65- Why Are You a Siberian Husky?

The Siberian Husky is THE snow dog. When you look at people doing sled racing, it is likely this dog that you think of. It’s also the dog that someone who doesn’t know much about dogs thinks looks like a wolf. These are actually a pretty healthy and old breed, and you would be surprised that it actually comes from Russia. That’s right, it’s not a misnomer like the Australian Shepherd or the Labrador (which is totally from Newfoundland, ha! Well, originally I mean.) The dog has a lot of breeding and popularity in the United States. 

The dog can come in several different colors, and it made its claim to fame with the Nome Serum Run. The famous trek in Alaska where several dog teams carried serum for diphtheria. These dogs have been used to pull sleds in both the Arctic and the Antarctic and are regarded as the best sled dog around. It is actually a much smaller dog compared to sled dogs of the time it was introduced. 

Kyle talks about how he started reading a sad book about dogs. Caitlyn is excited that we use a lot of latin, since no one can stop her mispronunciations. 

Song is “Snow Dogs” by Brunswick Project

52 – Why Are You A Chinook?

The Chinook, not to be confused with the helicopter, or the Native American Tribe, is a dog developed for sledding. I say developed, because this dog has a very straight forward lineage. Arthur Walden, basically had a dog he considered so fantastic, that he wanted to make it into a dog breed. It’s easy to see that he really did like this dog, as he took it all over the world, from the north to the south pole. It had very dominant traits that it was able to develop into a full breed, which has only been recently accepted into the AKC and UKC.

One of the interesting things about the breed standard, is that there is no standard for their ears. The ears can be straight, floppy, or propellor shaped. One of the more bizarre features this breed has is a

medical condition where male dogs can be born without testes. This, as well as tight constraints on breeding during it’s early days has contributed to this dog being one of the rarest dogs on earth. It had actually been entered into Guinness book of world records three times for it’s scarcity.

We get a letter from Producer Mike explaining the difference in helicopter types, and that Kyle had said the wrong type previous episode. We say a few more things about helicopters. Even in this description you can see some mention of helicopters that aren’t explicitly stating it. May as well use helicopter as the SEO word for this episode, since we mention it more than Chinook.

Song is “Go Home” by Chinook

42 – Why Are You a Finnish Lapphund?

The Finnish Lapphund is the cutest dog breed. Somehow the Scandinavians figured out how to make all the best stuff. Best mythology, best cities, and even the best dogs. I know, that’s subjective, but I’ll stand by it. The Finnish Lapphund (or Lappies as Caitlyn referred to them) goes back quite a ways and has origin with the indigenous people of the European north. The Sami used the Finnish Lapphund for herding an unusual animal. That is until the snowmobile.

Did we mention these things are adorable? The fact they aren’t known outside of Finland is a total shame. Although they lack popularity, they have been part of the AKC for a few years now, and have a pretty thriving show community. Since these dogs are on the smaller end, they also seem to live forever. And as we all know, since they’re a bit smaller, they like to bark. It’s probably good that they bark though, since they kinda look like wolves. . .  That’s important because wolves don’t bark, in case you didn’t know. . .

Caitlyn and Kyle talk about World War II, and Kyle royally screws up some facts. So much so, that if he had been accurate, the entire war may have been different. Caitlyn was there to quickly correct him though, so sorry any Russians, Poles or Germans out there.

Song is “The Cage” by Sonata Arctica.

35 – Why Are You a Swedish Vallhund?

Oh my god, who was hiding the Vallhund from us all? Properly referred to as “Swedish” Vallhund, these puppers look like a corgi husky hybrid dog. So essentially, have the body of corgi, but the coloring of a husky or a wolf. Unsurprisingly, the Vallhund and Corgi have some sort of shared history, but what it might be, is unclear. So yeah, it’s one of those dogs that no one really knows much about!

Although not much is known about the Vallhund, they have been around for at least a thousand years. They were more than likely used by vikings for all farming purposes, and may or may not have a hand in the creation of the corgi. I doubt they rode around pillaging villages, but it does make for an amusing image. These dogs are rather new to the AKC and still incredibly rare in the United States and only has 10 states with registered breeders.

Caitlyn tries her damnedest to struggle through some Swedish words, and Kyle shares his personal experiences with the language. The episode also eventually breaks down into who does the most work, and thus who deserves the most titles.

Song for this episode is “Watch it Crash” by Toh Kay. (Listen to the episode and it will make sense).

18 – Why Are You a St. Bernard?

St. Bernard, drawn by "Kevin of Miserable Hair People"We’re back from vacation! Hope everyone had a happy Christmas and New Year. This week take on the task of giving information and the history of the St. Bernard, which is a gentle giant that had incredibly important dog job. We may all know about the ubiquitous St. Bernard barrel but did you know that it may not be good for search and rescue? We also discuss how their size can be a hazard, and Kyle manages to bring up Pokemon twice in this episode. Kyle and Caitlyn also talk about a badass St. Bernard sailor who made sure all of his comrades came home safe and has more military honors than Carter has pills.

Outro song is Saint Bernard by Ron Sexsmith.

11 – Why Are You an Alaskan Malamute?

Alaskan Malamutes, why are you a dog?! Caitlyn and Kyle recorded this episode immediately after the Bluetick Coonhound episode, so there’s wasn’t any listener mail this week…until there was.

This week Caitlyn has a hard time pronouncing indigenous people’s names (shocker), and talks about how the breed is one of the oldest dog breeds around. Caitlyn and Kyle also talk about a terrible occurrence that nearly wiped out the breed entirely, so hug your Malamute tightly if you have one. They also discuss how they look like bears, and their heroic deeds in expeditions and  medical emergencies.

Outro song is “Malamute” by Samoyed.