Racing With Poodles
The Iditarod and the sport of dog sledding is replete with individuals trying new things to make their dog team stand out among the others. 4-time Iditarod Champion Jeff King is known for his innovative technology that he tests and uses on the trail. Their is one individual who attempted the Iditarod with a team of poodles and there was such an outcry that the rules have since been changed to only include specific types of dogs.
In 1988 John Sutter of Chugiak, Alaska ran a group of Standard Poodles on his Iditarod team. Three of these dogs made it the 1,100-miles to Nome for a thirty-eighth finish out of fifty-two starters. Although the fifty-below weather did not bother them, the Poodles did have trouble with snowballing in their hair and several were dropped due to foot problems. In training Sutter discovered that while Poodles do not have the inherent desire to pull that huskies have, their intelligence and willingness overcome the drawback.
Dr. Robert Forto is the Dog Sledding Examiner, a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio program, Mush! You Huskies.