with the Continental Kennel Club.

5. Applicant breeder must be a member in good standing of the I.S.S.S.C.

6. All final decisions will be left entirely up to the Project Coordinator and the Board of Directors.

Project Funding:

Funds will be raised through private donations like the Ruff Hero brands and special fundraising projects.  Additionally, all monies collected from applicant breeders will go back into the fund for future Seppala Siberian Sleddog breed preservation projects.

For More Information Contact:

Patti Carpenter, Project Coordinator
Mile 32, 5436 Hwy 83
Seeley Lake, MT  59868

Telephone:  406-754-3209


Seppala Siberian Sleddog Standard

The Seppala Siberian Sleddog is a dog formed by nature and function. His original environment was cold arctic region 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. The following standard is meant to reflect and preserve this history.

Attitude: The Seppala Siberian has a positive attitude towards his work of pulling in harness and a strong desire to please his owner. When raised in a healthy, wholesome, exercise-oriented environment, he will be amenable to light harness work by six months of age. In good physical shape, he will always pull, and if not totally exhausted or injured, he will never quit. He is always enthusiastic to start whether at the beginning of a run or after a stop within a run. His desire to pull remains undiminished even after several days of running and resting. He always maintains a tight tugline within reason and subject to limitations of his physical ability with respect to speed. Attitude is the number one consideration of a good sleddog, and can be only evaluated under a stressful team situation such as in a long tough race. ( 25 points )

Movement: The over-all movement of a Seppala combines the effortless, smooth, flowing, graceful motion of a ballerina with the powerful, quick, direct, controlled motion of a gymnast. He is light on his feet, quick in his action, balanced and smooth in his forward progress. No choppiness or exaggerated movements by any of his body parts- legs, shoulders, head, buttocks, etc – should occur. He should never appear clumsy. The limbs should travel in straight forward paths, the head should be held low, the tail should be down and at a fast trot or more, he should single-track. At a easy lope he should have a slight up and down movement like that of a rocking chair. At a fast lope his head should be straight out or down like he is trying to “eat the
trail “, and his motion should be totally directed forward with little energy expended towards up-and-down movement. His power should be coming from his rear end, and he should never appear to be pulling his body from his front end. When moving and pulling at a rapid pace and viewed from the side, he should display a long front end reach (stride) without undue upward movement of the head, and a well extended rear movement. Viewed from the rear he should single-track and show a powerful rear thrust. The front and rear movements should be balanced and synchronized. There should be absolutely no distortion of body movement, such as crabbing, hackneying or slow-motion double suspending, to accommodate the front and rear legs under the body. Movement should be evaluated in a pulling situation at speeds greater than 12 miles per hour. ( 20 points )

Front End Angulations: The front legs should be set well under the body, both the angles of the shoulder blade and upper arm make with the  vertical passing through the point of the shoulder  greater than 45 degrees. See fig. 1 ( 15 points )

Rear End Angulations and Flexibility:  The rear stifle should have a pronounced bend producing a moderate to well angulated rear and should be moderate to long in length. When the hock is vertical, the angle between the femur and pelvis at the hip joint should be less than 100 degrees, with 90 degrees being preferred. It is very important that the stifle and hock be flexible. This determines how well the dog uses his rear angulations. Little effort should be needed to straighten out the rear leg at the point of the hock and above. A dog should be able to stretch his rear leg in a straight line as a normal course of events.  An indication of stiffness  is when the legs remain bent at the point  of the hock  even when the dog stretches. Moderate rear angulations with extreme flexibility is ideal. ( 15 points )

Figure 1
Front end Angulations: A ridge runs from the point of the shoulders to the top of the shoulder blade and can usually be located by finger tips in approximately the center of the blade. The line following this ridge should make an angle of approximately 45 degrees with the vertical when the heel-pad stands directly under the center of the shoulder blade.

