November 12, 2011

Getting a Malamute to Pull With Passion

I’ve been asked several times how I get my dogs to pull thousands of pounds of freight across the arctic with such passion.  The short answer is summed up in this excerpt from my upcoming book:

All of God’s creatures have physical and physiological limitations, but my malamutes believe their strength is invincible because they haven’t been introduced to the dark beast called “limit”. For their entire lives, I have nursed and built up their egos, never allowing them to recognize that their muscles, bones and tendons are due to fail at a certain point. In their minds eye they can’t be beat, and there is no limit to their strength.

Have you ever watched a star athlete play mediocre? No, absolutely not. They play their game with pure unadulterated passion, not just during the beginning of the game when energy is high, but throughout the entire contest. This passion is the secret in all my sled dog training. Without tapping into this element, a dog will never play and work to their full potential. But you’ll never know your dog’s full potential unless you open this third dimension and see what they can really do and are really all about.

The single dog you see in wheel is Junior.  This was his first run in his life.  He is two years old.  He’s watched the other dogs get harnessed, hitched and run for those two years.  He’s pulling with pure passion, and if his passion is nurtured and kept fresh and alive he will continue pulling like this his entire life.


Junior will join me on this year’s expedition.  The first six weeks of the expedition will be solo-well not really solo, I’ll have 22 of my best friends with me. 






  • Kim Lavsa

    So excited to hear you are writing a book and I’ll be anxiously awaiting its release! Hope it has plenty of pictures!

    • Thanks Kim,

      Yeah, there will be some great photos. Hopefully it will be out by mid January.

  • Bryony

    Can’t wait for the book – glad to hear you have a publish date! I’m sure it’s going to be a really interesting read.

  • brian brunner

    Can’t wait for the book and even more so to meet Junior and the rest of the pack in April, and you, Andrea and “The Little Explorer” .
    Just had our first snow on the east slope of the Cascades, only 4 inches, but a start, and some really happy mals.