Browse content similar to Racing Dogs, Alaska. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This programme contains some strong language
'Our partnership with man's best friend is breaking down.'
No! Ah, no!
'Britain has more badly-behaved dogs than ever before.'
No! Go away, go!
'Dog bites alone have tripled in the last seven years.'
Chica, come here!
'But don't blame the dogs.'
'Because experts agree their owners are to blame.'
Oh, he's so cute.
'In this series, 12 out of control dog owners...'
He does not listen to a word that I say, it's just a nightmare.
'..who have reached breaking point...'
Emotionally, it just totally and utterly drains
every bit of life out of you.
'..are leaving their dogs behind.'
I didn't even know stuff like that existed.
'To be flown across the globe
'to meet the toughest working dog professionals.'
You are going to be the pack leader, you are going to be the dog's boss.
'They will live and work alongside dogs...'
It stinks in here.
Spice, to me!
Don't ever, ever let that go!
Those are my dogs!
'Have they got what it takes to master these dogs...'
Most terrifying thing I've ever done in my life.
Look out, look out!
'..and their own lives?
'Because it's not just their dogs that need to change.'
Meet 27-year-old hairdresser Amy Quinn.
She seems to have it all.
Her own business, a loving boyfriend,
a nice home and a cute dog.
Come here, come here.
But, for the last year, her one-year-old Basset Hound, Wallace,
has been ruling her life.
No! He's the boss. Oh.
-'Wallace knows how to play Amy.'
'And Amy's not good'
at giving him any boundaries,
he doesn't understand the boundary,
to be honest.
Normally full of confidence.
When it comes to her dog, Amy has none.
Come on, I'm going to be late for work.
Come on, let's...
Wallace! Come on, let's go...
Let's go to work.
See, this is what he gets like.
Come on! Argh.
I'm sick to death of it now.
I just need, I need help with it now.
Despite the biting, she'd rather cuddle than control him.
She sees Wallace as her little baby
and, to be honest, until, I think,
she sorts that bit of the relationship out,
so he knows that he's the dog, she's the human, she's in control,
there's always going to be friction and problems.
Yeah, he is like my big baby, isn't he?
She's putting her future on hold.
'I want, I want a massive family, but I can't do that.'
I can't even start to even think about having a family yet
until I can sort my dog out,
cos I wouldn't trust him around a baby.
Amy's not disciplined that dog,
that's why it's the way it is,
a wild animal.
And with those around her running out of patience,
Amy is running out of options.
I might actually have to rehome him
because I don't know what I'm going to do with him.
Supposed to be one of my best friends,
and I don't feel like he is sometimes.
Over in Basingstoke, 19-year-old university dropout Tyler Shayler
loves hanging out with his year old Staffi Lola.
Tyler, you need to get up.
# Today, I don't feel like doing anything... #
At home, Tyler doesn't lift a finger.
# I just want to lie in my bed. #
Sometimes, I just feel like demotivated and just like,
like I've got nothing to get out of bed for, d'you know what I mean?
Not even a dog fight kicks him into action.
Tyler's mum and dad split up when he was one.
Now, single mum Sue is left quite literally picking up the pieces.
My three-piece suite is now a two-piece suite
because she ate the chair.
This is the remains of my lovely cushion.
It's just constant,
I'm just so fed up with the mess all the time.
Tyler, you need to get up.
Lola's pooed in the front room
and she's pooed all over the clean washing on Paris's bed.
-Tyler! You need to get up now, please.
-OK, give me some space, man.
Unemployed Tyler likes an easy life
and reckons dogs do too.
Instead of, like, controlling 'em I'd rather just play with 'em,
d'you know what I mean?
Cos I think dogs are there to be played with, d'you know what I mean?
They're like, they're friends, in't they?
But Sue's had enough of his relaxed attitude.
He just needs to man-up and realise that life is about responsibility
and he needs to get himself up in the morning,
he needs to get himself a job
or go back to university and do his studying.
Having dropped out of uni three months ago,
she's worried Tyler's future is looking bleak.
If Tyler doesn't sort himself out and sort his dog out,
then either the dog's going to have to go
or Tyler and the dog are going to have to go,
because I can't cope with it any more.
There are many schools of thought about how best to control dogs,
but experts agree the majority of problems are caused by the owner,
not the dog,
and it's the owner that needs changing first.
So Amy and Tyler will be leaving their dogs at home
and jetting across to the other side of the globe.
They'll spend a week with the world's best working dogs.
Will fixing themselves help fix the canine crisis at home?
Meet Curtis Erhart.
Owner of one of the best Husky racing kennels in Alaska.
I've just got the gift to train leaders and stuff like that.
Husky racing runs deep in his family.
We grew up with dogs.
That was our only means of transportation.
We had no other choice, I mean, either it was that or walk.
It's a tough life and not for the faint hearted.
Confident, you gotta be confident.
That you can do this, and do all this stuff.
With temperatures plummeting to minus 50 in the winter,
laziness is never tolerated.
It all boils down to work ethic.
There's no days off here.
You gotta be here and take care of 'em,
cos they cannot take care of themselves.
These Husky hound crosses are no ordinary dogs.
Their hearts and lungs are incredibly powerful,
and they can reach speeds of over 20 miles per hour.
