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March 9, 2009 Permalink

Dog sledding

As winter begins to wind down, we are still in the middle of sled dog racing season. The Iditarod in Alaska had its ceremonial start in Anchorage last Saturday (the 7th), the Yukon Quest race from Canada's Yukon Territory to Alaska took place back in mid-February, and the Can-Am Crown races were held in Maine only a couple of weeks ago. The most well-known of the races, the Iditarod Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, covers 1,868 km (1,161 mi), and takes anywhere from 8 to 12 days for mushers and their teams of 16 dogs to complete. Collected here are several photos from recent sled dog races and training sessions around the Northern Hemisphere. (28 photos total)

A Dog belonging to Rhonda O'Hearn of Sandown, NH, who is competing in the Willard Jalbert, Jr. CAC 60, a 60-mile race, waits before the start of the race at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
more photos
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218 comments so far...
1.

nice shots...

Posted by sarun March 9, 09 12:08 PM
2.

Good doggie!

Besides warS and ...its quite refreshing to view this documentary!

Posted by Pierroro March 9, 09 12:14 PM
3.

This site is great but always so very serious. It's nice to see some lighthearted photographic goodness.
- Anotherfaceinthecrowd

Posted by Greg Washington March 9, 09 12:14 PM
4.

Awesome Photos!

Posted by Emiliano March 9, 09 12:21 PM
5.

So beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lovely moments :)

Posted by naty March 9, 09 12:22 PM
6.

The first picture says it all. Dogs truly are humans best friend.

Posted by Beaker March 9, 09 12:34 PM
7.

I love this so much. Every time I see shots like these I want to leave the city and just run dogs instead.

Posted by nanio March 9, 09 12:34 PM
8.

Now my Yellow lab has no excuse to go out in the snow to relieve herself! I never thought this was a race with so many different breeds. I had always assumed this was just for Huskies. Lab on #28.

Posted by JD March 9, 09 12:39 PM
9.

Number 12 is touching...

Posted by Anonymous March 9, 09 12:40 PM
10.

Beautiful as always, now I can't wait to see who wins!

Posted by Kate March 9, 09 12:41 PM
11.

Where would we be without dogs? Seriously, they have to be the best animal invented.

Posted by Joel March 9, 09 12:49 PM
12.

Oh, I was so hoping to see a picture of an entrant from our home area here ... the legally blind Rachel Scdoris who is trying for her second finish (fourth race) in the Iditarod. Those dogs are so beautiful and energetic!

Posted by michele March 9, 09 12:50 PM
13.

beautiful photos that my congratulations to the photographer:)

Posted by jorge alberto mussuto March 9, 09 12:57 PM
14.

Did anyone else notice the blood on picture 19...?

Posted by Frankie March 9, 09 01:05 PM
15.

Such staggeringly beautiful blue eyes !
Man's definite best friends in icy countries ... a solution for weeding out our present addiction to petrol, for the places where cold weather is measured ?

(@Joel, post#10 : for the best animal, one has to consider the Lamb's providing of Wool and Meat, the Cat's independent friendship, and the Tiger's beautiful power ... all in all, the BEST cannot be found, as there can be NO LINEAR value system for animals ... or for any single thing, as widely demonstrated by our economic crisis's stated root causes and current politicians' general incompetence)

Posted by Huang Di March 9, 09 01:17 PM
16.

Typo in #20, "comeptition" instead of "competition."

Posted by Thom March 9, 09 01:27 PM
17.

incredible

Posted by AnaZ March 9, 09 01:29 PM
18.

I did notice the bloody paws in photo 19, but am happily surprised by the positive comments so far. Yes, dog sledding and/or racing is a bit savage, but these dogs couldn't be happier doing anything else. It is what they were born to do!

Posted by Mike March 9, 09 01:42 PM
19.

Beautiful pictures...

@Frankie, I noticed that too. Seems to me like the dog hurt its second toe and its missing its nail. But I'm definitely not a Vet...I hope the dog was alright.

Posted by William March 9, 09 01:58 PM
20.

I'm sure the dog will be alright....

Looks like he lost a nail, which can happen to any dog running in a field/street/dog park...

Posted by R Bab March 9, 09 02:21 PM
21.

My wife and I saw some local dog sled racing up in Bridgton Maine this winter and were surprised to find that for short - distance racing the preferred breed was a Pointer or Pointer-mix. Which is what we have for a dog. Dozer was with us that day and loved (howled a lot) what he saw. We also saw skijoring. That is when a cross country skier is pulled by a dog. So funny to see. The dogs act like they are on cocaine or something while they are waiting for the start of the race. So much fun to watch.

Posted by Matt P. March 9, 09 02:22 PM
22.

Very nice shots !! The pictures of the Iditarod are really amazing. Here is some others dog sledding pictures of the Yukon Quest 2009 I have found on internet: http://www.nicolasdory.com/en/wallpapers.php?gal=yq2009

Beautiful pictures !

Posted by Trevor March 9, 09 02:36 PM
23.

I want picture #1 in a big enough version for my desktop, and would pay good money for it! Excellent photography and selection, as always.

Posted by Jon March 9, 09 02:45 PM
24.

Dog racing is animal cruelty! Unfortunately, $ is always put ahead of the best interests of the animals...
http://www.helpsleddogs.org/faq.htm

Posted by RosieLuv March 9, 09 03:16 PM
25.

Picture 19 says it all - they give their all but not right running them 250 miles never meant to be that long and sustained.they are not allowed to be just dog's

Posted by ellington March 9, 09 03:20 PM
26.

Really nice shots of the surroundings and the beautiful huckee dogs....

Posted by Manuel Pereira March 9, 09 03:30 PM
27.

Awesome shots as usually

Posted by RaDe March 9, 09 04:34 PM
28.

wonderful eyes

Posted by nanimo March 9, 09 04:48 PM
29.

#7: I was at the finish line of the John Beargrease in northern Minnesota when Jason Barron crossed the line to win this year's race. It's fun to watch - the first thing he did (before greeting his family who was there) was to give each one of the dogs a bear hug - he was nearly in tears.

You can't say that it's cruel to the dogs until you stand at the end of the race to watch them finish. These dogs know what's involved and WANT to run. They NEED to run - that's what they were born to do. You can't force a dog to run the race, it either will go or it won't.

Posted by Pear Head March 9, 09 05:23 PM
30.

Great pictures that bring the wonderful story of sledding together for a full appreciation. Makes you want to get right out there into the action and be part of the excitement.

Posted by Jay Hawkinson March 9, 09 05:34 PM
31.

che spettacolo...commovente....

Posted by nonvale March 9, 09 05:40 PM
32.

The boy with the staggeringly blue eyes owns me :0

Bloody/black toe nails happen to the best of us athetes. Runners, hikers, etc.

Fabulous picture of Wayne Hall's team.

Posted by Rhonda March 9, 09 05:43 PM
33.

An appalling display of cruelty. The absolute lowest form of barbarism. Disgusting.

Posted by Steve Smith March 9, 09 05:50 PM
34.

seriously disgusting...#19 says it all...250 miles... huh!
(notice the blood)

Posted by Ankur March 9, 09 06:51 PM
35.

@Steve Smith: "absolute lowest form of barbarism"? Wow, you haven't seen much barbarism.

Posted by Roy March 9, 09 06:54 PM
36.

Not that this will matter to those with dogmatically strict Animal Rights beliefs, but to any others who say this is cruelty, look at these pictures more carefully, the dogs clearly love what they are doing, and their handlers also adore them.

Man is not the only animal who is happiest when working.

Posted by James March 9, 09 06:59 PM
37.

I absolutely love Siberian huskies. They're considered the most intelligent of dogs. I can attest for this, too. We had the most beautiful female huskey. She was incredibly intelligent, I can't even explain. Her eyes were something else. One eye was ice blue like the first picture, but the other was half ice, half bright brown.

