When we arrived we were surprised to find all of the dogs chained to little round barrels. The barrels have a small, rectangular opening cut into them and where filled with straw, providing warmth and comfort for the dogs. All of Dallas Seavey's dogs are Alaskan Huskies - and it was also surprising to find how small they are! Our guide, a musher named Evan, explained to us that these dogs are built for endurance, not speed. They don't need to be huge and bulky, light and steady often wins the race!
Here are a few things we learned about the dogs at Dallas' kennel:
- The dogs only run about 8 miles per hour, that way they don't tire out too quickly
- The dogs are trained to run small distances at first, 2 miles, then 5 miles, then 8 miles, then 10 miles, so that when they build up to a 30 or 50 mile run, it comes easily and they still love it!
- They feed the dogs really high fat foods and lots of meat like chicken, fish (the stinkier the better!) and a super charged kibble.
- The dogs at this kennel are treated like queens! They get therapeutic massages with essential oils for any aches and pains they might have - and sometimes they even get acupuncture!
- They love having visitor to the kennel to help "socialize" the dogs. It's great for them to get used to being different kinds of people. This meant we could do all the petting and hugging we wanted!
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Mrs. David and Ms. Coffield