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Winterdance Dogsled Tours
Box 631, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 1-705-457-5281
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2015/16 Race Team Dogs!

These amazing animals are what make it all possible and we are honoured and privileged to share our lives with them.  Every fall there is a pool of dogs considered for the race team and then like any team, as training progresses the core team is determined with several members staying on the sidelines in the event they get "called up".  This years training season started the first week of September once the temperatures reached 10 C.  Hank started with 24 dogs and is now down to 20 team members, we thought you would enjoy meeting them.  All of these dogs when not racing can be found out with our customers running tours. To become one of the dogs personal sponsors for Yukon Quest 2016, visit our "sponsor the team" page.

Have a favourite dog? Become their personal sponsor for Yukon Quest 2016! click here!


A rookie on the team this year, Albus was born in 2011 and is part of the Harry Potter litter of 6 puppies, 3 girls & 3 boys. Albus and all his siblings have been stars running tours the last 3 years and this year Hank decided to have Albus try out for the raceteam. It is uncanny how much he looks like the team's main leader Maverick who is his Uncle. Albus's mother is fellow team mate Viper and his dad is Harley who is also Zeus and Scully's dad. Albus is an energetic but very sweet boy who is settling into the raceteam very well!.

- Proud to be sponsored by:


Aster moved here as a 1 year old in 2005 along with his brother Hosta from a mid distance racing kennel. He and his Hosta are almost identical twins and both are funny, shy guys, but what runners!!! As Hank says "they are like the guy you never ask to go get coffee, just serious, no fuss dogs". Aster has been on Hank's race team the last 4 years and easily made the cut again this year. Aster runs in the middle of the team and is happiest running with his brother. When they first came here they loved our exercise yards, the first time they got to run free they got running so fast they kept crashing into things, they got going too fast to stop!! Aster has a  favourite game of "catch me if you can" when it is time to get on the truck to go run, he is always the last one loaded, but once it is just him in the yard he gets worried he might get left behind and miss the run so the game ends fast!! Aster is definately Hank's dog and has never been dropped from a race. He is Yukon Quest and Iditarod veteran as well as every other race Hank has ever run. While we aren't sure he will make the team this year at 11, he dosen't seem to realize he is a senior with the way he has been running.

- Proud to be sponsored by: Patty Banera


The spitting image of his dad Blizzard, except for his striking single blue eye Blitz is now 7 years old and considered a "pup" on the raceteam because of his personality. His mom is Teemo and his sisters are Miss Jane & Elly and his brother is Jed who are is also on the team. Blitz is a happy, outgoing, joker who loves attention and fun. He lives with his best friend, brother Jed! While Blitz trained for the Iditarod 2012 and made the journey to Alaska, he only ended up running in the ceremonial start out of Anchorage. Hank decided he was just too mentally immature to take on that long a run. He didn't really mind staying back and soaked up all the attention he could get while waiting for Hank and the teams return. He did manage to annoy Pearl who lived beside him pretty thoroghly! Blitz has gone on to run the Yukon Quest 2014 and many other races. He is a key member of the veteran squad now.

Blitz's YouTube Video (check it out)

- Proud to be sponsored by:


At 8 years old Charlie is actually a girl, even though her name suggests otherwise! Two litters that were born at about the same time split up some of the names from the movie Top Gun and hence Charlie's name. Her siblings are Jester, Maverick, Viper, Howler (also on the racetam) and Rosy. Another amazing litter, all the pups look very simliar with Candy & Aster being their parents. Charlie best friend is Scully and she currently lives with Jay. A very smart, contemplative girl it wouldn't surprise us to see her start running lead some this fall. Charlie was a solid 2 year old last year completing 700 miles of the Iditarod Trail with Hank with no trouble at all!

