Can the combination of -45°C weather, blizzards, weeks of solitude and little sleep, a seasoned veterinarian with a team of amazing sled dogs, in the wilds of the Alaskan bush lead to the evolution of a dog food company? Yes, it can. Meet sled dog racer Tim Hunt.
The sled dogs’ view is a simple one: sleep, eat, run. Habits learned, distances to travel set and the weather is often unpredictable. In the social hierarchy of dogs, the human is leading, or at least that is what we try to convince them of. The gaze of all those canines always rests on you. They watch their leader’s every move and wonder what the two-legged dog is going to do next.
Teamwork is paramount
The musher’s view is more complicated. He needs to consider everything. Who knows what you may encounter. Therefore, teamwork is paramount. His team has gone through much during the vast years in training, working with the dogs’ psyche and conditioning.
Luck is just an excuse
The goal is the win and the main obstacle to conquer is nature herself. A winning team takes many parts to come together in the right sequence. Luck is just an excuse. Lots of planning for eventualities and possibilities does not prepare one for the adversities that are thrown your way. But experience does. Good equipment, proper rest, decent nutrition and taking care of any health concerns are the foundations for success.
Perceive the dog
Many years of evolution have allowed sled dogs to handle these extreme environments with ease. Adaptation on the part of the human has allowed us to be a small part of it and witness it firsthand. The interactions in routine and extreme settings, such as walking a dog in the park or running a team of dogs in the middle of winter in the Alps, can have an influence on how you perceive the dog. But also how they perceive you as a human and just maybe also how you perceive yourself.
What is this connection that we constantly seek to understand that unites nature and the dog? That is what I stand back and try to witness every time I venture out into the wilderness with these fine animals.
The latest articles
Japanese officials launch inspection to curb pet sales
Local governments want to limit the number of dogs and cats allowed by breeders and pet specialists.
Italian pet wellness company Jampy secures €1 million investment
The Milan-based firm wants to expand its portfolio across Europe and beyond.
Interzoo 2024: record-breaking over 2,000 exhibitors
The leading international trade fair for pet supplies will host exhibitors from 69 countries in the German city of Nuremberg in May.
Weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date
Discover what’s happening in the pet industry. Get the must-read stories and insights in your inbox.