Husky Sled Dog Rally
Sled dogs, known also as sleighman dogs, sledge dogs, or sleddogs, are highly trained types of dogs that are used to pull a dog sled, a wheel-less vehicle on runners also called a sled or sleigh, over snow or ice, by means of harnesses and lines.
Sled dogs have become a popular winter recreation and sport in North America and Europe; sled dogs are now found even in such unlikely places as Germany and Japan.Several distinct dog breeds are used as sled dogs, however, dog drivers have a long history of using other breeds or crossbreeds as sled dogs. There are two main qualities that are expected in sled dogs: endurance and speed.
Racing sled dogs will travel up to an average 20 mph (32 km/h) over distances up to 25 mi (40 km). Although, these dogs are very helpful, the origins of this arrangement are unknown.
Several distinct dog breeds are in common use as sled dogs, although any medium-sized breed may be used to pull a sled. Purebred sled dog breeds range from the well-known Siberian Huskyand Alaskan Malamuteto rarer breeds such as the Mackenzie River Huskyor the Canadian Eskimo Dog (Canadian Inuit Dog).
Dog drivers, however, have a long history of using other breeds or crossbreds as sled dogs. In the days of the Gold Rush in Yukon, mongrel teams were the rule, but there were also teams of Foxhounds and Staghounds.
Today the unregistered hybridized Alaskan Husky is preferred for dogsled racing, along with a variety of crossbreds, the German Shorthaired Pointer often being chosen as the basis for cross breeding. From 1988 through 1991, a team of Standard Poodles competed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Sled dogs are expected to demonstrate two major qualities in their work (apart from basic physical capability to pull the sled). Endurance is needed to travel the distances demanded in dogsled travel, which may be anything from 5 to 80 mi (8 to 129 km) or more a day. Speed is needed to travel the distance in a reasonable length of time.
Over longer distances, average travelling speed declines to 10 to 14 mph (16 to 23 km/h). In poor trail conditions, sled dogs can still usually average 6 or 7 mph (9.7 or 11 km/h). Sled dogs have been known to travel over 90 mi (145 km) in a 24 hour period while pulling 85 lb (39 kg) each.
Sled dogs pull various sorts of sleds, from the small 25 lb (11 kg) sprint-racing sleds, through the larger plastic-bottomed distance racing toboggan sleds, to traditional ash, freighting sleds and the trapper’s high-fronted narrow toboggan. Sled dogs are also used to pull skiers, kicksleds and to draw wheeled rigs when there is no snow.
They have even been used to pull kick scooters in places where there is a lack of snow, a sport known as dog scootering. Modern teams are usually hitched in tandem, with harnessed pairs of sled dogs pulling on tug lines attached to a central gangline.
Trappers in deep snow conditions using the toboggan will hitch their dogs in single file with traces on either side of the line of dogs. Dog teams of some Inuit are run in “fan hitch”, each dog having its own tow line tied directly to the sled.