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Iditarod – Day 6 — Why Now?
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Iditarod – Day 6

Iditarod map even yearsDallas Seavey won the $3K in gold for the Halfway Prize, but there is a horde on its way that have completed their 24-hour layover, who will soon whiz by. There has been a marked increase in the number of dogs being dropped, Lance Mackey is down to 13 dogs. That probably reflects the early relative warm temperatures and the lack of snow to cushion the trail.

The weather has gotten colder, but there have to be dogs who are not bouncing back from their earlier exertions and don’t want to run. People miss the point that teams are playing when they pull that sled, and if they decide they aren’t having fun, they stop playing and nothing will make them do it again until they are ready. In the old days mushers would whip dogs and they might move, but they wouldn’t put any more than the minimum effort into it. If the dog doesn’t want to do it, it won’t get done. Lead dogs are important, not just for following orders on direction, but for cheerleading. A musher in the Quest carried his primary lead dog on the sled for a couple of checkpoints, because that dog could keep the others charged up until the secondary lead dog got the hang of the job and the respect of the team. It really is all about the dogs.

At Cripple
1 Dallas Seavey (19)
2 John Baker (8)
3 Martin Buser (37)
4 Bruce Linton (65)
5 Michelle Phillips (36)R
6 Robert Nelson (32)
7 Jeff King (15)
8 Hugh Neff (56)
9 Mitch Seavey (41)
10 Lance Mackey (49)
11 Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
12 Sven Haltmann (42)
13 Sonny Lindner (44)
14 Hans Gatt (20)
15 Rick Swenson (57)
16 Ray Redington, Jr (9)
17 Cim Smyth (3)

Beyond Ophir
18 Gerry Willomitzer (55)
19 Zack Steer (47)
20 Aliy Zirkle (50)
21 Ken Anderson (51)
22 Jason Barron (71)
23 Paul Gebhardt (7)
24 Ryan Redington (25)
25 DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
26 Jim Lanier (43)
27 Gerald Sousa (48)
28 Dan Kaduce (64)R
29 Jessie Royer (6)
30 Warren Palfrey (27)
31 Ramey Smyth (21)
32 Michael Williams, Jr. (59)R
33 William “Middie” Johnson (16)R
34 Quinn Iten (28)R
35 William Pinkham (40)
36 Judy Currier (72)
37 Peter Kaiser (67)R
38 Thomas Lesatz (62)

At Ophir
39 Blake Freking (11)
40 Colleen Robertia (61)R

Beyond Takotna
41 Allen Moore (54)
42 Cindy Gallea (39)
43 Matt Hayashida (12)

At Takotna
44 Kristy Berington (38)R
45 John Stewart (69)R
46 Lachlan Clarke (63)
47 Dave DeCaro (52)R
48 Art Church, Jr (24)
49 Sam Deltour (66)
50 Tom Thurston (68)

Beyond McGrath
51 Emil Churchin (53)R
52 Billy Snodgrass (70)

At McGrath
53 Linwood Fiedler (2)
54 Justin Savidis (10)R
55 Scott White (13)R
56 Newton Marshall (14)R
57 Chris Adkins (33)R
58 Karen Ramstead (29)
59 Tamara Rose (26)R
60 Wattie McDonald (4)R
61 Trent Herbst (60)
62 Jane Faulkner (22)R
63 Ross Adam (18)
64 Celeste Davis (58)R
65 Hank Debruin (45)R

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Iditarod, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, and the small “R” indicates a rookie.

Note: This post will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Iditarod can be seen by selecting “Iditarod” from the Category box on the right sidebar.


1 hipparchia { 03.12.10 at 12:56 am }

People miss the point that teams are playing when they pull that sled, and if they decide they aren’t having fun, they stop playing and nothing will make them do it again until they are ready.

yep, they love this stuff! until something happens that makes it not fun anymore.

back when i was doing dog rescue, one of the hardest things to get people to unbend about was making training their dog fun, fun for both them and the dog. and it takes so little to make it fun for dogs, there are so many things they love about life: toys? ubetcha. liver treats? check out that noms meme! running at full speed? the fluffy black dog loves this one. jerks on the leash with a choke chain? not so much.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

2 Bryan { 03.12.10 at 10:43 am }

Positive reinforcement is more effective than negative in any type of teaching. If you establish that there will be a reward, withholding the reward for bad behavior is all the punishment you need. The dog figures out that the behavior is not a winner and doesn’t do it again.

Like working with dolphins, you have to stay with things that the animal, including humans, already does, or is inclined to do normally, and then reward the behaviors you want.

Choke chains are worthless on German Shepherds. They will generally either break the chain or pull the leash out of your hand if they want to do something. The way their necks are built there is no “choke”, so what little point there was to the chain disappears. They get caught too easily, and are just a bad idea.