To race them, you've got to be in control.
If you're out there in the woods and you're travelling,
they gotta do what you tell them to do or you could freeze to death.
Curtis expects total commitment at all times.
It's a mindset, you gotta be willing to sacrifice everything
so that you can do dogs.
We're going to go do something, we're going to go do it 110%
or we're not going to do it at all.
Struggling UK dog owners, Amy and Tyler,
will be travelling to Alaska,
where Curtis wants them to join his Husky racing team.
I can't even begin to imagine what it's going to be like
or what I'm going to be doing, but.
The plan this week is to teach 'em how to water, feed, shovel,
handle the dogs, harness, unharness, loading the truck.
I'll be all on my own, which I am going to find quite hard.
My little man.
We all try to be self-sufficient up here,
your life depends on that, can you step up to the challenge?
It is very daunting and I won't be able to just call Lewis up
or have somebody I can rely on.
I just hope that she comes back with a bit more balls about her
and that she can be strict with her dog.
He needs to grow up, he needs to realise
that there is a big wide world out there
and he's got to fend for himself.
How tough are you to tough it out to get through this?
-Hello, how are you.
-I'm Amy, nice to meet you.
-Good to meet you too.
-Brilliant, are you excited?
After two flights and a journey of nearly 5,000 miles,
Tyler and Amy finally reach the icy roads of Fairbanks, Alaska.
-Yeah, freezing cold.
-To think we're on the other side of the world, it's a bit mad.
-So far so good, though.
Oh, my God, here they come.
Hi! Welcome to Alaska.
-Amy, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, guys.
-Nice to meet you.
This is what I do right here. I race, raise and train sled dogs
and this is why you guys are here.
In the next week, I will teach you to handle this many dogs
and everything that we do in care, the caring, feeding, watering and the training part.
Being entrusted with Curtis's pack of sled dogs for a week
is a huge responsibility.
These dogs...you have to protect them,
because these are mine and because they are valuable to me.
Some of these are worth 10,000 apiece.
This is what we do,
they always come first before us and then we come second.
-They have no-one to rely on but us.
-And that's it.
Amy and Tyler can barely cope with one dog at home.
Now, they'll have to control a kennel full.
This has blown my mind, and it's shocking to think that,
that the amount of dogs that are here, like 88 dogs, like nuts.
They will be answerable not just to Curtis but to his team.
This is my brother Carl,
this is our friend Jennifer.
-Hello, Jennifer, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Everything that needs to be done, they do.
Amy and Tyler don't know it yet, but if they work hard and learn fast,
Curtis plans to let them race his dogs at a big event at the end of the week.
But first, they'll need to prove themselves.
They might be prize-winning race dogs, but Tyler's not impressed.
Like, they're not very nice looking, you wouldn't think they was worth,
like, ten grand, would ya?
Maybe a tenner.
Bred for speed rather than looks, Curtis says his powerful dogs
must be handled in a very particular way.
We'll start loading dogs, we'll tell you guys which dogs to get,
and we're going to show you how we load them so that nobody gets hurt.
-Orange one right there, Jewel, red collar, go get her.
Practising loading the dogs onto the truck
will give Curtis and his team
the chance to see whether the Brits can take charge.
It's a bit hard to get because they don't stay still, do they?
They like to jump around.
Tyler is not making the best first impression.
-He don't want to come.
-Make him come.
He's not in control - I am! I own his arse.
He's going to do what I say.
It's harder than I expected and this is probably the easy part.
Getting quite hot doing this.
-You handle him like this.
Keep the front feet off the ground
and let them, let them jump and walk at you, like this.
These dogs are so strong they can pull you over,
so for the Husky racing community, unlike in the UK,
walking dogs on their hind legs is standard practice.
It's crazy to make a dog walk like that, I've never seen that before.
You don't realise, do you? It doesn't look like a strong dog.
-They're very strong.
For Amy, this kind of control is especially hard.
At home, her dog Wallace walks all over her.
They're like bouncing, you have to really sort of grab hold of them
and it's not very nice but I'm going to have to man-up a bit, aren't I?
And deal with it, I mean and, you know, I've gotta respect the guy.
The guy demands respect, really, doesn't he, for what he does,
so I'm just going to have to do exactly what he tells me to.
Ah, got him.
Oh, yeah, they know what's going on, they know it's feeding time.
Curtis's race dogs need a whopping
4,000 to 5,000 calories a day for energy,
but there are no tins of dog food here.
Instead, food is prepared the traditional way,
from a huge dog pot full of fish and hunted game.
-There's also Lynx in there.
-The big cat?
-What's the meat like?
-What does it taste like?
-Does it really?
In Alaska, everyone's expected to pull their weight,
but, for Tyler, pitching in at feeding time is a new experience.
At home, it's normally his mum who does all the work.
Lola belongs to Tyler,
but I look after Lola.
Cos he's quite lazy,
he doesn't do the initial getting up in the morning
feeding the dogs, doing all the other things
that the dogs need doing.
Want to help her out?
In Alaska there's no shirking,
however disgusting the job.
Do you know, like, yeah, like sick.
I can pick, like you're trying to find something in sick,
if I'm honest.
