Iditarod Champ Dallas Seavey Adds Dog Treadmill to Training Repertoire
Alaska Dispatch News
August 1, 2015
WILLOW — Forget the gentle swoosh of sled runners over snow. Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey’s summer training offers a stark contrast to his winter routine: more than a dozen dogs yapping manically in a 53-foot long trailer, hooked up and waiting to run on his newly built treadmill.
At only 8 feet wide, the tiny space amplifies the yelps to deafening proportions. But with just the press of a button, the belt on the trailer’s 50-foot treadmill begins rolling, replacing the roar of the dogs with the hum of the treadmill. The dogs immediately go from jumping and barking to silent and stoic, heads down, trotting assertively with a singular focus.
The treadmill is the latest device in the three-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion’s training arsenal. Sled dogs, with their heavy coats, cannot run for long in temperatures much above freezing. That forces mushers to forgo serious summer training and keeps dogs confined to shorter runs in the offseason, if they run at all.
So in an effort to extend his training season, Seavey, 28, is taking climate control into his own hands. He equipped the trailer with a refrigerator that cools the unit down to almost freezing. In those chilly temperatures, Seavey runs almost full teams on the device for about an hour at a time.
More photos in the news article.