About This Blog
Sled dogs have held an essential role in the life and culture of Alaska for thousands of years. In Denali – the only national park in America with a working sled dog kennel – they now perform essential wintertime duties in a vast expanse of designated Wilderness area. Follow this blog for updates on their ongoing adventures, and accomplishments.
September 27, 2018
We asked students from seven schools (across Alaska to suggest names for each of our seven pups. The students did an amazing job interviewing elders and community members, writing letters, making videos, sharing photos and brainstorming fantastic lists of names with great stories behind them.
July 25, 2018
We know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting news of this summer's litter of pups. For those who haven't heard the answer in person from one of our kennels rangers, here is the status for this summer.
Why the Denali National Park and Preserve Kennels Have a Breeding Program
July 13, 2018
The Denali National Park and Preserve Kennels has a long and storied history that is intricately connected to the history of the Park itself. Maintaining a kennel of dogs able to thrive in harsh, sub-arctic conditions means we must have a very well-planned breeding program.
What to Expect When a Sled Dog is Expecting
August 21, 2017
Once a year, the kennel’s staff waits in anticipation for the newest sled dog recruits to be born. Although there is a lot of excitement and eagerness to meet the puppies, there are also a lot of sled dog pregnancy factors to monitor as we wait.
Winter 2016-17 Projects: A-Chill and Effie Kokrine
May 12, 2017
Another winter season has come to a close at the kennels as our favorite star resumes its reign over the land of midnight sun and the spongey ground soaks up what’s left of the trails. This post summarizes some of the major projects and achievements over the winter of 2016/17.
The Puppies are Learning to Run with the Big Dogs!
January 29, 2017
The puppies grow bigger and stronger, and learn to run with the big dogs (and explore the dogsled!).
Dog Yard Basics
July 22, 2016
Ever wonder why the dog houses are set up the way they are? We explain the logic between the different types of house styles and announce the opening of the free run pen.
Trick or Treat? More Like Trick and Treat
June 23, 2016
Alaskan Huskies are working dogs and they love the challenge of problem solving and route finding on the trail in winter. In the summer, while it is too hot to for long runs they really enjoy the mental challenge of working with us to problem solve and learn new training exercises.
Toklat Cleanup 2016
February 08, 2016
On the kennels' recent Toklat River cleanup trip where the kennels dogs and staff helped keep their park clean by hauling out 500 pounds of debris
Pupdate #4: Sanctuary, Learning to Run, and One Chubby Puppy
January 02, 2016
Update on the six puppies (Disco, S'more, Solace, Summit, Venture, Vista) born in May 2015 and how they are preparing to run with the big dogs.
December 16, 2015
Update on Disco, Solace, Vista, Venture, S'more and Summit (the six puppies born in May) and their progress on their first backcountry operation
New Wheels at the Kennels
November 20, 2015
The kennels has new non motorized carts for our fall training season. Learn more about them here.
Learning About Dog Behavior
August 19, 2015
In this post, we highlight how to speak sled dog by reading the body language of our Canine Rangers.
Inspiring the Next Generation
August 06, 2015
Student Conservation Association NPS Academy intern Garron and Youth Conservation Corps Alina talk about their experiences at the kennels and the many ways youth can help protect this nation’s beautiful places.
Pupdate #2, 2015
July 31, 2015
The kennels gives an update on Rupee's litter of puppies who are growing up fast: Where they are now and what they're doing as they continue to learn about life as sled dogs.
What’s in a Name? NPS Centennial
June 24, 2015
In the 2nd Pupdate of the summer, we discuss the NPS centennial, how our new litter of pups was named, and what they’re up to now as they continue to grow.
Pupdate #1 2015
May 29, 2015
An update on last summer's puppy Zahnie and his winter adventures, new dogs that joined our kennel over the winter, and information on this summer's litter of puppies born in May.
Denali Dog Teams
February 04, 2015
In January the dog teams and kennels staff set out to complete two hauling projects that were the result of a dedicated effort by many Denali NPS staff and volunteers last summer.
February 04, 2015
We've talked about how we train our dogs, but you might be wondering how we train our human staff for their winter work on the trail. This was written by one of our winter kennels VIPs after our all staff training trip at the end of November.
All About Puppy Training
August 04, 2014
How we train our puppies to be Canine Rangers of Denali.
What's next for Wilderness?
June 12, 2014
Some reflections on our special partnership patrol to clean up abandoned barrels in the designated Wilderness area around May Lake in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
Wilderness Through the Eyes of a Student Conservation Association (SCA) Intern
May 20, 2014
SCA intern Marinell shares her first impressions of Denali and the significance of our sled dogs in making visitor connections and protecting wildlife and wilderness for future generations.
