Mackey’s dog team is in the dark

Lance Mackey likes to keep his dog team guessing. There’s no routine, said the reigning champ. The dogs never know how long they’re…

Lance Mackey likes to keep his dog team guessing.

There’s no routine, said the reigning champ.

The dogs never know how long they’re going to be running for, or when they’re going to eat.

“They don’t know what’s coming,” he said with a grin. “But I can give them anything it takes and they will take it.

“And I do this is training as well — I go with the flow.”

Mackey mixes up his runs and rests to keep the team interested. “Whatever we do, it has to be fun,” he said.

“I chit chat with them, and let them roll around.

“It can’t be monotonous.”

Mackey’s schedule is unconventional, or even non-existent, said Shallow Bay musher Gerry Willomitzer. “And a team that can take that is amazing.”

Willomitzer’s team always knows what’s coming. “When we start a run, the dogs know how far we’re going to go,” he said.

“It’s good when a team knows where it’s going,” said Skagway’s Hugh Neff.

“I want them to have trust.

“It’s all one big magic carpet ride,” he added. (GK)