Excerpt from the ESPN article below which, as is strangely not uncommon among the media, glorifies Iditarod and Lance Mackey:
He'd developed his own strategy, running his dogs a little slower at the start, about 12 mph versus the sprinters' speed of 15, establishing a cruising speed of 10 mph through the middle of the race and finishing at 8 mph instead of the usual 6. Lance even identified the perfect body type for his dogs: They need long legs and a thick coat; must have an appetite for fatty lamb and beaver, the food that Lance thinks helps dogs perform best; and must be able to run for 12 hours on two to five hours of sleep. Lance also prefers dogs that run with their tails down, because, Tonya explains, "he doesn't like to stare at their asses for 1,000 miles."----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 8:23 PM
Subject: Photo: Iditarod winner Lance Mackey's dog yard
Dan Winters for ESPN The Magazine
Lance and Tonya run the Comeback Kennel out of their backyard, where he's built houses for each of his 99 racing dogs. (According to Sports Illustrated (March 7, 2011), Mackey has 120 dogs.) Mackey is a four-time Iditarod race winner.