Posted by Lenny March 9, 09 07:05 PM
38.

God, do I love dogs.
Thanks for the pics.

Posted by Norbert March 9, 09 07:08 PM
39.

definitely one of the strangest and closest things a man does with his best friend

Posted by medaholic March 9, 09 07:11 PM
40.

NO! tell the musher in #15 that he is being barbaric and cruel to that dog he's holding. these are fit animals doing what they do best, with all their friends, for someone that loves them. where would they be if they weren't racing?? probably running like maniacs through the same forest.

Posted by graeme Langille March 9, 09 07:22 PM
41.

I love #13. Mac is so cute!!! Thank you these are great pictures of dogs working and doing things they love.

Posted by PMcDermott March 9, 09 07:25 PM
42.

I really don't understand why some people is speaking about animal cruelty. Those dogs are cared and nourished, they run in a wild and free land with ther loved human master, following their nature. Do you think that a dog like those will be more happy to live in a house with kids and a small garden? Please...

Beautiful photos in some of them I can feel the deep feeling that link togheter the dogs to their human...

Posted by Cat March 9, 09 07:29 PM
43.

Steve: is it lonely up there on that molehill? Lighten up.

Posted by Josh March 9, 09 07:31 PM
44.

lol @ Grand Lord Steve O'High and Mighty. Look away lest we be judged by this morally superior being.

Posted by Anonymous March 9, 09 07:37 PM
45.

The blue eyed dog in the first photo reminded me of the blue eyed robot from the post on robotics.

Posted by Carissa March 9, 09 08:09 PM
46.

Another fine addition! Thank you from Montreal. Merci!

Posted by Sean March 9, 09 08:15 PM
47.

If you had any idea what you were talking about you would understand that a little bleeding is not an uncommon thing. These dogs are cared for better than a lot of human athletes. Worn nails and cracked pads are not unusual, the dogs are fitted with boots if their feet are prone to injury. Many times the dogs will bite their tongues unintentionally while running much like you would bite the inside of your mouth while eating, and a few drops of blood can look horrible on the snow from this also. Not a major injury, it heals quickly and does not cause the dog any distress.

Knee-jerk reactions to something that you have absolutely no understanding of show a distinct lack of critical thinking and failure to use intelligence.

Posted by John March 9, 09 09:08 PM
48.

beautiful i would say!!

Posted by Rafael March 9, 09 09:47 PM
49.

Absolutely breathtaking pictures!
Anyone who thinks that running dogs is cruel, obviously knows nothing about huskies. 250 miles is a walk in the park for some of these dogs that train for thousands of miles in the season prior to the big race and love doing it. These dogs are trained athletes that love to run and by far, not ordinary house pets raised on junk food from the local supermarket that you feed your own pets.
A broken toe nail is more likely to happen in the back yard or from jumping off of furniture in the home.
Before posting about how cruel mushing is, do some research from sources OTHER THAN peta's site or that other lame org run by that dame in Florida.

Posted by Willie M March 9, 09 09:48 PM
50.

"The absolute lowest form of barbarism"

Really? You can't think of anything going on in the world more barbaric than this? Look around.

I'm an animal lover and I've seen these races, these dogs thrive on the competition, and the connection between the handler and his/her team is astonishing to witness, an unsullied and natural connection. There are certainly sports where dogs and other animals are abused, and I've been on protests against them, but this is not one of them, these teams live for this, they aren't made to run, they aren't bullied.

Having such a knee jerk reaction to this sport, calling it barbaric or abusive, only serves to belittle those causes against animal cruelty that are true.

Posted by Mark March 9, 09 10:54 PM
51.

I guess staffers are human after all. (Sometimes their level of images are so high, I wonder if they aren't some forms of aliens lol)

Don't know how #14 got through the filters of the editors.

Then again, 1 out of ten thousand is a pretty low percentage of mistakes :)

Love this site.

Posted by CM March 9, 09 11:29 PM
52.

Heart warming pictures in very cold places

Posted by D.E. March 10, 09 02:32 AM
53.

#26 was disqualified shortly after the picture was taken, as flying dogs are strictly against the rules.

Posted by eric March 10, 09 03:03 AM
54.

As a several dogs owner I can say only one - Amazing pictures (as always here) of dogs and people acting like one!
And to everyone who thinks this is a "The absolute lowest form of barbarism" I would like to say only one - Please take a look at pic #28 its so cruel and barbaric isn't it...

Posted by George Nedkov March 10, 09 03:52 AM
55.

I love those dogs. I have a Malamute and she is so cute !!
nice pics !

Posted by Nathalie March 10, 09 04:06 AM
56.

Superb pictures as always!

Posted by Andrei March 10, 09 04:38 AM
57.

O-o-o-o, dogs !!!

Posted by michael March 10, 09 05:29 AM
58.

These dogs look so good

Posted by Parka March 10, 09 05:34 AM
59.

Superbe!
People who think this is disgusting don't understand working dogs. These dogs are better taken care of and happier than any household dog that gets taken for a walk two times a day, all the while the owner whispers or yells hurry up so he or she can rush back home, shove the dog in the house so they can take off again... without so much as a second thought.

Posted by Susan Vrona Bejina March 10, 09 05:44 AM
60.

Re #19 : A kid runs around in the park, climbs on a Jungle Gym and stubs his toe, ripping off a bit of his toenail and making it bleed. Does that mean we are cruel to kids ? No. You can't have hundreds of dogs doing strenuous activity like this without some kind of injury taking place. As long as that dog was medically patched up and cared for, you can't use it as a poster for animal cruelty.

Wonderful pics. Beautiful landscapes and dogs, paired with not so beautiful humans ;-)

Posted by Gerb March 10, 09 07:44 AM
61.

awesome!

Posted by jaka March 10, 09 08:38 AM
62.

its true... dogs rock!

Posted by steve March 10, 09 09:18 AM
63.

Wonderful!!!

Of course the kind of people who has a fat, lethargic and utterly bored pet at home and thinks that is love, would be disgusted by happy, welltrained and active dogs who gets to do what they love and are made for! Stupid!!! Is agility, herding and tracking also animal cruelty then???

Posted by Sandra, Sweden March 10, 09 09:33 AM
64.

I am pretty sure the absolute lowest form of barbarism is when my sister in law made me watch the Billy Ray Cyrus show.

My mind still spasms from the scars.

Posted by Green Pimpin March 10, 09 10:10 AM
65.

Beautiful pictures of beautiful dogs doing what they love best... racing the wind. To see and live with these northern breeds is like heaven on earth. Their joy of living and their dedication and love of their owners is humbling.

I would hate to be the one to tell my Malamutes that running is cruel. They don't care if they are in their large fenced in yard, in our old farmhouse, on a leash or in harness, they are happiest when they are running. Running even beats out sleeping on my very crowded bed with their own pillows. To them, running with their "pack" is life itself. Watch wolves in the wild, they will run just for the sheer joy of it.

Posted by Sully March 10, 09 10:21 AM
66.

What wonderful photos!!! I went to see a dog sledding race event here in Switzerland a couple of weeks back, exciting stuff, but of course it's nowhere near as amazing as what I see here! Only 17km per run is piddles to THESE sled dogs! LoL

Posted by Annabel March 10, 09 10:56 AM
67.

If you have never worked in a dog sledding kennel, then you can't say anything about the "cruelty" these animals are experiencing. The dogs are UPSET when they don't run, visibly. They cry and whine and jump to go. The ones on the teams are so excited, we have to hold them down while waiting for the start of the race!

Any of you people who think dog sledding is cruel are uneducated, misinformed, and posting judgement on what you don't understand. The other postings that say these dogs are treated as world class athletes are correct - they are checked by vets before the race, and at every checkpoint. When a dog is injured or worse, it is devastating to the musher.

