Most can enjoy some type of dogmushing adventure. I wouldn’t recommend it to those under 2 years old or to anyone with a painful spinal condition. There are lots of ways to enjoy the sport – as a ride in the sled to experience the power these lovable canine athletes possess as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, learn to drive your own small team in mushing school. This experience will bring you up close and personal with the sled dogs and maybe the snow, so be ready to fall off! This doesn’t mean you will, but understand that dog mushing is a skill that requires good balance and upper body strength as well as a good sense of humor! I don’t know a musher who hasn’t fallen off a sled.
Our overnight and multi-day excursions take you into the heart of Alaska driving your own team and require good physical fitness and stamina. Some winter camping experience and tolerance for cold weather makes your experience that much more enjoyable.
We don’t have a specific cut-off temperature. We recommend that you take a short tour if the temperature is below -20F, especially if you have a problem with tolerance to cold. The dogs enjoy running and prefer to do so rather than be in the kennel. As long as conditions are safe for humans and dogs, we will offer the tour. Extreme cold conditions with temps. below -40F or windy, blowing horizontal snow will likely shut us down – it doesn’t happen often, but is possible. If we can’t do the tour, any deposit will be refunded.
See what others have to say about us. Check our Facebook page and Trip Advisor for reviews, or ask around town! We encourage your feedback and want to share a special part of our Alaskan lives with you. Owning and operating a sleddog kennel is a unique lifestyle. You probably won’t find many mushers in the Fortune 500 group; however, we always claim, “It’s a good life, if you don’t weaken…” Best of all: My co-workers are always happy to see me; my office window has a great view, and people have a hard time not smiling when they’re sailing across the landscape behind a happy group of Alaskan huskies! We can offer references for specific tours upon request. We see many people more than once.
I started Paws for Adventure in 1998 after working for a couple of other dogsled tour companies. I have owned sled dogs since 1993 when I moved here to teach elementary school in “the bush.” I taught for 5 years in a couple of Athabascan native villages before giving up teaching to be a full-time dog musher and tour operator. The teaching years were some of my best times in Alaska and I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything. I got my first 4 dogs and lots of advice from native friends in my first village. I was the learner as well as the teacher. The learning curve was great! I started my dogmushing career by running a friend’s 6-dog team in a local small race – and losing the team when I hit a tree stump! Later, I built up my own team and travelled to many places you can only get to by bush plane or frozen river trails. The Interior of Alaska can be an unforgiving land. You can truly go for days, weeks without seeing any sign of civilization. But that is the lure, the beauty and the life that has suited me for many years now. And, I really didn’t give up teaching – I still teach a lot of people to drive dogs.
Originally I bred sled dogs and raised pups at my kennel. My first 3 pups were from a small village in the Interior. They were 70-80 pound freight dogs – there are a few of this lineage still in the kennel. Early on, I bought a leader, Sister, who taught me how to mush. She knew commands, “Gee”, “Haw”, “On-by”…and took the commands when she felt like it. She was a tough-minded village dog and knew how to run long distances. Thru the years Sister had a couple of litters; some of her grandchildren you will meet in our kennel. I’ve met some truly great sled dogs thru the years, each with their own special personality and talent and all with a lot of heart. Most of our non-breeding dogs are spayed or neutered. We still raise litters of pups every couple of years.
As time went by I befriended many mushers, each with their own particular interests in the mushing world. Some became interested in racing and now race Iditarod and Yukon Quest sled dog races. I started picking up race kennel dogs. Some of these dogs were a bit too young for a 1000 mile race and came to us for more experience before returning to their kennel and the race team. Some were nursing an injury and not able to go this year so, our shorter miles were a good way to keep them in shape and able to try again next year. And some just weren’t into racing long distance but like the more mellow agenda at our kennel. At any rate, we are happy for our great mix of wonderful hard-working canine athletes. We’re happy to send some of the youngsters back to their kennels ready for the big race, and we’re excited to share some of the happiest and well-trained sled dogs with our guests.