Dogs First Program

Together with our Partners, Putting Dogs First

A man is pulling a sled with dogs in the snow.

TEMSCO Helicopters is committed to safety and excellence in all we do. This commitment extends to our longstanding partnership with Alaska Icefield Expeditions and Gold Rush Dog Tours. Together we offer dog sledding excursions in both Juneau and Skagway Alaska; excursions include Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter, Dog Sledding and Glacier Flight Seeing, and Dog Sledding Summer Camp. The safety, care, and health of the sled dogs we work with is the utmost importance to us. TEMSCO Helicopters treats these world class athletes as they deserve to be treated, as part of our team. AIE and Gold Rush Dogs founded a program committed to giving our sled dogs the highest standard of care called Dogs First.

We invite you to join us on a dog sledding excursion where you will quickly learn that “Dogs First†is a slogan TEMSCO Helicopters, AIE, and Gold Rush Dogs live by. When it comes to the care and needs of each individual sled dog every decision made begins with Dogs First. The Dogs First program consists meeting criteria in three different areas: guides and sled dogs, veterinary care, and the dog mushing camp.

Guides and Sled Dogs
Our mushers are hand selected because of their experience with sled dogs. Both mushers and handlers are hired through an extensive and competitive process giving AIE and Goldrush an incredibly qualified team who is eager and passionate to work with sled dogs. The staff has ongoing training and development throughout the season. Many mushers are accomplished racers and have received numerous accolades during winter mushing season including Vet’s Choice, sportsmanship, and humanitarian awards. Sled dog kennels are each assessed through AIE’s extensive contracts. Not only is every kennel vetted, but each sled dog is individually evaluated. They receive a vet exam certifying the dog is healthy, in good physical condition, and current on vaccinations and care schedules. On top of ensuring a dogs’ physical health they are screened to ensure they are well socialized. Our sled dogs physical and emotional well being is of the utmost importance to the Dogs First program.

Veterinary Care
Alaska Icefield Expeditions and Gold Rush Sled Dogs have a staff veterinarian who is available throughout the season. Vets are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for consultations and questions. Before the season begins each dog receives a full veterinary exam and a certificate of health. Veterinarians are required to make monthly onsite visits and complete a full written report. Weekly communication between the musher and veterinary staff is mandatory. In addition to veterinary support mushers are trained and certified in Dog First Aid and CPR. All of our camps are equipped with a veterinary tech level emergency kit. TEMSCO’s partnership with AIE and the Dogs First program ensures that proper medical treatment and care is always accessible for our sled dogs.

A man holding a dog in his arms on the snow.

Alaska Icefield Expeditions Musher: Jeremy Traska and Sled Dog Lila

Dog Mushing Camp
There is an excellent caregiver to dog ratio in place to meet and exceed the needs of each dog. Dedicated fulltime staff provide thorough observation and care of every dog. The sled dogs receive constant individual attention, including ear scratches and belly rubs ensuring high moral. There is an ample number of sled dogs at each camp to ensure the perfect running and resting balance. Top of the line dog food was created specifically to meet the nutritional needs of a working sled dog. Fresh clean water in two-quart stainless steel dishes is always available. Camp is constantly maintained and cleaned. Dry houses with flat roofs give the dogs an option to be off the snow.

TEMSCO Helicopters, Alaska Icefield Expeditions, and Gold Rush Dog Tours are committed to the care of our sled dogs and putting Dogs First. We are proud to introduce and be a part of a program that holds the wellbeing of our sled dogs to the highest standard. Please join us on Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter and Dog Sledding Summer Camp in Juneau or Dog Sledding and Glacier flight seeing in Skagway; you will see we are devoted to excellence in the care for our canine counterparts.


  • To promote the health and mental well being of each individual sled dog
  • To ensure the care of each dog exceeds industry standards
  • To be proactive in evaluating current standards
  • To promote excellence in care standards with our organization
  • To educate and encourage others to be proactive in evaluating and exceeding quality standards

Want to learn more about our Dog Sledding partners? Visit their websites at:

Alaska Icefield Expeditions  Gold Rush Dog Tours