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.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's a New Year… how do the Dogs look?

OLDER DOGS (10 and 9 years old)

BISCUIT (10 years) has been in harness since Fall Training started. He currently does one long training run a week and we fill out the rest of his schedule with shorter, slower runs. He’s even run in lead several times -- once taking the team directly toward the Heat Pen! Biscuit looks better than ever with a bright, shiny husky coat. He is 51 pounds which is PERFECT for him. He is ready to race on any slower teams. Biscuit has significantly fewer training miles than average - that is intentional.

CHICA (9 years) had a lump removed from her chest in mid November. She recovered quickly but missed training the second half of November. She is currently an important leader for the Yearling Team and is training with them for the Two Rivers 100 Race. She is chunky at 51 pounds but looks good enough to star in a Superbowl commercial (more on that later!) Chica has significantly fewer training miles than average - that is due to post surgery recovery time.

NACHO (9 years) is slower but still steady and happy. He has been doing long training runs as well as short camp outs. Nacho will race on any of the slower teams from 200 to 1,000 miles this season. He looks great and has a super happy attitude - like usual! He is chunky at 57 pounds, but he is ready to race. Nacho has slightly under average training miles.

QUITO (9 years) see previous POST HERE

MATURE DOGS (8 and 7 year olds)

SCOUT (8 years) is 100% healthy. He has had the same ‘no nonsense’ attitude that he’s had his entire life. He might be a smidgen cockier as he roams through the yard. His speed has diminished slightly, but he is still one of our smartest and most dedicated leaders. Scout will race on any team. He is at his ideal weight at 44 pounds. Scout has average training miles.

OLIVIA (8 years) see previous POST HERE

BOONDOCKS (7 years) is sassy. She likes to think that she rules the dog yard. She looks great this season and is 100% healthy. Perhaps she is not as fast as she once was, but she’s tough and solid and will race on any team. She still insists on sleeping outdoors when the temperatures drop and inside when it’s warm. Go figure?! She is just a tiny bit underweight at 37 pounds. Boondocks has average training miles.

LESTER (7 years) is the perfect leader - level head and never flustered. He has taught many of our youngsters (mushers and dogs). He has his own speed and is completely comfortable with it. His slower speed will be key for novice teams including the younger Iditarod Team, but you won’t find him racing fast. He is at his ideal weight at 45 pounds. Lester has slightly under average training miles.

SCRUGGS (7 years) is a command leader with incredible toughness. He looks great again this season. His smarts are important to us - so is his incredible determination. He is close to the perfect dog. He will race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 47 pounds. Scruggs has above average training miles.

WAYLON (7 years) is overly confident. He will run in lead paired with youngsters as well as veterans but he usually annoys everyone. He still barks like a frog. He can maintain a fast speed or grind on a challenging trail. He still doesn’t look like a traditional husky with his pink t-shirt and leggings, but he sure acts like one. He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 43 pounds. Waylon has above average training miles.

WILLIE (7 years) is fast and enjoys his position as a happy team player. He is cheerful all of the time, never a problem and always a hard worker. He has been a perfect happy-go-lucky team player his whole life. He will race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 42 pounds. Willie has slightly above average training miles.

PRIME AGE (6, 5, 4, 3 year olds)

MAC (6 years) is by far our most powerful dog. He does NOT do well in warm temperatures. He had minor salivary gland issues again in November and had limited training that month. He is now up to speed and endurance. Mac will race on any team this season. One exception will be if the temperatures are warm, then he might sit out. However, we’ll need him on the YQ and Iditarod. He got quite chubby (74 pounds) in November but is back to his ideal weight at 69 pounds. He is the biggest dog. Mac has significantly less training miles than average - that is due to his health issues and sitting out during warm temperatures (above 30 degrees F.)

SCHMOE (6 years) is strong, happy and still a chatterbox. He hasn’t run in lead since finishing the YQ last year in that position but he is a great team dog. He has speed and strength and looks solid. He can race on any team this season. He seems like he can always gain weight, even at 53.6 pounds. Schmoe has above average training miles.

