SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

ID: "Aliy Cam" Near Kaltag

This year, as with many other years, Aliy carried a hand held video camera to capture sections of the trail she wanted to share with you all.

In this video, the third in the series, the team is heading towards Kaltag at sunrise. Isn't it gorgeous?

Monday, April 17, 2017

ID: "Aliy Cam" Five Miles From Koyukuk

This year, as with many other years, Aliy carried a hand held video camera to capture sections of the trail she wanted to share with you all.

In this video, the second in the series, the team is about five miles from the village of Koyukuk, travelling through some moose country.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

ID: "Aliy Cam" Towards Huslia

This year, as with many other years, Aliy carried a hand held video camera to capture sections of the trail she wanted to share with you all.

In this video, the first in the series, the team is heading towards Huslia and Aliy talks about her team and the trail.

Monday, April 3, 2017

ID: Red Team Video

A glimpse of the Red Team's journey in the 2017 Iditarod including snippets from "Aliy Cam" that will be posted separately during spring.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Artistic License - Celebrity Jury

Aliy has been invited to be part of the "celebrity jury" for a fun new project. The state of Alaska is opening a call to all Alaskans to brainstorm, create, and submit designs for their ideal license plate.

The panel of Alaskan judges will choose finalists, and a statewide vote will decide the winning design.

The new plate will be available for all Alaskans to put on their cars as an official DMV-issued license plate for a limited run through the next four years, before the call opens again, and a new design is chosen.

So, if you are an Alaskan with a flair for design the panel wants to hear from you. Click here for more details including design guidelines and how to enter.

Friday, March 31, 2017

End of Season Dog Fan Club Draw

To mark the end of the season we made one final Dog Fan Club draw. Thank you all so much for joining our Dog Fan Club. We love that you love our dogs as much as we do!

The Dog Fan Club is now closed but check back at the start of October when we will open it up again for the new season.

Congrats to Lyn MacDougall, Violet's fan and Jaylee Bousman and Emily Lucas who are fans of Creamer.

Violet made the "big time" this year, culminating in running the Iditarod in the Red Team. She is a talented sled dog and the biggest snuggler. She will literally climb up into your arms and happily be carried around.

Creamer ran with Chris in both the Two Rivers 100 and the Northern Lights 300 this year. We are excited about her prospects next season.

You both win a "Lead On, Aliy!" T-shirt promoting the the "Lead On' campaign in association with ANDVSA and Matson, plus a signed Verizon "Better Matters" Poster. We hope you enjoy your packets thanks to two of our Lead Dog sponsors, Matson and Verizon.

To find out more about the Lead On campaign, and how to donate go to andvsa.org. All moneys donated during March, April and May will go towards helping children from the villages along the Iditarod Trail attend the Lead On! Conference in November.

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thanks again for being part of our Dog Fan Club! We appreciate your support.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

ID: Black Team Video

From Ceremonial Start in Anchorage to the Finish Line in Nome, here is a small portion of the Black Team's journey in the 2017 Iditarod.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ID: Black Team Wrap-Up

A few weeks after the race Allen gives his thoughts on the team that carried him 1000 miles from Fairbanks to Nome.

What can you say about Scout that's not already been said? He's outlasted almost all his siblings and still came in lead at the finish line of another 1000 mile race - his #12! That should say it all in a nutshell. There is nothing he hasn't done in the last few years in any race we put him in, and still never ceases to amaze with his longevity. He's a great dog.

Olivia was on all the championship teams and we were a little worried about putting her in this team; it was kind of a last minute decision but she had no injuries this year and she performed like a superstar. This was #11 1000 mile race for her.

You keep throwing adversity in Waylon's face and he keeps coming out on top, whether it is having a dog with no hair or just had one of his toes amputated; he still never ceases to amaze. He ran in lead for at least half of the race. He has a lot of heart and I wish we had more dogs just like him and we would be even more successful.

Willie is another "old one" and this will probably be his last 1000 mile race. It's good to have all these older dogs that were on the winning Quest teams and 2nd place Iditarod teams. It is good to see him pass the torch on to the youngsters and teach them as well as he has. Good boy Willie.

Scooter is the best cheerleader a team could ever have. She will always make you smile, even at mile 800 when we just did a long run and I asked them "are you ready to go" and she is up going "ape" like she hadn't run all year. She was the motivator to get the team up and ready to go, just like she has always been. She's a great dog, she eats well and another great "oldie".

Chemo is steady. He has always been steady. He's not the fastest dog we've ever had but I had him in lead for 300 miles at the beginning because he is a steering wheel and could get us through any difficulty with ease. He is just a relaxed kind of a dog and I enjoy having him on the team.

It's funny to say but now even Outlaw is getting older; it's hard to see him as an "older dog". He's had a few injuries this year and we wondered how he would do in another 1000 mile race but he came through and worked through all the injuries and performed well without ever hesitating. He's a good steady wheel dog that likes to go.

