Are huskies Russian? Depends who you ask.
I’m training a sled dog right now.
My friend sasha
is curating a pack of cute
cuddly sled dogs,
that she’s training to be a team.
I was told to turn around as soon
as I got to the polar bear warning sign.
Sasha gave me this vest and said that if
you leave the settlement without a gun
you have to be wearing something bright
to scare off polar bears… Okay.
Now I’m running with a dog named little
Come on Little Snowball, let’s do this.
So it Sasha’s
goal to curate a group of Russian dogs.
This dog is named Dan, and
he’s giving me a run for my money.
Here’s a tricky thing about these dogs being
Russian dogs: even though they have an
origin in Russian traditional culture
meaning these breeds were literally
created by Russian communities many
years ago – even though that’s the case
dog breeding in the 20th century became
this very official enterprise and with
that came all this authority and
bureaucracy surrounding and it’s kind of
these international conventions and
authorities to set the parameters of
what is a husky? And what is a golden
retriever? Excuse my ignorance I don’t
really know many dog breeds.
But during this time, when dog breeding became super official
the Soviet Union was isolated from the
world. People from the Soviet Union
couldn’t go to dog shows in Spain and
Portugal and the United States and so
because of that the Western world kind
of co-opted these breeds.
So, all these Russian dogs that we’re looking at here,
are technically under the authority
and administered by the Nordic Dog Union.
It’s kind of a strange irony. I’m not
going to tell Sasha that, it might
burst her bubble, but to me little snowball you’ll
always be Russian.
Here we are again with
Tor, who happens to be not only Norwegian
and Nordic but also the son of a
world-renowned dog breeder and dog show
judge. So Tor, are these dogs Russian or
do they belong to the authority of the
Nordic Dog Union? Yeah, so I’ve talked to my mom
about this and she was like oh yeah
they’re all Nordic. But then I was like, but it’s Siberian husky and it’s Samoyed and it’s from
Siberia. Like, clearly these are Russian.
I think they’re Russian. They’re developed
3,000 years ago by Inuits and Siberian
peoples and then some Europeans just
“discovered” them or take them away from the Communists and just say like oh we’re
going to take over from here, good job.
I think they’re Russian.