I've never put this much work into feeding a dog.
It's just like before, if someone had told me this much work
goes into feeding a pack of dogs, I wouldn't have believed it.
Tyler's workshy attitude isn't going down well.
Tyler, he seems to hang back, he doesn't know what to think yet
and he has to learn that you have to ask what to do next,
you can't just stand around, that's like leaving a bad first impression.
Curtis wants Amy and Tyler to bond with the dogs
and acclimatise to the Arctic conditions.
So while Curtis and his family sleep in the big house next door,
the Brits will be in the dog house.
-If we need the bathroom, do we come in there?
What if it's the middle of the night and we wake up needing the bathroom?
You shouldn't wake up in the middle of the night cos, if you did, I didn't get you tired enough.
With an early start the next morning, it's early to bed.
Tuck myself up in this bad boy.
Well, a Saturday night at like 10:15, I'd either be in the pub
or be playing the X-Box or watching a movie,
but, right now, I'm tucked up in a sleeping bag
in the middle of a field full of dogs.
I can't get over how differently people treat their dogs here.
The dogs will step out of line, I'm sure, while we're here and do something
and we're going to see him be quite hard on them.
-I don't know how I'll handle that.
No lie-ins tomorrow!
-No, there's none of that, is there?
7am and minus 15.
There's a big day ahead.
Race training begins in a few hours,
but first, 88 hungry dogs need to be cared for.
Amy's already pulling her weight.
But for Tyler, old habits die hard.
I can see how, like, Curtis is quite pissed off about it.
This is understandable, he's welcomed us into his home, we should be up.
Curtis runs a strict regime for good reason.
The dogs are bred to withstand the cold,
so exercising in the midday sun, even an Alaskan one,
can be dangerous.
I want them run before it gets 40 degrees,
and the reason is that you can overheat
and you will kill them in less than three miles
because they work so hard,
so it's going to be a bang-bang show today, as fast as we can.
There's still no sign of life from the dog hut.
What's he doing out there?
What did they send me? Uh?
Curtis has had enough.
What is going on here?
We gotta go.
It's not just Curtis who Tyler is letting down.
But the whole team.
This behaviour is not tolerated here.
We have a limited amount of time to get everything done with the dogs,
and we need to get it done today like boom boom boom boom, like clockwork.
We'll give him a couple more chances. If not, we'll send him home. Hum?
If you can't get it, you can't stay, that's the rule.
It's less than 24 hours since Tyler arrived,
but Curtis already has his measure.
His dog is probably bored, his dog is doing stuff to get his attention
because he's probably sleeping.
That's what it looks like to me.
I mean, he needs to care of that dog in a proper and efficient manner.
Were we a little tired this morning or what?
What's the deal here this morning?
I obviously ain't got an alarm clock, so I couldn't get up.
Not happening again from here on out.
If you were my fully-fledged handler,
I'd have ripped your arse out of there, right out of there,
I would have dragged you out, sleeping bag and all,
and left you there in the middle of the dog area.
This is how we have to be in order to make it
and this is not a babysitting deal,
-this is a self-motivated, self-going deal.
Not the perfect start, is it? But it's all right.
This is obviously what they gotta do, so I've gotta live like them for a week so.
Hi. It'll be a miracle if he lasts a week.
Time to step up the training.
Sled dog racing, or "mushing", as it's known,
is the state sport in Alaska.
Successful dog teams can win thousands of dollars.
Can't even hear myself think.
A sled dog's natural instinct is to run, they love it,
so the responsibility on the handlers
to calm and contain the dogs until they do is huge.
There are certain dogs that like to jump around, flip around, bite
and it's your job to keep those dogs calm
and keep them from jumping over the line
and getting tangled up or chewing the line.
First, the dogs need to be harnessed.
Next, they're hitched in pairs to a central tow line,
this, in turn, is attached to the sled.
As they head to the line,
the Brits lack of control is beginning to show,
and Amy is struggling just like at home.
Just Wallace on his own is too much for her.
Come here, come here, Wallace.
Argh, Wallace, settle down.
He scares me when he's like this.
Ah, I can't. I thought, "Oh, my God, this is hard.
"It's really, really hard."
The dogs must be released at exactly the same time,
as they mustn't jump over the line.
A race can be lost or won on the start line.
Yip, yip, yip, yip, yip.
Amy is beginning to realise just how important control is.
That was really, really hard. Really, really hard. Oh, God.
There's so much to think about as well
and cos they're just bouncing around everywhere.
Laid-back Tyler seems to be taking it all in his stride.
Done all right. I mean, I'm not going to be perfect straight away,
but think I done half decent.
Comes with practice, don't it? So I ain't disappointed,
I'm quite pleased in how I done, to be honest, so.
20 minutes later, Carl and the dogs return.
I wasn't really happy with the way I took off.
There was a pause right there when I took off, when the dogs were going
and two dogs jumped over the line and I went down the trail like that,
and I had to hook down in the woods and get them back over the line.
That stall threw the whole team's momentum off, so I had a bum run
all the way after that coming home.
And had that been a real race,
that could have cost me positions in the race
and in turn cost me money, that's my pay check.
They're pups as well so the adult dogs wouldn't be that manic, would they?
