Siberian Husky Bloodlines: GATINEAU

GATINEAU - C. S. MacLean and J. D. McFaul, Maniwaki, Quebec. Gatineau Siberian Husky kennels existed from 1942 through circa 1953. "Donnie" McFaul's entire dog-driving career was essentially due to his employment by the Fish and Game Club of Maniwaki as warden of a huge hunting preserve in the Desert River region of Quebec. The Gatineau team of Siberian Huskies was never raced; it was always strictly a patrol team of working sleddogs. (C. S. MacLean only financed the kennel and took no active part in breeding, training or dog driving.)

DONNIE MCFAUL'S FIRST PATROL TEAM consisted of mongrels; it was soon felt that Siberian Huskies would be a better choice. Initially two dogs and a bitch were imported from Bill Shearer's Foxstand Kennels in New England: Foxstand's Skivar 2nd, Foxstand's Saint, and Bayou of Foxstand. Skivar was pure Seppala by Shearer's leader Foxstand's Shango out of a Wheeler bitch. Saint was three-quarters Poland Spring stock and one-quarter Seeley from the Duke/Tanta of Alyeska mating. The female Bayou, bred by Joe Booth of Carlisle, Mass., was sired by a Turner-owned Wheeler stud dog out of a female who was half Wheeler, half Oliver Shattuck breeding; Bayou was about 96% known Seppala in ancestry.

Bayou of Foxstand, Gatineau foundation bitch

Bayou of Foxstand was bred first to Foxstand's Saint, then to Foxstand's Skivar 2nd, then the Saint breeding was repeated twice more. In 1943 Skivar was bred to one of the progeny of the first Saint litter, producing the famous Nicko of Gatineau. Nicko was to become McFaul's main precision command leader, who led the patrol team for many years before finally being sold to Dr. Harold Frendt. In 1944 Bayou was bred to the Harry Wheeler leader Burka of Seppala 2nd. Also in that same year Gatineau imported three Siberian Husky males from John E. Jackson of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. Trina's White Boy, Sedanka of Gatineau and Krestovski of Gatineau were all from the same mating of a Wheeler-lineage male out of a Seeley-line bitch. Another 1944 acquisition was the white bitch Ilona of Seppala from the Wheeler kennel. Much later (probably in 1949) Gatineau acquired its final Wheeler bitch, Zarina of Seppala 3rd.

Far from being a race-trained team, the Gatineau teams were hooked in a double-trace, single-file trapper's hitch pulling an old-fashioned high-hood toboggan. The dogs were strictly trained to lie down when the team was stopped. Donnie had many photos of his team lying down in perfect order on the trail.

Lyl of Sepsequel had significant Gatineau
ancestry on both sides of her pedigree

The Gatineau dogs became significant later as ancestors of a number of other Siberian Husky bloodlines, many of them racing bloodlines such as Calivali, White Water Lake, Little Alaska and Natomah. A small amount of Gatineau became part of the Seppala Siberian Sleddog gene pool through the littermate sisters Lyl of Sepsequel and Moka of Sepsequel used as brood bitches in the Markovo/Seppineau period. (Then, as now, there was some hesitation concerning the extent to which the Gatineau line might actually be considered Seppala lineage for all practical purposes. The overall proportion of Seppala lineage in Gatineau-bred Siberian Huskies depended upon how often Foxstand's Saint occurred in the pedigree and whether or not the John Jackson stock was a factor in the pedigree. For the most part the Gatineau dogs were from 88 to 94 percent Seppala.)

The Gatineau type was a very distinct entity in its day, with a high proportion of pure white dogs. When McFaul acquired the last of the Wheeler kennel's stock in 1950, he gradually phased out his Gatineau breeding over the following three years. Thereafter Donnie followed the same policy that had guided Wheeler, Belford and Shearer, avoiding ANY admixture of Seeley lines into the Seppala bloodline. Of all the Siberian bloodlines that fall short of being "pure Seppala" in ancestry, Gatineau came closest (not surprisingly) to preserving the original type; were it not for McFaul's own example we should probably consider it a Seppala bloodline today.

SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- Nicko of Gatineau (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- Kobe of Gatineau (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- Queen of Gatineau 2nd (Opens in a new window.)