General Body Structure: The Seppala is a natural dog, weighing between 30 and 60 pounds and standing 19 to 24 inches at the front shoulders. The ideal is 48 pounds and 23 inches with females slightly smaller than males.
The head should be of moderate size, finely chiseled and can be either fox like or wolf like in appearance. The ears are tall, set close together on top of the skull and moderately rounded at the tips rather than pointed. Although not desired, there is no penalty for floppy ears. .

Figure 2
The pelvis should have an angle of approximately 30 degrees with the horizon.
Stop is moderate with no penalty for too much or too little. Bite may be level or scissors, but a scissors bite is preferable. The neck should be arched and moderate to long in length, never short.
The back should be of moderate length, neither too short or too long. The length of the back should be in proportion to the size (height) of the dog, so that the length from the point of the shoulder to the back of the buttocks is about 112% of the height of the dog at the withers.
The croup is rounded, sloping downward from the top of the hipbone to the tail set giving the appearance of a wheel segment. The tail should come out horizontally or lower, and never be a snap tail, a ring tail or come out to the side. When pulling, the tail is held low and stiff.
The rear stance should be sturdy and sound, neither too narrow or too wide. The rear legs should track behind the front legs, never outside them, never inside them.
The lower chest should extend well back (deep) with a pronounced tuck up between the chest and stifle. The fore chest should be narrow to moderate in width and extend well forward of the legs. The complete chest should give the appearance of a keel of a boat.
A good thick, large, firm, flexible foot with well-cushioned pads is important. Splayed out, flat, soft, as well as tiny “cat feet” are not desirable. All pad colors are acceptable. The pasterns should be strong and flexible, but never to the point that they flatten out (go down). (13 points)

Coat and Pigment:  The Seppala coat is a "plush" coat in which the undercoat is practically as long as the guard hairs. The coat should be soft and of sufficient thickness to protect the dog in extremely cold temperatures, for example minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The long dense "wooly" coat is not desirable, but is not considered a fault. Long flat, possibly wavy coats are a fault, and short coats with no or little undercoat are extreme faults. Coat colors can be anything and in any pattern. It is preferable that nose, lips and eye rims are black, but not a fault if they are not. (4 points)

Personality:  The Seppala is a happy, curious, intelligent dog that, properly socialized, is a joy to own. He has  high energy that needs to be regularly exhausted and can be predatory towards smaller animals. However, he is well socialized with his own kind and never aggressive towards people. (4 points)

Metabolism:  The Seppala is a naturally hardy dog that requires minimal food for a dog of his size. His low metabolism and well insulated exterior make a extremely efficient working animal that is worth preserving. (4 points)

Summary:  To repeat, nature and function has made the Seppala what he is. To contradict this would be a defamation of the breed.  


Four titles will be acknowledged:

OSD    for OutstandingSled Dog
for OutstandingLead Dog
for Extraordinary Sled Dog
for Extraordinary Lead Dog

will supercede the others, OSD will be superceded by the others, and XSD and LD can be held simultaneously.

The L-titles require that the dog be a primary leader in at least half the races supporting his title.

Titles will be awarded by the Continental Kennel Club as recommended by a committee of the Breed Club who will accept nominations for titles only in accordance with the following rules:

(1) The annual Crown winner in 12+ class can select up to 4 dogs for OSD or LD titles with no more than 2 designated LD.  The second place team can select up to 2 dogs with no more than one designated LD, and the third place team can select 1 dog for an OSD title.

(2) The annual Crown winner in 6-10 dog can select up to 2 dogs for OSD or LD titles with no more than 1 designated LD, and the second place team can select 1 dog for an SD title.

(3) Anyone can apply for OSD or LD titles provided that the dog has competed  in 7 CKC-sanctioned races on a team that finishes within 120% of the winner’s time.  The LD title will apply only if the dog was a primary leader in at least 4 of the races.