They will be, in a race, they will be jumping straight up.
So you're going to have to deal with what you just dealt with
-with stronger dogs.
Tyler's a little bit young, I think,
and when you're young, in my experience, you kinda think
you know it all and you don't want to listen to nobody else's advice
so he's kinda minimising and justifying his actions.
If the Brits are to have any chance of racing for real,
their attitude and dog skills need to massively improve,
so Curtis is about to up the ante.
This is what I'm going to do,
I'm going to put my ass on the line for you, guys.
I'm going to put you on the sno-go with me and my dogs
and I'm going to haul you back to the village that I grew up in
and we're going to take care of like 120 dogs.
This is my home town, where I was born and raised
and back there, I am a champion dog musher
and I am the world to them people,
so you guys represent me, so I want you guys to step it up.
Now comes the hard work.
Tomorrow, the Brits will be leaving the relative safety of the kennels for Tanana,
one of the remotest villages on Earth.
I'm really, really nervous about what's just happened there,
I can't believe it, I'm worried, I don't want to let these guys down.
I'm just quite scared, actually.
Whilst Amy seems worried by the added responsibility and extra work, Tyler doesn't.
Yeah, I'm proper excited, man.
When we come here and we, I was thinking, like, I'd be disappointed
that if you had to spend the whole time in here,
cos it's just confined.
I wanted to see what Alaska's actually like out there, d'you know what I mean?
And that's where we're going, so, yeah, I'm proper chuffed with that, proper excited.
minus 24 degrees outside,
and Tyler's managed to get up and out of bed on time,
Tanana is so remote, it can't be reached by car.
The icy roads only go halfway.
-Right there, right there, see him? Going in the woods.
Look at the size of him, he's like a horse.
When the roads run out,
the frozen River Yukon, Alaska's longest river, takes over.
Cars are swapped for snow machines.
Only local people who know the trail dare ride the frozen river
so a group of Curtis's family and friends
and sled dogs are gathering to travel in convoy.
You guys are to stay with us, you're not to wander off,
you're not to get off the snow machine if we stop and start walking around
because if you go through the ice and there's an open hole in the snow, you will drown.
There's nothing we can do to save you,
you will get sucked under and away you go.
There's no if's or but's, it's for real now.
That has freaked me out a little bit.
I'm not going to get off that thing, no, I'm not going to get off it,
I'll be on there the whole time.
I'm excited, man. Can't wait to go on them things.
Tyler, ready? Eh!
Curtis wants to keep an eye on Tyler,
so they'll ride together on the lead snow machine.
It's the most difficult position in the convoy,
as they will be breaking the trail whilst pulling a box of 16 dogs.
Over the years, hundreds have died trying to travel this very route.
Just an hour into the five-hour journey, disaster strikes.
One of the dog boxes tips over,
it's Curtis and Tyler's.
I dunno, I looked back and then we, then we just went in deep snow
and then I looked back and it was just on its side.
When I saw the dog trailer flipped over, I felt sick to my stomach.
It's horrible, you don't know if the dogs are dead in there or anything, horrible.
But they seem to be all right.
One of the skis off the sled dug in, it pushed me off.
With the dogs all OK, the convoy gets back on track.
After two more accidents, even Tyler is impressed by the Alaskans' grit.
Back home, we don't have to deal with things like this,
but they deal with this, like, on a regular basis,
so, obviously, they've gotta be tough.
Need to toughen up a bit, us Brits, I think.
Progress is slow and perilous.
Finally, after five hours,
the convoy makes it safely to Curtis's dad's house.
With just 300 hardy residents,
this is one of the last places on Earth still dependent on dogs.
Dad, I brought you two new handlers.
Curtis's dad, Lester, was born and bred here.
Hi, I'm Tyler.
His kennels may be remote, but he insists they are run like clockwork.
It looks like a hell of a lot more than what Curtis had at his house,
a lot more poo to pick up, a lot more food.
Yeah, this will be a challenge.
After travelling all day, it's dinner time,
but not for the Brits.
It kinda sucks when an animal comes in front of yourself,
but that's just how life is here.
It's a non-stop lifestyle they will have to get used to.
Not what I'd normally be doing after a ten-hour journey.
How about you, Amy?
Yeah, I'd be doing this back at home, you see.
As the dogs will be racing soon,
Curtis is upping their calories.
Game and fish is now combined with the special race mix.
It's essential the dogs' intake is carefully monitored.
-Hold on. Here.
-Is there any particular order you're feeding?
Yes, I said Abby right there, we're going this way.
Yeah, but what's the reason for it or is it just...?
What do you want to do, start go up there and go over here and go over there?
You gotta have... You see what, you see what I mean? That's what I didn't want.
-What shall I do?
-Put him in the dog box.
Tyler's lack of focus has landed him in trouble again.
Don't know about worried.
I just take everything quite easy, to be honest.
I'm quite laid-back, but obviously he's going to get quite worked up.
Out here, even the smallest mistake is costly.
This right here is 45 a bag, the meat is 55 a bag...
See? I gotta keep an eye on you, guys.
It's been a long day.
No, it's not. Look at me, I've still got my game on. It goes in that box.
Finally, Amy and Tyler are able to relax
and check out their new accommodation.
