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“This is the real deal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Talkeetna Sundog Kennel

Talkeetna Sundog Kennel
Talkeetna, AK 99676
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Ranked #16 of 26 activities in Talkeetna
Type: Tours
Attraction Details
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“This is the real deal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012 via mobile

Having read some of the reviews we weren't sure about this tour, however we really enjoyed it. But be warned...the guy who runs it is the real deal. He has done the Iditarod for eleven years running and has come in the top twenty. While I think that means a great tour with real experiences and information, it also means that his number one job is not guiding tours so you get the reality rather than a sanitized version. This does not mean that the dogs were badly treated; quite the opposite. They were clearly affectionate to their handlers and very sociable with us. We got a great dog sled ride. Totally recommend it provided you are into a real experience not some scripted sanitized over produced show......

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The Smile on My Son's Face!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

This was an incredible experience! As my son had done a report on the Iditarod previously, we had to try it while in Alaska. You can really tell the dogs LOVE what they're doing!

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Dogs seem to be treated very well and Kathy and Jerry were very informative and genuinely enjoy what they do. It was a very interesting excursion.....and one I would recommend highly.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“A taste of training for the Iditarod”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

It's hard to imagine participating in the famous Iditarod race. We got a glimpse of the preparaton required and heard stories about the grueling weather conditions that challenge the teams. It was fun to meet some of the dogs, see how excited they are to be harnessed and go out on a run behind them. Afterwards, Kathleen gave us background information and described behind-the-scenes preparation for Jerry to be in the big race. Jerry has done well in the times he's competed. We enjoyed this show-and-tell and will think about this tour whenever we hear about the dog sled races.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Left this tour early, not a good experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

I signed up for this tour with a friend through Princess cruises while on an Alaskan land and sea tour. We were completely shocked by the way we were treated by Kathleen and Jerry (owners). From the outset there was little communication from the two. They picked the group up in vans with no hello, good morning, or welcome to the tour. They gruffly instructed us to turn over our vouchers and sign in. I thought they seemed a bit grumpy but shrugged it off. We were driven 10 min to the tour site and with no direction everyone began to file from the vans into a small cabin which housed a dog sled. It seemed logical. After a few minutes Jerry came in and angrily "ordered" everyone outside. He seemed obviously irritated that we didn't have enough sense to go where we were supposed to. He became further annoyed and impatient with a woman who was confused about where we were doing even though it was clear English was not her first language. At this point I began to feel like the tour was a mistake. We went outside and prepared to go for the "authentic" dog sled ride. The sled was actually a jeri-rigged ATV and Kathleen, attempting to make a joke informed us "this isn't Disneyland" so watch your step and grip. I have to admit that the last straw for me was looking around at the dogs and the grounds. It was depressing. I watched Kathleen yank a skinny dog, ribs protruding, by the collar and drag it 25 yards with front legs off the ground yelping/crying all the way. I have since learned that this is one accepted method of getting the sled dogs from one point to another since they are very energetic. I won't presume to know how to care for a sled dog. However, I did see other sled dogs on other tours and none of it disturbed me. I just had a bad feeling about Sun Dog Kennels, mostly because of the way we were treated. My friend and I agreed we could not stay for the tour so I told Jerry we wanted to leave and why. He said in a rude tone, "we don't give refunds", I said I planned to inform Princess tours about the experience and he again rudely said "go ahead". Then as if disgusted by our presence he said "just get in" and drove us back to Talkeetna. I was thankful he did this and also thankful that Princess tours refunded the $79 that each of us paid. Several people from our tour later verbalized the same sentiment but all stayed for the entire tour. It is truly amazing to me that Kathleen and Jerry get away with treating customers so poorly. I do not usually write reviews but I felt I needed to let others know what they might experience if they sign up for this tour.

Visited September 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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