Probably the best asset that Clyde has, and has always had, is his appetite. If we could have more dogs with his appetite we would have a much better team; that's why we have bred him several times in the last couple of years to get that trait. With appetite you have energy and usually they always finish because of that - him and his offspring.

Chipper the fireball - all 32 pounds of her. Running the Quest wasn't enough for her and she thought she should run Iditarod in lead for most of the time. She is 32 pounds but has the heart of a 70 pound dog - whenever we get to a checkpoint people think she's a puppy but she soon lets them know that she is not with her attitude.

Lydia is another petite gal that likes to lope and go fast as much as she can. She also was in lead for a few hundred miles but the hardest thing about her is you can't see her when she's in lead so you don't know what she's doing. But, again, she pulled through and finished another 1000 mile race and that makes her a superstar.

Chena was probably the biggest stand out on the team. She can easily be in the "A" team and probably will be from now on. She led for several hundred miles also and she's a driving force when in lead. It's hard to tell because when the team is resting she acts like she wants to rest forever, until you get up to go. Then you see what type of dog she really is - which is a driving force.

Nomex has definitely come in to his own. He was probably second to Chena and surprised me more than most dogs. He has been prone to injury - in the Quest he had to stop 500 miles in. But he recovered and we were worried about him getting injured again. Thankfully he proved us wrong! He was always happy, energetic and liked to eat, and always wanted to flirt with the girls.

Tinder was a great dog for probably three quarters of the race. Gastro intestinal issues hampered him from finishing the race strongly. He didn't eat well for a while and that hurt him as far as energy level, thus I dropped him at White Mountain as he ran out of energy. Since we've been home he's been eating well, is 100 percent and will be a great dog in the future.

Hotshot's a funny dog. He was one of the last picks for the team because he actually tries too hard and to my pleasant surprise, going into the 24 hour layover he was a rock star. I was so surprised, I even told Aliy at the Galena that he's as good as any dog I had at that point. That's the good news. The bad news is, when we left our 24 hour layover he seemed like he was hurt on every joint thus he scampered into the the next checkpoint slowly and was not pulling for 50 miles so I decided to leave him at Huslia - the halfway point. As always, he tried a little too hard and that's probably where the injuries come from but it was good to see him make it halfway through he race.

Five is definitely like his father in his eating which helped him have a lot of energy. Most two year olds have a lot of hurdles to get through in a 1000 mile race and he kept amazing me with how strong he was at the end of every run. He started to get sore wrists, which I wrapped and I promised to drop him at the next checkpoint if he got sore, but midway through the run he excelled so I didn't drop him and didn't drop him... until suddenly we were at the finish. Can't ask any more from a two year old that what Five gave.

Scooby is another crazy two year old. He too, tries too hard but he got over that hurdle and started settling down into a steady trot and as the race went on grew stronger and stronger. He got more and more confident and realised that we were not going to stop. As the finish line approached he got excited, every though he's never been to the finish line he knew something was going on, I guess he sensed that from his more mature team mates. Hopefully that enthusiasm for the finish line will help us in the future coming into Nome with him on the team.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Olympic Litter in Harness

Why do they...? How do they...? What the...?

Anyone who has ever asked "How do you get the dogs to run?" should watch this video. The answer? "They just do".

Aliy and Ruth took the Olympic puppies for their first run in harness on Friday and they pulled from the moment the sled left the kennel to the moment they got back. It is always so exciting to see a puppy's inherent desire to pull without any instruction or practice.

Quito, Waylon, Nacho, Olivia, Biscuit and Nutmeg provided some experience up the front and looked just as excited as the pups!

We run the pups without neck lines for the first time to see what they do; to get an idea of what's on their mind. A neck line will often mask that. Later on, early next season, as they start learning trail manners we will periodically put neck lines on them to help them make the right decision with passing teams or crossing other trails.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Nome Council 200 Wrap Up and Video

Congrats Bridgett and the R&Bs!

At the starting line

Here are some thoughts from Bridgett about her stellar team:

Chena ran in lead the whole race - she is excellent. Chemo is great too but set a slower pace so he was moved back in a in a team position and was most powerful in the hills.

Chipper was as sassy as a dog can possibly be and ran in lead a lot including coming across the finish line in lead. Lydia was the most driven dog and also ran lead but looked to her sister Chena for the all the commands.

Topkok Shelter Cabin, Climbing the Topkok hills

Amber ran in single swing and was the cheerleader. Nomex can spot any kind of cabin, critter or snow machine from a far distance. He is the most aware was what’s going on and would tell me when we were coming upon anything.

Iron and Driver - the Big Boys - are awesome. When you tickle Iron’s belly he will roll over for a scratch. Driver is truly a sweetheart.

Outlaw and Clyde are tough and strong and you can tell why they win races. Willie has a heart of Gold - what a good boy.”

Chipper and Chena led over the line

Thanks to Kami for capturing some of this action.

All the dogs are now on their way back to the kennel having flown out of Nome this morning. Allen was in Anchorage to meet them and drive them home. Bridgett stays one more night to attend the Banquet and Prize giving.