(4) Anyone can apply for XSD or XLD titles provided that the dog has competed in 7 CKC-sanctioned races, of which at least 4 must be from the 12+ dog class, on a team that finishes within 110% of the winner’s time.  The XLD title will apply only if the dog was a primary leader in at least 4 of the races with at least 2 of these in the 12+ class..

(5) Effective until January 1, 2005, anyone can nominate for any title any Siberian Husky posthumously who was an ancestor of a Founder and had a distinguished  racing record.

A sanctioned race is any race open to all Crown teams, advertised nationally, satisfying the trail-rest requirements in the Crown and with at least 4 entries.

Seppala Siberian Sleddog Registration

(1)   The Seppala Siberian  Sleddog (SSS) is a pure breed (with its own registration category).

     (2)   Initial registration into the SSS-bloodline category will proceed by submitting the regular CKC-registration application, a three-generation pedigree (applicant dog plus 3 additional generations) and the appropriate fee to a designated representative of the breed club (Seppala Siberian Sleddog Club) or the CKC, who will forward the pedigree to the breed club representative. The applicant dog must be a purebred Siberian Husky (SH). The breed club representative will determine the Seppala content of the dog. The CKC will issue a registration based upon the following criteria:

      ( a )  SSS-category, if, and only if, Seppala content is equal to or greater than 93 %.

      ( b )   Misc.-SSS-SH category, if, and only if, equal to or more than 50 % Seppala content and less than 93 % Seppala content.
      ( c )    S H category or reject for all other cases. 

In cases ( a ) and ( b ) the registration will contain the Seppala content number to the nearest 1 %. In these two cases the dogs listed in the applicant-dog’s three generation pedigree will be entered in the CKC memory banks to be used to generate pedigrees for descendants. Initial registration will cease January 1, 2004.

    (3) Starting January 1, 2004
Registration in the Seppala Siberian Sleddog Class will occur provided the applicant dog has sire and dam already registered in the Seppala Siberian Sleddog Class.

Registration in the Seppala Siberian Sleddog Class can occur for a dog with one parent registered in the Seppala Siberian Class and the other in a Miscellaneous Class provided the applicant has 

Seppala Content > 93%

and fits the Standard of the Breed.  Fulfilling the Standard of the Breed shall include, but not be limited to, satisfying the following requirements:

    Weight:  males 35-60 pounds, females 30-55 pounds;

    Height:  males 20-24 inches, females 19-23 inches

    Coat:  adequate for survival in a harsh artic environment

    Attitude:  a willingness and strong desire to pull when in harness

    Personality:  friendly, gentle and with a strong desire to please.

Seppala content will be determined by averaging the Seppala content of the sire and dam. The Seppala content is the number printed on  the dog’s registration immediately following the name. If the sire or dam has no Seppala content number stated on its  registration or is an unregistered dog, then it will be assigned a Seppala content of zero.

Halti Collar

Halti Training Collars for Dogs

This is a story about Charlie a Golden Labrador rescued from a dog rescue home (but could have been a seppala siberian dog for all purposes). We couldn’t quite believe just how well behaved he was when we first got him, given it was from the vets after he had all his jabs and things to prepare him for his new life, an environment that must have been very alien after months spent in the dog rescue.

So first impressions were very good, now obviously he had been living in a cage for while in the dog rescue so he wasn’t absolutely perfect, we did get one or two undesirable packages the first day or two if you know what I mean, but he soon got out of that and quickly picked up the fact that this was an outside activity.

Halti Collars

We live in the country and can literally access farmers fields right out of the garden so walks were pretty laid back, we rarely met anyone on route and there wasn’t too much to get exited about so other than a little bit of pulling on the lead it wasn’t too much of a problem taking Charlie for a walk. Who needs training aids I thought at this early stage this is easy, little did I know what was to come.

Dog training aids, who needs them

The problems only really started as Charlie gradually got used to his new home and grew in confidence as he settled in to his role as family pet. It has to be said, I think he fancied himself as the pack leader, despite our endless hours of watching the dog training programs to get the inside track on dog training.