- Proud to be sponsored by: Barbara Neilson





Moved here as a 1 year old in 2005 from a mid distance racing kennel that was moving along with 5 other dogs. He and his brother Aster are almost identical twins and both are funny, shy guys, but what runners!!! Both have been on Hank's race team the last 3 years and likely will be again this winter, they run in the middle of the team side by side, Hosta will run lead if Hank asks him too, but he will usually give Hank a look like "ok, but only for a little while".   Hosta is also the proud daddy along with mom Stinger of Granite, Pearl, Gem, Saphire and Ebony who are all on the race team, as well as his latest "kids" from Candy of Jester, Maverick, Nuisance, Rosy, Charlie & Scully.  most of those pups are now running on the race team with their Dad! He is a Yukon Quest and Iditarod veteran as well as every other race Hank has ever run. While we aren't sure he will make the team this year at 11, he dosen't seem to realize he is a senior with the way he has been running.

- Proud to be sponsored by: Patty Banera



- Proud to be sponsored by:


Turning 5 this fall, Jay is a unique looking dog, he is a son of Candy and our late great Laser but has a very wolf look to him just like his brother Bear. Lynx, Robin, Raven and Foxy are their sisters. Jay is hard working, conscious boy who has run on the race team the last 4 years and will be on the team again this year, Hank says Jay is a dog he sometimes forgets being there because he is just always fine, you never have to worry about Jay. He loves playing on his off time and he and his brother Bear are best friends and playmates, but while running he is a boy that always gives 120% regardless of conditions, although being the heaviest coated dog on the team he minds warmer weather faster than the others. Jay almost always runs in wheel position at the back of the team, as he likes being close to Hank.

- Proud to be sponsored by:


Jed is a sweet and quiet 7 year leggy boy. Son of little Teemo & Blizzard he looks nothing like either of them, but is almost a twin to his sister Miss Jane. Jed lives with his brother Blitz who is as opposite in looks as he is in personality. When Jed is standing back, Blitz is jumping all over you and when Jed is hiding under his bed in a storm, Blitz is celebrating. They make a great pair though and are best friends. Jed has run the Iditarod & Yukon Quest along with many other races. He LOVES running and while on his own he is timid when he is in the team running with the "big dogs" he is afraid of little! Little doubt Jed will be heading to Alaska this winter again.

- Proud to be sponsored by:


Jester! So the question remains do we name the dogs for their personality or do they manifest the name we give them......Jester is a good case study! 8 years old and out of Candy & Hosta he too is the Top Gun litter with many siblings also on the raceteam, they were quite the litter! While he is almost a twin in looks to his Dad, Jester's personality is much warmer & outgoing. He is the only one who when taking him out of th truck he somehow manages each time to climb over your head, and down the other side of you.... A joy to play and work with, he makes a lively, smiling addition to the raceteam and has run Iditarod & Yukon Quests twice as well as every other race Hank has run since he was 2.

- Proud to be sponsored by: Bruce & Auli Sammons


- Proud to be sponsored by: Josie Ferreira


A tough girl personality wise, but with a coat as soft as silk, you don't mess with Lily when she is focused as some of our males with tell you!! An amazing 6 year old girl who came to us in 2005 from a racing kennel, she has quickly become one of our main leaders. Her dad is Max and her best friend and running partner when doing tours is Stinger. Lily is definately one of the guides favourites for lead as she is always more than ready for her job. Lily had a litter of pups the fall of '07 after she chose (yes she chose!!) Harley as her suitor. This was after literally chasing away every other male that we thought would be a good dad.  Her pups ran this winter for the first time doing tours - Zeus, Strawberry, Abigail, Viper & Howler as their mom heads back to the race team, all are living up to her legend. There was no doubt Lily would be one the team this year.

