A riveting new documentary, Sled Dogs, by director Fern Levitt, throws open the curtain on the ugly, behind the scenes cruelty in the dog sledding industry, both in the United States and Canada. Funding for the TV series NATURE is made possible in part by Park Foundation. Find it on Netflix. In particular, husky breeders are looking for dogs with an instinctive desire to pull long and hard through the toughest conditions. Sled Dogs is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Fern Levitt and released in 2016. With such power, a 16-dog sled team “is like a small pony with 64 legs,” he notes. Ironically, the powerful, dedicated canines profiled in NATURE’s SLED DOGS: AN ALASKAN EPIC are little more than mutts. Directed by Canadian filmmaker Fern Levitt, and five years in the making, Sled Dogs is a brutally honest examination and behind-the-scenes … She returned during filmings for her 2016 documentary "Sled Dogs", which investigates the often despondent lives of the dogs while they’re off the trail. Sled Dogs is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Fern Levitt and released in 2016. I am available in person and by Skype. She innocently wanted to play with the dogs, and went down the street searching for their living quarters. Sled dogs have been used for hundreds, if … “They take a lot of love and care,” Runyan points out. Sled Dogs is the first documentary to look at what happens at sled dog operations and the Iditarod once the tourists go home. A co-production of Pangolin Pictures Inc. and Thirteen/WNET New York. where 100 dogs were brutally murdered and thrown into a mass grave by a tourism company after an unprofitable season. 3. Levitt made the film after going dog sledding for fun one day in Toronto. The dogs are so strong and possess such an inherent drive to pull, that according to Runyan, even brakes have difficulty holding them back. Six years later, a documentary, Sled Dogs, recounts the vivid details of that story, but goes further to ask and then explore if the grim events uncovered in Whistler were an aberration or just an extreme example of a callous subculture in the world of mushing where dogs are viewed as expendable. The documentary Sled Dogs: The cold truth about mans best friend delves into a few of the bad apples of the bunch. For one thing, the best sled-pulling dogs have quick, efficient gaits and remarkable strength for their size. But even small dogs can pull impressive loads. Producer: Sarah Birnbaum In the off-season, for instance, some mushers rope their teams to wheeled carts or four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles, and let the dogs pull the chariots along snowless dirt roads. It’s not unusual to see 10-year-old dogs in races. Thick and insulated fur coats and tough, webbed paws similar to snowshoes made them impermeable to the winter ground. Current laws allow sled dogs to be chained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “They want to be always on the go.”. wNetStation is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York's Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. It shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of both the commercial industry and the personal side of the dog sledding industry. Sled dogs have been used in the Arctic for at least 2,000 years and were important for transportation in Arctic areas until the introduction of semi-trailer trucks, snowmobiles and airplanes in the 20th century, hauling supplies in areas that were inaccessible by other methods. Weaved throughout the film is the plight of a dog musher running the Iditarod. To safeguard them, mushers tie on polar-fleece booties that keep paws warm and protected. Major corporate support is provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc., Ford Motor Company, and TIAA-CREF. true story. However, at least one dog keeper tried to obtain a legal injunction against the film's premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, alleging that Levitt had inaccurately depicted the actual dog care ethics of sled dog handlers, misrepresenting footage of an unethical commercial pet breeder rather than speaking to or fil… Coming in at around 35-70 pounds, they were strong enough to pull heavy loads while keeping adequate energy for lengthy trips. [1] The film explores the Iditarod, raising allegations of animal cruelty among breeders, trainers and kennelers of the event's sled dogs. Sled dog companies and the B.C. This should be a 'must-see' for those who don't understand the history of sled dogs, particularly the Iditarod Race. Getting dog teams to pull together, however, takes months of training. And the prospect of owning one is not to be taken lightly. Each usually lasts several hours and up to 100 miles. Sled Dogs airs May 31st on the Documentary Channel. Please share this post with the links below…. If you’re at all versed in sled dog lore, you may be familiar with the character of Balto, a sled dog that helped save the town of Nome with his handler and canine teammates. [2] However, at least one dog keeper tried to obtain a legal injunction against the film's premiere at the Whistler Film Festival, alleging that Levitt had inaccurately depicted the actual dog care ethics of sled dog handlers, misrepresenting footage of an unethical commercial pet breeder rather than speaking to or filming companies actually involved in the care or training of sled dogs. While a normal mutt might get by on 1,500 calories a day, sled dogs can easily consume up to 10,000 calories per day. 6 talking about this. I am honored to appear in a documentary film on the subject, “ Sled Dogs,” premiering at the Whistler Film Festival on … Acting Technical Director: G. Francisco Perin Still, careful breeding over decades has produced dogs with telltale physiques. Sled dogs were originally chosen based on their size, strength, and stamina. Released in 2017, Pet Fooled is an enlightening dog documentary that every pet owner needs to watch… “The dog we call the Alaskan husky isn’t a formal breed,” explains onetime musher Joe Runyan, who won Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race in 1989. Rather, huskies are mixed-breed dogs that are selected “for performance, not looks,” he says. I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. “Their strength can be unbelievable,” Runyan