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The Seppala Siberian Sled Dog

The Seppala Siberian Sled Dog is a breed of sled dog that is highly regarded for their exceptional speed and endurance. Imported stock from Siberia was used to found Leonard Seppala's kennel in Alaska, then later in Maine. The Seppala Sled Dog has made a significant impact in American history and mushing. With their impressive athleticism and sharp intelligence, they are a breed that exudes confidence and strength. 

Breed Standards

HeightMales: 19-24 inches - Females: 19-24 inches (Considered a Medium sized dog)

Weight: Males: 30-65 lbs - Females: 30-65 lbs

Life Span: 12 - 15 years

Coat: Like most artic breeds, the Seppala Sled Dog should exhibit a thick, soft textured (plush) coat with a dense undercoat nearly as long as the straight guard hairs, giving a smooth outline and good protection to the dog in any weather conditions. The length of coat ranges from medium to long. Though short "hound-like" coats are sometimes seen and are favoured by sprint racers; the standard medium to long coat is preferred. Any long, shaggy, or curly coats or short coats with lack of undercoat is undesirable for this breed standard and considered a fault.

Body Structure: The overall structure of the Seppala should be balanced and proportional to the build of the dog. The build should appear rectangular in length with the hind-quarters slightly higher than the front legs. The chest should be defined and not narrow. The total muscling of the Seppala should appear well-balanced.

Colors & Markings: Colors vary from all black to pure white with many distinctive shades of grey, fawn, sable, reddish-brown and agouti (wild or wolf like) colors. There are also a wide variety of distinctive markings for Seppalas - Piebald or Splash patterns on a white body/coat are common and acceptable. The Saddleback pattern is also regularly seen. 

Temperament: Being a working breed, the Seppala Siberian Sled Dog is a very energetic dog who exhibits strong desire to please their owners. The natural pulling ability paired with a steady and serious working attitude is the primary characteristics of the Seppala breed. Like a duck to water, pups show a marked disposition to pull in harness at their first introduction to work. A Seppala pup can begin light harness training at 4 months old and should have a desire to run in harness. These dogs are typically happy and inquisitive; though can be reserved toward strangers. Never should a dog show signs of aggressiveness towards humans (unless provoked), this is considered a fault. 


The Seppala Siberian Sled Dog is a artic working breed that traces its origins to Alaska in the early 1900s. The breed was developed by Leonhard Seppala, a renowned Norwegian sled dog racer who achieved great success in the All-American stakes races. Seppala selectively bred his dogs for their exceptional speed and endurance, which earned them a reputation for being able to traverse long distances in challenging weather conditions.


In 1925 Leonard and his dogs were put to the test when they participated in the "Great Race of Mercy". Their unwavering commitment to delivering the life-saving diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska amidst a deadly outbreak was nothing short of remarkable. Seppala and his lead dog Togo fearlessly covered the longest and most challenging leg of the journey, braving blizzards and sub-zero temperatures to ensure the success of the mission. It is good to note that while also brave and determined, many of the other relay mushers only averaged 30 miles each, where-as Seppala and Togo's team covered 261 miles (a true testament of the Seppala Sled dog). Their courage and resilience serve as an attestation to the human spirit. This act of intrepidness further sealed Leonard Seppala and his sled dog's in American history.

Although the Seppala Siberian Sled Dog is a rare breed today, it remains a popular choice for mushing and other outdoor pursuits.

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