Sled dogs! Sled dogs! Sled dogs!

One of the most impressive animals in Alaska are sled dogs. They do a lot for the community all seasons of the year, but especially during the winter when people need to get around, but can't with a vehicle. They are also very impressive in their 1,000 mile races, such as the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. In these races, the dogs use about 12,000 calories per day, which means they also need to consume that many calories per day. The dogs that do these races also love just pulling the sled, even if it's not for a race. These dogs are also bred for the endurance of the harsh conditions that they have to endure, which also helps their personalties in the environment that they live in.

In this video are the dogs that are used by the 2011 Iditarod Champion, John Baker.  These dogs were so excited when we started that all they could do was bark in excitement. While on the sled, they just pulled and only barked if someone got out of line. Then, as we were going around the kennels, the other dogs started barking, showing their excitement of wishing they were pulling the sled. Watching these dogs and how much they love doing this sort of thing excites me because I always fear that they are being mistreated. But watching these dogs shows me otherwise. Seeing these animals and how they love what they do, makes me feel better about them being used as work animals. Although these dogs are used for things such as races, they are also helpful in doing work during the winter. They bring things back and forth in the winter, and also help patrol National Parks, like Denali National Park and Preserve, in the winter. I love watching these dogs do what they love, and I also love being a part of that while riding on the sled.

--Sarah Cruth

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