One of the first recorded canine visitors to the Antarctic was a dog called Sydney, named after the port where he was found by Lt. Charles Wilkes of the United States Exploring Expedition in 1839.

It used to be common practice to bring dogs on expeditions to Antarctica but now they are banned from the continent. This ban was put in place because of concern that dogs might introduce diseases such as canine distemper that could be transferred to seals, and that they could break free and disturb or attack the wildlife.