And yes, I'm an avid animal lover and would do anything for my dogs, and they run too because they LOVE IT!

Posted by CO dog sled chick March 10, 09 10:59 AM
68.

Dog Sleding is wrong!

nice pics tho

Posted by Booba March 10, 09 11:14 AM
69.

Love you dogs, and love you the human peers...living in a tropical country, I can never fully understand your travails, but the bonding between (wo)man and dog says it all....

sierra bravo (a 50-yr old man)
Hot Dog, an old, refined gentleman (who happens to be Labrador Retriever)
Honey, a middle-aged, loving girl (who is also a Lab)

Posted by Sierra Bravo March 10, 09 11:22 AM
70.

I realize polarization is what the 'net does best, but let's consider the possibility that everyone is sometimes right. The dogs, in the hands of the best mushers, are living their highest possible existence. Others abuse their dogs and work them literally to death on the trail. It's not an either/or. Good people are involved in every endeavor, as are bad people. It's the people who are or are not moral, not the activity.

Posted by R Johnson March 10, 09 12:14 PM
71.

Don't get your undies in a twist. I'd put a whole stack of money that dog with the injured toe gets a higher quality and faster care than your dog does at home.

I have two husky's, one a retired sledder. They live for this stuff. When you get a leash and harness out to take her for a walk, she goes nuts. The other just isn't happy without a 3+ mile walk. I mean he literally pouts and seems depressed.

These are pictures of happy dogs, not abuse ones.

Posted by Rob March 10, 09 12:17 PM
72.

In the words of Will Rogers, "If dogs don't go to heaven, I want to go where they go."

Posted by Roland Loog March 10, 09 12:49 PM
73.

Great photos, but too bad there's no pics of the UP 200--an Iditarod qualifying race along beautiful Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that takes place just before the Can-Am.

No way is this cruel! These dogs LIVE for these races and are just so happy, well-cared for, and excited to run.

Posted by Joe--Marquette, Michigan March 10, 09 01:00 PM
74.

I watched some rangers in Denali Park harnessing up a team of dogs. Those that were not chosen were indignant. Can a dog be indignant? Of course it can!

Owner of five dogs over the years.

Posted by Oliver Philli[ps March 10, 09 01:11 PM
75.

this is awesome sweet pics dudes u guys rock!

Posted by lolman1 March 10, 09 01:32 PM
76.

Dose it hurt to have your beard frozen???

Posted by Gabrielle March 10, 09 01:34 PM
77.

These pictures are wonderful! Thank you Yoon for doing such a great job with our sport and capturing so beautifully why we do this...for the dogs. The bond we form over many miles of training and racing is just amazing. They just love to run, explore, eat all the treats they want ...and stubbed toes are usually the worst of it. Imagine trying to force a dog that is 40 feet away from you to do anything they don't want to, sorta hard :-)

Posted by Christine March 10, 09 01:44 PM
78.

Since 1973, over 130 dogs have been killed during the Iditarod. Several of them at the hands of abusive mushers. These are only the reported deaths and countless others perish afterwards due to injuries suffered during the race.

The people who claim the dogs love to pull are being disingenuous. Of course they love to pull, but they don't enjoy being worked to death. This is the same purposefully blind mentality that clains pitbulls and roosters "like" to fight to the death. People like this lack an essential element of humanity and they deserve our pity.

Posted by Jim March 10, 09 01:48 PM
79.

I am a very staunch advocate of animal rights, and do not believe that running sled dogs is cruel. If you want cruel, go to a rodeo. These dogs were meant to be out in the cold, running. That is what they do, what they love. They wear proper harnesses so that they will not injure their bodies, and the dogs must be well cared for to be able to run such long races. You can tell by looking at the dogs just how happy they are. One thing I noticed also, is that all of these dogs are of a healthy weight, unlike the majority of dogs now who are overweight because they have overweight owners. Beautiful dogs haveing a wonderful time with those they love, doesn't get any better than that!!

Posted by Nicole March 10, 09 01:54 PM
80.

Enjoyed the pictures and even more so, the comments. At first glance, I thought maybe it was a little cruel, but after reading the different comments, I am now sure that this is not cruel in any way. The dogs love what they are doing and are well taken care of by loving owners/trainers. What beautiful dogs! I wish I could someday see one of these races.

Thanks for the eye-opening pictures. Beautiful!

Posted by Janet Young March 10, 09 01:55 PM
81.

"Does(sic) it hurt to have your beard frozen???"

No. Although, pulling a big hunk of ice out of your beard can hurt, if it pulls hair with it.

Posted by ltwally March 10, 09 01:58 PM
82.

Jim, only 130? You know dog is a delicacy in some places...
MUSH!
awesome pics

Posted by Alex March 10, 09 02:05 PM
83.

I had no idea there was so much to it. I enjoyed seeing "the real deal" when it comes to this sport. Very Interesting.

Posted by Krissy March 10, 09 02:24 PM
84.

I love animals and I do not believe these dogs are mistreated, as a matter of fact most mushers seem to take very good care of their dogs, and if anyone has ever seen anything on these animals they live to run. They go absolutely crazy with excitement when the harnesses are brought out and they go crazy waiting for the mushers to tell them to run. Animals are designed to do different things, these dogs seem designed to do this.

Posted by Robin D. March 10, 09 02:26 PM
85.

Pic nr 2 is my definition of a perfect winter day. I'd like to be there listening to the muffled silence, overlooking the mountains and snow covered forest and drinking hot coffee from a thermos.

Posted by Buss March 10, 09 02:50 PM
86.

>

Yep. The animal is injured, bleeding, and looks to be in pain. Anyone who looks at this and says it's a beautiful thing is crazy. They probably thought Michael Vick didn't do anything wrong either.

Posted by Dana March 10, 09 03:23 PM
87.

#70 - EXACTLY. You hit the nail squarely on the head.

Posted by Marcy March 10, 09 03:34 PM
88.

I have to agree with R. Johnson (comment 71). Both human and animal adore legitimate shared sporting events. Notice I say legitimate, and there is no way that fighting qualifies. That’s like comparing a bar fight to a marathon. Anyone who truly loves their animals treats them well because they aren’t pets; they are part of the family. The solution is to weed out the bad apples, those that abuse their dogs, not to condemn the activities for which the dogs were bred and they so enjoy. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

Posted by CJHart March 10, 09 03:34 PM
89.

The dogs are athletes--and are sometimes injured, like any athlete. From my limited experience, the dogs are treated very well and honored for their love of the game and their abilities. Most of them are not pets, per se, but that doesn't mean they are not loved!

I just posted this photo journal to my blog on the Virtual Tea House.
http://virtualteahouse.com/blogs/beth/archive/2009/03/10/mush-on.aspx
Many thanks--

Posted by Beth Patterson March 10, 09 03:40 PM
90.

Amazing subjects, amazing photography - LOVE it!

Posted by Shirley March 10, 09 03:41 PM
91.

These pictures are glorious! As to blood loss, my Boston Terrier has ripped loose his dewclaws just playing with his beloved basketball in my suburban basement. Was he happy to stop playing so I could clean and disinfect? Not for a second. Well-loved animals doing what's in their nature are fulfilled and happy. Now, my poor Beardie who's allergic to pastures, that's a cruel fate.

Posted by Henway March 10, 09 03:43 PM
92.

Thank you for sharing such beautiful photographs!

Posted by John P March 10, 09 04:07 PM
93.

My family has been running dogs for years, and I can tell you 100% that these are some of the best treated animals in the world. The dogs love to run, and anyone how thinks this is barbaric or cruel is sorely misinformed (#24,#33). I would wager that a far larger percentage of regular family dogs are mistreated and abused than these pups.

Posted by skot March 10, 09 04:16 PM
94.

Wauwie beautiful pictures, like every day!
Keep up the good working.

Bye Kees Vermeer

Posted by Kees Vermeer March 10, 09 04:20 PM
95.

