About the Musher: Peter McClelland, Ely, MN (USA)
Do you allow your racing dogs to have pups?
Yes we do. The best dogs are the dogs you want to breed together and that means letting your racing dogs have puppies.
How old should a dog be before you start to train them to be on the team?
We start at 4 months. They do not train very hard until they are over a year old.
How old were you when you started putting together a team/kennel of dogs?
I was 25.
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?
I say “alright” to go and “Whoa” to stop. “Haw” is left and “gee” is right.
What made you decide to become a dog musher?
I don’t know if I decided to become a dog musher or if mushing chose me. I just can’t seem to be able to stop.
If I was going to become a musher, what is the most important thing I would need to know?
The big thing is get a good mentor, shop around for one, and than when it is time to get dogs get the best most proven dogs you can.
What did your parents say when you told them you were going to have a kennel?
I think they were speechless.
What has been the scariest situation you’ve ever been in while mushing?
Having a gangline break and watching the team disappear.
What do you feed your dogs? Have you ever tasted dog food? Would you taste it if you were dared?
I feed raw meat and dog food mixed. I have not tasted it, but funny story… We get all kinds of treats given to us. One time we got some dog treats that looked like oreo cookies. Well the dogs would not eat them. But one day I came down and the staff were in the shop eating. So my dogs are more picky than my staff!
Are you good with other animals?
I like other animals and I work with other animals. But given how much problems I have with my cats maybe not. I ride horses as well as dog sled.