The Sled Dog Puppy Breakfast Wheel

Candice Gaukel Andrews October 25, 2012 5

How do sled dogs eat during a long-distance race? Quickly.

When time is of the essence — as it is during sled dog races such as the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, and Hudson Bay Quest — every action must be completed with as much efficiency as possible. That extends to mealtimes for the dogs.

Musher Dave Daley of Wapusk Adventures in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, recently described for me how learning to speed-eat starts when the racing dogs are puppies. During a race, the animals need to consume a sufficient amount of calories to be able to keep warm while running and resting. Picky eaters tend to become pickier when out on the trail or when the weather turns colder. Mushers, therefore, try to impart good eating habits from the start and desire dogs that eat with enthusiasm all the time, regardless of conditions. If you listen closely while watching the video below, you’ll hear Dave explain how there’s no time for fighting or barking over food once you’re on the trail. And these puppies have taken that lesson to heart.

As for the “spinning puppy wheel,” there hasn’t been a definitive explanation for that as of yet!

Thanks to Travis Andrews, for taking this footage at Wapusk Adventures in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, on October 19, 2012, as part of a NatHab Churchill Polar Bear Adventure.

5 Comments »

  1. Dr.Jagdish Mittal November 2, 2012 at 3:01 am - Reply

    Very nice information which is of practical use

  2. Phyllis F. November 1, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Informative and entertaining…love it!

  3. Carlyn Kline October 30, 2012 at 3:57 am - Reply

    This very amusing video sort of reminded me of the competitive eating that went on around my table when all four kids were teenagers, although they never perfected the wheel formation.

  4. Nine Quiet Lessons October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Around and around they go!

  5. pat oxendale October 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Candy,
    I agree what an efficient way to eat! Great video! I’m going to use it at a faculty meeting next week as an ice-breaker. Snowing in Churchill. Wish we could do the trip again!

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