Working Together for Wilderness in Gates of the Arctic
March 10, 2014
Kennels staff and canine rangers leave Denali for an oil barrel haul and Wilderness Act outreach in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve.
A Few Degrees of Separation
February 09, 2014
In a warm January that created challenging mushing conditions, we reflect how global climate change is incorporated into the definition of wilderness.
Searching for Scat
January 15, 2014
One of the kennels main projects this winter is providing assistance collecting scat samples for a study of mesocarnivores in the park.
Happy 50th Anniversary Wilderness
December 22, 2013
The Denali Kennels is dedicating all blogs this winter to the Wilderness Act to celebrate it's 50th Anniversary.
Tradition, Tenons, and Drills... oh my!
November 10, 2013
On Nov.1, 2013 sled builder Matt Emslie trained the kennels staff in the art of traditional basket sled building. He helped us replace a very worn set of runners on the summer demo sled that he built for us a few years ago.
More Than the Leash
September 11, 2013
The tie between volunteer dog walker and canine ranger extends far beyond the leash that physically connects them.
The Personalities Behind the Cute
July 18, 2013
Prusik, Munter and Clove just finished their puppy testing to help us determine their abilities and training strategies we can use to prepare them for the trail.
Summer 2013 Pupdate
June 19, 2013
The story behind this year's litter of pups. How the breeding was chosen.
Winter Wrap Up
June 11, 2013
A look back at a few of the projects the kennels dogs assisted with this winter.
Retiring Dogs and the Adoption Process
February 05, 2013
After many years of dedicated service, our NPS canine rangers deserve a wonderful retirement just like our human rangers.
The Toklat Narrows
February 05, 2013
Kennels staff hauls supplies along the North boundary, travel the Toklat Narrows, and Tephra earns a gold star for her performance in lead.
Zen and the Art of the Gee Pole
December 12, 2012
A more in depth look at our recent training in how to use the traditional gee pole to steer a heavy sled.
Being your Best: How We Train our Canine Athletes
November 26, 2012
What goes into training a Denali sled dog? We discuss the different aspects of training and maintaining a working sled dog including mental and physical training as well as nutrition and health.
The Scoop on Poop
August 26, 2012
The Perfect Puppy
August 23, 2012
This blog was written to supplement the Puppy Paws Episode 4 video. If you haven't seen the Puppy Paws videos you can watch them on the kennels page at https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/kennels.htm. Read on if you are curious to know more about what traits, both physical and mental, we are looking for in our puppies.
The Dogs Days of Summer
August 03, 2012
This week, we take you behind the scenes of one of Denali's most popular Ranger programs, the summer sled dog demonstration. Enjoy this sneak peak and perhaps you will get a first hand view of the action at some point this summer. It happens three times a day during peak season and you can find out more at https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/kennels.htm
Pupdate - Tatum, Carpe, Koven and Cache
June 05, 2012
An update on last summer's puppies - Tatum, Carpe, Koven and Cache.
Animals Wild and Domestic Define Denali's Winter Wilderness
March 22, 2012
Helicopter or Huskies? The Triple Lake Trail Haul
January 27, 2012
Sometimes Dog Mushing can be a Drag
January 24, 2012
The gift of breaking trail
January 07, 2012
Experiments in Insulation
December 30, 2011
Let the patrols begin(and the hard work continue)!
December 22, 2011
Falling in and out of Fall at the Kennels
December 02, 2011
November 13, 2011
What is the "Dog Box"?
November 07, 2011
How Quickly They Grow Up
August 23, 2011
How Pingo's Puppies Came To Be
August 15, 2011
A Special Project
April 06, 2011
Springtime in Alaska
April 06, 2011
Wind, Whiteouts, and Wonder...or not
March 20, 2011
100 Degrees of Separation
February 20, 2011
A Silent Appreciation
February 06, 2011
Sled Dogs and Iron Dogs
January 14, 2011
The Right Dogs for the Trail
January 04, 2011
On dogs and trail-breaking
December 29, 2010
December 20, 2010
Days on the Trail
December 18, 2010
Breaking Trail to Mile 28
December 12, 2010
A mattress-hauling adventure
December 09, 2010
First Night Out of the Season
December 07, 2010
Every Winter Lover's Nightmare
December 07, 2010
Just another day at the office
November 21, 2010
And We're Off!
November 15, 2010
Waiting for snow to fall
November 07, 2010
The Next Generation
May 11, 2012
Well, last summer’s pups are nearly grown up. Not really, but in many ways it feels like it. They are not quite full sized adult dogs yet, but they have outgrown their fluffy puppy bodies and are acting more and more like grown up sled dogs. They are excellent skijorers and joined the team with the big dogs pulling the sled on patrols. So what is next? It is time to think about the next generation.
Last updated: April 13, 2016