Sled Dogs

A dog musher in a race

Dog Song Rising

Over the holidays I had the opportunity to interview Jess Sears, a dog musher based in the Whitehorse area.

Northern Lights

Already Six Weeks

Forty-five days ago, I placed my feet on Canadian soil, with the goal of changing my life completely. Things are going pretty well!

A New Daily Routine

The quietness is however short lived, the silence broke as soon as I approached the harnesses… It was their way of showing their will to go; their desire to work. They were 50, and yet only 14 would be taken for the first round. And they knew it very well! As soon as I put …

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The Team

I fell asleep, dreaming about all these beautiful things that the next days promised. The sweet melody of my alarm clock rang. It was 7:30 a.m., time to get up. It was above all time to greet and take care of my new colleagues. Here I was, clothed in my three layers, ready to face …

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My Cup Runneth Over

In 2012 I came up to volunteer at the Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race and fell in love with the land. As I was approaching retirement, I decided that I would find a way to relocate my hobby dog team, consisting of mostly rescued dogs, and myself and four cats to the Yukon. It was …

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Brave and Bold

Jessie Royer Kennel: The J Team Age: 40 Nationality: American (Fairbanks, AK) Experience: Rookie

Mush Rush 2017

The Yukon Quest … is so much more than just a race. It’s an opportunity as a community event, for businesses and people to come together,”

Yukon’s Best Friend: DOG CULTURE, Natalya Keller

DOG CULTURE: Submitted by Natalya Keller I read that you are looking for dog pictures for your Dog Culture exhibition. I had a recreational dog team for the past 12 years. My dogs are not racing dogs or Quest dogs but touring/ trekking dogs. Here is a picture of the team tired after a sledding tour. What’s Up Yukon is pleased to partner with the …

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The Yukon Transportation Museum invites you to submit photos of you and your dog for their new exhibit

The Yukon and the dog: they are two things that belong together like peanut butter and jelly. The dog is the Yukon’s best friend and an icon up here in the north. It wouldn’t be the same without the dog and maybe that is the reason why the Yukon Transportation Museum has had an exhibit …

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It’s 40 years of mushing on the Percy DeWolfe Trail

Anna Claxton and the rest of the Percy DeWolfe Race Committee were hugely relieved to be able to announce that the “really hard working, amazing, dedicated trail crew” had managed to push a trail through a total of about five miles of jumble ice, and find ways around the various open leads in the river. …

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‘Neff Said

Hugh Neff and his lead dog George Costanza have won the 2016 Yukon Quest. Photographer Josh O’brien was there to capture the action at the finish line in Whitehorse, YT. Here are some shots taken just moments after Neff’s win.

Mush It Forward

Marathon runners spend a lot of time and dedication working towards being the best runner they can be. Countless hours are spent in the gym, running on a track, doing specific exercises designed to enhance their performance. With sled dogs who race it’s no different. The Yukon Quest is a very long race and as …

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How working dogs keep cool

Frank Turner knows how to care for dogs on the bitterly cold trail of the Yukon Quest, having run it 24 times. Indeed, he had the honour (his word) of winning the Vet’s Choice Award twice. And he knows how to care for dogs in the heat of summer, too. “Really, each person has to …

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Fun Fair tips by Nash and Thayer

What are those? “Whiffle balls.” What are they for? “Tic-Tac-Toe.” Five-year-old Nash Battersby is about to school me in the art of winning prizes at the Fun Fair at Whitehorse Elementary School, this Friday and Saturday. The whiffle balls are thrown into the nine-hole grid and, well, everyone knows what needs to be done. Nash …

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The Cold Weather Doggie Blues

At 40 below, Fahrenheit and Celsius are the same; not that our dog, Shadow, cares about that. She may need to go outside to relieve herself, but her preference is to cross her legs, huddle in the back of her kennel in the kitchen and wait for warmer weather. We kennel her at night so …

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A Handler’s Tale

When I showcased my subpar dog handling skills in a race for the first time, it was the 2006 Yukon Quest. But I was no stranger to the Quest, because I had covered it five times before that as a reporter for the Yukon News. I figured I knew a thing or two (or three, …

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Hot Dogs

In summer, Stevens attaches her dogs to her bike with skijouring gear and takes them for long runs, interrupted by swims.

The Lives of Retired Athletes

What happens to Yukon Quest dogs after they retire? Many live out their lives at the kennel they were raised in, enjoying the perks of retirement: running loose, puppy training and wrangling, and the lucky task of cleaning up spilled kibble, or fish and meat scraps. Some dogs though, get to go to their own …

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The Yukon Quest takes care of the Winter Blues

The Yukon Quest is an annual event in the North that can banish your winter doldrums, lift your spirits, and get you cheering. The Quest, a 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometre) dog sled race, takes place every year in February, bringing people out of their houses and cabins, not only to run the race, but also to volunteer, …

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Hot Dogs

We know what competitive sled dogs like to do in the winter, but what happens to them in the summer? Brian Wilmshurst of B-Line Racing Kennels has run the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race twice in the five years he has owned sled dogs. He says his 40 dogs are on holiday during the …

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Dogging It, Yukon-Style

“To mush my own dog team under the crisp moonlight …” The words of the newspaper ad came to mind again during the 20-minute drive up Fish Lake Road. Earlier in the week, those words had matched up nicely with the approaching full moon indicated on the wall calendar in the kitchen. A few phone …

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Musher and Dog, Racing as One

It all started with a group of friends at a bar; in the North, it often starts that way. The Iditarod was considered the longest and toughest race in the world. And it probably was at the time. But somehow it all seemed a bit commercial and really just, well, just a race. They thought …

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Skis and Sleds Hit the Road

Mid-distance dog races are back, with the Road Runner 100. “Mushers and skijorers have been asking for this type of race for years now,”

Dog Sledders Hope To Get Students Mushy About The Sport

“It is so important for kids to be outside and to connect with nature,” says Karin Grenier. “And one way to do that is for them to interact with dogs and dog sledding.” Grenier and her partner Normand Casavant run Casaventures, a dog sledding operation with 39 dogs (and two cats) on the Annie Lake …

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Club Welcomes Beginner Dogs and People to Races

Whether you have a poodle, a retired sled dog, or a dog in race form, the Dog Powered Sports Association (DPSA) of the Yukon has an event for you. The association runs events year-round and provides dogs -— and their owners — lots of opportunities for exercise, skill-improvement and socializing. In the summer, the Hot …

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A Different Kind of Care

Listen to that,” says Cristy Willett, interrupting herself. I can’t hear anything. Just the sound of the wind in the trees on Willett’s property, just south of the Carcross Cutoff. “That’s the point,” says Willett. “That’s the sound of 30 dogs when they are happy; they don’t make noise.” Willett runs the newest dog sanctuary …

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Hero for a day

On a sunny, chilly Saturday this winter, local trapper and wildfire fighter Guy Couture didn’t realize he was about to become a hero. He was simply helping his friends offer a local dog musher an extraordinary birthday gift – a ride with the longest dog team in Dawson! The idea was this: bring together as …

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