The newest bundle of sled dogs has arrived at the Denali National Park and Preserve kennels, and they’re the fastest canines on the block! These athletic fuzzballs are training to follow in the footsteps of their elderdogs and protect the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness with their fellow human rangers.
From 6 weeks old and on, the puppies begin to explore the wilderness where they’ll spend their careers–navigating tundra, forests, and river crossings, and becoming confident and secure in their environment.
At 6 months they run loose behind the seasoned pro dog teams, and finally earn their harnesses and take a place in formation around 7 or 8 months.
By the end of their first winter, the pups have several hundred miles of experience under their
As for their role in the national parks? Well, “[They’re] the only sled dogs in the United States that help protect a national park and the wildlife, scenery, and wilderness therein, and it has been this way nearly as long as there has been a park [there],” according to the National Park Service.
For now, these sled dog puppies are running along the summer demonstration track, about 300 yards long. Soon enough they will explore the terrain with Mom and the other dogs as they grow into the strong, hardworking canines they were born to be.
While these gorgeous husky puppies below look ravenous when they reach the kibble, have no fear! They’re fed 3 meals a day to keep their energy up, but most puppies are pretty messy eaters. It’s okay, they (might) learn some manners.
Our newest Canine Rangers are learning to run the track and getting faster every day! They are rewarded with delicious kibble once they reach the end of their journey.~KD & LY
Posted by Denali National Park and Preserve on Saturday, July 11, 2015
Not only do these four-legged rangers reign as a Denali cultural tradition, but they ruv to see new faces! If you ever find yourself in Alaska, take a break to visit the kennels and meet the dogs. You can even watch one of the sled dog demonstrations running all summer long! Or if you’re stuck at home, take a peek at the puppy webcam instead.