Siberian Husky Bloodlines:
SEPPALA (The McFaul kennel)

In 1950 J. D. McFaul, who already had the better part of a decade of experience in breeding and working Siberian teams, bought the remainder of the Harry Wheeler SEPPALA KENNELS stock, along with the right to use of the kennel name. He phased out his GATINEAU breeding and from that point onward continued the Wheeler tradition of breeding completely pure Seppala lineage, entirely free from other bloodlines, especially the dominant show-ring Seeley/Demidoff bloodline. To the Wheeler stock he added dogs from the FOXSTAND breeding of William L. Shearer III. For that reason, today we refer to the "McFaul/Shearer" bloodline of Siberian sleddogs as the gold standard of pure Seppala breeding.

McFaul had already acquired his Shearer lead dog FOXSTAND'S SUNDAY (who was 3/4 Wheeler background) shortly before the Wheeler transaction. Around a dozen dogs were transferred from Harry Wheeler to the MacLean/McFaul partnership, but not all were retained; six Wheeler males and a bitch were immediately re-sold to Bill Shearer. When I interviewed Donnie ca. 1970 and questioned him about that, he simply replied, "I sold the long-coats to Bill Shearer," (who was noted for his preference for long-coated Siberians). Three Wheeler males and two bitches, then, were kept by McFaul for his breeding programme. McFaul later added two more Siberians from the FOXSTAND bloodline to his breeding, FOXSTAND'S GEORGIA and BELFORD'S JALAPER , both obtained from Charles Belford. In 1962 he bred one litter from a bitch from his neighbour Allan Gagnon, GAGNON'S VIXEN.

The following, then, were the McFaul-Seppala foundation animals for the period 1951 through 1963:

It must be emphasised that McFaul's Seppala principles were extremely clear-cut and were those shared by Harry Wheeler and Bill Shearer: the only sources for these bloodlines were dogs of Leonhard Seppala origin or stock imported directly from Siberia. The stock added to the Wheeler base by McFaul all came from Shearer origins, and in every case it was either traceable to Wheeler lines itself or to Poland Spring lineage through the Shearer foundation bitch SIGRID 3rd OF FOXSTAND. The examples of Wheeler, Shearer and McFaul are so clear that it is difficult to understand why so many self-designated breeders of "Seppalas" today ignore those principles completely. Those breeders who have dispersed mixed-lineage "Seppalas" throughout the U. S. A., the U. K. and Europe, yet who never in their lives saw a McFaul dog in the flesh, are not likely to know more about Seppalas or to possess better judgment than Donnie McFaul, Bill Shearer and Harry R. Wheeler.

The influence of the McFaul Seppala stock was enormous, even though the kennel bred for only 12 years. A succession of fine males were sold to Keith Bryar, establishing a strong line of pure Seppalas in New Hampshire; others went to Joel Nordholm and J. Malcolm McDougall. Individual McFaul dogs influenced the breeding of Earl F. Norris (ANADYR), Dr. Harold Frendt (LITTLE ALASKA), Art and Judy Allen (NATOMAH), to name only a few. Nevertheless, the McFaul kennel terminated in 1963 without a successor kennel and the pure Seppala McFaul/Shearer bloodline was at great risk of extinction by 1970. Four of the best remaining McFaul individuals, DITKO OF SEPPALA, SHANGO OF SEPPALA, VANKA OF SEPPALA and DUSKA OF SEPPALA were used for breeding in the MARKOVO rescue period, along with other stock of McFaul derivation, and extinction was thus averted.

Pure-strain examples of the McFaul/Shearer bloodline still exist today, although their numbers are not great. Perhaps the Leonhard Seppala stock that has been so valued for almost a century will not survive very far into the new millennium. But for now their struggle for survival continues. The dogs bred by Donnie McFaul remain alive in the memories of a few old folks as an inspiration still.

SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- DITKO OF SEPPALA (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- SHANGO OF SEPPALA (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- DUSKA OF SEPPALA (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- McFaul influence: MIKIUK TUKTU TORNYAK (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- McFaul influence: MALAMAK'S OKLEASIK (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- McFaul influence: WILLI-WAW'S GALE OF CUPID (Opens in a new window.)
SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- McFaul influence: UELEN'S BEOWULF OF SEPP-ALTA (Opens in a new window.)