All eyes will be on Alaska; funny I was just talking about the Iditarod yesterday. The Iditarod has been around for many years; 43 to be exact. The first race which was run in 1969; was a shortened version of approximately 27 miles compared to todays race which consists of over 1150 miles. The Iditarod starts from Anchorage and ends in Nome, Alaska. And as much as I am a Northerner; I love the cold, you would never catch me out there in that cold.
There is much controversy surrounding the Iditarod; many of the animal rights groups feel that it is cruel and inhumane to ask these dogs to do this. Each year dogs die running the iditarod; last year 5 dogs were lost. In the history of the Iditarod over 146 dogs have died. Something needs to be changed; why can the race not be sized down? It makes no sense to run these type of distances in the harsh elements of Alaska.
The dogs that do run the Iditarod are not regular dogs. They are bred to run and running is all they know. But running in these extreme conditions; never knowing what lays ahead weather wise is simply throwing caution to the wind. There are alot of sports out there that are dangerous and there are those who love nothing more than to participate in these sports but when it involves an animal who has no choice in the matter; that is another thing all together.
As the sport grows and becomes more popular to the general public; there will be more eyes upon the sport. This can only be a good thing with regards to the dogs safety. You can only hide so much with the whole world watching.
USA Today 2009 Iditarod article
Standard Poodle mush team
There are lots of pulling fun you can have with your dog. And you don't need snow to mush; I had the opportunity to shoot some of these dogs and wonderful mushers. What fun. Urban mushing
Skijoring; yes you need snow for this one but what a blast. I have done this with my guys and we all loved it. Skijoring