#26 looks very strange to me. is he hovering?

Posted by Richard March 10, 09 04:47 PM
96.

a path to remind us that there is an alternative way to view life. continue with similar projects. avoid war and political promotion as much as you can.

Posted by kimon March 10, 09 04:53 PM
97.

As an owner of multiple Alaskan sled dogs as well as a houseful of "companion" dogs, there is no doubt in my mind that anyone who believes that this is animal cruelty is someone who has never handled, cared for, or loved a yard full of these dogs. Cruelty is the farthest thing from any of their minds when they see a harness. Have you ever tried to hold back a team of 16 sled dogs when they are harnessed and ready to run? If it's so cruel then why does it take tying off to a tree, or setting a snow hook in order to just contain them long enough to hop on the sled? Where is the whip forcing them to go? Huh, seems to be void from all the pictures! That's because these dogs LOVE what they do. Oh and by the way, I can guarantee that the dog with the ripped toe nail isn't still crying about it like you are!
Amazing photographs, they truly captured the amazing joy of the run!

Posted by Jen March 10, 09 04:55 PM
98.

Wow. Beautiful pictures, my favorite is a close up, the 1st one of all.

Posted by Danielle March 10, 09 05:36 PM
99.

Please stop saying this is cruel. I have a boxer and we recently joined an urban mushing group here in southern Cali. She loves to run. All the dogs love to run. That's why we do it. I took my dog to play in the snow (not mushing) and she stepped on a stick and her toe was bleeding like the one in the picture. She was fine. The mushers love their dogs and take good care of them. If they didn't they would not win, and that's just counter-intuitive. In many of the pictures the dogs wear "booties". These dogs usually have sensitive feet and if the owner notices that they hurt themselves, they put the booties on the dogs to PROTECT them.
Alaskan Huskies are born and bread to run. It's what they do best and they love it!
Beautiful pictures!

Posted by Dogie Lover March 10, 09 06:37 PM
100.

thanks for some great pics of the 37th annual great race!.... being that i am an Alaskan i am a HUGE fan of Lance Mackey + Larry (#15.)... it was AMAZING being able to see him take off at the starting lines!

Posted by Shawnee Ashby March 10, 09 06:50 PM
101.

THEY ARE JUST LITTLE BABIES!

Posted by Bre March 10, 09 06:53 PM
102.

Ugh. I can't believe someone left that dog in the car like that. It can fry it's brain!

Posted by John Squire March 10, 09 07:38 PM
103.

Great photos. Nice variety.

Posted by Ed March 10, 09 08:23 PM
104.

Do any of you recognise the name Ramy Brooks the musher who beat a dog to deth last year and is baned from running for 3 years. Many dogs die every year during and after the race many more are killed during training. The Humane Society has been apposed to this form of dog abuse for many years. Large numbers of dogs are culled because thay are not fast enough. Mushers who have been sighted for abuse include Ramy Brooks Jim Welsh Dick Mackay ( his son is runing this year) Tom Daily and Mitch Sealey. Sled dogs live there lives in misery on a short chain and as soom as they can no longer run most are killed.


Posted by Josephine March 10, 09 10:29 PM
105.

Absolutely beautiful! I am a huge animal supporter, and do not find this apalling in any way. you can see the love and exctiement these dogs have not only for 'their humans' but also for the sport. Yes, I noticed the blood in the picture but the dog doesn't seem agitated by it, not does it appear to be a significant amount of blood.
This is refreshing to see in such a morose world we seem to live in right now.

Posted by Stephanie Blommaert March 10, 09 10:33 PM
106.

just because us humans can't run 250km doesn't mean it's inhumane for dogs to.

Posted by bob March 10, 09 10:56 PM
107.

Great set!

We put together a very brief, beautiful dogsledding video. Have a look!

Posted by Canadian Tourism March 10, 09 11:47 PM
108.

You idiots! The first dog just died for 2009. You think dogs like this? Dogs don't like the Itidarod. They are not into dying to satisfy man's quest for sport. This is animal abuse and is a felony to drive a dog to death. Every year dogs are injured and die and not just one or two. There is no justification for this. The Itidarod is animal cruelty plain and simple.

Posted by Sandy Boss March 11, 09 12:19 AM
109.

Man, I came into this thinking, 'What great photos! I'm sure nobody will have a bad word to say about this one!' I'm amazed at how wrong I was. I mean, WTF? *This* is animal cruelty? Now I'm not the most learned person in the world when it comes to dog behavior, but I'm pretty damn sure these animals are really, really happy! I'm also pretty damn sure that if a dog doesn't want to run in a race then it will, you know, NOT RUN!

You cruelty obsessives are really barking up the wrong tree here and the fact that one of you had the gall to describe this as "The absolute lowest form of barbarism" in a picture post right after the one about the Cambodian Killing Fields is just sick, in my opinion. But then you guys aren't exactly known for your love of humanity, are you? You know what sticks in my craw the most though? It's the fact that I absolutely *guarantee* that all of you people moaning about the Iditarod are the same people who'd think nothing of locking a dog up in a little plastic box while you go off to work.

Hypocrites.

Posted by Matt March 11, 09 12:49 AM
110.

Wonderful pictures. I've had three Huskies in my life and I can tell you one thing for a fact - If you can see a Huskies bottom teeth it means that he/she is laughing - #21 and #22.

. . . and Huskies laugh a lot. They laugh at us pitiful two-legged beings. Which is only right.

Posted by Esther March 11, 09 01:24 AM
111.

I know many of these mushers and I can tell you they love their dogs more than most humans. The dogs love to run and the humans who care for them work tirelessly to make it happen for them. I'm sure there are exceptions, but anyone who knows a dogmusher knows a dog lover. No one does it for the money. That's for sure (it's about the biggest money pit I can think of). It's not really a spectator sport either as most of the action happens miles away from everyone so fame isn't a real motivator (the Iditarod really is the only race that gets much attention). The only motivation I can see is the swift silent movement of the sled through the trees and the love of the animals. It's an amazing sport.

Posted by Tom March 11, 09 02:22 AM
112.

ki it sure human cannot run like dog, the dog good and love to us when we a funny to him it will also funny to us if you make any wrong to him it wrong will come but it bit and careful us.,

Posted by pspadmana March 11, 09 03:47 AM
113.

I challenge any one of the people on here citing that dog sledding is cruel to actually got and spend some time with sled dogs rather than judging from your armchair.

I have (and I have a Siberian Husky) and they get so excited at the chance of running it is difficult to describe. I have never seen animals so excited and so willing to do something as a bunch of sled dogs waiting to run. They need to be physically held back, not forced to run!

Go and spend some time with these teams, see the care the dogs are under, observe the medical treatment they receive, the quality of food they are fed and the opportunity to do what the breed requires (i.e. exercise) before passing judgement.

Digging up some stats from the internet, with no first hand experience, is lazy at best. You can find cases of abuse in all walks of life and no-one is saying that it never happens in dog sledding. What people are saying is that the vast majority of these dogs are in their element and living the lives they're physically (and mentally) designed for.

Stunning pictures, by the way.

Posted by Damon March 11, 09 06:05 AM
114.

Fantastic photos. I have a few more at http://www.akphotograph.com/Alaska%20Blog/ not quite as stunning though. Mushing is an amazing sport. My sister-in-law is a musher and absolutely loves her dogs and her dogs will happily pull her anywhere.

Posted by Mike Criss March 11, 09 08:05 AM
115.

Of course mushing itself is not cruel, since all Malamutes and Huskies (and many other breeds) love to pull and run. So it is not cruel to let them run, even for longer distances. The cruelty comes when people want to win.

We see the same with sighthounds. Each sighthound loves to run after the lure. That's their nature. There is not problem with that. However, there is a lot of cruelty in sighthound racing. That's not because the sport is cruel, that's because there is money involved. Money causes to get the worst out of some people. They will do anything to win, even animal abuse.

