The Fan Hitch Volume 7, Number 1, December 2004

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International

Table of Contents

Editorial: New Faces, Old Passions
F.I.D.O.: Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen
A Conversation with Palle Norit
DNA Analysis of the Greenland Dog and the Canadian Inuit Dog
Pregnancy, Whelping and Pup Development in the ISD, Part 1
Product Review: HerculinerŽ
Tip for the Trail: Anti-fatigue Mats
In the News
Janice Howls: At the Heart of Greatness
 IMHO: Training or Interference

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Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)

The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or

The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Genevičve Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,
Tip for the Trail:

                                Hamilton photo

Anti-fatigue Mats

by Mark Hamilton

We don't live where we can just walk up to the kennel, hook up a team and mush straight out of the dog yard. We have to transport our dogs and supplies to the trails. But even mushers fortunate enough to be able to start their training runs right from their dog yard usually face the need to transport dogs sometime during the season. Most mushers use bedding material in their dog box. The most popular choice seems to be straw. In our dog box, instead of straw we use industrial/workshop anti-fatigue mats, about 3/4 inch thick, made of foamed PVC.  And we're very happy with the choice.

Some of the advantages of anti-fatigue mats are: (1) This is exactly what they are made for, to "soften" a surface, absorb vibration, isolate the object on top from whatever the mat rests upon and, in this case, provide extra comfort to the less well padded points of canine anatomy (elbows and knees). (2) They're totally non-absorbent. Have you got a drooler? Tired of freshening the bedding in your dog box? Anti-fatigue mats can be quickly cleaned with a splash of water and a squeegee. (3) They're durable. We're still using the mats fitted to the dog box in 1997. After cleaning, the mats still look like new.

Our anti-fatigue mats came from one of those "big box" lumber/hardware stores, but they are widely available from a variety of sources including mail order/internet. The mats are easily cut to size with a utility knife, which is important since most mats will be larger than needed. With careful shopping you may even be able to find mats large enough to cover the bottom in two or more boxes.

Got a tip you'd like to share? Email it to or snail-mail it to Mark Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA.

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