Reijo has loved animals since he was little. And so have animals him.
His first pets in his childhood home were a crow and a squirrel. His mother did not always appreciate the four-legged friends running around inside, but his father helped him build a treadmill for the squirrel. The next furry friend was a young hare with a broke leg. Reijo nursed him back to health. He built an ecological lawn mower from a mobile rabbit cage. The rabbits got fed and the yeard stayed tidy. The first dog he owned was a native Spitz named Tessu. A curious mind and keen interest in animal behaviour got Reijo to experiment whether a crow would sit on chicken eggs. It would, and 30 chicks hatched. There were also geese and ducks in the yeard and Reijo built them a pond.
The family also had a regal cat. When the neighbour’s dog wandered into the yard, the cat would tease him until he ran away. In the area there roamed a stray dog known to kill cats. The family cat sat on the porch and nursed her kittens when the stray dog arrived, but the cat sent him on his way with his tail between his legs. Tessu the Spitz loved roving the town and could spend up to four days on his travels. He would stubbornly always take the same route even though a … lived along the way and gave him a beating any chance he got. Later, the same dog would be very protective of Reijo. It was taken to an uncle’s house 350 kilometres away, but would always try to escape and return home even from afar, and preferably in a Volkswagen rather than the modest Kleinbuss they had at home. When Reijo went to vocational school in the mornings by bus, the dog would lazily jog behind the bus and then try to get on the next bus to follow in Reijo’s trail.
Jack London’s stories of the wilderness inspired Reijo to get to know huskies and their way of moving around in the wild. He got his first husky, named Tigaran Atsuko, together with Simolin (kuka? Tarvis selittaa vahan) in the early 1970s. Reijo got only half of her puppies. In 1979 Reijo toured the United States and Canada. With help from his cousin, he got to meet Ronald Lombard, a world (husky sleigh riding?) champion, who had the best Siberian huskies in the world. Reijo got to take with him the three-year old lead husky which was an incredible dog. Reijo rode the sleigh that this husky led and won the Nordic Championships three years running. The dog fired up the rest in the pack. From within the current pack, Aapo is very similar but not as competitive. We found a female of the same lineage (??) from Canada, a male from next door/neighbouring Sweden (tarkotetaanko kirjaimellisesti naapuria vai naapurimaata) and one more female from Norway that had half of the same lineage (??). From these we created the Polarspeed husky breeding line. Since then we have gathered all available Lombard or Igloopaks lineage genetic variations that are the husky elite. This interest in huskies came from reading a lot of husky history. Reijo moved to Lapland 30 years ago when a highway was built over his farm. He chose western Lapland as his home because there was no prior husky activity and no fear of further highways being built.
Wolves in movies is Reijo’s tour de force. Under his supervision huskeys have played the role of wolves have acted in various roles in videos, movies and adverts that have been shown around the world.
Following nature’s way
In many breeding farms, puppies are separated from their mothers very early and bottle fed in order to make them dependent on humans. In this way, the huskies do not learn the pack behaviour typical to their breed.
When training dogs for movies, Reijo uses his best pack leads to guide the new performers. Pack animals are model students and descendants of wolves are naturally good team workers. In training they focus…?? the young want to learn their skills from the older and more experienced ones. This is the kind of work that allows the dogs to enjoy performing. Reijo has carefully studied and learnt a lot of the dogs’ sign language.
It is the way Mother Nature intended. Using the lead dog and a surrogate mother, the dogs learn the ways of the pack and maintain the hierarchy. This process takes decades. The method is not easy to imitate. Reijo is the most respected pack lead of them all.
Meet our staff
Husky park employees are very skilled in dealing with the animals.
- Johanna is a animal trainer
- Pinja is a park guide
- Jaakko and Harri are mushers
- Bob is our American
- etc. our co-operators
They all are professionals.