For adventurous parents who are looking to pass their wanderlust on to their kids, I always like to recommend one of the dog sledding holidays that we provide. This is a breathtaking, unique and fun activity which can feel like a completely different world as you are pulled through a winter wonderland under a blanket of stars at night. There is also the added bonus of getting to interact with the beautiful animals, who highly enjoy what they do. |
If you are intrigued by the idea of a dog sledding holiday, check out these fun facts which should help to fire your kids’ imagination and prepare them for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Lead dogs – apply musher’s commands and are responsible for pace and direction
- There are different “positions”. Much like a sports team, the dogs have different roles and must all work together if they are to succeed. These are the “positions” from front to back:
- Swing dogs – ensure that those behind them follow turns from the lead
- Team dogs – responsible for pulling the sled and maintaining speed
- Wheel dogs – the “muscle” that do a large amount of pulling and steering
- They typically weigh between 50 and 65 pounds.
- They must be muscular and have excellent stamina for long distance running.
- As a puppy, they must have a thick coat of fur so that they can endure the cold.
- They cannot be picky eaters nor have digestive issues from a young age. This is because they must eat whatever food is given to them by a musher (they can be out for weeks at a time).
- Mushers always feed their pack before feeding themselves.
- Reindeer soup is a favourite meal for many.
- The lead dogs must be accepted by all of the others on the team as they are pack animals.
- When the snow gets too soft, the musher must get off and push.
- The harness must always be straight and tight, as otherwise it will get stuck between the paws of the sled dogs.
- The earliest evidence of man using a team of canines to pull sleighs through snow dates back over 1,000 years.
- They played a key role in the Gold Rush (starting in 1896), helping to transport people, including the injured and the ill, supplies and mail between difficult terrains during the winter months.
These fun facts give you an idea of just how impressive the animals are but also what an important part they have played in our history as man’s best friend. A dog sledding holiday is a great way to celebrate this, as well as an amazing activity which your entire family will cherish forever. Contact my team today and we can tell you all about our dog sledding holidays in the Dolomites, the Pyrenees and Canada’s ski resorts.
- The most famous sled dog was called Balto and helped to save the town of Nome from a deadly outbreak of diphtheria in 1925. Sled dogs were used to transport a batch of serum around 700 miles to Nome, with Balto leading the pack through hazardous conditions, including the final two treacherous legs of the trip. He is forever immortalised with a statue in Central Park, New York.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted holidays to destinations around the world, including France, Italy, Portugal, USA and Canada. If you're looking for a unique adventure, like a dog sledding holiday, ski touring, biking, hiking, white water rafting or canoeing, we create exciting itineraries for those looking for an experience a little more off the beaten track.
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