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Meet Hannes Kronbach
World Champion MD Lim. 2003

Kennel Name:
Home Town:
Hannes Kronbach
Villingen, Germany-BlackForest
welding business

[click on any photo on this page to see a larger version]

Hannes Kronbach


I'm 42 years old and I'm mushing since 1994, I'm married with my wife Barbara and we have two children, Salome and Luzia.

I'm the president of the SSBW which is organizing the Sleddog races in Todtmoos every year (WC 94 and 2003).

Years before I worked together with Bernd Weschle (BEWE-Sleds) and since 7 years I have my own business in welding.


What is your primary sled dog activity or area of interest?
I'm running dogs mostly for Mid-distance and one of the season highlights every year is the Stage race, Alpen Trail in the Alps.

How long have you been involved with sled dogs?
I´m working with sleddogs since 1994.

What sparked your initial interest in sled dogs?
The time I start to work with sleddogs I worked together with Bernd Weschle and Fritz Dyck (BEWE-Sleds and Dyck –Training carts).

If you remember your very first time behind a team of dogs, tell us about it.
I don't remember my very first time behind a sleddog team but I'm wondering why I'm still alive after so much trouble I had in the beginning. I started with an Alaskan puppy and a show-Siberian Husky with the bike.

Who have been your mentors?
In the beginning I had a few mentors. Bernd Weschle and a few other Mushers around my Home place. After about 3 years Volkmar Stuber, Heini Winter, Lutz Binzer told me a lot of handling dogs in another way I had done before. 1995 I meet Egil Ellis and Helen Lundberg the first time. We bought our first 2 Ellis dogs then and so we were one of the first Mid-European with have Ellis dogs.

Kennel Management

KennelWhat size kennel do you operate?
My kennel is big enough for 12-14 dogs. I prefer a small kennel. Of course I have to do all of the work alone together with my wife Barbara. I'm training always one team. The time I was Vice EC in the 8 Dog-class I trained 7 Dogs the whole season.

What type of tether/bowl system do you use?
The dogs are in a fenced Kennel, only 2 dogs together with wooden platforms with a roof over all.

What are the most important considerations in housing sled dogs?

Our dogs are all used to be in the house too. Sometimes I take them inside instead of training to keep them and me happy.

Give us an overview of your feeding program.
I'm feeding a dry food all through the year. In training and racing I give a little fat extra but no other things at all.

The Dogs

What breed(s) do you work with?
I only have males in the kennel and most of them are out of Ellis lines. Since a few years I have dogs out of breedings with my dogs in the kennel and most of them are doing well. A few Mushers which are interested in MD have bred with my dogs and so I have some dogs with different dogs of the mother side in the team.

What physical characteristics do you look for in your dogs?
The most important thing for me is a friendly and social dog. The summertime I'm walking and biking with the dogs and so I have to look that all dogs are under control when I'm doing this.

Tell us about an all time favorite dog or two.
One of my favorite dogs is Sigge (Sigfried). He is now 7 years old and always friendly and he is the prototype of a really good and friendly dog which you can run at a race like a car with a gearbox. Petter is an other one. He is running most of the main races in lead and he has produced a lot of really good and friendly and non-shy pups. On this place I could try forward up for all my dogs. Every dog has his own special character !!!


What criteria do you use for selecting breeding stock?
I think you couldn't see what's a good sled dog before you run them one season.

Do you use any pre-training evaluation of puppies?
The only thing we do is to keep them happy and run free with them. I try to go to the village, and to different people with them to teach them to be together with people and other dogs or other animals on different places without of stress.

What method do you use for starting pups?
In the beginning I take them in the team for a short distance (almost in spring) and after they can run free next to the team.

At what point do you decide a youngster is likely to make it in your team?
I take the dog in the team and I have to feel if it takes ok for the dog or not. The musher have to feel what's the necessity of the dog not of the musher!


What is the training/racing philosophy of your kennel?
In summer I work a lot with the dogs and teach them to look to me. The dogs have to focus on me!! Biking with the dogs (10-40km). Dogs running loose beside me!!!!

What do you consider most important to accomplish in training?
I think 80% for success or not is the motivation of the dogs. At all trainings I playing with them and in 98% of all traings and races I don't use meat or other goodies to reward the dog. A tennis ball or other things to play is very much more than a goody.


Hannes Kronbach
How do you choose which races to enter?

Normally MD Races. If its possible The WC Bend 2005, next season looking into the Long-distance races in Canada/Alaska.

What are your strengths as a racer?
I think to keep the dogs happy and have the right feeling how the dogs are.

What do you consider your weaknesses, if any?
My own fitness!!!!!

Do you have a mushing career goal?
To defend the WC title in Bend 2005, Wyoming Stage Race??

The Future

What is your vision of the future of sled dog sports?
Hope that all mushers take care of their dogs and work together (“purebred” and “open”) in order show the world how wonderful it can be to work together with animals.


Tell us about one or two of your most memorable sled dog experiences.
One of the best things I done with sleddogs was a trip in the last spring after winning the WC 2003 MD in the Alps together with some other Mushers we passed through the Alps from Davos, Switzerland to Galtür, Austria in 3 days. This was so different to do with racing dogs but it was so intensive and I feel that the dogs are happy after this. You can see more photos on my homepage

Davos_Galtuer_0201.jpg (10736 bytes) Davos_Galtuer_0221.jpg (14510 bytes) Davos_Galtuer_0232.jpg (15831 bytes) Davos_Galtuer_0241.jpg (19162 bytes)

[click on any photo to see a larger version]

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