says. Sled Dogs Helped Save a Town. In the Iditarod, a single musher will use about 2,000 booties. "Sled Dogs," a 2016 documentary movie, is a disturbing and highly critical look at what it calls the sled-dog industry. The film explores the Iditarod, raising allegations of animal cruelty among breeders, trainers and kennelers of the event's sled dogs. The documentary Toxic Beauty takes a look at the potentially harmful ingredients used by the cosmetic industry. Find out how man's best friend was instrumental in shaping the outcome of WW1. Top dogs are highly sought after by breeders to help sire champion lines. Levitt hopes that continuing to show the harsh conditions the dogs face throughout the year will inspire people to … In 2011, the public finally learned this disgusting truth after in incident in Whistler, B.C. [3] A sled dog operator also filed a similar complaint with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after the film was broadcast on Documentary Channel in 2017, resulting in a report by CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin.[4]. This film weaves together various characters and narratives to explore a truth about the dog sledding industry while posing the question: “Is the abuse seen against “man’s best friend” disguised as entertainment? Designers: Sabina Daley, Shannon Palmer Once trained, sled dogs can remain in top form for years. At kennels, sled dogs spend 95 percent of their lives tethered to a six-foot chain. In 2011, the public finally learned this disgusting truth after in incident in Whistler, B.C. Much like the abysmal puppy mills that stock pet stores nationwide with sick dogs, the breeding and raising of sled dogs is indefensible and cruel. In the 2016 documentary “Sled Dogs,” director Fern Levitt explored multiple kennels in Alaska and Canada that keep dogs in conditions less than worthy of man’s best friend. Writer: David Malakoff 3 talking about this. Sled Dogs uncovers the cold truth about man’s best friend and what the tourists don’t see in the dog sledding industry. This creates a completely unnatural and cruel living environment for these energetic, hyper-social animals. Online content for Sled Dogs: An Alaskan Epic was originally posted November 1999. Ann Willmott Andersson, Director of Interactive & Broadband. They were used with varying success in the explorations of both poles, as well as during the Alaskan gold rush. Inclusion of a 2010 incident in Whistler, B.C., in which a reported 100 “unprofitable” sled dogs were killed and buried in a mass grave, contains excruciating archival footage and details. Associate Producer: Ronnie Godeanu In many commercial dog sled companies, dogs are continually tethered to a chain and euthanized when they’re deemed no longer useful. In many commercial dog sled companies, dogs are continually tethered to a chain and euthanized when they’re deemed no longer useful. “You rarely see a really good sled dog over about 55 pounds,” says Runyan, speculating that larger dogs are at a physiological disadvantage when it comes to delivering oxygen and blood to the heart, lungs, and muscles. “My daughter had a 43-pound dog that pulled over 800 pounds,” Runyan recalls. Filmmaker Fern Levitt examines the breeding and care of dogs raised specifically for sled dog racing. Sled Dogs is the first documentary to look at what happens at sled dog operations and the Iditarod once the tourists go home. "Documentary 'Sled Dogs' exposes harsh realities of Iditarod", "Review: ‘Sled Dogs’ Exposes Abuse of Working Animals", "Musher threatens legal action over Sled Dogs documentary", "Point-of-View Documentaries | The Case of Sled Dogs", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sled_Dogs_(film)&oldid=953619772, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 April 2020, at 04:48. Well made documentary, follows several stories of sled dogs in various locations with perspectives from both sides. Ironically, the powerful, dedicated canines profiled in NATURE’s SLED DOGS: AN ALASKAN EPIC are little more than mutts. where 100 dogs were brutally murdered and thrown into a mass grave by a tourism company after an unprofitable season. Along with their power comes a huge appetite. In 1925, the town of Nome, Alaska experienced a deadly outbreak of … “You’ve got to have dogs that really want to see what is around that next corner,” Runyan says. Bigger teams, including one that included more than 200 dogs, have been known to pull buses and even help move houses. Togo, the dog that started the 650-mile run across Alaska during a 1925 storm finished by Balto, finally gets his due in a new movie, “Togo,” streaming Friday on Disney+. The film received a Canadian Screen Award nominations at the 6th Canadian Screen Awards, for Best Editing in a Documentary (Frank Cassano). The film recently took home two awards from the Whistler Film Festival: The World Documentary Award and Best Female-Directed Documentary. The latest in important documentary films revealing the truth about animals used and abused in industry is Sled Dogs, a searing exposé of the cruelty done to dogs in the state-sanctioned commercial sled dog industry operating in Canada and the U.S. Graphic Artist: Lenny Drozner Fern Levitt ’s newest documentary, Sled Dogs, reveals the terrifying truths of dog sledding like never before. Additional support is provided by the nation's public television stations. And while they’re tough, huskies can have sensitive feet. Design Director: Mohammad Riza Dogs running the Iditarod have special abilities — and special requirements, like food. Sled Dogs is the first documentary to look at what happens at sled dog operations and the Iditarod once the tourists go home. Scientific Consultant: Gianna Scaralia. Sled Dogs is the first documentary to look at what happens at sled dog operations and the Iditarod once the tourists go home. In August 1915, two officers of the French Army are assigned an incredible secret mission: bring back 450 sled dogs from Alaska and Canada within a hundred days before the fresh water rivers froze over. Dead dogs. At the first sign of visitors, the dogs run in circles, desperately pulling at the metal poles that keep them in place. Be always on the go. ” of both poles, as well as during the Alaskan gold.! 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