This SHCA performance program recognizes the achievements of Siberian Huskies
participating in verifiable hiking trips as an active member of the hiking
party. Siberian Huskies in this program may compete for two titles: Working
Pack Dog (W.P.D.) and Working Pack Dog Excellent (W.P.D.X.)
Overall Rules and Eligibility:
- The Working Pack Dog Program is open to all purebred Siberian Huskies
registered with the American Kennel Club. ILP dogs are eligible. A copy
of the dog's registration papers submitted with the completed application
form to validate they are a Siberian. Dogs are a minimum of one year old
at the time of all of the hikes.
- The dog must carry a canine pack, anatomically tested for safety and
- The dog must carry an initial weight equal to 25% of the dog's body weight
at the start of the hike whether a single or the initial day of a continuous
multiple day hike. The pack may be lightened during the course of travel
due to consumption of food, water, and other supplies. Throughout the hike
the dog transports a minimum of 10% of body weight. The pack itself is
also included in the weight listing. The ending load cannot be less than
10% of dog's body weight.
- All pack trips
must be completed on natural terrain such as cross country excursions,
trails, or back country hikes. "Lapping" (repeating
a trail several times) to accumulate mileage is not allowed. This
allows you and your pack dog to experience multiple trails and
- Elevation gain may be substituted for mileage: each 1000 feet of elevation
gain may be counted as equivalent to one mile of flat terrain. Elevation
gain may be calculated to the nearest 0.1 mile based on the lowest and
highest elevation of each trip (1300 feet gain equals 1.3 miles). Elevation
gain is defined as the difference between the overall highest elevation
and the overall lowest elevation. During multiple day hikes the elevation
gain can be calculated for each day's hike and not just for the complete
trip, but each day's section should be indicated on the map.
- A minimum of two trips is required to complete requirements for each
- Overnight camping is encouaged utilizing only gear carried by the hiker
and the Siberian Husky. A pack trip of several days is possible.
- Total pack weight must be recorded a tthe start of the pack trip, and
include an itemized list of the contents and weight of individual items.
Total pack weight equals the weight of the empty pack plus pack contents.
The weight of the Siberian Husky should be recorded on the day prior to
each trip. If this is not possible, a veterinarian's certificate attesting
to the dog's weight may be provided dated within 2 weeks of the hike.
- An impartial observer must witness your progress and sign a WPD form
as proof of completion. Witness forms must be complete with dog's name,
date, trail name, etc., in order to be accepted. Signatures attesting to
your progress may be obtained from rangers, other hikers, or any person
you meet along the trail. At least one witness must provide an address
and telephone number for verification. Photographs may also be submitted
for proof providing they include a suitable visual reference or landmark
accurately defining the location of the photo. Witness forms are provided
with the WPD application.
- There should be one map for each different hike.
- Topographic maps are submitted with the WPD application form as proof
of mileage and elevation gain. Each map is marked with trip number, initialed,
and dated. Copies of Topographic map scale should be as detailed as possible
(i.e. 1:24,000 is preferable to 1:25,000) and of good quality with clear
contour lines and legible printing. Maps should include mileage scale (e.g.,
1 inch = 1 mile). Topographic maps are available on the internet and available
at bookstores, camping stores, and as computer programs such as Topo! and Delorme
TopoUSA. Contact a regional WPD reviewer should you need assistance
in locating a map. Topozone.come is an excellent site.
- If submitting multiple applications for several dogs there should be
one map for each hike for each dog. Maps may be shared with other applications
submitted at the same time but if this is done the maps should be labeled
as such and the applications will be considered as one unit so if there
is an error or omission the entire unit will be returned for clarification.
- Trail route should be marked with colored pencil or highlighter, NOT
pencil or pen, for ease of reading. If trail route extends onto several
pages the pages should be pieced together and taped so that the route is
continuous. Down and back hikes should be so labeled on the map and trip
- Completed forms will be verified by the WPD Regional Representative prior
to awarding certification. Once a degree has been completed and approved
by the Working Committee the appropriate title initials denominating the
degree may be used after the dog's name. The dog's name will be published
in the SHCA Annual Directory and in the SHCA Newsletter.
A certificate worthy of framing will be awarded.
Working Pack Dog (W.P.D.)
- The Siberian Husky travels a minimum of 40 total miles. At least two
of the trips must cover a minimum of ten miles per day and no trip may
cover less than five miles per day. Only one repeat hike of a trail is
Working Pack Dog Excellent (W.P.D.X.)
- The Siberian Husky
has previously been awarded the Working Pack Dog Title. A minimum of 120
miles additional pack miles are required to earn the Working Pack Dog
Title. Multiple day pack trips and overnight camping are necessary. At
least two of the trips must cover a minimum of 40 miles, and no more than
one leg may cover less than 10 miles. The remaining trips must cover a
minimum of 10 miles.
- All pack trips must
be back country trips. Back country is defined as a remote area, inaccessible
and unsuited to vehicular traffic at the time of the trip, where support
and aid is generally not available.
- No repeat trips
- Please include a
copy of the WPD certificate in your application for the WPDX title.
Pack items a dog carries
should be gear that could actually be used on a hike. Suggested items for
a pack (NOT in order of importance and NOT all inclusive):
Items that are NOT allowed
to be packed by a dog:
- Weights of any kind
(curtain, lead, sand, rocks, etc.)
NOTE: Fragile items,
especially electronics such as cell phones, GPS, cameras, etc., should NOT
be carried in a dog's backpack as they are subject to getting broken or wet.
NOTE: Also non-consumable
gear (such as an extra jacket, for example) if taken out and used but then
no longer needed (for example, the day warms up and the jacket is no longer
needed) must be returned to the dog's pack to carry.
Completed forms will be verified by the WPD Regional Representative and
the Working Committee prior to awarding certification. Supporting documents
and photos are considered part of the application and will NOT be returned.
Once a degree has been completed and approved by the Committee the appropriate
initials denominating the degree may be used after the dog's name.
Rules Revised October 2004
"PDF" format copies of the SHCA Working Pack Dog Forms. You will need Adobe
Acrobat Reader to read, view, and print these forms. Reader
is available free of charge from the Adobe website.
here to download WPD
Click here to download WPD
Group Hike Forms.
Click here to download WPD
Contact the chariman for the name of the WPD Regional Reviewer best able
to process your application when you submit it. Contact any of us with questions.
Debra Fitzgerald, SHCA Working Programs
5579 Catholic Church Road
Jefferson, MD 21755-8415
Or, you can e-mail her at: email@example.com
Regional reviewers are:
Sheila Blanker, Massachusetts: StarNewf@aol.com
465 Mt Hermon Station Road
Northfield, MA 01360-9507
Colleen Marzluff, Washington: Onby@mac.com
19426 75th Avenue SE
Snohomish, WA 98296
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Husky Club of America, Inc., All rights reserved