So please continue to enjoy any sport with your dog, you might even try to win, but not at any cost. Your dogs loves it to do what he is build for (mushing, herding, racing, ..) but does not care at all whether you win a trophy (or money prize).


Posted by Marc March 11, 09 08:18 AM
116.

I would hazard a guess that most of the people who think sled dog racing is animal cruelty did not grow up or live around sled dogs. Yes, there are some abusive owners (I knew one personally) but these folks are weeded out pretty quick. The vast majority of racers care for their dogs as if they are their own children, and most of them consider their teams their family. These dogs are fed top-notch menus, get better medical care than a lot of Americans, and in general absolutely LOVE what they do.

I am a dog lover, and I have dogs of my own. I can't stand to see a dog in pain - not even stub its toe. But I've also seen first hand what's going on in this industry. If you've never been to a sled dog race, I would urge you to go and take an objective look at what's happening. You might be surprised.

Posted by Ella March 11, 09 10:34 AM
117.

Dogs are AWESOME!!!!!

Posted by james March 11, 09 12:05 PM
118.

I love the pictures of the Siberians. My wife and I have two Siberians (one female and one male) which were both rescued, and they are wonderful pets and stay with us in our house. We're fortunate to be able to let them run within a fenced-in two acres.

These dogs love to run and seem to gain energy as the thermometer drops in temperature. I would love to watch one of the races just for the opportunity to hear the Siberians "talk" amongst themselves. I think their talking is what sets them apart from the other breeds.

Posted by John March 11, 09 12:19 PM
119.

Heaven is where you get your dogs back.

Posted by Tigreblue March 11, 09 01:15 PM
120.

Wow, those are some BEAUTIFUL pictures!

And as a current proud owner of a 100 pound Alaskan Malamute, previous owner of two pure bred (AKC Registered) Siberian Huskies, and one Siberian Husky/Samoyed mix, I tell all you PETA fanatics: you CLEARLY have no idea what a "working breed" is or what makes a "working breed" happy. Take your rubbish comments elsewhere. If you REALLY care about these specific types of animals, go rescue all the poor northern breeds that are cooped up in clueless owner's houses (most likely destroying things out of boredom.)

Posted by Andrew March 11, 09 01:43 PM
121.

Oh they all look so happy! We have friends that have a dogs trained for a sled team and at all the races there are Vets and Vet techs to check the dogs. The dogs have real doctors, most races only have a "Qualified First Aid Certified" person for the humans.

I've heard of dog teams that WILL NOT WAIT for their "person" and have run most of the race without them!

I have a champ disk dog, and she believes I am PUNISHING her to make her stop "playing" when she starts to limp (she has mild hip dysplasia, on meds) because it nearly kills her NOT to be fetching. It's the same for these dogs. They want and need WORK to be happy. Something the PETA folks if they truely understood animals would know.

Once again proves that the Left (Liberals, Socialists and the like) prefer "lazy brain dead" to actual happy, working and living!

Posted by Sandra March 11, 09 02:22 PM
122.

Last week, hundreds of dogs and cats owned by people that had their homes repossed were left to die of starvation in the abondoned homes.
You think treating them like the athelets they are and letting them run is crule? Go find one of these abondoned dogs and give it a home, then, maybe, I'll listen to you.

Posted by Donofca March 11, 09 02:31 PM
123.

Fantastic pictures!!!!!

Posted by Lee March 11, 09 02:33 PM
124.

Sandra wrote: "Once again proves that the Left (Liberals, Socialists and the like) prefer 'lazy brain dead' to actual happy, working and living!"

Huh? This lefty feminist socialist loves those pictures and is owned by an Alaskan Malamute. Last I looked the PETA and so-called "animal rights" people were anything but liberal. Please check your stereotypes at the door and just enjoy the dogs!

Posted by Hagwind March 11, 09 02:44 PM
125.

As a veterinary student, and a long time veterinary technician and sled-dog lover before that, I think the people trying to spout statistics about dogs that died to prove that mushing is cruel need to do a little more research.

A study done (and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association) discusses the causes and reasons for death in 23 deaths over 13 years. These were the dogs that died during the Iditarod in care of the veterinarians on staff for the race. Many of the causes were things that could easily happen to animals NOT racing at full-out paces (such as gastric ulcerations, enteritis, aspiration pneumonia, and heart issues.

Of course, there are cruel people who will beat their dogs, or ignore problems. Those people are everywhere, including in vet schools and practice. But people who work with their dogs usually have a greater love and respect for those animals than a typical American family will ever have for their pet.

Posted by Jenn March 11, 09 03:46 PM
126.

I do hope that the dog in pic #19 was cared for.
I do not think that this activity is any kind of cruelty to the dogs. I have seen where the dogs really enjoy doing what they do. I think that if the mushers take care of the dogs, their injuries, and are kind to the dogs the dogs will love the mushers in return. I do think that all of the dogs should have the little doggy shoes to help protect their paws. It could make a difference between a win or a loose in the races.
I really like the pics.

Posted by Heather March 11, 09 04:34 PM
127.
Posted by JW March 11, 09 04:50 PM
128.

It made me angry to read that some people believe this its "barbarism" and "disgusting". I totally agree with what #36 said, these dogs love what they're doing, its practically in their blood. Think about the poor husky somewhere chained to a fence in 80 degree weather... he'd love to be with his pals in these pictures!!

Posted by Emily March 11, 09 05:56 PM
129.

Let's kill and feed all PETA members to some hungry pitbulls! Then the world will be a better place.

Posted by Rocco March 11, 09 06:15 PM
130.

The world would be a better place with a lot more dogs and a lot fewer people!

Posted by Rob Mahan March 11, 09 08:29 PM
131.

"If you're not the lead dog, the scene never changes!"

Posted by Rob Mahan March 11, 09 08:30 PM
132.

these dogs love to race - that's what is in their blood. nothing barbaric here - pure beauty and instinct. these pics are lovely.

Posted by D.No March 11, 09 08:48 PM
133.

Live in Alaska, grew up with sled dog racing in winter, dog shows in summer. Am a liberal feminist (for those who think we're all the opposite up here). Siberians and other spitz breeds are not like other dogs. They listen to what you say and weigh their options. Try training one to walk off leash. I've seen it done once, 2 malumutes with a Vietnam vet owner who took them everywhere on foot. Abuse can happen like any sport, but try staying in the competitive circuit if discovered. Running is what these working dogs are all about. The sled is just the way we can get to stay with them.

Posted by Alison March 11, 09 09:04 PM
134.

Amazing photos! The people crying about "did you see the blood" get a grip! I have 2 Standard Poodles that love to play in the snow. Unfortunately there are times if the snow has hardened by a slight thaw, they come in with cut paws and yes they are bleeding! But boy did they have fun! Maybe the ones crying about the blood on the paws don't live where there is snow or have never played in it. To them - GET A LIFE! To the mushers and their dogs, dang that looks like fun.

Posted by Catherine March 11, 09 09:24 PM
135.

I've been there at the beginning of the Iditarod and it is amazing to see all the dogs get so excited and it is amazing how well they are cared for and loved... All working dogs are happier when they have a job to do.....

Posted by nikki March 11, 09 10:15 PM
136.

Any way you could post here the first picture in 1920x1200? I would love to have it as a wallpaper! Thanks.

Posted by Milos Bohonek March 11, 09 10:52 PM
137.

Those fur people love their human buddy.You can see it in their eye's
I read all the comments and I'll wager a good percentage of you can look
in a canines eyes and tell if they have a good human buddy or not.

Great pictures look forward to more.
To all you that have experienced a true friend..

Posted by Kit March 12, 09 12:58 AM
138.