Ah, pull the... Ah, it stinks of fish in here.
It's basic, isn't it?
I've never stayed in a place like this before.
It's all a world away from the Brits' lives at home.
Show 'em a little bit how hardy and wholesome all these people are
and how strong individuals they are and how they can live out here and survive.
I mean, it's pretty desolate and they do it.
I don't like sheds to sleep in.
We've got a week of this shit,
they can be there in their house while we're in a fucking shed.
I miss my mum and my dad.
I am getting a bit homesick now,
I think, because I am finding this quite hard. This is nuts.
I am going to break probably at some point, not just yet, though.
It's their first morning in Tanana
and Amy and Tyler have to scoop poop for 100 dogs.
Oh, that's dangerous,
slipping when you've got a shovel of shit in your hand.
If the Brits are to prove they've got what it takes to run a team of dogs,
they've got to step up a gear.
Obviously, like, this is all new to us,
so we are going to make a few mistakes, but it's just...
-I don't think we're allowed to make mistakes here.
Everyone makes mistakes, d'you know what I mean?
No, I don't think they're very forgiving here.
Tanana may be remote, but for one week a year,
it becomes the centre of the sled dog racing world.
People flock from far and wide to compete in a series of sprint races.
With the River Yukon Mushing Championships about to start,
young and old are out practising, including the Brits.
First and foremost, step on the brake.
Curtis first teaches them how to safely use the foot brake
and then the lethal-looking ice hook, which works as an anchor.
To ensure the safety of the precious dogs,
the key is to never let go of the sled.
God, I'm so nervous.
You, you don't want to let go of the sled because you can lose the dogs.
OK, I won't let go.
If you tip over, yep, you drag,
you, whatever you can do to get back up, get that sled right side up
and get back up, get that sled rights up, crawl back on it
-while you're moving, but at no time will you ever let the sled go.
You better be stone cold dead if you're going to let it go.
-Slow down with the mat, brake on, then hook.
OK, phew. OK.
Instead of dogs, the sled is going to be pulled by Curtis
on a snow machine.
First up, Amy.
-Are we ready?
-As ready as I'll ever be.
Curtis is duplicating the speed of a four-dog team,
around 18 miles per hour,
but, even without the sled dogs, Amy's courage is failing her.
-Sorry, I'm just really nervous.
-You're not breathing.
Despite her nerves, she manages to stay on
and keeps full control of the sled.
Oh, Jesus, that was amazing but...
..so much to think about.
Tyler is sure he'll also do well.
I do think I'm always confident in my ability.
I'm no stranger to a skateboard or a surfboard or something like that,
so I've got all the right balance
and I was pretty good at skiing as well, so...
What's the whole idea that I want?
You will not let go of this sled if you tip over.
You gotta make me proud, OK?
That I've taught you something that,
-and you're going to put your best foot forth here, OK?
Having let Curtis down several times already,
the pressure is on Tyler to prove himself.
Tyler's very confident, whereas I'm not confident.
I think you can be a bit too confident sometimes.
Curtis's advice was clear - whatever happens never let go of the sled.
Otherwise his valuable dogs will run off.
Rule number one, don't ever let that go!
All right, I failed.
-Don't ever, ever, ever let that go, am I, do you understand?
-Those are MY dogs!
But I slipped off the... My hand went.
I don't care what you did! You don't ever let that go!
-So how am I going to hold it on?
-You... I don't care if you fall over, you drag.
You fall over, you drag,
hang on, get back up, get yourself back on it.
Tyler doesn't seem to be taking the safety of the dogs seriously.
Got a attitude like any punk kid.
It is not happening, it didn't happen right there,
he didn't know what to do.
That's probably his first time in the last,
I don't know how many years of his life, he ever got put in his place,
so he's having a little bit of a hard time swallowing it.
You want to bring it?
With him shouting at me earlier, yeah, it did annoy me quite a bit,
but that's just his way of motivating me and making me work,
d'you know what I mean? And getting that information into my head.
After days of failing to step up and take responsibility,
Curtis wants to find out more about how Tyler treats his own dog back home.
-We're going to watch this video here.
'I'll sleep through anything normally,
'so I normally just get up when I get up.'
Oh! You get up whenever YOU want to get up.
Wow! Look at all this stuff.
Having a good time while the master's sleeping.
'This is the remains of my lovely cushion.'
Oh, if I was her, I'd be kicking your arse.
It's destruction downstairs today.
I've done loads of washing, folded it all up, she's crapped all over it.
She even does your clothes for you?
'It's just ridiculous, I've just had enough, absolutely had enough.'
Curtis knew Tyler lacked a sense of responsibility,
but the scale of the problem leaves Curtis stunned.
-Life is not a good time.
-Yeah, I know, I, I...
Sooner or later, you're going to have to pay the piper.
-Yeah, cos obviously, I'm from a single-parent family.
And she, like, quite a few little brothers and sister,
so, like, it was always, like, my mum was too focused on the younger ones,
never really sort of...
That should have been the turning point in your life
-where you should have became the man of the outfit.
-And here you let that hold you back.
-That's where you should have stepped up.
And Tyler's laid-back attitude, even when his dog is running riot,
goes against all Curtis's principles.
Oh, oh, that's a no-no right there.
