Huskies pulling tourists to North Yorkshire
When you think of Siberian Huskies, the first thing that comes to mind is a team of excited dogs, pulling a handmade oak sled through the forestry in a snowy wonderland, somewhere in Russia, Lapland or Norway. As it turns out, there is no better place to experience trekking with huskies than in our very own North Yorkshire. We’ve certainly got the beautiful forestry and countryside in the North York Moors National Park, and we often have plenty of snow. And, essentially, at Pesky Husky, we have 30 sled dogs that live and breathe running. It may seem a contrast that, 7 miles north of the seaside resort of Scarborough, famed for its typical British beach experience, we offer the chance to meet, learn about and work with these amazing dogs (they couldn’t be much more different to a Yorkshire Terrier!), but we are so lucky to live in a county that provides everything we could have possibly needed to set up our dream business.
We are very proud to be part of the tourism industry in Yorkshire; there are a lot of local attractions that take a lot of living up to, but we like to think we’re up there as one of the most unique activities that this side of the Humber (and the whole UK, actually) has to offer! We offer all sorts of activities and the feeling of accomplishment when we finish a busy day of instructing will never grow old. From trekking on the scooters to hiking on foot through the countryside, from kennel visits to birthday parties, every day is different, and always exciting.
Pesky Husky was set up as a family business in 2007, with the aim to educate people of this amazing breed and the things they are capable of. The inspiration behind this was our roots in Canada. My grandfather came to the UK with his dogs in the 60s, when he met my Nan in this beautiful county, and never left. But his love of this amazing breed was definitely passed down through the generations, and our family have owned, trained, lived and worked with huskies ever since. It was when we were thinking of ways to diversify our pig farm in Staintondale, that our lead dog at the time, Inca, gave us the idea of opening the centre to the public. We began with a team of 9, and now, in our seventh season, have a total of 30 dogs, with three different breeds in our kennels. About half of our pack are rescue dogs, as we believe every dog should have the chance to be loved and do what they love, which in a husky’s case is definitely running.
There is no better experience for us, either; racing down a hill with the wind in your hair, the North Yorkshire air in your lungs and a breath-taking view of rolling hills and diverse countryside meeting the sea is a feeling like no other. Add that to the sight of the dogs running with enthusiasm and amazing strength and we remember exactly why Pesky Husky was set up, and feel so lucky to have been in a place where it was possible. Where else in the country could you get all of those things?
We’ve learnt so much on our Pesky Husky journey, too. Every day our dogs teach us something, whether it is astonishing us with their immense strength, power and willingness to work, frustrating us with their ability to outsmart us (huskies are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet), making us laugh with their stubbornness, or inspiring us with their gentleness, they truly are one of the most amazing animals to work with. Huskies really are not the dog for everyone, though; they require immense amounts of exercise, a lot of attention and specialist housing, a very specialist diet, and add that to the fact they cannot be let off the lead, we liken it to owning a four-legged toddler! But while it is certainly taxing on those cold mornings and there are 30 dogs to exercise, we really do wake up every morning and feel lucky that Pesky Husky was our dream come true.