The Iditarod Begins On Saturday

March 4th, 2009 by Dan

The yearly sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome begins on Saturday. Last year I posted a blog about the history of the Iditarod and the dogs that run the 8-16 day race. This year, having done a bit more research about the event, I’m experiencing a bit of discomfort about the whole idea.


Photo by Alaskan Dude

While Huskies and other Northern breeds do love to run, the distance between Anchorage to Nome – 1,150 miles. This is approximately the distance between New York City and Miami. The land is rough and almost every year at least one dog perishes during the race (since 1973 at least 136 dogs have died running the Iditarod). Many of them have perished from forms of pneumonia. There is also the question of how these dogs live when they are not racing. Many sled dogs raised in commercial racing kennels live their entire lives on short chains, outside in sub-zero temperatures. Once again, while Northern breeds love the cold, they too can be effected by extreme weather.

While there is a great deal of tradition and Alaskan pride surrounding the race, we need to consider the welfare of the dogs involved in this sport. There are many ethical mushers out there who raise their dogs with love and care – most would not dream of entering their dog in the Iditarod.

Posted in Dog Sports, Dogs | | Top Of Page

3 Responses to “The Iditarod Begins On Saturday”

  1. Joseph Says:

    I’d love to watch this with my Husky. Do you know what channel I can catch it on? If any?


  2. Dan Says:

    There is online streaming coverage of the race, however you have to pay a fee. For more information you can click here

  3. Escobar Driver Says:

    Here are two links to well written articles that disuss this topic.


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