As long as the dogs used for sledding are bred, dog sledding is not cruel. Sledding dogs must be well-bred as they have to run through a tricky weather condition. This type of dog is made for pulling and running. But the fact is, you have to ensure that the dogs stay in proper care while they are not running.
Also, it is required to team up with an adequate number of dogs for sledding. The drivers of the sledding ride also should give proper commands to the dogs to reach the destination easily and conveniently.
What is dog sledding?
Dog sledding is a kind of travel, where a few dogs pull a sled on the icy tracks to take the riders to anywhere he likes. It is used to take persons or other equipment on the sled. According to archeologists, this type of transportation first occurred back in 1000 AD in the northern parts of modern Canada.
At that time, it was not commonly used for fun or racing purpose like today. Dog sledding nowadays has become more like a recreational activity than a need. However, in ancient times the transportation wasn’t so easier and that’s why people used sled dogs as cargo carriages.
You can pull persons on Wooden Faoldable Dog Sled Kicksled. There were dog sleds with only one dog and also more than one dog. A team of sled dogs is capable of carrying more weight than a single dog. That is why the dogs are taken to the sledding are well cared for before the race or ride.
How many dogs are needed to pull a sled
There are no definite rules regarding the number of dogs you need to pull a sled. You can start the sledding with 2 dogs as well as go for 24 dogs for the same purpose. What kind of weight you are going to put on the sled is one crucial thing that impacts the number of dogs.
Again, how long you are going to ride, what distance you will go, and what’s the purpose of your ride are some of the important factors you need to consider before making the sled dog team. If you are racing, then you must have at least 6 strong dogs in the team for a single person.
For more than one person, 12 dogs will go well to give you adequate speed with endurance. However, the number can be enlarged if you are carrying more weight or transporting some heavier equipment other than persons.
Cruel facts about dog sledding
As breed dogs are made for pulling and running, none can say dog sledding is cruel. However, the rider or who is typically called the Musher needs to follow a few certain rules for not making the sledding cruel. You need to ensure the comfort of the dogs when they are not racing and also between the race.
- The house in which they rest should have enough space inside that offers them to go inside and come out smoothly.
- The tethering is really important when they are resting between the racing hours.
- You have to supply proper foods to the dogs to maintain the strength and keep them energetic for the long term.
- Of course, sled dogs are not disturbed even with extremely cold temperatures as they have thicker fur designs. But when it seems the weather is too cold, you can put on a jumper on the body and booties on the toes as well.
Unless you follow these few things for dog sledding, this might turn out to be a cruel thing for the dogs.
What type of dogs are used for sledding
The dogs used for sledding must have breed on their body, which means a perfect coating of thicker fur. Without having this, the dog can never ride during cold weather conditions. There are some other qualities you need to check out while choosing the dogs.
- The dogs should offer enough endurance and speed.
- No dogs in the team are quarrelsome.
- They should be strong enough to pull the weight you are going to put on the sled.
- They need to have a minimum intelligence to understand the commands of the Musher.
There are mainly two types of dogs used for sledding, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. However, Alaskan Husky and Canadian Eskimos are also used for the same purpose.
Siberian Husky: They have a nice fur coating over the body, which makes them perfectly bred. These dogs can pull a huge weight.
Alaskan Malamutes: For a longer ride, these dogs are an ideal choice. They have a great momentum to ride for an extended period, although they are a bit on the slower side.
Alaskan Husky: These dogs are mostly used for sled dog races. They are defined as a mixture of dog and wolf. They are faster but slightly difficult to control. Neewa Sled Pro Harness (Large, Pink), Dog Pulling Harness is made for Alaskan huskies.
Canadian Eskimo: For pulling things, Canadian Eskimo dogs can turn out to be a nice choice.
What about sled dog house
When the temperature is too cold outside, your sled dog needs proper sheltering and that is why you need to build a wooden house for the dog. You should never place more than two dogs inside one house. And it is a bigger and stronger one, it is better to keep it alone there.
The house should keep the snow and rain away from the dog. According to the size of the dog, there should be enough space for it to move around and stand without any difficulties. The in and outdoor should not be much bigger or less small. Also, you need to clean the inside of the house regularly.
Is tethering necessary for sled dogs?
Of course tethering is important for sled dogs. This will keep the dogs in one place and also let them interact with each other for socializing. Depending on the strength of the dog, you need to decide the length of the tether. Because the stronger ones require more space.
However, the tethering should keep a moderate distance between the dogs. Also, it should let them socialize comfortably, enjoy the free time. While tethering them, always think that they should not take it like shackles.
How fast do sled dogs run
Speed and endurance are the two things you want to have on the sled dogs. Depending on the type and number of dogs you are using the sled ride team, the speed might vary. But a sled dog team can speed up to 8 to 10 mph quite easily.
However, you might also prepare yourself for a faster ride up to 25 mph as well. On average, a strong team of sled dogs will run at a speed of 15 to 20 mph.
How do sled dogs know where to go
The Musher yells some command during the ride, which makes the sled dogs understand where to go.
- Gee: Yelling gee means the Musher wants the sled dogs to turn right.
- Haw: For turning left, this command is used.
- Come gee! Come haw!: This command is used for 180-degree turning in either direction.
- Whoa: It means stopping.
- Ready/Alright/Let’s go: To keep the sled moving, the Musher uses such commands.
- Easy: When you want to slow the ride, you should yell this.