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.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


People always ask: What makes a sled dog a good leader?

At SP Kennel, there are all different kinds of leaders. Experienced, no nonsense veterans and silly, youthful, energetic rookies and every one in between. Different dogs, of course, have different strengths. Often you will see leaders running in pair: one veteran and one rookie.

This video perfectly shows the individuality of two SP Kennel leaders - Butterscotch (on the left) and Olivia (on the right) during a training run last week.

Butterscotch is a 7 year old main leader. You can see his wisdom and intelligence as he looks back at Allen and then over at the parallel parked dog team. He is in charge of the team. He commands the team's direction and speed. He knows that this is his team and his demeanor shows this recognition. He is always ready to go, but never out of control.

Olivia is a 3 year old leader. She is overly excited to go. She loves to run in lead because she can go fast! She certainly doesn't mind being the leader in front of a team of eleven dogs, but she isn't their "commander". As you see in the video, her energy will often get the best of her as she drifts, jumps and screams with little restraint. At times, she is not sure which team she is leading. But, Olivia's enthusiasm gets a racing team pretty jazzed up and might even add some overall speed to the team's race time.

The team members behind Butterscotch and Olivia are: Hunter & Snickers, Tony & Malibu, Nacho, Viper & Honda, and Roy & Bonita.


Macgellan said...

Fantastic to see Butter holding the line out! He's like an anchor!... Perhaps he's showing off just a bit for the hot young babe next to him?

Linda T said...

I had to watch it twice; it was so much fun. Butter was amazing, definitely the anchor as Mac says. And Miss Cuteness, Olivia, made me giggle - which is why I watched it twice. I am still giggling.

Linda T said...

I am flying out of the state 12/18 and returning 1/08. Needless to say, finding internet connections will be a top priority, but I have figured it out. I can be where I need to be in roughly 22 hours from noon, 12/18 AKST to see an SP Kennel team win the Sheep Mountain 150. Then 1/09 and 1/10 I can watch Allen win the Copper Basin 300.

Life is good.

I'll be watchin' you guys - as always.