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Leader Dogs - Jujiro Wada Memorial Association

Leader Dogs

Jujiro Wada (James Wada) improved, explored and expanded the the Iditarod trail in 1909, as commissioned by the Seward Chamber of Commerce, together with Frank Cotter. Nowadays the trail opened by Wada and Cotter is still in use for racer, where musher and breeders can compete to show their expertise. Sled dog racing is far more than just navigating and steering. One has to understand the psychology of the dogs, and their physical strength. 

Only a few dogs can run in front as leader. For dogs running in front of the others is quite stressful. Therefore running in front is not for all. For that reason, it is best to take as many leaders as there are, and have them take turns running in front position, so to reduce their mental burden. It is the same with baseball, the team that can put up the largest number of skilled pitchers, is best suited to win. The other dogs just have to follow the dog ahead of them, so they endure much less mental stress. So in order to get as many puppies with leader blood, the leader dogs are bred with other leaders. They have both an extraordinary desire to run. For more details on Wada`s travels see Life History

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