|Barked: Tue Feb 16, '10 1:11pm PST |
|Of the most common northern breeds, Samoyeds probably have the highest tolerence for repitition. They're a herding breed in addition to a draft breed, and that pays off in their ability to listen and take direction from a handler compared to Sibes and Mals, who are more independent. If I HAD to choose a sled dog breed though, I'd look for a well-bred Chinook.
There are a lot of 'northern looking' breeds that are not as closely related to the draft dogs that are also worth looking into. The dogs of the continental Spitz family (Keeshond, AED, German Spitz) are a lot more handler oriented (although we have no grossespitz here in the US, only mittels, so most are smallish.) Lapphunds MIGHT suit but I've only met one and don't know he's typical (he's very sweet, very attentive to his owner, but honestly has little to no drive). There are apparently a number of Eurasiers working as service dogs, though, and even a few chows!
It's not that huskies (or malamutes, or fill in your breed of choice here) CAN'T do it, but that a dog who excells at and enjoys SD training and is trainable by an average owner trainer is going to be a very unusual member of that breed. OT is difficult enough without putting those kind of odds on it in addition to everything else. If 4/10 labs are suitable for SD work (number pulled out of thin air) and 1/20 huskies, it makes more sense to look for one of the 4 rather than that one in 20.
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