We’re in search for a handler (or two?) with mushing experience to join us for the 2020/2021 season to help train our prospective Iditarod team- and possibly further. Handler duties will include:

  • Scooping, feeding, and watering the team
  • Facilitating freeplay
  • Walking dogs
  • Vet care
  • Preparing drop bags and camping supplies for races
  • A LOT of mushing including four wheeler and sled driving

There will be mid distance racing opportunities for the right candidate for this season. Living quarters included: we have an apartment with a small bedroom and kitchenette, and a separate yurt (with electricity, and a graywater kitchen setup, but with access to a shower in the main house). There will be a small monthly stipend to cover groceries.

The ideal fit would be interested in sticking with ATAO for a few years— with the big payoff being the opportunity to do a 400-1000 mile race with the full support of the kennel. If you dream of running Iditarod but don’t know how to make it happen, this could be a pathway for you.

We are an LGBTQ+ household – if you are not comfortable with that, this is not a good fit for you!

Qualities we’re searching for:

  • Independent, driven, committed, and hard working
  • Experience working with dogs or animals
  • Experience mushing strongly desired but not required- we will teach the right person
  • Must get to the point in the season (if not initially ready) to mush the team solo
  • Ability to learn / orient on new trails / in unfamiliar conditions
  • Problem solving & quick thinking
  • Realistic understanding of the down and dirtiness of scooping a lot of poop, working very long days, etc!

Handling is not an easy task. We know that it can be thankless, unforgiving, uncomfortable, and decidedly less romantic than you probably would ever imagine. You’ll be sore, exhausted, and not rich.

But it also means you get to spend 95% of your time with dogs, out in the incredible Alaskan wilderness, doing things many folks can only dream of.

If this sounds like something you can take on, please reach out to us. We are hoping to bring a handler on starting as soon as possible to get to know our dogs over the warm months and prep for an exciting season of mushing.

We especially invite LGBTQIA+ / POC to apply.