SCOOTER (6 years) is as excitable as she was as a youngster, so much so, that she occasionally irritates her partners with her squirming enthusiasm. She is the perpetual barking cheerleader and we love it! She can race on any team this season. She is at her ideal weight at 50.8 pounds. Scooter has above average training miles.

SISSY (6 years) was looking 100% until late December when she showed some toenail issues. She stubbed a few nails on the icy trails and has sat out a short time to recuperate. We need her healthy because she is a top notch dog with a fun and energetic attitude. She can race on any team when she’s healthy. She is at her ideal weight at 49 pounds. Sissy has average training miles.

CHEMO (5 years) is steady, strong and mellow. What a sweet boy! Everyone loves Chemo - dogs and humans. He is a underrated dog because we don’t worry about him: he is always there and never falters. He has both speed and endurance. He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 50.8 pounds. Chemo has above average training miles.

CLYDE (4 years) is super fit and skips down the trail for miles and miles. His biggest plus is still his desire to eat everything and anything. By keeping his fuel tank full, he never runs out of energy. Clyde is also a tough boy. He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 52.6 pounds. Clyde has above average training miles..

FELIX (4 years) is excited and agile. He is perfect in wheel position. He is fast too. Sometimes he prefers to skip a meal because he’s so wired to run and this has affected his endurance in the past. Fingers crossed. It is a challenge to keep weight on him and he is thin at 44.8 pounds. Felix has above average training miles. (The 4th most in the kennel.)

IZZY (4 years) is mentally determined and physically gorgeous. She is a good leader but isn’t strong with her commands. We need to keep her training and busy, otherwise she’ll have too much downtime and chew on her brother Mismo’s head for entertainment. She can race on any team this season. She is at her ideal weight at 47 pounds. Izzy has the most training miles in the yard this season - tied with Mismo.

MISMO (4 years) is a crackerjack. He will run in lead or anywhere in the team. He is humongous and has really filled out this season. He has Izzy’s endless energy with additional 20 pounds. He is fast and strong. He can race on any team this season. He is a big boy at 68 pounds. (Second biggest dog in the yard.) Mismo has the most training miles in the yard this season - tied with Izzy.

NELSON (4 years) is constantly moving so you better just put a harness on him. But, believe it or not, he has calmed down some from last season! Ambitious, strong, and charging - just get out of his way! He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 48 pounds. Nelson has above average training miles. (The 3rd most in the kennel.)

OUTLAW (4 years) is all legs. He has the strength of a bull and thoroughly enjoys running uphill. He is a cheerleader and barks a lot in harness, in the yard or at a race. He doesn’t do well in warmer temperatures and jumps through the deep snow for a bath. He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 55.4 pounds. Outlaw has above average training miles.

PEPE (4 years) is bottled energy. He’s like shaking up a can of soda then popping it open. Watch out! In years past, he has burned out on some of the longer runs but this year he is holding strong. He is a small dog disguised with a thick husky coat. He can race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 39.6 pounds. Pepe has above average training miles.

CHIPPER (3 years) is a little bottle rocket. Her name is certainly appropriate. She is a tiny little thing built for cruising down the trail. She is always perky: in the team or in the yard. Luckily, Chipper has just enough focus to run in lead, but you might have a hard time seeing her up there in front of 12 bigger dogs. She can race on any team this season. She is slightly underweight at 34.4 pounds. Chipper has above average training miles.

DRIVER (3 years) is a big and strong fellah. He has almost a lumbering gait but manages to keep stride with his smaller siblings. He is a dedicated worker. He can race on slower mid distance teams and any 1,000 team this season. He is slightly underweight at 59.6 pounds. Driver has above average training miles.

DUTCH (3 years) is becoming a ‘go to’ guy. He’s started to lead this season but sometimes gets side tracked by interesting smelling trees or bushes. He is always happy and quite the cheerleader. I haven’t seen him get tired yet. He can race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 47.6 pounds. Dutch has above average training miles. (6th most)

IRON (3 years) is a goof ball. He is the most challenging dog to harness because he squirms with delight (well... I forgot about Pepe.) When on the team, he has a fast moving canter and has serious muscle to back that up. He needs to stay healthy this season and he’ll really help win some races. He can race on any team this season. He is at his ideal weight at 51.6 pounds. Iron has above average training miles.

