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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Zala/Phoenix Breeding

Photo by Hailey
Zala is a half Hedlund Husky/half Zulu line Alaskan Husky.
As you can see by the look in her eye, she is intensely focused on her job, never slacking. She got her Uncle Klaus' work ethic and for a female that is only 45lbs and 24 inches at the shoulder, pound per pound, she does her job and takes up the slack for anyone else in the team. She is a quirky, silly girl when off duty and has been a firecracker from birth, always thinking.

Photo by Don Deckert
Phoenix is a deep Hedlund Husky line Alaska Husky.
The look in his eyes tell it all. He is a sweet, kind and honest dog. He does the job of two and is extremely attentive in open country lead, taking turns on a dime. When he was younger and learning to pace himself, he often had to be unclipped from his tug line because he pulled so darn hard we thought he might hurt himself before he figured it out. Phoenix weighs 70-75lbs and measures 29 inches at the shoulder.

With the unexpected and upsetting lose of two dogs in our kennel this year, we have no choice but to accelerate our breeding plans. Topa and White Feather were to be our next candidates for breeding, however they are far too young at the moment. Tuloon has had two litters and that is enough considering both were difficult for her. Our only other intact female is Zala, a half Hedlund Husky, half Zulu line firecracker of a sled dog.

We initially had decided not to breed Zala purely because of her smaller size. In all other aspects, she is an excellent example of a well rounded, hardworking, traditional sled dog. With our current needs and due to the fact that we recently were startled to hear that there are so few intact Hedlund Huskies left, we had to change our direction. We do run the risk of having smaller females from this pairing, even with the sire's 70-75lb weight and rangy build. However, we run an even greater risk of losing this line all together if a concerted effort to disperse the Hedlund genes is not made. Zala's pups will have to be assessed for size in addition to all other desired traits and those that don't meet the standards must be spayed/neutered.

Phoenix has a mix of sizes in his family tree as does Zala. When dealing with an Alaskan Husky line, there can be so many different variables one must just choose the most desired traits to pass on to future generations. Genetics is a roll of the dice. First and foremost is the temperament and then we move down the list from there.

We are hopeful that this pairing will produce dogs with sound temperaments and builds, good coats, excellent work ethics and dogs with amazing leader potential as both parents are leaders. Size will be the wild card.

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