I’ve been training and competing in various dog sports with my husband, Howard Bayerle, since 1999. We currently race with the flyball club Lunatic Fringe in Atlanta, GA. We were the NAFA Regional Multibreed Champions in 2011. We also compete in lure coursing with our whippets, all three are American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA) Field Champions.
We had dabbled a bit with dock diving with Howard’s older Labrador Ubu, but at 11 years old he was beginning to have some physical difficulties. It wasn’t until we tried the sport with our new puppy Seeker, that we really became addicted to this exciting aquatic sport. We got Seeker in December of 2010 at about 3.5 months old. He was bred by Ian and Tooie Crooks of Blue Cedar Sport dogs. Since the late 1990’s, Ian has been developing a smaller athletic dog from breeds such as the Border Collie, Border Terrier, Jack/Parson Russell Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier and more recently the Whippet. So, we new Seeker would be an outstanding flyball dog, but what he has been able to accomplish on the dock has astounded everyone who sees him.
Seeker is a small dog; just 16.25 inches and a little over 18 pounds he qualifies as a DockDogs Lap Dog. At just 9 months old, Seeker was jumping well over 19 feet. At 12 months old, he popped over 23 feet in an Ultimate Air Dogs (UAD) competition. We began competing in DockDogs in the spring of 2012 and by summer he had turned in a personal best 23ft 4inch jump, taking first place in the Master class and beating dogs significantly larger than him. He earned an invitation to the DockDogs World Championships. He holds a regional/club and National Master Jumper title, both of which he earned before turning two. He is currently ranked 2nd in the world in Lap Dog Big Air.
We’ve tried a lot of different foods over the years including home-cooked and raw. However, with 10 dogs in our family, we really appreciate the simplicity of feeding a dry kibble. We learned about Dr. Tim’s and after some research, decided to try the Pursuit formula for our young competitive dogs. We are more than satisfied with Pursuit. Our pickiest eaters gobble it down. We have finally found a food that actually puts weight on our young whippets, Kona and Elvis. I’ve actually had to cut back their portions, something I never imagined doing. The results with Seeker, our most versatile and outstanding athlete, have also been amazing. After switching him to Pursuit he has put on noticeable muscle and his coat absolutely glistens. Dr. Tim’s Pursuit is a high quality food that gives my canine athletes the fuel they need to perform at their best. A high quality food keeps the vet visits to a minimal and that helps our budget!
Aaron Burmeister was born and raised in Nome, Alaska into a mushing family. The Iditarod and dog mushing has been a part of Aaron’s life since childhood, he is passionate about promoting the sport of mushing and encouraging others to become a part of dog racing events whether it be volunteering for races or participating in them. Aaron has travelled to races all over the country and Canada to participate in them and promote the sport. He began mushing dogs as soon as he could walk and by the age of 5, he was racing dogs in the Junior mushing circuit and as he grew so did the size of his team. In 1990, Aaron ran the the 1st of four Junior Iditarods and in 1994 he raced the Iditarod for the 1st time, finishing in 37th place as an 18 year old Senior in highschool!
Aaron has now completed many Iditarods, finishing 7th in 2009 and 4th in 2012. In 2011 he raced in the Wyoming Stage Stop Sled Dog Race finishing 2nd and the Fur Rondy World Championships finishing 5th. Over the years Aaron has participated in about all of the races in Alaska completed the Yukon Quest in 2007, finishing 5th. Though participating in the races is a necessity to prove their breed of dogs and training program. Aaron states that his favorite part of the sport is raising the puppies and watching the dogs grow, learn and excel at racing, along with enjoying the incredible country that he is honored to be able to travel through and friendships made along the way.
In 2001, Aaron and wife Mandy moved the kennel to a new home in Nenana where they now reside, train and raise competitive sled dogs. Nenana, is on the road system with access to an incredible trail system and great training conditions. With a new addition to the family, Hunter McKinley who turns 4 this summer, we spend our summers in Nome where Aaron is the General Manager of a construction company building roads, highways and runways along with raising puppies.
