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.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aliy Talks About... Training And Conditioning

In this episode, Aliy talks about training and conditioning for the Iditarod Sled dogs of SP Kennel.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you think of why I'm not getting the videos? I can get videos on other sites.
Louise R

Macgellan said...

Sorry... I have no idea... they are standard YouTube videos... perhaps you could go to the YouTube site and try playing them there?... It would be an extra step, but...

Here is a direct link to my YouTube "channel":

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=macgellan

Anonymous said...

Approximately how many hours do the mushers put in on the sled to rack up the miles the dogs run?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Macgellan,
That worked going to the youtube site. I had been getting the videos up until you started using the new camera. Did you upgrade anything else?
LouiseR

Macgellan said...

Anonymous -- The mushers are on the sleds -- or 4-wheelers -- every hour that the dogs run... Actually it's "more" because they cannot train all the dogs at the same time... The average training team size is 12 dogs per musher...

So, you'd have to do some crazy math to figure it out... But it would go something like this: For every 12 dogs that run in a day, a musher is "on the sled"... if 36 dogs train one day that means one of the humans did two runs that day... Okay? You can sometimes see this in the different "run lengths" data...

Now, the dogs "average" -- roughly, approximately, round-about, overall, etc. -- 10mph... Plus "rests"... So, for a 50 miler, that's about 5 hours of running plus, say, and hour of rest... Then, you have to add the hour or so it takes to hook-up before leaving and un-hooking after... And you still have to add time for "getting suited up"...

In other words, if Aliy and Allen take 24 dogs out -- two teams of 12 -- for a 50 miler, it will take them 8 hours... 5 hours running, 1 resting, 1 bootie/hook/unhook/feed and 1 hour suiting up... Often, one of them will then eat some hot calories and go back out...

You may also want to keep in mind the fact that at least every other day, both of them "work out" on the treadmill and with weights for 2-3 hours. Also, they feed the dogs at least twice a day -- that's 60+ dogs -- and also maintain the Kennel's "facilities" every day.

On their "off" days they do dog care, fix/prep sleds and gear, manage Kennel business, interface with fans, etc.

Finally, though I am not at liberty to get into details, I will point out that sponsorships of all kinds don't quite cover Kennel costs. Thus, neither Aliy nor Allen -- nor I for that matter -- net any revenue from any part of the operation. All of their personal living expenses must be paid for out of revenue generated by their "off season" work, AND they must personally supplement Kennel costs.

So, to be honest, "time on the runners" may be a big number, but it hardly describes the "total time and effort" that is involved.

As always, I mean to convey no harshness in my tone... It is frankly just impossible to describe what this lifestyle is like in words... or even videos...

You have to love the dogs, and you have to be unfailingly committed to their welfare and quality of life to do what these people do.

A friend of mine who visited last year summed it up like this: "You all work like beasts and live like savages. The dogs are pampered and treated like royalty. It's better to be a dog around here than to be a human. Why the hell are you doing this?"

Like I said, you gotta love the dogs!

Macgellan said...

Hi Louise -- I can't imagine what the camera may have to do with the problem... The "output" video is exactly the same... Plus, if you can play the videos on my "channel" they should work on the Dog Log... It's the exact same files!

Then again, I confess I don't really understand much of what happens on the internet... To my knowledge, nothing has been changed or "updated"... Who knows about these things!

Sorry you're having trouble... Is it the same for all your internet devices?

Frank said...

Mac, your comments struck home ...

Harriett and I love our dogs unconditionally and will always provide for their well-being! For that, they give us their all time and time again. What could be better than that! That, as an old commercial once said, is priceless. I commend all of you!