@The Humane Society :
"Did you see, BLOOD !!!"
Get a grip on reality, people, BLOOD is what you live on : ever wonder where the steaks, ham, fish or poultry you eat come from ?

"cute doggy" also butchers other animals, only then you call those smaller & less photogenic animals "food" ... will you put him behind steel bars for that ?

Feeding your kid is considered a good action ... but ... is it still one when you take the side of the hundreds of butchered animals per year that it takes ?
Maiming an animal is considered a bad action ... but ... is it still one when you take the side of the freezing person who depend on the aphathic animal's energy to get him back alive ?
[also, consider the 2nd World War : Churchill's a drunk who regularly beat his wife ... and Hitler's a sophisticated man who learned to paint & write ... who did History consider the "Good" one ?]

If you really want to experience a fulfilling Life, you'll want to make dangerous decisions, that is, the ones that NOW are putting you closer and closer to a prison cell, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE CONNECTIONS/MONEY TO KEEP YOU OUT OF TROUBLE ... else, the only choice you'll have to 'DO NO HARM' is sitting in a cave (prison also works) meditating DAY AND NIGHT, hoping not to kill even a single bacteria ...

Life is ALMOST NEVER fully black or fully white ... varying nuances of gray appear, depending on your point of view !

It's called the Circle of Life ... get used to it, or prove that you can reliably teach cats to prepare Tofu instead of torturing&playing with mice !!!


As a last point, and as a COMPARISON BETWEEN ANIMAL AND HUMAN fate, do some research on the following :
- FEMA camps
- Georgia Guidestones
- What links are there between public state deficits and private central banks' profits ?

Posted by Huang Di March 12, 09 04:31 AM
139.

The dog is pic 19 is bleeding. Look at its leg. That's bad.
good photography though.

Posted by Raj March 12, 09 05:34 AM
140.

I grew up in Alaska and I remember that they would broadcast over the PA system at school the winner of the Iditarod. It is a long standing tradition, with both human and man devoted to the challenge.
Absolutely amazing!

Posted by Roda March 12, 09 11:51 AM
141.

GO #17

Posted by Anonymous March 12, 09 12:30 PM
142.

When the poor dog is bleeding on page 19 it made me cry! good luck.

Posted by courtney March 12, 09 12:30 PM
143.

My hunting dog tore her nail off yesterday while going to the bathroom. It happens.

Like mushing dogs, I know my Chessie would be miserable if she weren't out retrieving birds (or training to retrieve them). She'd just be a neurotic 85 pound mess.

This coming from a so-called "lefty". As said before, check the stereotypes at the door.

Posted by Jeff March 12, 09 02:18 PM
144.

We used to own a sled dog, and I can tell you they love to do this. The animals are treated like royalty, and eat better than most humans do! Yes, you will have your mushers and dogsled teams that are rough to their dogs and treat them poorly. They will tend to filter themselves out of the business quickly as the BEST dogs on the track have made the route many times and lead where a human cannot even see. The overwhelming majority of these teams will see grown men wrestling in the snow like a child, playing with their dogs. Look at the straw in #8 and #9 - unneeded (their fur is phenominally thick) but it's there because they care.

#28's picture is much more common than #19's, and for 99% of the teams, if #19 happens, the dogs get medical care that rivals what a human celebrity gets. They are beautiful animals who absolutely love what they do. I miss our dog terribly (died after 18 long happy years).

Posted by Dave March 12, 09 02:42 PM
145.

If you have never been there to see these dogs run, then don't judge because you have no idea what you are talking about. All you need is one time watching a musher hooking up a team to see that they love it! They jump in the air and bark their excitement. Those left behind have very sad faces. I never fail to get emotional when I see a team running. I have now experienced the Iditarod 7 times, with 5 of those as a volunteer at the end in Nome and this year I volunteered at the end of the Yukon Quest. These dogs are better cared for than most children. Watch them in person - then decide if it's animal cruelty.

Posted by Sue March 12, 09 02:54 PM
146.

On a slightly different tack, one reason I love sled dog racing is that it is one of the few sports where WOMEN COMPETE ON THE SAME LEVEL PLAYING FIELD AS MEN. No handicap, same race. The big races take advantage of the type of endurance strength and cold tolerance that women can excel at. Iditarod winners Susan Butcher and Libby Riddles were inspirational athletes as well as dog owners/trainers.
PETA, on the other hand, is no friend to women with their repeatedly misogynistic ad campaigns (I'd rather be naked than wear fur) most recently featuring semi-nude strippers. Do they really need to exploit women to further their cause?

Posted by Alison in Alaska March 12, 09 04:03 PM
147.

What is cruel is keeping this high energy dogs locked in your house all day.

Posted by John March 12, 09 09:09 PM
148.

147 is absolutely right! People who buy these beautiful, big dogs that should be outside with plenty of space only to lock them up in a condo all day are the ones harming animals. Anyone who says those doggers weren't born to pull has no idea of what they're talking about. These are some of the best dog sledding photos I've ever seen. Beautiful.

Posted by Jon March 13, 09 03:41 PM
149.

Im a life long Alaskan. We have sled dogs, one of which is champion blood raised by the late susan butcher for Jeff Kings Lonesome dove litter. (anyone interested in pups send me an email).

Its pretty easy for some folks to comment on something they know little about. ANd im not talkin research on the internet from you cozy warm house, with its microwave and 2000 channels of TV. People have become disengaged from nature, from reality in its natural form. we create our own realities and think differently than before.
Dont think that mushers that abuse the dogs, dont get in trouble for it. But for the most part the dogs are the mushers best friends. Dogs live for humans, thats why the old saying Man is dogs best friend. Horses do not respond near as well as dogs to human love.
The Message in photos like this, is your missing out on real stuff. You can watch discovery channel until you die and still not know the experience of mushing. The peace, the tragity, the calm, the excitement, the adrenaline, the sadness, the joy. Its all a part of life and living it. Those that think this is abuse, remember there is a human along with them, who is not as well adapted for the journey as the dogs. One could say its more human abuse than animal abuse. Mushers come home sore and tired after these races.
Our next champion, and newest dog.
http://www.sunstealer.com/thedogs/luna.jpg

Posted by Anonymous March 13, 09 08:20 PM
150.

Hey, guess what folks, PETA isn't supported by the vast majority of "Lefty Loonie Libruls". Why? Because we're educated enough to know that they don't do diddle sh*t for animal rights or the environment. PETA collects millions of dollars every year and do they build animal shelters for abandoned/stray pets? NO! Do they preserve any threatened habitats? NO! Do they do anything but send out idiotic pamphlets begging for donations and stirring up the fanatics who lack critical thinking skills? NO!

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/peta-time-to-reform.html


Posted by Woof! Woof! March 13, 09 10:11 PM
151.

P.S.
john squire 102, The dog is locked in a car in ALASKA in FEBRUARY. Some how I don't think the "poor" pup is dying of heat exhaustion. sandy boss 108, See Jenn @ 125 comment about dog deaths. Plenty of them died of things that kill house pets that DON'T run the Iditarod... and some of them were trampled to death by moose or other wild animals. Not by abusive owners. Most mushers are dog lovers. That's why they engage in a sport with very little return. Dog racing is expensive. Very few folks make a profit at it..and that is very small. Much less than, say, jobs at a nice comfy desks. http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-847.html

Posted by Woof! Woof! March 13, 09 10:21 PM
152.

#149, Exactly!
What these people don't realize is that we are more in tune with our dogs, there is no music or commercial breaks, it's 24/7 dogs and an experience that can only truly be understood by living it.

#150, I second that! thanks for the link!

Posted by Willie March 13, 09 11:58 PM
153.

