Get along, little doggies

By Reader Staff

From a dog lover’s point of view, not to mention a dog’s, the highlight of Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival season is the K-9 Keg Pull. This year’s event marks the 10th year for the keg pull. The rip-roaring race will be held at the Granary Arts District, 513 Oak Street, on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Same day registration starts at 9:15 a.m.

Photo by Nancy LaRose.

Photo by Nancy LaRose.

Canines of all sizes can compete.  There are three categories: large, medium, and small. Large dogs pull full-size (empty) kegs, medium dogs pull “slim” kegs (also empty), and the petite pups pull empty beer cans. The registration fee is $10 (for two runs) and $5 for each additional run. All proceeds will go to Panhandle Animal Shelter (PAS).

Nikki Klein’s 9-year-old German Shepherd Ulan has participated in the event since 2010.

“He loves the keg pull,” said Klein. This year due to health issues, Ulan will have to sit out the race. However, the torch has been passed to his 2-year-old canine sibling Kubu, an English Staffordshire, who will pull a keg for the first time.

“We’re not sure how he will do, but it will be a good outing for him,” Klein said.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending a K-9 Keg Pull before, here is what you can expect: Throughout the event the snow-packed dual race course will be lined with smiling spectators, many with cameras poised for photo shots of their favorite four-legged entrants. Some of the canine competitors will scramble to the finish line, while others will take their time, doing meet-and-greets with spectators on the sidelines as they go. The crowd will appreciate all no matter what styles the canine racers have—competitive or casual. In the end, it will be impossible to tell who is having a better time, the dogs or the people.

This year’s K-9 Keg Pull sponsors are Eichardt’s Pub Grill & Coffee, EzyDog, Laughing Dog Brewing,  Evans Brothers Roasters, Petco, Selkirk Press, and Eureka Institute. EzyDog will be providing the race harnesses for the competitors.

If you haven’t attended this event, don’t miss it either as a spectator or as a personal keg-pull coach for your dog. Once you’ve been a part of this “fun-raiser,” you’ll be back year after year.

Funds will benefit the Panhandle Animal Shelter, a volunteer, nonprofit shelter which is not affiliated with the county or city and receives no tax support. Their mission is to diminish the number of lost, abandoned, neglected and abused dogs and cats through adoption, education, litter prevention and identification of missing pets.

PAS is located at 870 Kootenai Cut-Off Road, Ponderay, Idaho 83852. You can reach them at 208-265-7297 on the web at

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