Chukchi —–> Husky?

If you’re a Siberian Husky owner, it might interest you to know that the addition of the word, “husky” to the breed’s name wasn’t seen in print until 1929, just before the breed was recognized by the AKC. In fact, before that time, the breed was known as the Siberian Dog or Arctic Husky, but more interestingly, the Chukchi Dog (named after the ancient Paleo-Siberian people who live in Russia’s extreme northeastern section of Siberia). Why interesting? Because one theory holds that “husky” came from the mispronunciation of ‘Chukchi.’

The Siberian is one of the most undiluted of all the northern breeds, and it’s possible that the breed was bred pure for some 3,000 years. Having a Siberian Husky in a tribe could mean the difference between life and death for families, so the Chukchi were highly selective of the dogs that they allowed to reproduce and castrated all but the best lead dogs. Women cared for the dogs, so temperament was important since the dogs were essentially reared with the children. Ultimately, the Chukchi developed an incredible dog.

26 thoughts on “Chukchi —–> Husky?”

  1. As an owner of a Chukotka/Chukchi dog that has been Embarked DNA. He is not the Modern Day Siberian Husky. They don’t even compare . There were 1500 documented Chukotka dogs in 2013, others in Siberia where part Laika and even some Modern Siberian crosses as well as other Arctic dogs imported to Russia. To say the Siberian maybe purebred for over 3000 years is false. The Siberian became purebred in 1929! Some of the foundation stock, including the great TOGO was 1/4 Malamute. His 1/2 brother Fritz was out of Imported dogs. The Landrace dogs of Siberia, differed by what tribes were breeding them. Hence a Kamchatka dog, did not look like a Chukotka dog, or a Yakuitian Sled dog!

    • I am going to correct myself, as JP Norris has letters from Victor Anderson written to his father Earl Norris ( Anadyr Siberians)., Fritz and Togo’s breeder that they were brothers. He also stated that Sepp not Suggen is the sire.

        • Thank you. We are hoping to import a female this spring. The dogs I am importing are the first since 1929/30 to the lower 48 states. Olaf Swenson, a fur trader who was contracted by L. Seppala and Liz Ricker to purchase a 14 dog team for Liz on his journeys to Siberia. Only a few of the dogs survived the voyage, and even those that did, once they got here succumbed to distemper and lepto. But the two great foundation dogs Kreevanka and Tserko went on to help establish the the Modern the Siberian Husky.

          One also has to remember that the majority of dogs imported from Siberia to Alaska or the lower 48 were neutered and incapable of breeding. The gene pool is quite limited . Some great books on early Siberian history were written by people I knew quite well John Tanner, JR. and Bob Thomas. John’s book is Alaskan Trails , Siberian Dogs. Bob’s book Leonard Seppala and the Golden Age of dog racing. The current natives of Siberia still neuter the males and cull the females, except for those they keep intact for breeding. Much hasn’t changed in Siberia in over 100 years.

          • Dogs in Neskan Chukotka Siberia 2016 . Landrace Chukotka Sled dogs.

          • Fascinating stuff, Deb. Have you encountered many other owners?

      • Wow, your dog looks just like mine. He is a husky x German Spitz. Only difference is that mine has chocolate eyes.

  2. Here are dogs from Lorino Chukotka Siberia…2008 much bulkier than Neskan dogs. Yet all from Siberia.

  3. And another Chukotka sled dog from Inchoun Chukotka Siberia 2004, this dog is a grandmother to my dog. the bottom picture of the Lorino dogs is my dog’s other grandmother.

  4. Another picture of Val’ve , Chukotka/Chukchi sled dog. has a pedigree but is a “Land race dog”.

  5. “Husky” is generally believed to have been a corruption of “Esky” (for Eskimo), not Chukchi, and given the decimation of the Siberian tribal dogs shortly after the last imports to Alaska, it’s not surprising that our Siberian Huskies would have a different genetic mix than animals in parts of Siberia are now.

      • I agree with Michael, and I can’t remember where I saw, it. But Husky was from Eskimo and not from Chukchi. The dogs are know as Chukotka in Russia, not Chukchi. If you register with the RKF , the dogs are Chukotka Sled Dogs.

    • Yes, I have seen the AKC Embarked Sibeian results that have Alaskan husky genetics.

  6. One must remember , that only 9 dogs that Harry Wheeler acquired form Seppala/ Ricker ,formed the basis of the Seppala Strain of Siberian. The Modern Show Siberian of Seeley breeding added two additonal Studs, Tuck and Duke. Harry Wheeler ( Seppala Kennels) never used these two studs in his breeding program and did not feel they were of worth to contribute to his Seppala Siberians. This is what made the Seppala Strain unique from other Siberians, until Doug Willett (Sepp-Alta) bred into dogs from Seeley origins in 1990’s. Jeff Bragg, imported a Russian dog from the West Ural mountains to help the bottle neck of the Seppala Breeding. Bragg’s state that the Pure Seppala Siberian is now extinct. There are no more Siberians totally of Seppala/Ricker/Wheeler influence with out the additon of “outside” blood.

  7. I have imported my second Chukotka dog right from a Chukchi native that is preserving the dogs in Siberia. Are these dogs Siberians, not in your wildest dreams. But they aren’t extinct. Do I want to breed them into Siberians, why ruin a good dog. Siberians have too many genetic and behavioral problems. These are the real deal. A friendly, velcro type, trainable, and I mean trainable dog, that wants to please. I will be importing my third later this year, but these dogs should never be mistaken for Siberians, nor are they purebred, as my native breeder says, they don’t keep records! So how were these dogs “purebred” in Siberia for centuries, with no registry and no documentation! I got a birth date Sire and Dam with my Chukchi/Chukotka sled dog! That’s it , some purebred~

    • How do you come to aquire Chukchi dogs? I’m very interested in the orignator breed of Siberian Husky’s for somtime just could not figure out how to require them.
      Please reply,


      • Our apologies, Peter, but we don’t understand your question.

    • And a handsome one, as well. Thanks for writing and sharing the photo, David!

  8. The usage of word husky predates the arrival of the Siberian husky in North America. The indigenous people of the North American Arctic were pejoratively referred to as Esquimaux by French trappers, which devolved into various slang like Uskee, Uskeemaw, Huskemaw. etc. The name Husky basically means “the Eskimo’s dog” and any indigenous North American sled dog was labelled a husky. This is why historical documents from the 18th and 19th century refer to native Greenland dogs, Canadian Inuit Dogs, and the various dogs produced during the Hudson’s Bay Company era (like the Mackenzie River Husky) as huskies, years before the Siberian Husky would arrive to North America at the beginning of the 20th century.

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