We also have a well trained working Labrador, Angus and a German wirehaired pointer puppy, Pippa, for bird hunting.
Our Husky / German Shephard mix Lilly is looking after the compound and keeps things in order.
Our house crew
We have 116 Alaskan Huskies at Ruka Husky.
Currently we have 5 puppies, which were born on the
14th March 2019.
The other dogs in the kennel range from
1- 14 years old.
Our dogs are fed on a raw diet including pork, beef, fish and cow stomach. The dogs’ diet is also supplemented with extra rice, fish oil and vitamins. The dogs are fed once per day in summer and twice per day for the rest of the season. If we are out on a long tour we will also feed snacks to the dogs.
Pork spine for calcium intake and to clean the teeth is a favourite treat!
Most of our working dogs live outside in large fenced pens with an average size of
500 m². This gives them space to roam and play around. The males and females live in separate pens to ensure a planned breeding programme.
Inka & her offspring
Dogs are social animals, who need space and company to thrive. We have between 2 - 8 dogs per pen, which lets them interact with each other and act much more like a pack.
We have 1-2 litters of puppies per year. Each litter can have 2-8 puppies. The mother will give birth to the puppies under our supervision in the house and is then moved to the puppy pen within a weeks time.
The pups normally start training around 8-9 months of age, but do not start working with clients until they are at least one year old. The first few training runs are the most important and we spend a lot of time and effort to make the runs as smooth and calm as possible for the young dogs.
We start training our adult dogs 4-5 times per week with ATVs from the middle of August slowly uping the distance until the first snow comes. We then swap the ATVs for the sleds. By early December our dogs are incredibly fit, strong and looking forward to the start of winter.
Training is important!
Pre season training is vital to build up stamina and prevent injuries during the season, as good muscle tone will deflect most of the wrist and shoulder problems that sled dogs can suffer from. We aim to train around 1500 km with our working dogs and 2000 km with our racing teams before the start of December.
Time to get ready!
When it is time to go running, our dogs know exactly what to do. After a quick warm up sprint across the kennel and some sniffing around, our dogs come running to the training vehicle & harnesses.