Fast, exciting, well trained sled dog teams are the result of careful behind the
scenes planning and hard work. Successful mushers are knowledgeable in such diverse areas
as kennel management, canine behavior, nutrition, veterinary care, psychology, physical
conditioning, housing and transportation. Wise mushers soon learn that success
or failure in any of these areas affects performance dramatically. Considering this fact
it is obvious that the welfare of the dogs is of paramount importance.
Team and driver develop a close, trusting relationship because of the amount of
time they spend together. To betray that trust by not meeting all of the dogs needs
runs counter to the goal of having a happy, healthy, highly motivated team. What you see
at a race is the result of long hours of work and planning to ensure that the team is
prepared to test its abilities against the trail and the competition.