Axel moved to Cornell from Michigan along with Guru, Duke, Trapper, Maggie, and Piston. He was an energetic, happy guy and enjoyed playtimes with Foam, Avalanche, Barley, Ale, Pilot, and Logger. Axel was one of the dogs that made great improvements on the treadmill. 


Before joining our team, Axel was a mid distance sled dog. He and his team trained by going on 8 to 10 mile runs, but their competition runs were anywhere from 40 to 300 miles long! Axel was not a leader, but he performed strongly as a wheel dog.

Axel helped out to create a first of a kind Canine Brain Atlas. For that his brain was imaged by magnetic resonance while he was asleep. This type of imaging is commonly in humans and allows to identify such alterations as brain tissue volume and connectivity as well as to identify neuropathology at the early stages. However until recently this technique was not utilized for the same purposes in dogs. Participation of Axel and 9 other Vaika dogs allowed to build a comprehensive atlas of canine brain which from now on will serve as a reference standard for canine neurological research. 

Axel passed away in December 2019. His participation in our project was crucial for science and veterinary and we hope that the months he spent with us were happy.