Dear Friends,

You may have noticed that we sled dogs do not mind the snow getting onto our fur.  We are well adapted for cold conditions because of our two layers of hair.  The soft, blanket-like hair that is next to our skin keeps us warm.  This is called the undercoat.  Our coarser hair that you feel if you pet our backs is our guard hair.  It protects us from snow, rain, and ice.  We can just roll around on the ground and shake off snow!  Our hair goes right back into place!

Our human friends are not so fortunate.  If you have seen any photos of mushers with longer hair, like Connor McMahon or Jessie Holmes, running the race in the cold does not make for a good hair day.  For Connor, he said he wished he had brought something to tie his hair back.  It appears to be matting.  Jessie’s is just sticking out around the bottom of his hat.  There is little time for mushers to comb or wash hair during the Iditarod.  A woman musher once had matted, badly tangled hair while on the Iditarod.  A “friend” told her to put mayonnaise in her hair to help it untangle.  She said it was the worst, and she had to wash her hair multiple times to get out the slimy mayonnaise! 

Connor McMahon [photo credit – Insider]

Check out photos in the photo gallery on to see the sled dogs’ hair compared to the mushers!

Until next time,