Dogs of the 2019 Iditarod

It is a common belief amongst those who do not know the Iditarod well enough, that the mushing dogs are abused. I wish to prove you wrong through my writing and photography. 🙂

If you’ve heard that the dog’s paws get cut, bruises, torn apart (etc), you can lay your worries to rest! The mushers make sure that each of their dogs are wearing botties, that keep the pads warm and protected. Also, these dogs aren’t running over sharp terrain; mostly snow or else the musher’s sled wouldn’t be able to stand the ride either. 🙂 The dog’s paws are continually checked and massaged and sometimes even bathed to assure they are comfortable and well taken care of.


“The dogs are forced to run!” If you have watched, or been to, the Iditarod, you’ll know that these dogs are BARKING like crazy!! You can barely keep them FROM running! In fact, it is the people who hold the dogs who are forced to run!

Some media has said, “The dogs are starving for attention.” Well, this is just not true! The mushers get so attached to their dogs, that if one very gets hurt or dies, they are heart broken and say that “…it’s just not the same if you don’t cross the line with all the dogs.” The mushers know all their dog’s names, even if their is over fifty; and before the race, they take time to whisper to and let each dog. At the check-points, the dogs are massaged until they are sleepy! All of the mushers and dogs are extrealmy attached— that includes mouth-to-mouth licking! And we all know, an animal will do whatever they can to make you pet them more, right?

The mushers never push their dogs, letting them run at their own pace and resting if that is what is needed. A few years ago, on guy was coming in first; but his dogs were just not able to keep up the past, so he didn’t push them…settling in for third. Their dogs are MUCH more important than the race. A lot of the mushers just do the race for the beauty of Alaska and the thrill of the solitude and bonding with the dogs.

Most people are used to seeing 20 pounds over weight house dogs. Mushing dogs are just very fit, just as Olympic athletes are; and the dogs are purposely bred small so they can run faster. A lot of them are also bred with greyhound, which are actually very thin dogs.

Now that we have those out of the way, shall we just enjoy a few pictures of these gloriously happy dogs? 😀

This mushing team chose green bibs for their team ‘decor’ this year.

Adorable colors are breed!

Love it when I tip the camera on an angle; the picture has more action in it.

Panting from excitement and frustration at being held still; the very thought!

Dog breath in the cold

LET US RUN! LET US RUN! LET US RUN!

Adorable eyes for his musher. The lead dog (s) are often bond most closely with the musher, and he/she with them.

Little muscle girl
The look on his face… Yessss paparazzi!

I would highly recommend this documentary on the history of the Iditarod. I watched it this week, and the stories behind are very interesting! Be ready to have tissues and a table to slam your fist on;

Fashion of the 2019 Iditarod

One of the things that I think the Iditarod ceremony is most popular for (besides the dogs) is its furry fashion! Each person, it seems, tries to have the most eye-popping “decoration”. This is one of the things that makes the Iditarod so fun for photographers to shoot at!

Enjoy a few of my captures of some of Alaskan’s most craziest people who truly express the wild and carefree atmosphere of the Last Frontier….

How about and entire fox for a hat! I’m sure this fellow was mighty warm.

Dog ears were available to anyone who wanted to support the dogs. ;P

Could this happen to be the remains of a raccoon that was wanting his garbage pile, or fish?


Cutest little girl ever with those ears!!

Hm, any guesses as to what this animal might be?

It was so hilarious how the mountain lion appeared to be watching the Iditarod from atop the hat!
The pink band of bells hanging for the horn was for viewers to ring to match the bells on the misher’s sleds and the dog’s harnesses and lines. The noise the bless create is actually for practical purposes; if a dogs or musher gets separated, they have a slighter higher chance of hearing the bells. The noise also alerts and or wards of animals such as moose and bears that they might approach. For this guy, though, this was purely comedy.
Perhaps ‘Mrs Iditarod‘?
A lot of the mushers had their mother’s sitting in the front of their sleds. However, once the actually race begins, the back sled and the fron rider, here, will not be. Only the head musher and his dogs for miles.

If you would like to know more about the Iditarod, you can ready my other blog on my Iditarod experience here: https://mylifeasaphotographer572088907.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/iditarod-2019/

And for the official page of the race and all details, here: https://iditarod.com/about/the-iditarod-trail/

Maps of the souther route (this year) and the Northern route: