Tundra, an unpredictable captain

A man in musher's gear kneeling with his arms around a white, blue-eyed sled dog
Aaron Peck with his team captain, Tundra. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alberta musher Aaron Peck has some contradictory things to say about Tundra, a 5-time Iditarod veteran and one of his main leaders.

“He’s a leader, but I can’t have him in lead too much because he’s kind of unpredictable up there,” said Peck. 

The 8-year-old will occasionally swerve left at a fork in the trail, despite Peck’s calls of “gee.” Other times he’ll veer off suddenly, leading the team through deep snow, to get to a trail he thinks is better.

Still, Peck doesn’t resent him. 

“He’s a beauty. Like, I owe him a lot,” he said. ”I’m just so grateful for his contribution over the last few years”

For that, Peck calls 55-pound Tundra the team captain. Peck, an 8-time Iditarod veteran, says he hopes that Tundra can help lead his team to Canada’s first ever Iditarod championship. 

Tundra is part of our “Dog of the Day” Iditarod series. Previously we met Steve, who’s kind of a jerk, Viva, an unflappable navigator, Stealie, who loves hugs, and Zeke the rescue dog.

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.