In 2006, I became interested in dog racing after I bought a Siberian Husky and wanted to do a sport with him. I bought my first pair of cross country skis and started teaching myself to ski and skijor. I utilized YouTube videos and asked several friends for advice on proper skiing technique. A month later I competed in my first skijor race. I continued to improve my skiing technique and several years later purchased another Siberian Husky to race with. She was an even better skijor dog than my first one and I was an even better dog trainer by then also. At the end of the 2010–2011 racing season, we ended up placing 2nd in the Nation with ISDRA. Unfortunately, my Siberian Huskies both had rare health conditions that prevented them from racing any longer. I began to think and pray about getting another dog in the hope of qualifying for the World Championships in 2013. After much research on the different types of dogs and their pros and cons, I decided to purchase a Greyster. I searched the internet and found Heather Brannen as a breeder of Greysters. I immediately sent her an e-mail to inquire if she had any dogs available, but unfortunately, she did not. However, a week later she e-mailed me about two nine month old puppies that were available from her last litter. She sent me videos and pictures of each of the dogs for me to look over to help me decide on which one to buy. I chose Ridge, sent out the check to her and she placed Ridge on a flight from Maine to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ten days after receiving Ridge, my Siberian Husky needed to be put down at 4 years old. This was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.
I began working diligently with Ridge to build a strong bond and to train him well. There were many struggles with him in the beginning. He wanted to chase every animal he saw and would constantly run off the trail. He was also constantly distracted by the noise of the city traffic. Through persistence, repetition and consistency, Ridge has learned well and done exceptional in his training.
Ridge competed in his first race in 2011 at the Dirty Dog Dryland Derby where we placed 1st in the one dog bikejor and the canicross. Coming into the winter season there was limited snow. To train, I would free run Ridge and had to travel hours away to train on snow before we competed in our first skijor race. Due to numerous cancellations of races because of the lack of snow, our first race ended up being the National Championships in Minnesota. This was only Ridge’s 6th time skijoring! We passed 54 teams and placed 2nd in the one dog race. The following day we placed 1st in the two dog race (only racing with Ridge) and placed 1st overall for the combined days.
In 2012, we placed 1st in every skijor race we competed in, with the exception of a wrong bib issue where we began six minutes late. 2012 was an exceptional season and I am so thankful and blessed to be representing the United States at the World Championships in 2013! God has truly blessed me and Ridge in our journey.
Mike and “Ridge” have continued to race in many dryland and skijour events each year winning most events entered. Here are just a few from years past as it is hard to keep up!
Dirty Dog Dryland Derby, Pearson, WI
2012 – 2nd Canicross, 1st Bikejor
2011 – 1st Canicross, 1st Bikejor
2010 – 1st Canicross
2009 – 2nd Canicross, 2nd Bikejor
2008 – 1st Canicross, 2nd Bikejor
2007 – 2nd Canicross, 1st Bikejor
2006 – 1st Bikejor
Animoosh skijor race in Marquette, MI
2013 – 1st Overall out of one dog and two dog skijoring with one dog I did the 14k (8.7 miles) in 27 minutes and 13 seconds
National skijoring Championship at the City of Lakes Loppet, Minneapolis, MN
2012 – 2nd One Dog Skijor
2012 – 1st in the two dog skijor with one dog and 1st place for the combined of both days. At this race I beat 3 of my friends that went to the world championships the year before and this year I am going to represent the US in the world championships.
Langlade County Culver’s Trailblazers Challenge, Antigo, WI
2010 – 2nd One Dog Skijor
Willow Springs Round Barn Rally, Wausau, WI
2011 – 1st Three Dog Skijor
Three Bear Winter Race, Land O Lakes, WI
2012 – 3rd Two Dog Skijor with only using one dog, I had the fastest time both days of racing but had forgot my bib and had to go get it, therefore started 6 min late the 1st day.
2011 – 3rd Three Dog Skijor
Pine River Run, Merrill, WI
2011 – 1st Three Dog Skijor
2010 – 6th Three Dog Skijor
2008 – 6th Three Dog Skijor
2006 – 3rd Three Dog Skijor
Medford Mush, Medford, WI
2007 – 7th Three Dog Skijor
Snow Flake Classic, Duluth, MN
2012 – 1st Two Dog Skijor with only using one dog
2011 – 4th Three Dog Skijor
International Sleddog Racing Association
2011 – Nationally – 2nd Three Dog Skijor, 4th Canicross
2011 – Wisconsin – 1st Three Dog Skijor, 1st Canicross
Yachi is a representative of Dog Sports Pro Shop and Dog Town Factory. Being a professional Dog Sports Player, he is known as a top quality multiple dog sports player which includes Disc Dog Sports, Dog Mushing and recently, Flyball. He does disc dog seminars all over the world, developing and coaching a lot of players and dogs from beginner to world top level experts. Yachi has 2 sons that are also famous Disc dog players. His training theory is well known as “Yachi’s Method.” He is the first disc dog player to accomplish Triple Crown (Asia, Europe, and World Champion).
He believes the most important part for him about doing dog sports is conditioning, that is balance between feeding and training. As he was seeking the best food for his dogs, he found Dr. Tim’s Momentum and achieved many successes by feeding it to his sports dogs.
You can find Yachi on Facebook or check out his video below.
Reign is truly an exceptional dog in every way, a loving a willing companion with a heart to serve. He is an excellent confident athlete that has never given nothing but 100% every time we compete or practice. He works on average 3 hours a day 6 days a week with no drop in effort. Truly an amazing one of a kind dog!
He has shown with excellences when I was very ill and could not walk a straight line. He watches over me when my diabetic issues overwhelm me. He is a part of my heart and soul; I am highly favored and blessed to have been given this very special gift of God’s creation as my partner and companion.
Multi-sport dog trainer, competitor and performer. Owner of Top Dog Obedience Training School of Garland, Texas. Pam has been training dogs professionally for 30+ years with obedience being the foundation. Pam has trained her dogs to the top levels of the Flyball, Frisbee and Freestyle Dancing. Pam and her flyball-team Time Shift are the recent winners and are the 2015 UFLI Champions. Team Time-Shift is one of the fastest relay teams in the world. Her rookie racer named ASAP also won the Single Dog Championship in St. Louis Missouri. Pam’s passion for her dogs and their sports means training hard throughout the year. Pam’s training style and attitude is wonderful and her enthusiasm for teaching and training is contagious.
Pam and her dogs stay busy throughout the year. They have danced to the beat while entertaining huge crowds with their dynamic freestyle routines including America’s got Talent. Their frisbee performances have garnered them awards for Best Small Dog on multiple occasions. There is no spare time for this energetic pack – when they are not competing, they enjoy conducting training seminars throughout North America and South Amercia and as far away as places like Japan, Australia and England. Throughout her travels Pam has introduced and boosted many of her favorite dog sports to many of these areas. Most recent assignment included coaching a competitor representing Japan in 2016 Kruft’s International Freestyle Dog Dancing competition in England.
I have been actively training animals for competition for 17 years. At the age of 15 I began training American Saddlebred horses and in 2002 I began my carrier as a dog trainer. As a Canine Behavioral Specialists I use exercise and competition along with proper diet to put high drive canines to work and keep them out of mischief. My true love is the sport of Dock Diving. We are Team Bo Nose and my rescue dog Bo is the Dock Dogs Iron Dog World Champion.
To date, Bo has set 9 dock diving World Records including Extreme Vertical and Iron Dog. Bo is a true athlete and we work very hard on his conditioning and training. Along with conditioning and training, diet is the most important thing in getting your dog in peak condition. From the time I started feeding Bo Dr. Tim’s Momentum, he has developed muscle & stamina I never knew he had. His endurance and recovery time is remarkable. I truly believe Dr. Tim’s has helped Bo become the #1 Dock Diving Dog in the World. I know Dr. Tim’s Momentum can help your dog become a champion too.
Crystal McClaran, Cape Coral, Florida
Trainer/Owner Bo Nose K9 Training
We started our journey with racing Sleddogs back in late 1980’s in Paris!! It all started with a white Siberian Husky puppy called Crimson. We then quickly got involved in a local Sleddog club and started dryland bikejoring and kart racing with PB Siberians. Due to the mild climate in France and Europe in general, the dryland season is sometimes more competitive than snow races, so we would race both circuits! In the early 1990’s we started to have a very competitive 6-8 dog team, started traveling the European race circuit and qualified for several World, European and National championships. We were also selected for the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France, part of the exhibition sports!