Initially he just began pulling pretty hard on the leash when we walked him, but this in itself can be pretty wearing and will put a dampener on what should be a pleasant experience both for the dog and for you.

Charlie started to show us that he was clearly anything but trained on a leash, so every smell, bird flying off or rabbit making a break for it resulted in him trying to take off in a direction which was usually the opposite to the one we wanted to go in and generally at about four times the speed we were capable of doing it.

As time went on we also found out that when we did actually meet other dogs on our walk Charlie would get really excited and would start lunging and pulling trying to get to the other dog, he seemed to have a particular issue with small dogs and we really weren’t sure whether he was being aggressive or just wanted to play, unfortunately we really couldn’t take the risk that it was the former.

So there we have it: –

  • constant pulling on the leash
  • dragging us off into the undergrowth
  • taking off in the wrong direction
  • and worst of all lunging and barking at other dogs

Any of this sound familiar?

So then what could be done about these problems, enter the life saver a ‘halter dog leash’. This is a leash that goes over the dogs head and has a figure of eight loop, the large loop goes around the dogs neck and a smaller loop goes over his nose and sits around his muzzle.

The one we got came from a Gun Dog supplies outlet and was a really simple, relatively thin black rope which was very soft and flexible.

The point with this type of leash is that it is the dogs head which is now the point where the pulling force materializes rather than his neck and shoulders, which as you might imagine is the perfect location for the dog to pull from, a bit like a husky pulling a ski sled.

Now when he pulled it just turned his head and he couldn’t generate any force at all. Also it was much easier to direct him because with a little gentle pulling of the leash we could point his head in the right direction and a dog will follow his nose.

Same applied to the lunging problem, he simply couldn’t do it because he could not pull effectively on his leash. Now this might sound a bit mean but it really wasn’t because he rapidly learned that to try and pull was not at all comfortable also using this type of leash actually puts you in the driving seat, you are controlling operations, not the dog.

Suddenly life became easy again, he was a changed dog, we were less stressed and I highly recommend this type of leash for anyone experiencing the types of problems described.

One word of warning however, with this type of leash you cannot snap back on it like you might with a normal leash because you could actually hurt your dog, this leash is used as a gentle restraint because that is all that is required.

Different types of training collars for dogs

The halter leash that was used for Charlie actually came from a gundog supplies company in the UK called Harvey Daniels and is listed under ‘Gundog Halters’. But there are a number of training collars available through Amazon that work on exactly the same principle.

Halti Collar
Halti Collars Are Effective

Two of the most popular are the ‘Halti head collar’ and the ‘Gentle leader head collar’ which I have listed here for convenience. They both come in lots of different sizes unlike the Gundog halter used for Charlie which was one size fits all, it has a slip lead action that allows the lead to snug around the dogs neck and muzzle with a small friction washer or similar that slips in behind the loop to stop it going slack again.

That said there was a slight problem with this type of leash in that it does tend to tighten if the dog still pulls and can choke the dog a little. The Halti or the Gentle leader does not do that, so if you like the look of these leashes then just make sure that you choose the right size for your dog and you will be fine.

You will find lots of different opinions about these leashes, most give amazing results and I have to say that it was my experience, Charlie went from being a real pain to take for a walk to a real pleasure and this was literally in minutes. He did try and pull the nose loop off to begin with but that really didn’t last long and he was soon enjoying his walk and seemed to become unaware that he was wearing a head halter.

In truth, there were odd occasions when he might spot a rabbit or deer, which would still make him decide to try and take off despite the training (he is a gun dog after all), and it was for this reason that in the end we switched to a Gentle Leader to retain the control we had using a head collar but without any choking involved

So as far as general care for dogs goes, finding the right lead to correct behaviour problems is not as black magic as you might think, there is some science behind it.