The "Magic" of Sled Dogs

A mini-break from tennis, which is going to take over my life soon with the heavy lifting portion of the tennis season approaching later this month (the six-week stretch that includes the French Open and Wimbledon). One fascinating factoid I ran across while reporting some Iditarod stories earlier this year is a little known ability of sled dogs to adjust their metabolisms for long-distance racing so that they are essentially "fatigue-proof," in the words of one researcher.

The ability is of such interest that the Depart of Defense's secretive technology research agency (DARPA) has awarded more than $1.5 million - a whopping sum for veterinary research - to try to find out how the dogs can run hundreds of miles a day while maintaining a resting metabolic rate. You can read about it in today's Science section of the New York Times.


What did you think of this article?

  • No trackbacks exist for this post.

  • 5/6/2008 5:37 PM Margery Glickman wrote:
    Many mushers have reported that their dogs lose a lot of weight racing in the Iditarod. The dogs aren't "fatigue-proof" and often get worn out by racing. Their copper enzymes get depleted, which leads to anemia and fatigue. For the facts, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website,
    Reply to this
Leave a comment

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before being displayed.


 Email (will not be published)

Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.