This week we sat down with Kim LeBlanc of Snowmist Siberian Husky fame.
1) How did you become involved in the Siberian Husky breed?
In 1973 my Dad was offered a job north of Toronto. My Mom, Beryl had always wanted a kennel. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a dream come true. In anticipation of living in the country my Mom, went out looking for a Golden Retriever and came home with a red and white blue eyed Siberian. A month later I bought my first Siberian, a black and white brown eyed male that became our first champion. And so the dance began.
2) Is the Siberian Husky your only breed?
Yes! I have tried and worked with other breeds but the Siberian is where my heart is.
3) How many years have you been breeding?
We got our first Siberian in 1973. After the appropriate health checks in 1975 our first litter was born.
4) Describe the Siberian Husky in 3 words?
Athletic, charismatic, Nordic Spitz
5) What to you is the ultimate hallmark of the Siberian Husky?
Clean smooth long efficient strides that would take you miles and miles along a sled dog trail.
6) What are the “must have” traits you must have in your breed?
a) Correct body proportions, slightly more leg than body, longer than tall.
b) Excellent angulation and balance to give you the efficient gait required for their job
c) A temperament that allows a dog to adapt and function in multiple environments.
d) Double coat
e) Excellent feet – poor feet on a sled dog is unacceptable
7) Is exaggeration a problem in the Siberian Husky?
For the most part NO, but yes you will see some extreme styles. Some breeders have bred their working lines for performance only and have lost the look of a Siberian. Others have bred show dogs that resemble ”mal-berians” or “mini-berians”, so there is work to be done by all to keep our breed looking as it should.
8) As a judge of the breed around the world, has the quality of the breed improved or declined?
In some areas the Siberian as a breed is extremely strong. In Thailand a few years ago, they were magnificent. Currently they are not quite as strong as they were but I am sure the pendulum will swing back. There are countries where the Siberian struggles to be competitive at dog shows. The owners don’t understand the care and feeding, but with some help I am sure that could be changed.
9) The current population of our Sport is aging, we have so many successful breeders who are slowly winding down, are you worried about the future of your breed?
Yes! With the passing of the baby boomers there will be an incredible void. We do have some younger Siberian breeders that are the hope and future for us.
10) If you could give a new judge to your breed one piece of advice what would it be?
Structure and movement are an intrinsic part of the Siberian type.
11) What current health testing is required for Siberian Husky breed?
Hips and eyes
12) What dog of the past in your breed would you have like to have owned?
MBIS MBISS Am Can Ch Innisfree’s Sierra Cinnar
13) Describe the routine of a dog you are actively showing?
My show dogs pretty much live the same life as the rest of the gang except for bathing and grooming. Because they are outdoor dogs I try very hard to keep their kennel extra clean and dry.
14) Besides conformation what else does your breed excel at?
Racing, Fast Cat, Couch potatoes, Canicross
15) What type of home do you require for your puppies sold as family companions?
The owners must be active and willing to walk their new puppy regularly throughout the day and its entire life. A fenced yard for Siberians is a must. They are, an on leash at ALL times kind of dog when outside a fenced enclosure. People need to be ready and willing to enjoy the exuberance that is a Siberian.