About the Musher: Dan DiMuzio, Churchill, MB
Do you allow your racing dogs to have pups?
At this point in time, due to the amount of time and money required to care for my kennel of 15 dogs, NO DOGS are allowed to have pups 🙂
How old should a dog be before you start to train them to be on the team?
1-1.5 years old. (Dogs don’t reach full, physical maturity until they are are approx 2 years old)
How old were you when you started putting together a team/kennel of dogs?
29 years old
Do you really say “mush” to your team? If not, what do you say to tell them to go and to stop? How about commands to turn?
To go – you really don’t have to say anything because they are always crazy and willing to go, but I say “Let’s Go!” to give them the queue that I’m ready too :). “Whoa” to stop. “Gee” means right, “Haw” is left.
What made you decide to become a dog musher?
I was Charlie Lundie’s handler one year and got addicted to dogs. I bought a couple off of him and then he gave me 8 more from his “B” team.
If I was going to become a musher, what is the most important thing I would need to know?
It is a HUGE commitment. You need to be able to commit your time, energy, and money to be able to properly care for and train your dogs.
What did your parents say when you told them you were going to have a kennel?
I forget what they said but they were supportive, they always have been 🙂
What has been the scariest situation you’ve ever been in while mushing?
My first year running dogs, we came around a corner and there was a polar bear on the trail. That was scary because my dogs picked up speed wanting to chase the bear. Luckily for us, the bear was just as scared of us as I was of him and he ran into the bush.
What do you feed your dogs? Have you ever tasted dog food? Would you taste it if you were dared?
High performance kibble, arctic char, moose, frozen chicken. I have never eaten the kibble or the chicken, but arctic char and moose are really good!
Are you good with other animals?
You would have to ask the other animals but I enjoy and respect other animals and I believe they can sense that.