In mid 90’s we moved to the midwestern United States in order to follow our dream and passion, where we met our friends and mentors Barb and Dale Munford and our longtime kennel and race partners Ken and Lori Chezik. We very quickly learned that to have an ultra competitive team we had to comply with all 3 cornerstones of our sport!
“Nutrition”, “Genetic Selection”, “Training”!
We competed in the Midwest, Colorado and Canadian races for several years and finally decided to travel to Alaska to gauge our team against the best in the world. After several years of traveling North, we found that Alaska was the homeland and moved to Chugiak, AK in 2002. Sleddogs then became a lifestyle and not a hobby any longer.
We imported several different Scandinavian and European bloodlines in hopes of achieving a greater genetic pool. We maintained a small kennel of 14-16 athletes, we trained religiously, followed a strict schedule and most importantly tried to give them the best nutrition!
Throughout the years this recipe allowed us to win over 440 trophies and medals. From club championships to World Cup championships! However 2016 was our most victory laden year ever. In addition to our regular regimen we also followed Dr Hunt’s recommendations on our nutrition format. We competed in 14 races with a very small pool of exceptional dogs and stayed undefeated race after race, broke several track records in Alaska and reached some mystical speeds never achieved in our sport!
Brent Sass, 39, owner and founder of Wild and Free Mushing, in Eureka, Alaska, has been racing and training huskies for 15 years. Originally from Excelsior, Minnesota, Sass moved to Alaska in 1998 to “fulfill a lifelong dream of living in Alaska.” He’s been following his dreams ever since. After attending UAF for 4 years and graduating with a major in Geography, he started building log cabins and started his own building and rental cabin business in at the Goldstream Valley outside of Fairbanks. In 2011 he bought a homestead in Eureka, Alaska and has been breeding, raising and training dogs and living a remote wilderness lifestyle ever since. Since his first race in 2006, Sass has placed in over 20 races, including several first place finishes. He has run the 1000 mile Yukon Quest nine times and won the race in 2015. He was the Rookie of the Year in the 2012 Iditarod. Brent’s entire team are dogs that he has bred, raised and trained their entire life.
Joar Leifseth Ulsom was born in Mo i Rana, Norway just below the Arctic Circle, but today he lives in Willow, Alaska.
Joar came to Alaska with his team of sled dogs from Norway in 2011.
He ran his first 1000-mile race that winter finishing 6th in 2012 Yukon Quest. Joar & Co then took the titles of both the 2012 Chukotka Sprint Championship and the 2012 Nadezhda Hope race in Russia—considered the toughest sled dog race outside North America. Joar set new race records and was the first non-native to win in 20 years. He won his second Nadezhda Hope Championship in 2014.
A Rookie in the 2013 Iditarod, Joar was awarded the Jerry Austin Rookie of the Year Award setting a new record for the race, finishing the fastest time ever by a Rookie, while placing 7th. This was followed by a 4th place finish in the brutal 2014 race, along with 6th place finishes in both 2015 and 2016. Only one other musher – legendary Emmitt Peters – has ever accomplished four top-ten finishes in just four Iditarod starts. Joar is the fifth fastest musher in Iditarod history and holds the fastest record as well as the most top-ten finishes of any non-American Iditarod musher today.
We are proud to have Joar become part of Team Momentum and look forward to his upcoming race season and beyond. He takes great care of his huskies and exemplifies what Team momentum is all about.
Mitch Seavey, 46, was born in Minnesota and moved with his family to Alaska in 1963. He began mushing in 1964. Mitch’s dad, Dan, ran the very first Iditarod in 1973 so he decided he wanted to run the Iditarod some day. Mitch has run many Iditarods since and is the 2004, 2013 and 2017 champion. Mitch and Janine are the parents of four boys, three of whom have run the Iditarod. Mitch and his wife, Janine, live in Sterling, Alaska. Please visit their website to see the whole story behind their success.
Annie and Abbey are Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s two avalanche dogs. Annie is an American Field Lab, and Abbey is her younger sister (same father, different mother) from Poudre River Gun Dogs in Ft. Collins, Colorado. They are trained to smell human scent that is percolating out of an avalanche debris field. If a human is caught in an avalanche and they are not wearing a transceiver, a dog is their best chance of being found. Stationed at the top of the mountain with the ski patrol, Annie and Abbey can be deployed immediately to an in area slide and cover a debris field in a matter of minutes. They can also be called in to help rescue any backcountry recreationalists that get caught in an avalanche in the surrounding mountains of North Idaho and Montana.