JUNIOR (3 years) is running in lead on the main team. She has speed, confidence and smarts. She is a talkative gal. She is always friendly and happy and will partner with anyone. She reminds me more of Nacho even though she looks exactly like her Mother. She can race on any team this season. She is at her ideal weight at 41.4 pounds. Junior has above average training miles. (The 5th most in the kennel.)

KODIAK (3 years) is cocky and proud. His sled dog skills are way above par so perhaps this confidence is justified. He is in lead often. He can be a little cantankerous - there always has to be one! He can race on any team this season. He really looks fantastic at 48.8 pounds. Kodiak has above average training miles. (The 2nd most in the kennel.)

LYDIA (3 years) has always been a pip squeak and she is no different now. Her “go get ‘em” hasn’t changed since she was a peppy 8 week old pup. She will really drive the speed of your team and can be found in lead often when we want to go really fast. She can race on any team this season. She is slightly underweight at 32.6 pounds (smallest dog in the yard.) Lydia has above average training miles.

SANDY (3 years) is the perfect little worker. She is no nonsense, hard driven and trots at 12 mph with a smooth gait. She is often in the rear of the team since she is agile and can maneuver side to side quite fast. She can race on slower mid distance teams and any 1,000 team this season. She loves to eat and is at her ideal weight at 38.8 pounds. Sandy has above average training miles.

WEDGY (3 years) is tickled pink every chance she gets to run. In harness, she is a sincere worker and we have stepped up her game by asking her to run in lead. She can race on slower mid distance teams and any 1,000 team this season. She is a gorgeous dog and maintains her ideal weight at 49.2 pounds quite well. Wedgy has slightly below average training miles.

WOODY (3 years) is loud and bellowing while waiting to run, but truly he’s just a sweet, calm dog. He prances down the trail, picking his front feet up like a Paso Fino horse. This gait makes him a little slower but good for the ‘long haul’. He can race on slower mid distance teams and any 1,000 team this season. He has always enjoyed playing and running more than eating so he is underweight at 54.8 pounds. Woody has average training miles.

ADOLESCENT DOGS (2 and 1 year olds)

AMBER (2 years) screams when the team is grinding up steep hills and will leap in the air if we are going too slow. She likes speed! She still has a lot to learn about camping and long distance. She will race on any Novice Team this season. She is a small dog and is a healthy weight at 36.2. Amber has slightly below average training miles.

CAYENNE (2 years) is really driven and can pace herself on the longer runs. She can also be agile and fast. She is a confident little gal and ‘rules’ the Adolescent yard. She will race on any Novice Team this season. Cayenne has never been very interested in food and thus has issues maintaining weight. She is underweight at 37 pounds. Cayenne has slightly below average training miles.

CHAMP (2 years) has learned a great deal this season and is growing into a talented dog. He is smart, but we are not ready to move him to lead quite yet. He has the physique to run forever. We just need to get his mind to mature as well. He will race on any Novice Team early this season but might be bumped up later this year. He is slightly underweight at 48.4 pounds. Champ has slightly below average training miles.

CHENA (2 years) is a main leader and shows extreme confidence. She runs with her head down to the ground and pulls for all she’s worth. She rarely gets tired and will play anytime of the day when she’s not training. But... everyone has issues... she doesn’t like to eat. We have tried various remedies and have reduced her training miles whenever she goes off her feed. Chena can race on any team IF she eats all of her meals. She is underweight at 35.2 pounds. Chena has significantly less training miles than average.

COAL (2 years) is a conscientious, sensitive dog. He thinks about things and likes to please his musher. He has been steady and solid in the team and can help on a fast squad if asked to do so. He will race on any Novice Team this season. He is slightly underweight at 48 pounds. Coal has slightly below average training miles.

COMMANDO (2 years) is a self-confident leader with drive. He comes into this season with the most experience as a Yearling and it shows. Although, he still has a “fun” side and will play with Lydia or Junior sometimes while in lead. He has been training with the Prime Age dogs. He will race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 48.6 pounds. Commando has above average training miles. (Second most miles of all 2 year olds - tie.)

