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Encyclopedia > Sled dogs

Sled dogs, known also as sleigh dogs, sledge dogs or sleddogs are dogs that are used to pull a wheel-less vehicle on runners (a sled or sleigh) over snow or ice, by means of harnesses and lines. It is not certain when this unique form of transport was first thought of by humankind nor where it originated, but it may well have been in eastern Siberia, whose tribes have a long history of nomadic winter travel. Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris (Linnaeus, 1758) This article is about the domestic dog. ... A sled, sledge or sleigh is a vehicle with runners for sliding instead of wheels for rolling. ... For the cricket meaning, see Sledging (cricket) A sled, sledge or sleigh is a vehicle with runners for sliding instead of wheels for rolling. ... Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes. ... Frozen Waterfall in the Rhön mountains A natural, 4 tonne, block of ice on a beach in Iceland Ice can refer any of the 14 known solid phases of water. ... A dog harness is similar to harness for horses, and varies depending on the type of use: assistance to a disabled person, hauling a cart or sled, or pulling a human being as in skijoring. ... Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ...

A ten-dog team of Seppala Siberian Sleddogs in tandem hitch on a frozen Yukon lake (Photo by Isa Boucher)
A ten-dog team of Seppala Siberian Sleddogs in tandem hitch on a frozen Yukon lake (Photo by Isa Boucher)

Several distinct dog breeds are in common use as sleddogs, although any medium-sized breed may be used to pull a sled. Purebred sleddog breeds range from the well-known Siberian Husky to rarer breeds such as the Mackenzie River husky. Dog drivers, however, have a long history of using other breeds or crossbreds as sleddogs. In the days of the Gold Rush in The Yukon, mongrel teams were the rule, but there were also teams of Foxhounds and Staghounds. Today the unregistered hybridised Alaskan husky is preferred for dogsled racing, along with a variety of crossbreds, the German Shorthaired Pointer often being chosen as the basis for crossbreeding. Some years ago, a team of Standard Poodles participated in the Iditarod long-distance race. Seppala sleddog team in Yukon Photo taken ca. ... Seppala sleddog team in Yukon Photo taken ca. ... A working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia, the Siberian Husky is a wolf-like, medium-sized dog, 35 to 60 pounds (16 to 27 kg) in weight, 20 to 23. ... The term Mackenzie River husky describes several overlapping local populations of arctic and subarctic sleddogs, none of which constitutes a breed. ... A typical gold mining operation, on Bonanza Creek The Klondike Gold Rush was a frenzy of gold rush immigration and gold prospecting along the Klondike River in the Yukon Territory, Canada, after gold was discovered in the late 19th century. ... Motto: none Official languages {{{OfficialLang}}} Capital Whitehorse Largest city Whitehorse Commissioner Geraldine Van Bibber Premier Dennis Fentie (Yukon Party) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 1 1 Area Total  â€¢ Land  â€¢ Water    (% of total)  Ranked 9th 482,443 km² 474,391 km² 8,052 km² (1. ... The FOXHOUND emblem, at the time of the Shadow Moses incident. ... Country of origin United States Classification and breed standards Not recognised by any major registries The American Staghound is a type of sighthound that is used in hunting to track a variety of game. ... The Alaskan husky is not so much a breed of dog as it is a type or a category. ... The German Shorthaired Pointer is a breed of dog developed in the 1800s in Germany for hunting. ... The Poodle is a breed of dog; specifically, it is a gun dog noted for its ability in the water and bird hunting skills. ... The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, usually called the Iditarod and known as the Last Great Race, is an annual dog sled race in Alaska, where mushers and teams of dogs cover more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) in less than two weeks, frequently through blizzards causing whiteout...


