Siberian Husky Bloodlines: NATOMAH

NATOMAH - Art and Judy Allen, Swisher, Iowa. The Art Allen kennel was a well-regarded racing Siberian kennel in the 1950s and 1960s, at least in the American midwest. Midwestern races of the day tended to be on short trails, and the Natomah Siberians were selected for a larger and taller physique quite distinct from the Seppala norm.

THE NATOMAH BLOODLINE is sometimes regarded as the "continuation of Little Alaska." While it is true that a number of the Little Alaska dogs bred by Dr. Harold Frendt were used in Natomah breeding at the outset, other bloodlines were soon incorporated into the mix, as will be seen from the pedigree example. Little Alaska itself was never exclusively a Seppala bloodline, although it had a strong Seppala/Gatineau foundation initially. Art and Judy Allen, in any case, were not breeding to preserve or continue the Little Alaska strain, but to support a competitive racing team. Their breeding programme involved the usual eclectic mixture invoked by the "whatever works" methodology. If a particular Seppala dog gained a reputation in the Racing Siberian Husky community as a hot racing dog or a productive sire, it was used (as was the case with Vanka of Seppala and Mikiuk Tuktu Tornyak); individuals of non-Seppala background were used in just the same way. Dogs from Monadnock, Igloo Pak, Arctic Trail, Kainino and Calivali kennels were added to the Little Alaska base by the Allens' breeding.

In the end Natomah incorporated Little Alaska, Seppala, Gatineau, Monadnock, Dichoda, Anadyr, Igloo Pak, Calivali and other lineages, producing a mix that could not really be characterised as typical of Little Alaska, of Seppala, or of any other long-standing strain. Like Roland Bowles' Calivali bloodline, it was an ongoing cross-straining to successful racing dogs. The ancestral "Seppala percentages" of individual Natomah breedings vary greatly, but whatever the percentage, the Art and Judy Allen kennel had a short-distance, sprint-racing ethos and a breeding programme that was not Seppala-oriented. To label Natomah an "other Seppala" kennel long after the fact would be a gross distortion of the nature of the Allens' breeding.

SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- Natomah's Kusketa (Opens in a new window.)