-You don't see mine doing that, do you?
You tell him to do something,
why don't you make him do it?
-Don't tell him something and then just let him go.
But recognising the need to take control of his dog
is just the tip of the iceberg.
You start helping your mom, start working with them dogs,
don't ever take a day off
until you get yourself set in a routine that is good.
-But life's a learning curve, man and...
-Yes, it is.
-Right, life is out there, it's how much you get from it.
And how much you're going to give.
It needs to start from you.
Once you step your game up, things'll get a lot better.
It's not just Curtis who has been shocked by what he's seen.
Watching that video back's pretty bad, man.
It does look pretty bad, d'you know what I mean?
And, like, I just haven't realised it cos I've just been in a slump.
I've just been feeling sorry for myself
and it's not a good way to be.
I've always been the sort of person, my whole life,
to sort of not show people how I'm feeling
and I've got to the point now that I've done it for so long
that sometimes I don't even know what I'm feeling myself.
Hopefully, I can sort of learn not to bottle things up
and maybe sort of share my problems maybe, I dunno,
It's going to be hard to do, I don't know how I'm going to do it,
but it's something that I think will help me to progress.
The championship sled dog races get under way today.
-Is he in?
In just 36 hours,
Curtis will be deciding whether he trusts the Brits enough
to allow them to take part.
First, their dog handling skills will be tested for real.
Jennifer is one of the top female mushers in Alaska.
The Brits will be working as her handlers.
With what I'm doing today,
I have to be quite confident and strong about it
because if I'm not like that, the dogs'll feel, you know, jumpy
and I don't want to muck it all up.
Get in back.
After their disastrous dog handling in Fairbanks,
the Brits need to prove they can be calm and in control of the dogs.
-He's going to go that way.
-And I can just let go like that.
-And step out the way.
-With this hand.
Jennifer knows what's at stake if they're not.
If Amy or any of the other handlers do something wrong,
it could cost me the race, it could cost positions, it could cost money,
but it also could cost the health of a dog.
The teams race against the clock, so the starts are staggered.
But, just like in Fairbanks,
if the Brits let the dogs go a second too early,
they could ruin the race.
She's cleanly away.
Whoo, look at my hands!
That was like a massive adrenaline rush
and I'm not even on the back of that thing.
-Good job, buddy, we got it.
Curtis is even impressed with Tyler.
-That's the most effort I've seen you since you got here.
-I appreciate it.
-The more effort the better, OK?
-Yeah, it's good.
And, at last, Tyler seems to be appreciating working as part of a team.
Everyone pitches in, don't they?
So, like, the workload's sort of shared between people,
so that's good, man, definitely.
Hopefully, I can just do as well as I did today for the rest of the week
and it'll all be good, and I'll get to race.
-Who's this coming in?
-Who is this, Jennifer coming in?
The women mushers are returning
from their ten-mile run on the frozen river.
Amy is responsible for leading Jennifer and her dogs back to base.
Come, come, come.
And she seems happy to take charge.
Easy, easy, easy.
Amy did really good. When I pulled in, she was there ready to catch my leaders
and pull them over to where, back to our snow machine set up,
and was right on it like she, you know, I didn't need to tell her stuff.
Very happy with what she did.
Back at the kennels, Jennifer shares some good news.
-Oh, we finished first?
Get in, that's brilliant, well done!
-Oh, wow, I've got goosebumps.
That's amazing, I'm so happy for you, that's brilliant.
Amy's own dog runs rings around her at home,
so controlling ten of Jennifer's is a massive confidence boost.
This is a big thing for me to do something on my own,
because I am quite dependent of everybody else
and it makes me realise that I suppose I've, like,
grown up a little bit since I've been here as well.
It's coming to the end of the week,
and Curtis and Jennifer have seen that Amy can be confident
and in control of their dogs in Alaska.
So they want to find out why she's having such problems
with her dog back in England.
The first mention of home gets Amy upset.
-Why are you so emotional already?
-I don't know.
I think I'm going to be shocked at what I see
and it's going to make me realise a little, I miss home a little bit as well.
OK, let's play, let's go.
'We've gotta go to work now, come on.
'Oh, Wallace, that's naughty.
'Come on, let's... Wallace!'
-Is he trying to bite you?
Wallace's constant biting immediately sets alarm bells ringing.
'It scares me when he's like this.'
He bit you like 15 times.
If I let any of them even begin to try to do that,
it would be disaster.
I've got ten of 'em out there at one time.
-He's not playing though, is he?
-No, he's not.
-He's not playing.
-He's knowing he could...
-He's not, like, vicious, he's just telling me that he's the boss, isn't he?
And as soon as anybody just starts to kinda growl or anything,
any of us, anybody is like, "Hey, stop it."
-No aggression at all.
-I mean, and the sound of your voice.
'And he's like this, lovely.
'Yeah, he is like my big baby, isn't he?'
Curtis believes Amy's complete lack of authority
isn't the only issue giving Wallace the upper hand.
He's not your kid.
-All he is, is your pet dog and your animal.
He can be your buddy, nobody said he can't be your buddy or anything.
-But Wallace is controlling your life...
-And the things that you are doing in your life and which is a no-no.