DAISY (2 years) has been loping down the trail with serious ambition this season. She even ran lead on the Main Team (but knows zero commands.) She twisted her front leg on ice at the end of December and sat out for a week, but is back in training now. She was training with the Prime Age dogs before this minor set back. She is fast and feisty. She will race on any team this season. She is slightly underweight at 39 pounds. Daisy has average training miles.

HOTSHOT (2 years) has turned a corner as a youth and now can contribute fully on the longer training runs. His problem has always been that he tries too hard. So he’s either let up a little or is incredibly fit. Hotshot looks bigger than he is because of his long-legged ‘hound dog‘ appearance. He will race on a Novice Team this season. He is slightly underweight at 45.2 pounds. Hotshot has slightly below average training miles.

NOMEX (2 years) is a solid team player with wonderful drive. He gets upset at team mates should they slack off even a little. He has a strange boxy gait, but keeps a tight tug line - similar to his Dad. He has been training with the Prime Age dogs. He can race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 53 pounds (10 pounds are his big head.) Nomex has above average training miles. (Second most miles of all 2 year olds - tie.)

SPARK (2 years) is both happy and talented. What a combo! He has become a great command leader at a young age. He has a long body and likes to trot as fast as the team can go. He occasionally gets ‘silly’ with his partner but we don’t expect him to be serious all the time. He has been training with the Prime Age dogs. He will race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 46.8 pounds. Spark has above average training miles. (Most miles of all 2 year olds.)

TINDER (2 years) likes to be heard and he is proving that he’s someone to listen to this season. He is a fast and hardy individual. Some of us like to call him ‘Dorito’ because he reminds us of a mini Nacho. He has been training with the Prime Age dogs. He will race on any team this season. He is slightly underweight at 46.8 pounds. Tinder has above average training miles.

TORCH (2 years) is one of the most talented youngsters. He has a lean build, long legs and likes to pace. He had issues early this season breathing in warm temperatures. We managed this condition by switching around his harness and running him in cooler temeperatures. He trained for over a month with no problems, then last week had another episode. We will look further into his condition this month. He is at his ideal weight at 45.6 pounds. Torch has below average training miles.

VIOLET (2 years) is a long-legged Olivia. Her gait is a fancy two legged pace, but that doesn’t seem to slow her down. She is completely focused when in harness and enjoys the miles. She is an agile tall dog who needs to now focus on her food dish and eat up some extra calories. She is underweight at 36 pounds. Violet has slightly below average training miles.

YEARLINGS - these five have been on a limited training schedule in comparison to the Racing Dogs. All five dogs have very similar number of training miles. No one has been benched for any issues. They are learning at their own pace and will have great positive experiences during this first season in harness. Their racing goal is to compete in the Two Rivers 100 Mile Race in the end of January.

ERNIE (1 year) is a lighter built, racier dog than his siblings. He has run in lead. He has a steady, smooth trot and seems to cover miles with ease like a track Star. But, he puts a lot of energy into his tug and he has gotten tired on some of the mountainous runs. With a little friendly encouragement he always rallies. Ernie weighs 42.8 pounds.

FIVE (1 year) is a big good-looking boy. His strength is immense and he puts much of it into his harness. For a big dog he runs with his head low to the ground resembling a lineman on a football team. He has run in lead often and is comfortable up front. He is somewhat a pensive dog which makes us compare him to his half-brother, Mac. (Not a bad thing, huh?) Five weighs 52 pounds.

GINGER (1 year) is a loping little gal. She started the season barking throughout the entire run, but now she has cut back to just the beginning. She is always ambitious to go sometimes a little too much so. She has been caught chewing the line several times. (bad... bad... bad!) She is agile and fast and simply wants to get going NOW! Ginger weighs 40.6 pounds.

RODNEY (1 year) is a loud mouth - before he runs, during the run and after the run. Amusing! He hasn’t ever lost his voice. In the beginning, he wanted to pull the entire sled load himself, but has learned to share the work during the last month. He loves to eat and that will keep his fuel tank full. He is one happy puppy. Rodney weighs 49.2 pounds.

SCOOBY (1 year) always has to be doing something: running, eating, playing, chewing, barking. His energy is endless. He has failed miserably at camping thus far - barking for hours while he should be sleeping. But, as far as a working sled dog, he is awesome. He has a gorgeous build and actually looks like a Husky! Scooby weighs 47 pounds.

