TonyaS wrote:I know these dogs love to run, as most larger dogs do. You can see it as soon as they are hitched up to the sled. The only issue I have is the fact that they are chained up and left outside 24/7 in the freezing cold weather. I realize it's the easiest and least expensive way to house the dog, but wouldn't a big heated barn be preferable if the funds were available to have such? In the end, these are domesticated animals, not wolves, so don't they require better living conditions?
People have been running sled dogs for years, and have experimented with lots of different ideas. For awhile the dog barn was an idea that lots of people used (watch the movie, Iron Will set in the early 1900's they all live in a barn), but people eventually realized that dogs were overall healthier and happier when they got plenty of sunshine and fresh air. The enclosed confines of a barn lead to lots of sanitary issues, that even regular thorough cleanings can't keep up with. Plus the fumes generated by the cleaning products used in an enclosed area create respratoty issues as well.
Also, remember that Alaskan Huskies are a pretty primitive dog- they have evolved to live outdoors in the far North (there is actually going to be an article published soon about the extra fatty layer that sled dogs have insulating their vital organs keeping them warmer than many other warmer climate and less primitive dogs) and are comfortable in very low temperatures. Have you spent much time, being well dressed outdoors in the middle of the winter? I winter camp alot and work outside almost everyday of the winter with sled dogs. And can attest to if your used to it, and dressed appropriatly its not bad at all. the dogs seem to appear the same way...happy in their fur coats. Lastly, remember every dog in a dog yard has their own house filled with straw or cedar chips and can go in there and get out of the elements on very cold nights. All in all a great life!