Jeff Thompson is Annie’s owner and primary handler. Jeff gained most of his avalanche education and experience in the central mountains of Colorado. After graduating from Colorado Mountain College with a degree in Ski Area Operations, Jeff joined Beaver Creek Ski Patrol and helped start their avalanche dog program. After 20 years in Colorado, Jeff and his family moved to North Idaho to work as director of the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center and as a patroller for Schweitzer Mountain. With Jeff’s knowledge and experience with avalanche dogs and Annie’s certifications, they were able to start Schweitzers first official avalanche dog program. When not on skis, Jeff and his family can usually be found out on a trail in the woods or rafting somewhere down a river.
Steve Parsons is Abbey’s owner and Primary handler. Steve graduated from Penn State with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and started his patrol career at Okemo Mountain in Vermont. After four years, aspirations of bigger mountains drew him to North Idaho where he began patrolling at Schweitzer Mountain in 2015. Owning an avalanche dog was a lifelong dream of Steve’s, and with the upstart of the avalanche dog program at Schweitzer, he was selected to train their first new puppy. When Steve isn’t on the Mountain, he is typically outside practicing any form of non-motorized recreation.
Keep an eye out in the future as Schweitzer Ski Patrol plans to grow the program to 4-5 avalanche dogs.
Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol and Donner Summit Avalanche Dogs work together as avalanche rescue professionals to provide our skiing and riding community with the best possible avalanche forecasters and K-9 search teams. Our human side of the team is made up of four K-9 handlers. All of our handlers are licensed avalanche blasters, as well as either EMTs or Paramedics. We all work together in the training and care of our four very special dogs: Buster, Cap, Nova and Amber. Our dogs go through a strict training program from puppyhood until retirement. It typically takes around 3 years of training before they are mission ready. We teach our dogs that finding live people in the snow is the most fun and rewarding experience of their lives. Once the foundation of avalanche searching becomes the dogs’ obsession, we start to make the training exercises longer and more difficult, in order to create a strong drive and work ethic within each dog team. All of our dogs are trained to ride on chair lifts, helicopters, snow cats, and snowmobiles. They’re taught to balance on our shoulders while we ski. We trust 100% in their unique ability to cover a large avalanche path, locate human sent deep within the snowpack, and alert once they have found a victim.
Andrew Pinkham EMTP/ Cap
Andrew started ski patrolling in 2000. He is the Avalanche Dog Program Director for Sugarbowl Ski Patrol and a founding member of the Placer County Tahoe Avalanche Dog Team. Andrew got his 2nd K-9 partner “Cap,” a Mcnab collie, in 2007 from a working ranch. Cap was 9 weeks old at the time, and he and Andrew have been on a mission to save avalanche victims ever since.
Courtney Meyerholz EMT/ Buster
Courtney has spent the last 16 years ski patrolling and avalanche blasting. He is a former Avalanche Forecaster at Sugar Bowl. He has been instrumental to the success and growth of the avalanche dog program at Sugar Bowl from day one. He spent over a decade as a secondary handler until he found his current 3-year-old Golden Retriever, Buster. Buster is currently our first-out avalanche dog because of his unwavering drive and comment to the victim.
Chris Dunbar EMT/ Nova
Chris started working with the avalanche dog program in 2013 and is currently Sugar Bowl’s Avalanche Forecaster. Chris’s former experience as a geologist specializing in crystal formation and his science background has given invaluable experience and perspective to the avalanche snow safety team. Nova, his one-and-a-half-year-old black lab, is working hard to become the next mission-ready dog. Chris and Nova have attended the Swiss Avalanche Dog School and worked with members of the Canadian Avalanche Dog Rescue Association.
Frank Marshall EMT/ Amber
Frank has been ski patrolling for over 30 years and is the former Avalanche Forecaster and Assistant Patrol Director for Sugar Bowl. Amber is now retired and spends her days showing the young dogs the art of napping and rolling around in the snow. Amber has had a full and successful career. She has been an outstanding and patient mentor to the younger dogs.