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Ditko of Seppala (1969)

Ditko of Seppala (1969)



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History Articles
Educational Resources Covering Seppala and Other Sleddog History

SEPPALA KENNELS PRESENTS here a collection of articles written over the years by J. Jeffrey Bragg on historic working Siberian kennels mostly with special reference to the Leonhard Seppala bloodline. I have attempted to bring to light the interrelationship of the earliest Seppala bloodline kennels in the eastern USA and Canada, as well as to reveal and explain the true extent to which the entire breed (including showdog lines) is indebted to Seppala strain. Without the Wheeler kennel, for example, I doubt the Siberian Husky breed would even exist today; it is shameful that other authors and breed clubs have ignored that fact, neglecting almost totally that crucial part of early breed history. I am happy to offer this work as an educational resource for breeders but please remember that these are copyrighted works that may not be used on other websites without express written permission of the author.


Historical Articles

The Message of Bayou of Foxstand - One little Siberian Husky bitch born in 1949, ancestor of Lyl of Sepsequel and therefore of all today's Seppalas, carries a fascinating tale of breed history in the 1930s hidden in her pedigree. My all-time favourite article.


Sleddog Breed History — Breeders and Kennels

Arthur Walden (A short biographical sketch) - Arthur Treadwell Walden was a contemporary and occasional rival of Leonhard Seppala. He is known today as originator of the Chinook sled dog breed.

Leonhard Seppala (Biographical sketch) - A young resident of Norway who sought adventure and fortune in the Nome Gold Rush of the early 1900s, "Sepp" found fame as archetypal dog driver, probably the best-known musher of all time. His own carefully selected bloodline of Siberian sleddogs survives to this day, a century after he first began working with them.

Harry Wheeler's Seppala Kennels - Wheeler acquired Siberian stock directly from Leonhard Seppala circa 1930. His bloodline became the mainstay both of the Seppala bloodline and of the growing Siberian Husky purebred dog breed. His importance remains largely unknown and unacknowledged by the SH showdog world, but without Wheeler's breeding there would have been no lasting Siberian Husky breed.

Alex and Charles Belford - Alex Belford and his son were a crucial part of the early history of the Siberian Husky and of Seppala strain. With very little breeding, without even a kennel name, the Belfords nonetheless handled, drove and evaluated a great many of the most influential early New England sleddogs.

Cold River Kennels - Rose Frothingham, known as "The Duchess," and her daughter Millie bred and drove the Wheeler bloodline of Seppala Siberian sleddogsand decisively influenced several landmark kennels of the next generation. Bill Shearer's "Foxstand," Lorna Demidoff's "Monadnock," Roland Bowles' "Calivali," Marguerite Grant's "Marlytuk," and even Dr. Roland Lombard's "Igloo Pak" all owed a huge genetic debt to Cold River kennels.

William L. Shearer's Foxstand Kennels - Closely connected to Wheeler, Belfords and Cold River, Shearer's highly personal team and breeding programme was hugely influential in the New England bloodline of racing Siberians. And without Bill Shearer, J. D. McFaul's sleddog career would never have gotten a good start.

J. D. McFaul - McFaul started his dog driving career with stock from Bill Shearer and later took over the central breeding programme for Seppala strain by buying the Wheeler stock and kennel name when Harry retired in 1950. A crucial remnant of McFaul dogs including Ditko of Seppaa and Shango of Seppala formed the nucleus of the Markovo rescue of the Leonhard Seppqla bloodline from impending extinction circa 1970.

Eva B. Seeley's Chinook Kennels - "Short" Seeley and her husband Milton took over the Walden kennel on Walden's return from the Third Byrd Antarctic Expedition. They expanded into Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, sold dogs to the US Army and Navy, and strongly influenced and exploited the fledgling sleddog purebred dog breeds. Although the Seppala inheritors refused to have much to do with Short Seeley or her dogs, she made intensive use of Wheeler stock owned by others to lay down a foundation for the SH showdog fancy.


History of the "Second Foundation" Period history)


Beginnings of the SSSD Project

Part 1 - Bragg and Boucher Re-Enter Seppala Breeding

Part 2 - The "LL" Litter (A Solid Foundation)

Part 3 - End of the Catalunya Idyll

Part 4 - Seppalas Return to Gold Rush Country

Part 5 - Decision Time

Further Sleddog History Resources

Detailed summary bloodline historical sketches for nearly thirty Seppala and part-Seppala kennels of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s may be viewed by clicking the following link:

The "Siberian Husky Bloodlines" site is a unique educational resource; prior to its publication in 2003 there was nowhere on the web where anyone could obtain basic information about historic Siberian Husky working sleddog bloodlines. Complete with several sample pedigrees for every kennel and bloodline, it will be useful to anyone with even a modest interest in his working Siberian's ancestry.



The Seppala Siberian Sleddog Project - Mr. and Mrs. J. Jeffrey Bragg - Box 396 - Rossburn, MB - R0J 1V0 - Canada