Sleddogs 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 five to eighty miles (8 to 130 km) or more a day. Speed is needed to travel the distance in a reasonable length of time. Racing sleddogs will travel up to an average twenty miles per hour (32.2 km/h) over distances up to 25 miles (40 km). Over longer distances, average travelling speed declines to 10 to 14 miles per hour (16 to 22 km/h). In poor trail conditions, sleddogs can still usually average 6 or 7 miles per hour (10 or 11 km/h). Sled dogs have been known to travel over 100 miles in a 24 hour period.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) hitching sled dogs into their harness
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) hitching sled dogs into their harness

Sleddogs pull various sorts of sleds, from the small 25 pound (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. Sleddogs are also used to pull skiers and to draw wheeled rigs when there is no snow. A team of sleddogs may consist of anywhere from three to two dozen animals. Modern teams are usually hitched in tandem, with harnessed pairs of sleddogs pulling on tuglines 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 arctic natives are usually run in "fan hitch", each dog having its own tow line tied directly to the sled. Two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) hitching sled dogs into their harness before going on patrol. ... Two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) hitching sled dogs into their harness before going on patrol. ... Royal Canadian Mounted Police heraldic badge. ... A toboggan is a simple sled used on snow, to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill or other slope, for recreation. ...


Driving sleddogs has become a popular winter recreation and sport in North America and Europe; sleddogs are now found even in such unlikely places as Australia and Patagonia.

A typical sled dog breed, such as the Greenland Dog, has a very dense double coat, wide padded feet, erect ears, a curled tail, and a muscular build.
A typical sled dog breed, such as the Greenland Dog, has a very dense double coat, wide padded feet, erect ears, a curled tail, and a muscular build.

Download high resolution version (600x678, 97 KB)Alaskan Sunrise at Kelltara Photo by sannse at the City of Birmingham Championship Dog Show, 30th August 2003 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (600x678, 97 KB)Alaskan Sunrise at Kelltara Photo by sannse at the City of Birmingham Championship Dog Show, 30th August 2003 File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Country of origin Greenland Classification and breed standards The Greenland Dog is a large breed of dog bred as a sled dog. ...

Sled dog breeds

The Alaskan husky is not so much a breed of dog as it is a type or a category. ... The Alaskan Malamute is a large northern dog breed originally developed for use as a sleddog. ... The Canadian Eskimo Dog, otherwise known as the Qimmiq, is a larger breed of Arctic dog commonly found pulling sleds fortheir Inuit counterparts. ... Notes The AKC foundation stock service (FSS) is a registration service for breeds not yet recognised by the AKC. The Chinook is a rare sleddog type or variety developed in the New England region of the USA in the early 20th century. ... A eurohound is a cross between an Alaskan husky and a pointer (dog). ... Country of origin Greenland Classification and breed standards The Greenland Dog is a large breed of dog bred as a sled dog. ... The term Mackenzie River husky describes several overlapping local populations of arctic and subarctic sleddogs, none of which constitutes a breed. ... The Sakhalin Husky, also known as the Karafuto-Ken, is a breed of dog used as a sled dog. ... Common nicknames Country of origin Russia Classification and breed standards The Samoyed dog takes its name from an obsolete term for the Nenets people of Siberia. ... Breed standards (external links) SSSD Breed Std. ... A working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia, the Siberian Husky is a wolf-like, medium-sized dog, 35 to 60 pounds (16 to 27 kg) in weight, 20 to 23. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sled Dogs : Dog Breeds - Dog.com (1040 words)
The idea of using dogs to pull a sled was borrowed by Alaskan settlers and gold miners from the Eskimos who had been mushing (driving) dog teams for thousands of years.
The mushers carry few supplies on their sleds -- a sleeping bag, an ax, snowshoes, dog booties, a headlamp for night running, and a race promotion packet to commemorate the days when mail delivery by dog sled was the chief form of communication.
Dog mushers and their dogs race for the joy and excitement of the trail -- not for the media recognition.
Sled Dog Racing at Dog Scouts of America. Dog camp, clicker training, and dog training! (5843 words)
The difference between amateur and professional sled dog races is that the pros are racing for prize money anywhere from thousands of dollars (in the long distance races) to hundreds of dollars or less (in the shorter, "sprint" races or mid-distance races).
Sledding collars are made so that they will go over the dog's head, but not come off while he is pulling on the line.
If you don't have leaders who will keep the other dogs doing their jobs, and you think the new dog may cause trouble (biting the lines, being a nincompoop), you could try putting him alone in the wheel position with two dogs in lead for him to "chase" (or to be pulled along by).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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