Dog sledding is a sport that lots of people are aware of, but few people know how it works.
There are several do’s and don’t’s of dog mushing that you should learn before you head out on the trails with a team.
We’ve put together this list so that you can be prepared before setting out on a dog sled tour.
1. Don’t Forget To Dress Appropriately
Dog sledding will take you into some pretty extreme climates. It’s important to pack accordingly. Wearing the right clothes is essential to having a great dog mushing experience.
Start with your standard snow-wear. Warm clothes, multiple pairs of socks, good snow boots, etc. Then take it up a level.
Do some research on higher-end sledding gear. You want to be in Arctic coveralls and coats, as well as specialty boots. It’s very important that you take your clothing very seriously.
2. Do Choose Your Team Carefully
The group of sled dogs you will be mushing is called a “team.” Like any team, there are different roles to be filled by different types of dogs. Knowing your dogs well enough to assign the right roles is very important.
There are lead dogs, which are usually chosen for their intelligence, as they will need to be the lead navigators through tough trails. Swing dogs help the leads and the dogs they are in front of to turn.
Team dogs are chosen for their strength as they provide most of the power to the group. Lastly, wheel dogs are the dogs closest to you in the sled. They are chosen for their calmness, as being that close to a sled and making quick decisions can cause anxiety in some dogs.
When assembling a dog sled team, it is vital to know which dog is best suited for each role. If you choose wisely, you will have a much better sledding experience.
3. Don’t Forget These Essentials
Beyond just dressing appropriately, there are some other essentials that you need to remember to pack with you on your tour.
Toiletries, towels, and snacks are important to pack, just like any trip. Be sure to bring water bottles to ensure that you and your dogs stay well hydrated on the trails. A sub-zero sleeping bag and a flashlight are also essential to make sure you have the safest camping experience when you stop to rest.
4. Do Dress Your Dogs Appropriately
Your dog sled team also has to be adequately clothed before you set out on the trails. Each dog will wear a set of booties that will help to protect their feet from the elements while retaining the traction needed to run through the snow.
5. Don’t Worry About Your Dogs
Sled dogs were made to run, this is what they were born to do. You don’t need to worry about them feeling forced to do this or anything like that. They love it out there on the trails.
One of the reasons dog mushing is so great is that both you and your dog sled team will be having the time of your lives doing it. You just make sure everyone has fun.
Want To Go Dog Sledding?
We hope that this list of do’s and don’t’s has helped you to learn a little more about dog sledding. If you’re interested in trying it out, contact us and book your tour!