Our Heroes • Our Stars • Our Family
Hanging Up the Harness
Our pack typically retires between 8-9 years of age allowing them ample time to enjoy their golden years. Since the average life expectancy of our sled dogs is 14-15 years of age, our beloved husky heroes work for half their lives while the other half is spent in retirement thus allowing them the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds!
Retirement comes easy for our husky heroes since their job has always been a mixture of both work and play, they are already well-established working pets! Our training program is not just about how we can ensure our sled dogs are excellent workers but also well-rounded individuals. By providing an excellent enrichment program that incorporates lots of free run time, toys, games, socialization as well as one on one time, our dogs are so much more than just working dogs, they are working pets. Each welcoming the opportunity to hang up the harness and embrace the couch life!
Since 1983, we have had a long-standing adoption program where we carefully screen individuals, couples and families who are interested in providing one of our dogs with a forever retirement home. A part of our adoption programs means that successful adoptees must understand that although they are the new owners of one of our retired sled dogs, that he or she will forever be a Snowy Owl Husky Hero. We love to see photos our dogs playing dress up with the kids, canoeing, hiking, camping, biking and lounging on the couch. But most off all we love to hear the stories of when one of our dogs listens to a video of us playing in the kennel or out on the trail – how they still get so excited to hear our voices. These dogs are forever in our hearts and us in theirs.
I heard that sled dogs don’t make good pets, is this true?
This statement is something we hear so often and it could not be further from the truth. Any musher saying this is doing a real disservice to all sled dogs and if you hear a musher say this, it speaks volumes about their sled dog welfare program and more specifically to the lack of enrichment their dogs receive. Please know that it is not a true statement and not representative of all sled dogs and has very much to do with how the dogs are cared for a raised.
It goes without question that if a sled dog is only let off their tether or out of their pen to run in a sled dog team, that is all he or she will ever be good at. Anyone who would expect any dog who has been treated like that to embrace retirement is very misinformed.