19 comments:

John Gomes said...

Great article. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Aliy you put a ton of information on the team pups and where they are currently. Thanks for all your efforts to share the atats and hopes as well. Go get'em doggies and 2 legged members as well. Eat up Chipper you gotta run in front this year sassy girl!
Padee
Fairbanks Alaksa

Margaret said...

Thanks so much for this full rundown on the 4-legged team members, detailed and classified by age and "readiness" age-groups - amazing!

Those of us racing with you guys in spirit, will dress appropriately, in Red and Black, all weekend!!!

Good luck picking the two teams for Copper Basin out of this crowd!!!

Woof, woof, woof!!! Go SP Kennel!!!

Meraai Malan said...

Thanks Aliy!

Dawn E said...

Thanks so much for this information! So in depth...love it! GO SP Kennels

Lisa B said...

This post is fabulous - thanks for the details on the awesome SP Kennel 4-legged athletes. Laughing at the thought of Scooby failing camping. Best to all the dogs and humans as race season goes into full swing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info on each dog. Looking forward to the Super Bowl and all of the races. Best wishes for this weekend. It must be a difficult decision to decide who gets to run among all of the great contenders.

Val

Melissa Krahmer said...

I was really hoping you would do another post like this. thank you for taking the time to write it up for us. I remember the miles per month per dog chart Macgellan posted years ago and found it so interesting.

Anne Harvey said...

Is Quito retired? Maybe I missed something.

Susan McCandless said...

Super Bowl commercial??. I'm so intrigued! You go, Chica girl!

Cindy Schaus said...

Awesome details. I always laugh when hearing about Scout. His personality is hysterical. It will be fun to see in a couple of years how the yearlings develop and see if their strengths get stronger and if their less positive issues have been eliminated. The comment about Champ's mind needing to mature is probably true about the yearlings too. Thanks for all the hard work in posting this. It will be fun to return to later.

SP Kennel Crew said...

Anne, Quito and Olivia were profiled in their own update post during the weekend. They're both doing great!

http://spkenneldoglog.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01/olivia-and-quito-updates.html

Nessmuk said...

THANK YOU for this awesome post!! I love reading how the training season has conditioned the dogs for the coming season! Again, the talent runs deep at SPK...what a great pool of sled dogs to choose from! Cant wait to watch the race this weekend!!! Safe travels to the starting line and fingers crossed for cold temps!!

Cindy Eckhoff said...

Thank you for a fantastic description of each team member. You sure do know your dogs! We will be watching and cheering everyone on this race season. Go SPK !

Barb, CO said...

What a terrific post - thank you so much. I just consume these posts and right before bed, think about the doggies all night long. It is like looking at someone's baby pix as the baby gets older and older. Watching and reading about these dogs as they mature and do interesting things just makes my day (and night, as you can see above)

tmcaleer said...

Absolutely love your updates as you see the dogs grow in their performance and personalities. I want to be up there and kiss single every one of them!!

It must be such a difficult challenge determining and anticipating weather conditions when culling through the team for an upcoming race. Conditions can change and these individual details are such critical factors.

So excited for you and the upcoming season, hope this crazy warm weather does not make it a nasty Copper Basin .... keeping fingers crossed for colder weather.

Have you picked the team as yet? Anxious to hear that news.

Thinking of you .... GOOD LUCK ALLEN and BLACK TEAM!!

Trish McAleer

Linda Toth said...

So great to get the low down. I especially enjoyed reading about the two year olds and yearlings with interest. "Getting to know you; getting to know all about you"

A-town's Becky said...

Aliy,
I have been waiting for this post. It is fantastic!
Thank you!!!

Violet get your face in that food dish and eat girl.

Chica....Super Bowl Ad...what!? Yukon Quest starts Feb. 6th, Super Bowl is Feb. 7th. I don't want to miss Chica, but we might just be busy!

Awesome review of the dogs...
It looks like you have your work cut out for you, selecting teams for this weekend. Best of luck, and may all your hard work show.

Marilyn cozzens said...

What an awesome, detailed post. Thank you so much. What fantastic dogs and mushers. Go Black and Red teams.