Help with Siberian huskies and more in Lapland, Finland

  • Favourited 3786 times
  • Last activity: 29 Feb 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    We are a family with a kennel for 80 Siberian huskies of all different ages. We live on a homestead in the arctic wilderness, 50km north of the Arctic Circle, in the heart of Lapland. Our family's forefathers were among the first pioneers who settled here back in 1733. We're looking for volunteers who can help us look after our dogs.

    In winter we do lots of dog sledding, but also skijoring, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trekking. In summer we do renovations, maintenance and wood chopping, and go hiking, fishing, rowing, canoeing and windsurfing. In the autumn we train the dogs and prepare them for winter.

    We normally have places for three months only, starting in the first week of January, April, July or October. Before applying, please check our calendar for availability.

    We have been hosting workaway volunteers since 2011.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We believe that one of the great benefits of any cultural exchange is gaining an understanding of other people's customs and lifestyles. Ours is at times hectic and at others quiet, adjusting to the rhythm of the seasons.

    What you learn here will depend on how proactive, motivated and receptive you are, and of course, what time of year you travel. In addition to learning how to care for our huskies, you can also learn about the wilderness and the way the locals live up here, if you are keen to explore places nearby. Hopefully, you will learn how to dress properly for the arctic weather, and how to be sensible in our challenging conditions. Also, you will be living with people from different cultures and with different personalities, so we hope this will give you a chance to refine your social skills.

    And, we are a bi-lingual family, with both English and Finnish spoken at home. So, you can practice your English, and if you want a challenge, we can teach you some Finnish - one of the most difficult languages in the world!

    This famous quote by naturalist Alexander von Humboldt sums up the way we feel about travel: “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.” So hopefully staying here helps to broaden your own worldview.

  • Help


    We mostly need daily help looking after our huskies, which includes training, exercising, grooming and feeding them, as well as cleaning and maintaining the kennel area. This involves taking dogs for walks/runs, setting up teams, brushing the dogs when they blow their coats, preparing their daily food (handling raw meat and bones), as well as clearing up the dogs' poop. Sometimes we go to dog shows and occasionally we have puppies that require extra feeding and attention. We usually fix equipment or make improvements to the kennel ourselves, and there's always some tidying up to do, so help is needed here as well.

    Our winters last for eight months. In September or October, once the weather has cooled enough, we start training the dogs in preparation for the winter sledding season. Then from December to April, we need help with setting up sleds and dog-teams, in addition to the normal kennel routine. You can learn how to drive dog sleds and snowmobiles too. In May the snow slowly starts to melt so we wind down but keep the dogs exercised and the kennel cleaned.

    In the spring, summer and autumn (June-September) we sometimes need help in the garden and the forest, in addition to the normal kennel routine. We try to grow some fruit and veg, cut and chop our own firewood and clear or maintain forest paths. You can also join us when we go fishing in nearby lakes, hiking with the huskies, and picking wild berries and mushrooms.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Finnish: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    Spanish: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate
    Swedish: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    The accommodation for our volunteers is in our hundred year old lumberjack's cabin (picture below), which has been equipped with normal modern conveniences and is located next door to our own house.

    In the cabin there are two pairs of bunk beds; one in a separate bedroom and another in an alcove off the living room. There is also a small kitchen area, tables, sofa, TV, fireplace, WiFi and a washroom with wc and shower. The cabin has electric heating and running hot and cold water. There is a separate sauna by the lake. All our accommodation is non-smoking. We usually have four volunteers and we allocate placements so that they are either all male, all female, or for two couples.

    Recuperating or injured huskies sometimes live with you in the cabin, and any of our huskies can "stay over" whenever there's room. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate your own pets because of this.

    We shop for your groceries so you can cook what you like according to your own timetable, but we also have lunch or tea together sometimes. We do not provide food for special dietary requirements such as vegan, halal or kosher.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Our dogs are lively, happy and strong individuals that require confident handling, personal attention and lots of TLC! It is physically demanding and can be in unpleasant or extreme weather conditions, so you should be healthy, as well as have a strong back and a good level of strength and fitness . You must also not mind getting dirty. However, we are not looking for wannabe survival experts, even though you will learn some of those skills in winter by default. Hours will vary and during quieter times we usually keep to an average of five hours per day.

    In your free time you can explore the area and get to know our lakes and forests. In addition to what is available here, there are many other summer and winter sports available in nearby resorts, and travelling around the region by bus is quite easy, e.g. the nearest resort and national park is about an hour away. And although we live in a very sparsely populated area, there is a good range of shops and other services, as well as concerts, galleries, museums and tourist attractions in our nearest town, also an hour away by bus.

    The compensation for our remoteness, however, is that we are situated by a beautiful little lake surrounded by the largest wilderness forest in the world - the taiga. If you like walking, reading, writing, painting, photography, etc. or need to study, or just gaze at the scenery, there is usually time for all that too. And if you're lucky, when the sky is clear in the autumn and throughout winter, you can go out into the garden and watch the northern lights dance through the night.

    We live in the land of the midnight sun and the polar night, which means we have 24hrs of sunlight around mid-summer and 24hrs with no sunlight around mid-winter. We can also have some extreme temperatures: in 1999 the temperature ranged from -53C in February to +32C in June! In general though, winters range from a mild -5C to a cool -30C and summers range between cold and rainy at +5C and hot and dry at +30C, but mostly it's just warm and humid at around +20C, with plenty of mosquitos!

    We have many applicants for a very limited number of places. If our calendar is full and you are flexible with travel dates, please consider being on our waiting list for places which become available at short notice. And please be patient when waiting for a reply - we go through and finalise the majority of applications once a year in spring. The exception to this is if/when there is a last minute place.

    We are looking for people who are confident, proactive, highly motivated, positive in nature and energetic. You should also be genuinely interested in dogs. We expect you to be helpful and flexible in our sometimes difficult Arctic conditions, and eager to participate wholeheartedly in all of our activities. We'd like to teach you about huskies, and the culture, lifestyles and traditions of Lapland as well as the wonders of the Arctic wilderness, and we aim for a workaway experience that will be mutually rewarding :)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    We have a 4G wifi connection

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have space for a small campervan

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    On average 5 hrs/day, 5 days/week

Host ref number: 15879269594d

Feedback (51)



These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.

Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Join us in the country and help with gardening, renovation projects and childcare in Suomusjärvi, Finland
Help me develop my artist studio-home project in Åminnefors, Finland