But taking charge of her dog is only part of the problem.
Seeing that now, I realise how bad he is, like,
compared to what I've like been with for, like, the last week.
-I know you're, YOU are strong enough to do it.
-You have it in you.
I've just lost confidence in myself, in my dog, I suppose, because he,
I realise that he's...
Are you confident in life?
I am, I'm confident now, I am...
I am quite a confident person, yeah, but when it comes to Wallace,
I kind of melt... All my confidence goes out the window, I think.
You are now a different person from the person when you came here
and walked in my yard today.
You've doubled, tripled in confidence.
You not only learned how to handle the dogs,
but you learned how to handle yourself, that's the key.
Watching Wallace's behaviour has had a real impact on Amy.
She's finally realising how serious the situation is,
and why she's been so unhappy at home.
It's the biting that needs to stop.
It's my fault the way that he is.
It's not down to him, it's down to me, and I need to fix that problem now.
Tomorrow, the big event of the day is the Cheechako,
a six-mile race for seven first-time dog mushers.
This is what the Brits have been working towards.
They're about to find out if they've earned enough trust to compete.
I hope loads that I get to race
because it would be a great experience
but, if I don't, I'll be gutted,
but it's not for me to decide, is it?
It would be an absolute confidence boost, completely, which is what I need.
It would prove that I could go home and sort my dogs out, my dog.
Curtis has made his decision.
I know this has been a hard week
mentally, physically, emotionally on you guys,
but I hope that I've taught you about handling dogs
and you guys, yourselves, as individual people.
So tomorrow is going to be a big day,
-I'm going to let you guys race the dogs.
-Oh, my God.
-So, don't get overwhelmed.
-It's going to be good.
I taught you how to ride the sled,
and what's the key thing, above and beyond everything else?
I'm a little worried, I'll have to admit,
but I have confidence that you guys can control them and handle them to my standards.
-We appreciate your trust massively, massively.
-Thank you, Curtis.
A huge responsibility for the dogs now rests with the Brits.
Can't believe it, really.
Hey, we're racing tomorrow. I'm going to whoop your arse, boy.
You're going to, you're going to be eating my snow.
I just want to get round that track, that's all I can think about.
I just want to get round that track, do the race,
come back in one piece with the dogs.
Frozen river, pack of dogs, big old snow hook with points on the end.
If you come off, something could easily go horribly wrong.
So it is dangerous but just adds to the excitement, doesn't it?
It's the morning of the Cheechako race.
One week ago, Amy and Tyler were at the end of their tether
with their out of control dogs at home.
In a couple of hours, they'll be in charge of four powerful Husky hounds
for six miles on a frozen river.
It's incredibly dangerous with the sharp snow hooks and running blades.
Curtis has a few nerves of his own.
That Tyler and Amy could get a snow hook in their arm or leg
or in their body and bleed to death, or get dragged to death out there.
They could lose the dogs and drag other dogs to death
or get in a big dog fight and have them dogs get killed.
They gotta be in control a 100% of the time going around there.
The Cheechako is one of the most popular races
and nearly all of the village has come to watch.
There are seven competitors,
and none have raced dogs before.
Some of the Cheechakos have been working as dog handlers
for the past year to earn the opportunity to race.
It's a good way to, to wrap up the year.
I started in the summer and, and so, it's been waiting all year for this.
With less than an hour to go,
suddenly Amy's having a crisis of confidence.
At the moment, I don't...
I'm not too sure if I'm going to race yet.
I'm more nervous than I am excited about it at the moment,
which is kind of, a bit upsetting, really,
cos I didn't want to feel like this,
but I am and it's not fair to, to do it, really,
if I'm not that confident, and I'm not confident.
Having tackled everything head on this week,
Amy could be about to fall at the final hurdle.
-I'm really, really nervous.
-You don't want to do this?
Why are you...? There's nothing to be nervous about.
I dunno, I just, like, I just feel like I've just got such massive confidence now
and if I fall off, it's just going to knock my confidence,
-so I'm just so worried, I'm just worried about...
-I tip over.
-What, why are you worried about?
-I don't know, I'm just, I am quite worried about it.
-Don't worry, why are you worried about it?
-I dunno, I just am.
-Listen, don't worry about it.
-I'm worried about the dogs more than anything.
-Why are you worried about them?
-That I'll hurt them.
-If you're a little bit worried, slow 'em down before you get to your corners.
And watch the trail, watch your leader.
Just pull yourself together so you have confidence,
so you don't pass it on to the dogs.
Right, OK, I'm going to go and have, and sit here and sort myself out.
This is a massive step for me,
cos at home I'd just try to find a way out of it
because I wasn't confident in myself,
but I've just been told I am going to do it,
so I'm just going to have to grow some balls in the next 20 minutes and do it.
With such inexperienced competitors,
if any of the dogs get tangled or slip a harness,
it could mean disaster.
The race will test whether Amy and Tyler have really learnt
how to control a team of dogs.
And just watch the leaders, watch your leaders,
that's the key to the whole thing and steer them around.
-You'll be up next.
-Are you ready?
Tyler is going first.
I have big-time butterflies.
Three, two, one, go!
Tyler is on his own now and, seconds later, Amy is too.
There is no turning back.
