Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod

TV review by Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Mushers, dogs go up against nature; viewers win.

Parents say

age 2+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+

Based on 1 review

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 2+

"Common Sense" tells me the Iditarod must end.

The Iditarod routinely kills young, healthy dogs and it has to stop. Six dogs died in 2009, bringing the total known to 142. The dog deaths average nearly 4 a year. Although no dogs died in this year’s Iditarod, more than half did not finish (usually the case each year). Of the 992 dogs who started, 542 did not finish, which is 55%. They are among the best-conditioned dogs in the world due to their training year-round, yet they are dropped due to injury, illness, exhaustion, or just not wanting to continue. One musher scratched after one of her dogs collapsed while running. The distance is too long, and the conditions and rough terrain too grueling for the dogs. There are laws in at least 38 states against over-driving and over-working animals, which is exactly what the Iditarod does. The Alaska cruelty statue that would apply to the sled dogs was changed in 2008 to exempt them. When the dogs are not racing or training they are each kept on a short chain, attached to their small enclosure. This is considered inhumane and illegal in many communities. Mackey’s Kennel is just one example (scroll down at the website to see the chained dogs and enclosures): Animal welfare organizations including The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Friends of Animals, In Defense of Animals, PETA, and Sled Dog Action Coalition want this race to end. People concerned about animals should boycott this cruel race and contact the sponsors to end their support of it.

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate