Siberian Husky Bloodlines: WHITE WATER LAKE

WHITE WATER LAKE - Anthony Landry, Hanmer, Ontario. Tony Landry bred and raced Siberians in eastern Ontario and Quebec half a century ago from the mid-1940s until 1965. His original foundation stock were a Monadnock male, two Gatineau males and two Gatineau females. Late White Water Lake stock was extremely inbred.

AT THE OUTSET, Tony Landry bred Mitya of Monadnock to the two Gatineau bitches, Queen of Gatineau and her daughter Queen of Gatineau 2nd. Then the Gatineau males, Kobe of Gatineau and Kosko of Gatineau, were bred to the same bitches and their progeny. In the mid-1950s Landry acquired a single McFaul male, Marak of Seppala. He then bred virtually every female he had to Marak. Thereafter, the White Water Lake strain consisted of repeated matings among the Marak progeny, finally ending with pedigrees in which every male line went back to Marak.

When I lived in eastern Ontario Landry had already retired, but there were still a number of White Water Lake dogs around. They were tiny in size and troubled by hereditary defects such as undershot mandibles and cryporchidism. With one significant exception, nobody wanted to have much to do with them. The exception was Earl Kellett, an Anglophone resident of Quebec, who ran a rather commercial racing kennel; Earl had a late Landry male, Spook of White Water Lake, whom he promoted heavily as a racing stud dog. Spook was bred to all comers, even including southern Ontario pet stock from the "Artic Pac" kennels of Jim Corbett in Dundas, ON. The passage of time seems to have given the Landry dogs an aura of desirability which they completely lacked in the 1960s. These days the only remaining White Water Lake lineage generally available appears to be the Spook descendants. The result has been that some purebred Siberian Husky kennels in eastern Canada and the USA have inbred extensively on the already heavily-inbred Spook bloodline. The addition of other bloodlines (including Seppala) to this breeding has (in the Kodiak bloodline at least) produced a result that is better than the White Water Lake stock of the 1960s seemed to be.

Spook of White Water Lake

Nevertheless, sustained extremes of inbreeding, individual breeder vision and the preferences of Tony Landry and his successors produced results that cannot be described as Seppala-like. Based on Monadnock and Gatineau bloodlines, with the intervention of only one McFaul male, the White Water Lake lineage is hardly in accord with the Seppala tradition. To calculate Seppala percentages for White Water Lake descendants ignores the principle laid down in Doug Willett's 1992 book, which states that three generations of a sustained non-Seppala breeder vision and breeding programme places a bloodline in the non-Seppala category.

Shearer's Foxstand sleddogs and McFaul's dogs from after the Wheeler buy-out were always recognised and referred to as "Seppalas" or "Seppala Siberians" in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. I never heard anyone refer to the Landry dogs as Seppalas in the '60s or '70s! They were always called White Water Lake or Landry dogs and regarded as a distinct variety. Here again we have in White Water Lake a distinct Racing Siberian Husky bloodline, not an "other Seppala" line. That Doug Willett added several Kodiak dogs as outcrosses to his Sepp-Alta line does not make of White Water Lake a Seppala bloodline.

SAMPLE PEDIGREE -- Spook of White Water Lake (Opens in a new window.)