Table of Contents
F.I.D.O.: Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen
A Conversation with Palle Norit
DNA Analysis of the Greenland Dog and the Canadian Inuit Dog
Pregnancy, Whelping and Pup Development in the ISD, Part 1
Product Review: HerculinerŽ
Tip for the Trail: Anti-fatigue Mats
In the News
Janice Howls: At the Heart of Greatness
IMHO: Training or Interference
Navigating This Site
August at Sirius Patrol headquarters in Daneborg Mikkelsen photo
A May 2003 Conversation with Palle V. Norit,
T.F.H. Can you start by giving
us an overview of the Sirius Patrol and its purpose?
International law (5 April 1933) describes that one actually has to tread the ground one possesses. No aeroplanes, no satellite, no snowmobile can do that. Are dog powered patrols still the most efficient and cost effective way to get the job done? Yes, and one's way of observing multiplies 10,000 by being close to the nature.
T.F.H. We'd like to know more about
the dogs the Sirius Patrol uses. Please tell us a little about them, where
they came from and what they are like.
T.F.H. Maintaining dog teams to
support Sirius Patrol's responsibilities must be a significant effort involving
many people. Can you tell us about this process: the scope of the program,
any use of breeding facilities, and the process and criteria used for selecting
dogs for breeding?
Bitches whelp both en route during sled runs and at Daneborg by the so called "Station Bitches". E.g. when the bitches selected are "red", we use the selected males when it's time, and the selected dogs are available. There are at least four generations between before we are using the same family.
The Sirius Patrol requires two or three new dogs per team per year on average. Some puppies may be "unserviceable". Therefore, we produce five to ten more than we need, and the ones we do not use are given an honorable death.
Since 1962, we have been very observant about getting a dog as mentioned before.
Sirius has all the records back to 1962
T.F.H. With two to three
pups per team per year, raising and training that number of animals has
to be a major undertaking. Are there details you can share?
Between five and seven months of age pups are put together with the grown up dogs on the chains. Training of new personnel and the teams starts in late September. The puppies are trained too. So they are less than a year old when they start working.
T.F.H. Veterinary care and the
feeding of dogs can be very problematic in the North. Does the Sirius Patrol
have access to veterinary services? Are dogs fed the traditional seal diet?
In consultation with our veterinary and the diet factory in Denmark we have develop an excellent type of food for very young, young and grown up dogs.
T.F.H. Are records kept on the
T.F.H. Are there any health issue
other than occupational osteoarthritis?
T.F.H. When it is time to "retire"
the working dogs, is it based on physical condition or on other factors?
The dogs have an extremely nice life in those five years: well trained, well feed, well petted, done the life they like etc.
Sirius-team on March patrol in Alpefjord Mikkelsen photo