Who needs reindeer? 3 Real Sled Dogs – American Kennel Club

As you sit around your tree enjoying the gifts being delivered overnight, we can’t help but think that Santa’s reindeer have it easy.

Alright, so one night a week they drive Santa’s sleigh around the world, but these sled dog breeds pull their weight reliably all year round in some parts of the world.

Of course, faster than eagles came his steeds,” but really, those eight little reindeer have nothing on those sled dog breeds.

Alaskan Malamute

North Pole is actually a city in Alaska, the country of origin of this breed of sled dogs. They were bred to carry heavy loads at low speed over long distances in arctic weather. Hmmm, does this sound familiar?

siberian husky

These powerful dogs are known for their speed and endurance in sled racing. They may not carry gifts or candy, but they have a speed that would make Rudolph look like a turtle. You may know the story of Balto, a Husky who, with a team of dogs, transported a vital serum to Nome, Alaska, where an epidemic of diphtheria had broken out.


Luckily for Santa’s crew, this breed is no longer used for its original purpose, which was to (gasp) reindeer hunt. The semi-nomadic people who brought these dogs when they migrated from Asia to Siberia instead trained them to herd reindeer and carry loaded sleds across the snowy landscape.

More like this:

Discover 10 dogs who dream of a white Christmas.

See holiday card bloopers with dogs.

Bette C. Alvarado