Stunning, beautiful photographs of an incredible event.
Here in Sydney, Australia, we must travel about 200 miles or so to see it, consequently, (my) knowledge of Idtarod is minimal. That said, it is abundantly clear that all contestants, human and canine, share the excitement and joy of participating, the very obvious, unforced, mutual competitive spirit, and 'that' which is the stuff of Champions, mutual respect and love. I have competed in team events, and whatever the result, the memory of the Team Spirit remains 'till my last breath, they are the best of times!.

Posted by Stuart Garfath March 14, 09 01:41 AM
154.

Nice one Eric (#53), I'm smilin' even as I type.
Mate, if we Humans had within ourselves what that dog is displaying, running a marathon every day before breakfast would not be worthy of mention.
What a splendid shot of a completely focussed, motivated individual, (the dog), as my Drill instructor would have said, "People, THAT is 110% commitment and dedication!, (pause, projects 'steely' look), are you good enough to exceed that number"!? - (after that we would be willing to put tomato sauce on housebricks and eat them!),. Ahhhh, , the fun times of competition and honourable exhaustion......



Posted by Stuart Garfath March 14, 09 02:22 AM
155.

I can't understand how somebody who hasn't even been near one of these dogs could consider this cruel. Granted, there are mushers who are bad people, but far and away they are more likely to 'spoil' their dogs rotten with the best care possible. I'm owned by a husky, and let me tell you, he loves NOTHING more than running. Including food! It's quite a chore to make sure we're providing him with a good amount of exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation to keep him from being bored, especially now that he is 12 years old, and getting a little stiff and sore.

And me? I'm a liberal bleeding heart kinda girl, but taking away the jobs these animals love and are bred for is the cruel thing, .

Posted by Michy March 15, 09 12:09 AM
156.

OUCH at pic #19

bleeding dog feet....

Posted by TareX March 15, 09 12:47 AM
157.

Love these dogs for they bring much joy just to see the look in their eyes when they are at work.... it is nothing but pure love they have for thier work and their owners...

Posted by KatrinaB March 15, 09 10:02 AM
158.

I went on a four-day dogsledding trip about ten years ago and wondered myself beforehand whether it was cruel to the dogs. I wondered if the dogs would actually want to run. When we went to pick our dogs from the area in which they all lived, every single dog was jumping around in anticipation of being chosen to run. After that experience, and after the four days of being with the dogs, I came to the conclusion that the dogs love to run.

Posted by Colin March 15, 09 01:53 PM
159.

Beautiful animals and wonderful photos....thanks for posting these......Coooooolllllld

Posted by LNC March 15, 09 08:37 PM
160.

i love all of da picture picture
there kute

Posted by daritza March 17, 09 06:49 PM
161.

i love dods and its looks very nice out there and i hope the best person win

Posted by juicy March 18, 09 09:44 AM
162.

Woot Woot!!!!... Lance Mackey and lead dog Larry Win the 37th annual sled dog race a little after 11:30 am this morning.....CONGRATS LANCE & LARRY!

Posted by Shawnee March 18, 09 04:42 PM
163.

I really think they shouldnt b alowed to do this

Posted by ... March 18, 09 06:56 PM
164.

awesome lance mackey won the race this is I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE IDITAROD THS IS SO AWESOME he is like my hero and since hes got throat cancer its makes it even better he pushed the boundries of time and made it.

Posted by dannielle moberg March 19, 09 11:43 AM
165.

amazing. fantastic. great!

Posted by dar March 20, 09 03:44 PM
166.

Outstanding !!!

Posted by JC Couto March 21, 09 05:21 PM
167.

I have read about dog sledding when I was young (long ago). But this time I see it.
It's very amazing.

Posted by dutdara March 22, 09 09:51 PM
168.

OH YOU GUYS ARE CRUEL

PICTURE #13 LOOKS LIKE A DOG SLAVE.

DOG SLEDDING IS ABUSIVE AND EXCRUCIATING.

EVER TRYING RUNNING IN THE SNOW WITH JUST SOCKS?

STOP DOG SLEDDING AT THIS INStANCE!!!

I AM REPORTING ALL OF YOU.

Posted by stop being defensive March 23, 09 04:43 AM
169.

My Aunt has a Husky/wolf mix. 130 pounds. Every year all winter the neighbors call animal control on her for leaving the dog outside. That is ridiculous. They should call animal control on her in the summer when they real look like they need help. This dog cries and begs to go outside and cries when you bring him in. He loves the snow and the colder it gets the more he wants to play. He even loves sleeping in the snow. It is so funny to watch him make a bed. He builds the snow up around him like a little igloo. Good stuff

Posted by Jessica March 24, 09 05:13 PM
170.

The dogs are out there doing what they love. Think of it, would you tell a child he/she could not go out and play, ride a bike, learn a sport, or do anything physically active that promotes health and vigor all because of the possibility of getting hurt or a little bloody? How many times did you as a child skin your knee? Yes, it hurt, but for me and probably for you-it was worth all the fun.

Loved the loyal blue eyes in picture #1.

Posted by maryanne March 24, 09 07:10 PM
171.

cool

Posted by Anonymous March 25, 09 11:02 AM
172.

Dog sledding is a cold sport that dogs (that are well cared for and meant to do this) love to do. I love animals and hate to see them abused. Dog sledding is not a cruel sport.

Posted by Miranda Miller - Age 10 March 25, 09 06:34 PM
173.

what a pretty picture is the first one the dogs eyes are super cute...

Posted by miros March 25, 09 08:19 PM
174.

Dogs are not MEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Miranda Miller - Age 10 March 26, 09 05:56 PM
175.

it's my dog in a box!

Posted by grenouille March 26, 09 06:40 PM
176.

Dogs will love there friends and bite there enemies,unlike humans who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate!
In memory of the great "obanski boof" may the sport live on!

Posted by Andrew Moore March 28, 09 01:19 PM
177.

84.

well, dogs could run without the harnesses... these dogs were not designed to run with harnesses but I think the people make them do this.

Posted by amonde March 29, 09 06:21 AM
178.

Everyone who talks about the cruelty of it all needs to shut up, go up to Alaska and see for yourself. You get blisters and shin-splints when you run a marathon, and it's not cruel. Why do these people never talk about the cruelty of horseback riding?

Posted by Mike March 29, 09 03:50 PM
179.

This is sick

Posted by Anonymous April 1, 09 06:21 AM
180.

I like that it is amazing.

Posted by Isabella April 13, 09 05:33 PM
181.

Thanks for beautiful pictures! And for those of you who think these animals are abused; think again. The fact is that dogs who are not happy wont run. And mushers with dogs who wont runt - wont win.. Go figure..

Posted by Lars April 14, 09 04:08 AM
182.

my favorite pic is 21 i thought that one was cool

Posted by cools231 April 17, 09 10:36 AM
183.

To anyone talking about animal cruelty here...I had a Syberian Husky as a pet, and my older brother took it as one of his sledding dogs in the PIRENA race; and I can assure you these dogs LOVE IT and always are pretty excited to go for a run. Just look at photos number 21 and 22, do the dogs pictured seem anxious or mistreated to you?

As someone noticed, also quit whining about the injured dog, it's just an injure probably caused by some stone or small piece of wood or something like that buried in the snow...the musher will take care of the wound, guaranteed.

Posted by Gerard May 3, 09 11:02 AM
184.

#23 Is Hans Gatt with Newton Marshall and his Iditarider, Beth Jones. Let me tell you...this was one awsome ride.

Posted by Beth Jones May 4, 09 08:40 PM
185.

cool dogs but... they could be little cute

Posted by Anonymous May 31, 09 06:03 PM
186.

#86 Read --> The images are still great. photography is photography, either if its happy, sad, pain, or other.

Posted by Max June 1, 09 11:41 AM
187.

I agree wit the dog sleders i bet those dogs are having more funn than any other dog in the world those are some of the best pics in the world......(179) do those dogs look sad in most of those pics??????...tha images are awesome..good job

Posted by Tanner Wilson August 19, 09 05:33 PM
188.

like thes pecture

Posted by Anonymous August 20, 09 07:25 AM
189.

