This would probably be the cutest and fluffiest location in Barentsburg. And you have an opportunity to visit one of the most unique husky kennels or centers all over the world. When we started the project, we soon realized that there is plenty of various North sled dog breeds and at different times they all were actively involved in the exploration of the Arctic and dog sledding sport. Thus we had an idea to create a project of the kennel where there would be all the Arctic sled dog breeds. This would give us a chance to compare in detail each breed outwardly, by their temper and working qualities. Nowadays, there is no kennel of the sort as usually, these are only dog centers with 1 or 2 breed. Our task is ambitious but so far, we've been doing pretty well.
Today there are 80 dog booths with 8 Arctic sled dog breeds on the Grønfjorden shore with the magnificent Esmark glacier on the background. You can meet:
Each dog has a specific training course. There are «raid» dogs who will participate in expedition programs. They should be able to traverse from 30 to 70 km per 24-hour period at a steady speed in order not to let the mushers get cold.
There are «canyon» dogs who train in our «homey» canyon round of 12 km. They should know the path and be ready to run 2-3 round sets in a row with guests of different training levels.
Training courses are of 3 sorts – muscle building, improvement of speed performance, and endurance, the same as people do. Besides, relief on Svalbard is technically rather robust. There are many long ascents and descents, quick turns, areas with open ice, and stones. That is why routes on the archipelago are not for «fast» dogs. The main goal of the mushers during training is teaching the dogs to keep the rhythm stable and not to get faster during descents.
HISTORY OF HUSKY KENNEL
When we started working on tourist locations in Barentsburg, we soon realized that we did need a sled dog kennel. It would be impossible to tell the whole story of Arctic exploration without the oldest and most useful way to go through the snow. Worldwide known explorers, Robert Peary and Frederick Cook, were moving to reach the North Pole precisely by the dog sleds. Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole for the first time on dog sleds, as well. In 1969 after over-wintering on the North Pole, the first Trans-Arctic expedition got to Svalbard with sled dogs. It was led by Sir Walter William Herbert. And later, the northernmost mountain of Svalbard Herbertfjellet was named after him.
In April 2016, we brought on Svalbard the first two dogs from a Moscow shelter to start our project. They’ve become the beginning point of our kennel and precisely thanks to them, nowadays, we have the cutest and fluffiest tourist location in Barentsburg. Later seven more puppies arrived in Barentsburg, and since then, we cannot stop and keep growing in any aspect. In 2019, husky kennel hosted guests as an official and full tourist point for the very first time.