Click on the links below to jump to the corresponding sections:
(links open PDF in a new window)
If this message appears, “Cannot use Adobe Reader to view PDF in your web browser. Reader will now exit. Please exit your browser and try again.” select Cancel, not OK to view the form. Or down load a newer version of Adobe Reader http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Click on the dog’s picture for more information!
Meet the Dogs
Norsled holds dog adoption fairs every weekend to introduce people who are interested in adopting a dog to the many wonderful Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds, and northern breed mixes we have. The fairs are held in different locations around Northern California, so please see the “Schedule” to find out where and when one will be near your location. If you know which dog you are interested in, and can’t make the fair, you may make an appointment to meet the dog either at the foster home or kennel…depending on where the dog is located.
It’s a Family Affair
We find it important to include your entire family when meeting a potential dog you’re considering for your family. We also encourage you to bring your own dog(s) to meet with a dog you may like, and see if they agree with a dog you like. This is especially important, because some of these dogs have had very difficult lives, and may not be comfortable with certain other dogs.
If you are considering adoption, we will ask you to fill out an adoption questionnaire. You may find some of the questions a little strange, but they are very important to us in helping you find the right dog. Many people are surprised by how rigorous we are when matching people to dogs, and even if you, and your family, are capable of taking care of these special dogs. The breed is known for being great escape artists, as well as very prey driven. They are NOT typical dogs. We want to try to make sure it is a good fit for you and the dog.
Once you have filled out a form, we will ask to do a home inspection. This is required of all potential adopters. We are primarily looking at your fence to see if it will possibly contain these high energy dogs. A six foot, very secure fence, or a kennel, is usually required. If needed, we will ask you to repair the fence before we allow the dog to be brought to its new home. We also want to see where the dog will sleep, if you have items that need removing away from the fence (they use these as launching pads to get out), and we may recommend certain items in your home to be moved or removed, either for the dog’s health, or the protection of your property.
If you decide you want to adopt, and we have approved your home environment for a northern breed, you will be asked to fill out an Adoption Contract
FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Care Has a Norsled Dog Received?
NorSled dogs are:
- Spayed or Neutered
- Current on Rabies and DHLPP vaccines
- Fitted with a limited slip mushing collar
- Tagged with an ID that is maintained in a database
- Seen by a veterinarian if medical care is needed
- Behaviorist/Dog Trainer if needed
Why Would a Norsled Dog Need Medical Care?
NorSled will pull dogs from shelters with treatable medical conditions. We nurse them and get them the veterinary care they need while finding them homes. In recent times we have treated dogs for conditions ranging from torn knee ligaments, heartworm and hookworm, to broken bones and gunshot wounds.
Our adoption fees range from $250 to $600, depending on the dog’s adoptability. Small puppies usually have a fee of $600, while older dogs have lower fees. Adoption fees go towards vaccinations, heartworm, spay/neutering, micro-chipping, and medical care if needed. Fees help with kenneling, food, collars, leashes, sometimes even toys, and possibly the use of a dog trainer to help with behavior problems. These fees all go towards helping the dogs. We are an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff. You don’t get this kind of full service and care when “buying” a new dog. Your new dog will come to you altered, micro-chipped, and vaccinated. Now all you need to do is get ready to meet your new best “fur”ever friend.
Where Do Norsled Dogs Come From?
Most come from shelters. Realize, many of the local shelters are “kill” shelters; they euthanize the dogs that are not adopted or recovered quickly. We try to work with the shelters as much as possible, even putting dogs up on our site while still in the shelter.
We also sometimes have owner surrenders; people who can no longer keep their dog, for whatever reason. If at all possible, we encourage owners to keep the dogs with them while we try to find the dog a new home. This is less traumatic for the dog.
Before you adopt a Nordic breed dog, there are a few things you should know.
What Nordic breed dogs are:
- Pack animals
- Big shedders
- Smart, independent thinker
- Mischievous, especially when bored
- An escape artist
- Inclined to chase things that move fast
Nordic breed dogs are known for getting out of crates, digging, climbing fences, and being destructive when feeling abandoned or bored. Strong, high fencing and even closed kennels are sometimes needed to contain these dogs.
Additionally, Nordic breed dogs often have a high prey drive. This means they like to chase things that move fast (i.e. livestock, cats, squirrels and other small animals including dogs). The Nordic breed dog can injure or even kill the small animal if they catch it.
Of the Nordic breeds, NorSled specializes specifically in Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Samoyeds. This discussion is intended for individuals new to these breeds in order to determine the answer to the question: “Is one of our dogs the right dog for you?”
