Sled Dog Racing

sled-dog-race

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What is sled dog racing?
Sled dog racing, also called dog sled racing, is a winter dog sport popular in the Polar region of Greenland, Canada, Russia, the United States, and several European countries. Teams of sled dogs compete in timed races by pulling a sled with the musher or dog driver standing on the runners.

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Video from Gone to the Snow Dogs

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How many dogs does it take to pull a sled?
The smallest team consists of three dogs, but two dogs can run in a three-dog class. Other sprints include four, six, eight, 10, or more dog teams.

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How fast can dogs pull a sled?
A dog team can only go as fast as the slowest dog in the group. While they can run around 20 MPH on a flat run or downhill, the average is between eight and 10 MPH over the course of a run.

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How many calories does a sled dog consume daily?
A sled dog consumes about 4,500 calories a day, compared to dogs racing in the Iditarod, who take in close to 10,000 calories daily.

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How much weight do sled dogs pull?
A healthy, fit sled dog performing in excellent weather conditions in low temperatures can pull about three times his normal bodyweight. Most sled dogs range in weight from approximately 35 to 80 pounds. That means they can pull a combined weight including musher, passenger, and sled of approximately 100 to 240 pounds.

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How do I get started?
Most clubs and organizations are enthusiastic to help beginners discover more about the sport. They can usually offer you an experience in a mixture of diverse club activities. Contact the club closest to you and let them know you want to explore sled dog racing. While this is not a complete list of clubs, here are some ideal places to start:

Inuit Sled Dog International
Chinook Owner’s Association (COA)
International Federation of Sled Dog Sports (IFSS)
United States Federation of Sled Dog Sports (USFSS)
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