Lily's YouTube Vioeo (check it out)

- Proud to be sponsored by:


Max has retired from the raceteam this year, but he willl be with them in many ways. Max will be enjoying the slower pace of guiding tours this winter. A new dog in our kennel in 2005 Max came with 5 other dogs from a racing kennel that had to move. He has turned out to be an invaluable addition to our kennel as he is now our main leader on the race team and an amazing animal, "The Maxer" as he is known. A beautiful, quiet boy around people, he is very dominant with his other teammates and sure keeps everyone in line if need be! A very intelligent dog, Hank has watched him cross a fast moving stream, only to drag the team up the trail to jump into the water at the perfect spot to be swept down again to the trail when crossing it again.  Always to be counted on he has some equally amazing offspring in our kennel. His daughter Lily is also a key leader on the race team, and Lily's pups, Max grandpups have tons of potential!  When you see Max he may look indifferent to attention but nothing could be further from the truth if you watch his eyes & tail. Max is now 10 years old and this may be his last season on the race team, a decision that will be as hard on him as it will be on Hank. 

- Proud to be sponsored by:


Everyone loves Maverick. Another of the Top Gun theme, he is 3 years old. With parents Candy & Aster he is taking after both sides with his looks, a beautiful boy with a quiet, easy going, but EXTREMELY affectionate personality he fits into the raceteam easily. Maverick was introduced to racing as a yearling in Maine's CAN-AM 30 on Tanya's team. He ran a very solid race so Hank was glad to have him try out last fall. He didn't disappoint, he started running lead last winter in training, and than ended up co-leading with his grandmother Lily for 400 miles on the Iditaod trail as a 2 year old after several other leaders went home. He definately came back as the star! Maverick lives with his sister Howler.

Maverick's YouTube Video (check it out)

- Proud to be sponsored by: Lisa Hartley, Bill & Susan McDonald


Scully is a 2 year old pup out of Harley & Lily, with parents like that she can't go wrong! She has a great build and a very willing to please attitude so she was a shoe-in for tryouts! Scully's name came from the X-Files show. She is a vively, fun loving dog who is always playing in the yards, pouncing, digging, stalking and chasing. She lives with the much more serious Charlie, but they are great friends!

- Proud to be sponsored by: Mazee & Lexi Reeder


Strawberry is a 3 year old girl from the Harley & Lily litter. Her name is a little unique since Michaela, our 2 year old at the time, named her. Strawberry is a almost perfect replica of her mom Lily right down to the hard blue eyes. She tried out for the raceteam last year but was dropped during the fall as she had too many yearling issues. She spent the winter running tours and much of the time in lead with a tough boy Casper. They made a great pair and he taught her well. While our guides are crying at the thought of not having her on their teams this winter, Hank is thrilled with how she has matured. She has even been doing some runs in lead with her mom Lily. Strawberry lives with Howler.

- Proud to be sponsored by:


One of the newest dogs in our kennel, Strider arrived the winter of 2008 from a race kennel that needed to find him a new home.  The original breeder told us that he had been running lead as a 1 year old as he had so much heart and potential.  We quickly found that to be true and Strider joined the touring teams.  He wasn't in great shape so he would take off in lead "pulling" Murphy (an 11 year old retired race team leader), but 10 miles down the trail Murphy was pulling him.  Strider's spring romance with Loretto produced 5 adorable puppies, Teddy, Bo, Little Bud, Govenor & Paulina. While Strider and Hank have some differences of opinion at times when he is in lead there was little doubt to Strider joining the race team this winter.

Strider's YouTube Video (check it out)

- Proud to be sponsored by:


The last of the 3 year old Lily & Harley top gun litter on the team, Viper is a rookie this year to racing. she lives with straweberry


- Proud to be sponsored by: Hedi Furrer


Like his picture suggests Zeus is a very "serious" hard headed boy. 8 years old and a pup from Lily & Harley, he has inherited both the harder sides of his parents personalities. He is a look alike for his dad Harley, right down to his cut ear that happened when he was a pup. Zeus is in his element on the raceteam, when he is running he is totally focused on the job at hand. He does however enjoy attention very much so don't hesitate to say hi to him! Zeus lives with his sister Scully and was a solid team member on all 4 Yukon Quest & Iditarod runs as well as many smaller races. Zeus almost always runs in wheel position closest to Hank at the back of the team as he is one big, strong boy. Little doubt Zeus will be headed to Alaska this winter too.

- Proud to be sponsored by : Marilyn Hubley





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