A dog sled or dog sleigh is a sled pulled by one or more sled dogs used to travel over ice and through snow. Numerous types of sleds are used, depending on their function. They can be used for dog sled racing.
Dog power has been used for hunting and travel for over a thousand years. As far back as the 10th century these dogs have contributed to human culture.
Assembling a dog sled team involves picking leader dogs, point dogs, swing dogs, and wheel dogs. The lead dog is crucial so mushers take particular care of these dogs. Another important detail is to have powerful wheel dogs to pull the sled out from the snow. Point dogs (optional) are located behind the leader dogs, swing dogs between the point and wheel dogs, and team dogs are all other dogs in between the wheel and swing dogs and are selected for their endurance, strength and speed as part of the team. In dog sledding Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes are the main types of dogs that are used for recreational sledding, because of their strength and speed and endurance, as well as their ability to withstand the cold. However, Alaskan Huskies (a mix between Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes) are also a popular dog for sled dog racing, because of their endurance, good eating habits, speed, and dedication to running even when tired.
Sometimes, for sprint races, mushers use short haired hounds that are faster then the average husky. These hounds are raised from a young age to pull. It is harder to train hounds then it is to train siberian huskies and malamutes to pull a sled because it is not in their nature. To train a pup how to pull a sled, you must start them at around six months old by having them pull a small log behind them so that they get a feeling for it and are comfortable with it.
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