SUBLIME

Posted by Karine - Kaki August 21, 09 05:09 PM
190.

I appreciate the comments that those ignorant of the sledding sport, those, just on the outside, looking in, should be slow to judge, and certainly more educated before they do so. I can understand why so many dog-sled lovers-----no, dog-and-sled lovers---would be irritated and frustrated with us. How can we hope to have an worthwhile discussion otherwise. I understand that the dogs thrive in these harsh Alaskan challenges, but aren't the longer, time-intensive races too physically demanding of them? Could they be just as happy running alot, but alot less, all at one time? Of course, they'd be safer. Or am I missing the point, for them...Maybe they instinctively long for the run, at all costs, or even until it Costs all. Some creatures are driven like that. For me, the consideration is, then what is our responsibility as their guardians.

Posted by Mariah--Orange, CA September 13, 09 11:35 AM
191.

How is letting an alaskan malamute or husky pull a sled with 15 other dogs, different than letting your child play a big game of tug-o-war? These amazing dogs were born for the cold, to run, work, and hunt. Its not like people are tying up 6 poodles to a car and forcing them to haul it. I own 3 big dogs, and when it snows and it does, ( we had 4 ft last year, Go washington state!) i let my dogs run around out side all day until I need to lock up. These dogs love what they do. No dog has ever died on the iditarod because it was treated inhumanely. If you are going to bash the Iditarod, do some research first. I know I will be participating in the 2011 iditarod when I can get the time off of school.

Posted by Mallory September 24, 09 09:16 PM
192.

HI

Posted by AMIE October 13, 09 11:34 AM
193.

The dog on pic #19 seems to have a broken toenail--it looks bad, but it's nothing serious.
My mom's a vet. I know these things.

Yes, working a dog to death is illegal. (working ANYthing to death is illegal) However racing dogs is not. If they're suffering, I'm sure that the mushers care for their dogs and try to heal them. Heck, some of 'em don't WANT to stop running! (My dog is like that, but he doesn't race. He's a German Pointer) Amazing pic on the Husky's eyes. I love Husky eyes :)

Posted by Sierra October 16, 09 12:58 AM
194.

You guys that are hating are so stupid. Damn. These dogs probably get faster care at the vet then you get at the doctor. And they love to run. I would agree with you but i cant honestly can't remember the last time that i said to someone else's kids "hey stop having fun. Are your parents really doing that to you?" Just think a little.

Posted by Anonymous November 2, 09 08:18 AM
195.

huskys are the best

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 09 10:54 AM
196.

omg they are so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOT THE GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

Posted by dog freak 05 November 10, 09 04:49 PM
197.

i like dogs

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 09 11:01 AM
198.

I have a problem with seeing dogs. Once I look at them, I can't stop! They're so cute! I want to have them running in my house. I really like dogs!

Posted by hannah December 6, 09 07:31 PM
199.

Fantastice photography I hope to be as good as this person at phtography some day. I have Australian Shepherds that I do sledding with and man do they get excited when I bring out their harnesses!

Posted by Keechak December 13, 09 10:00 PM
200.

those where so fantastic ahhhhhhh

Posted by Anonymous January 19, 10 02:27 PM
201.

COOOL PICS

Posted by Darien January 21, 10 01:10 PM
202.

love it !!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous January 26, 10 09:21 AM
203.

The bleeding dog in #19 that so concerns some people has popped a toenail. Essentially the same as a hangnail in a human -- bleeds some but is NOT serious. I've had both active kennel dogs and lazy house dogs do the same thing. You want to let the bleeding stop (it may drip for a few hours) before putting on a snow boot, if needed, so the dog won't have a soggy foot. BTW it won't stop the dog from getting up and running if he wants to, and those sled dogs love to run and pull like nothing else in life.

Posted by The Scarlet Pimpernel January 31, 10 10:09 PM
204.

There really cute pictures but the picture of the man is just a but weird.

Posted by Eve February 3, 10 08:33 AM
205.

How would you like to have your feet in that cold ass snow. The dogs cant tell you when then need to take a break or are feeling bad. I think this is horrible.I have 2 wonderful dogs that I love dearly and would never think about doing such to either of them. They are supposed to be a part of your family not a part of your sports event. My two lay in the house beside the warm fire place and chew on a bone while I have a sport event on my TV. The ware and tare on those dogs bodies must be crazy. If you want to go out and take a trip in the snow then put snow boots on and walk it yourself. See how much you like it.

Posted by lynda Knight February 5, 10 08:21 AM
206.

The activity should be banned! What people don't see is when dogs die, their bodies are left on the trail in the cold while the other dogs are forced to move on. This isn't about endurance, it's about dogs being forced to work their hardest and often beyond their physical capabilities. The dogs do it because they want to please their owners and they belong to a pack. The owners should be whipped and forced to sleep in the cold as well!

Posted by DaveCJ February 9, 10 12:54 PM
207.

Mi hermana tuvo una husky siberiana y murió tras un año de haber enfermado de diabetes. Nada se podìía hacer ya, a pesar de que le procuramos buena vida hasta el final. Pero en sus buenos tiempos, esta perrita exigìa y demandaba correr, por las bellas fotos de esta página, puedo decir que los perros aman estar ahí, ellos aman el ejercicio y correr, si no lo quisieran, no lo harían, conociendo el carácter testarudo de este tipo de perros, nunca podías obligar a nuestra bella Nicky a hacer algo que no quisiera, pero correr y jalar, eso le encantaba. Así que cuando piensen en crueldad animal, piensen en las corridas de toros, donde a los animales les clavan estacas y los desangran hasta morir, y eso sí, para beneplácito dey glorio de alunos. En este caso, creo que son más cuidados y famososo los perros, que sus amos.

Posted by Eos March 3, 10 10:31 AM
208.

i really like the pictures exspecaly #1 that is a really cute dog!!!!:)

Posted by william May 5, 10 12:23 PM
209.

this sight is amazing great photos

Posted by AAron May 7, 10 02:41 PM
210.

i love dogss!!!!

Posted by shannon November 17, 10 11:26 AM
211.

cute

Posted by ummm November 18, 10 11:34 AM
212.

i lik dogs because i do i like the first one ICECREAM i sais epic random stuffs

Posted by jonathan santos November 18, 10 11:36 AM
213.

i love dogs and a tip of advise put thicker socks on the dogs

Posted by unkown December 14, 10 12:09 PM
214.

they're all so cute!

Posted by t-j February 13, 11 09:35 PM
215.

I have lived in Alaska and know all about dog sledding. The dogs are kept outside on a 4 ft. chain at most at down to -40F. I really don't think that this is kind. 3 dogs just died in the Yukon Race--one strangled to death on it's harness and one aspirated gastric contents from running so hard. Yes, the dogs like to run. They are NOT treated well and you people who talk about them as athletes, there's one crucial difference--they DON'T have a choice! They are NOT treated as beloved pets, but as pack animals who can be culled (shot in the head, if they're lucky, or worse, if not--see what happened in BC a few months ago when a dog sledding activity center had slow times and they shot/slashed the throats of 100 dogs). You people that talk about the dogs like they enjoy this--I don't think a dog enjoys being out in subzero temperatures in a cold dog house on a 4ft. chain which is what the dog kennels are like. Go ahead and be delusional--this is cruel and inhumane. These dogs don't get "faster care at the vet" go ahead and live in your dream world. Educate yourself.

Posted by Malcolm Rogers February 18, 11 02:40 AM
216.

sso cute

Posted by banks March 4, 11 11:38 AM
217.

Aww, I live in England, I wish I lived in Alaska so I could be a musher:)

Posted by Danielle Tyson March 5, 11 07:25 AM
218.

i like dogs alot

Posted by Anonymous March 16, 11 08:25 PM
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