Before the Great Serum Run...
If you trace the Siberian husky breed as far back as there are records for such things, it all began with a nomadic tribe of Indians that chose to inhabit the barren icy coast of the Bering Strait known as the ChukChi (one reason huskies make such poor watchdogs- as nomads, they are not territorial as a rule).
The ChukChi travelled seasonally, following game and using their dogs as transportation by harnessing several dogs together in a fan shape rather than the string of two by two we see today.
Without their dogs travel would have been impossible so logically, the dogs were valued and presumably well taken care of.
Females were pulled from the team when pregnant to ensure the health of mom and her pups. Only those dogs with good temperament were allowed to breed-it was a common practice to place pups and children in bed together for mutual warmth, so we can assume any ill-tempered pups would be removed from the breeding pool.
The ChukChi's were ahead of their time in following good breeding standards. This resulted in a quality temperament that allowed the ChukChi to harness a team of fifteen to twenty dogs at a time, all pulling in harmony.
These small ChukChi dogs were very much sought after by the natives in the area, who used a larger breed for pulling heavy loads for short distances. The ChukChi did not barter with their dogs-if a ChukChi Dog was bestowed upon you it was considered a great honor, and one not to be taken lightly.
Today's good breeders continue the practice of breeding for temperament and carefully screen potential owners of these intelligent, sensitive dogs.
* Bred to run all day long without tiring.
* Bred to exist on small amounts of food (my adult huskies get about 2 cups of food/day, plus healthy treats in very small amounts)
* Sometimes food guarders. Scarcity of food meant that guarding from other dogs became a matter of life or death
* Efficient diggers. They had to dig through snow for shelter and also to find food
Finally, legend has it that the way you treat your husky in this life determines how you will be treated in the afterlife.
I like to think this is true...