The Working Class – Siberian Huskies
- Developed as sled dogs by the Chukchi tribe of northeast Asia
- Colors: red and white, black and white, grey and white, all black, all white and piebald (spotted – rare)
- Eyes: blue, green, brown, black, parti-colored, or each eye a different color (bi-eyed)
- Weight: Males 45-60 pounds; females 35-50 pounds
- Double coated
- Built for speed and endurance
Siberian Huskies are very social, outgoing, fun loving, gregarious, mischievous, affectionate… and exasperating animals. They love being with people and other dogs, and working in large teams in activities such as mushing (runners on snow) and carting (wheels on dry ground). Because they are so social, it is important they be part of the family and not relegated to the back yard. A lonely Sibe is a miserable Sibe who will try escape to find a “pack” to be with and cry, scream, bark, howl to be rescued from their “abandonment”.
Siberians are working dogs – meaning they need a job. They are born to pull and run — and can do so with heavy loads for long distances. Without stimulation, they become easily bored. The results of their boredom can include digging up your garden, running down the street onto a freeway, jumping a six foot fence, or otherwise making or getting into trouble. Additionally, because they are so smart Sibes will begin to mimic people. They have been known to learn how to open doors, gates, and refrigerators by watching people do it. It is critical not to let your Siberian run loose! It is in their genes to run long distances and fast! Lots of exercise and stimulation is key.
With Siberians, “obedience is optional.” Huskies are extremely intelligent and may not want to do what you say. So if you want a dog who will be at your beck and call, get a Golden Retriever! A Siberian is not the dog for you. They work with you, not for you. This independent behavior comes from a long history of being entrusted with a musher’s (and other team members’) lives. If a musher tells a dog to go right, but the dog (having superior canine senses) knows the ice there will crack, the dog disobeys and goes to the left and safety. A savvy Sibe person recognizes the dog’s instincts and is grateful.
So if you want a challenge, pair up with a Siberian Husky or two. Your life will never be the same… and you’ll be very glad!
Suggested Sites About Huskies
- Siberian Husky Club of America
- Siberian Husky Rescue and Referral of California
- The Huskies’ Domain
The Big Guys – Alaskan Malamutes
- Named for the Mahlemuts, the Inuit tribe that developed the breed
- Colors: black and white, red and white, grey and white, sable and white, and all white
- Eyes: brown; the darker the better
- Weight: male 84-85 lbs, female 75 lbs
- Weights can range up to 120 lbs
- Built for endurance and pulling heavy loads, not for speed
Of all the sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute is the largest and most powerful.
Malamutes are very smart, and because of this they grow bored very easily, especially with repetition. Therefore, when training a Malamute the trainer must always work with positive reinforcement to keep the dog’s interest and things fresh. A very astute observation about Malamutes is that “Malamutes live with you, not for you”. The Malamute owner needs to understand pack dynamics and how to be the “Alpha” – then must apply this knowledge day in and day out. The Malamute is extremely social and will need to be a family member – they are miserable “back yard” dogs. They will go looking for social contact if it is denied them at home.
Malamutes, like most Nordic breeds, have a predatory streak a mile wide. However, anecdotally there appear to be more small animal tolerant Malamutes than Huskies. Malamutes are a dog-dominant breed – constantly challenging their canine pack mates – this can lead to some fairly serious fights that the multiple dog owner must be prepared to deal with. They may be territorial with other dogs, but in general are friendly with all people – if you want a dog that will alarm bark or further protect your property or person, the Mal is not the breed you are looking for. If you want a dog that will be happy to see visitors and new people, including delivery people, prowlers, meter readers and the mailman – the Malamute has what it takes!
Suggested Sites About Alaskan Malamutes
- Alaskan Malamute Club of America
- The Alaskan Malamute HELP League
- Starhawk Alaskan Malamutes
- Kodiak and Kayeanna’s Malamonster Realm
- The Alaskan Malamute
- O’Mal Malamutes
The Happy Ones – Samoyeds
Sammie, unlike other Nordic dogs such as Malamutes and the Huskies, actually make fair watch dogs, as they will not allow a stranger to approach without taking notice, usually by barking. They are not guard dogs, as in biting, but rather alerting to danger. Samoyeds are active dogs, with a curious nature. They are very social and make poor backyard dogs – they need to interact with their people and be part of the family.
In our present day world, a working breed dog is great for rollerblading in harness or skijoring as well as carting and pack hiking. A Samoyed is more than just a pet – it’s an adventure!
- Samoyed Club of America
- Expedition Samoyeds
- The Samoyed Home Page
- White star Samoyeds
- Samoyed Health
- Samoyed Health Foundation
- SamHealth Yahoo Group
Other Nordic Breeds
Among the sled dog breeds that are seldom, if ever, seen by NorSled in the shelter system are:
- American Eskimo Dog
- Klee Kai Greenland Dog (Gronlandshund)
- Norwegian Elkhound
- Swedish Elkhound
- Karelian Bear Dog
- Finnish Spitz
- Finnish and Swedish Lapphund
- Asian Spitz dogs such as Kishu