Dog of the Month- Qarth!

Tails from the Trail: Dog of the Month!


Dogs touch our lives in so many ways.  Their love and devotion to their humans, and our love to them. Jeff Deeter, of Black Spruce Dog Sledding and three-time Iditarod finisher, shares one of his special dogs. 

“Qarth is a dog unlike any other that I have had the pleasure of owning and running. At home, he is timid of every new person and gives off an alarm bark at every single vehicle or ATV that arrives at our house. He is, however, incredibly attached to me, and is always overly excited for attention and pets (jumping up into my face and licking and nipping my cheeks). As it is time to run, his enthusiasm is unmatched. He is almost impossible to unclip from his house because he is so excited, and then runs lap after lap around the kennel as I walk down to his position in the team. Once his harness is on though, he is all business and is one of my most focused dogs.

Qarth has finished two Iditarod’s, running in single lead for over 300 miles in both of those races. He is the one dog I have that excels when he has the opportunity to run alone, and typically works harder and is more driven as the trail gets slow and rough (or disappears altogether). In 2018, Qarth led my Iditarod team through a blizzard on the way to Don’s Cabin. We had belly deep drifts, 35 miles per hour winds, and no trail. Qarth was as happy as could be, and had the incredible ability to feel the hard-packed trail under the fresh snow, and take us safely and effortlessly through the storm. He was two years old in this race.

Qarth- wink

As Qarth has aged, he has become more confident in busy situations and has now learned how to pass small crowds of people and loose pet dogs (not easy for a naturally shy dog). Because he is so attached to me and my wife, Qarth will retire with us and stay at our home for the rest of his life. This is somewhat unique, as we have a lot of people in Alaska who are excited to adopt older sled dogs. Alaskan huskies often make really nice pets, and most mushers work hard to train their sled dogs to be inside and house-trained (in winter, we will often times have as many as 20 dogs in the house after a training run).

Follow Qarth and the Black Spruce Dog Sledding team on Facebook to get more stories from the trail and get insider updates as we race in the 2020 Iditarod!”

We look forward to seeing Jeff and his amazing dog team in March 2020!


Teachers: Use Qarth as a way for students to introduce themselves and think about personal goals.  Qarth is so excited to run it is almost impossible to unclip him from his house.  What are your students excited to learn about this year? Qarth has learned to become more confident in busy situations, what goals do your students have for the year/semester/quarter?