Three, two, one!
We're just praying that they make it.
Once the crowds are left behind,
the only sound is the whisper of the sled,
the breathing of the dogs and the beat of their paws.
It's this togetherness with their dogs mushers love.
Something Amy and Tyler have never experienced before.
It takes around 20 minutes to complete the six-mile circuit,
and Tyler's dogs are sensing home.
Yeah, that was good, man.
Yeah, it is a good sense of achievement.
Raced a couple of dogs on a frozen river. It's a bit mad, innit?
Go, come on, go home!
Right till the end, Amy urges her dogs to the line.
That was awesome. Oh!
-How was that, Amy?
-That was amazing.
-It ain't nothing to be scared of, is it?
Takes a lot of confidence to do that stuff.
A vital part of the race is to thank and reward the dogs.
They worked really hard for me, they kept looking back
and I was going, "Go on, go home, whoo-hoo!"
And they were like, "Phew!"
All seven Cheechako racers have finished, their times are in.
Jennifer has the results.
Congratulations... on your first-place win.
-Have I come first place?
-Have I really?
Hey, hey, whoo-hoo!
And I was this close to not doing it either, that's amazing.
That's amazing, whoo-hoo!
I told you, you she'd win. Well done, man. I said that earlier, didn't I?
-You stayed on though, didn't you?
-Yeah, I stayed on.
That was amazing, I can't believe that.
I didn't do it to win, I just wanted to get round the course.
Wow, looks like I'll be dog mushing when I get home
with basset hounds.
For Curtis, it's the end of a week of tough love.
-Keep that confidence going.
I'm really, I'm chuffed to bits for you.
Yes, good, you know what it means? It means that all three of us,
we did our job, we made it around there, everything safe and sound,
you just happened to be your get lucky day today and win the dog race.
They did a good job, I'm proud of them.
I hope they learned as people, individuals,
and what they can accomplish if they put their mind to it.
The Brits have survived their Alaskan experience,
but now it's time to turn their attention to their lives
and dogs back home.
Cos it's quite crazy that I couldn't control one dog at home,
and I can control four on a six-mile track.
I think that's, that's not really sunk in yet until I get home,
I'll think, "Wow! You know, you, Wallace, can sort your act out."
This journey has come to like an end now on, on a high
because I know, you know, getting confidence is what I need to sort my dog out.
The one thing I've taken away from this is just pitch in
with everyone and just work ethic as well, like, so these people,
they work really hard just to survive here,
so it's like, I'm just going to go back and,
if I work half as hard as these people, and I'm half as happy as these people are
then, then I'll be, like, cool, d'you know what I mean?
Thank you. Ah, this is sad.
Make me proud at home, both of you.
We will do. Yeah, take care, thank you very much. Bye, then.
Have a safe journey, right?
They achieved quite a bit, they've learned a lot.
I don't know, it's kind of a mass, mass learning curve for them, er...
to retain all that stuff but let's hope some of it does,
and whenever they have a tough moment, just figure out
and think about how we live up here, how tough we have it.
Well, we have a jolly good time with it
and we know what has to be done, so we get through it.
'Back in Basingstoke.'
Lola, come here.
-'Tyler's training his dog.'
Come on, then.
'Yeah, life's a lot more easier now the dogs are a bit better behaved,
'which is good.'
Lola, come on.
'I feel like better about myself and that since I've been back.'
-I think you've changed, and a lot of people think you've changed.
He's taking responsibility for cleaning up after the family's dogs.
I'm still using that technique that I got taught.
And he's taking charge of feeding time.
Oi! Make 'em wait for their food till they're all calm,
then they get their food.
And now, they're not chewing Sue's living room.
Mum's a lot happier, yeah, cos now she doesn't have to worry
about all her things getting eaten all the time, and.
And these days, Tyler doesn't stay in bed all morning.
I'm now getting up quite early, every day,
like, sort of making the most of the days.
Been working quite a bit, like, and when I'm work,
I have to get up for, like, quarter to six and leave by six or whatever.
Mum's sort of gave me a little deadline
when I got back saying that
she'll be kicking me and Lola out onto the open road, but...
'No, I don't think that's happening any more.'
-'Down in Dorset.'
-Come on, Wallace.'
'Amy's giving Wallace clear commands.'
Come here, sit down, sit.
Good boy, give me a paw.
Life's really, really good.
I have control over my dog,
which I didn't think would ever happen,
but look how good he's being now.
I'm so happy now, there's a lot, I've still got so much to do,
but, ½er...this is a massive improvement for me
and I've just got this massive confidence boost.
I used to have to chase him round the garden,
and when I tried to grab him, he'd try and bite me,
whereas now, I can just tell him to come.
Come on, Wallace, come on.
Amy's time in Alaska has affected more than her confidence with Wallace.
I think she's come back more positive,
I can tell in her character that she's a different person.
'I think the future's looking bright for the two of them,
'and Wallace knowing his place,
'I think there's hope, yeah, definitely.'
Above all, Amy's got a new sense of perspective.
And he's not my baby, he's my dog, which I realise now.
He's my friend, he's my mate, but he is my dog.
'I'm really enjoying actually being a dog owner now,
'this is what it feels like to be a good dog owner.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd