Sherlock, just a big doofus

A black and white dog
herlock is the largest dog veteran Ryne Olson has run. (Ryne Olson)

Sherlock, a 76-pound Alaskan Husky, is the largest dog that veteran musher Ryne Olson has ever run. He’s also one of her favorites. But he doesn’t live up to his name. 

“He’s just a big doofus,” she said. “He would not be a very good detective. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.”

Sherlock is a powerhouse in the dog mushing world, where dogs more often weigh in the mid-40s. His strength makes him a formidable asset in tough, deep snow.

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But his power also presents some problems. 

“He will pop my snow hook in a heartbeat because he doesn’t like to stop for longer than a few seconds,” Olson said.

It’s the 2-year-old’s rookie year. Olson said she tagged him for the team because he’s so goofy.

“He just brings so much energy and joy to the team,” she said. “He has an amazing attitude. He’s super happy. He’s super playful. He’s goofy. He makes me laugh every day.”

An update on Sherlock and Olson: The team didn’t make it to Nome this year. Olson dropped out of the Iditarod in McGrath on Thursday, a third of the way into the race.

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

Lex Treinen is covering the state Legislature for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at

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