Wheelchair Mushing

wheelchair mushing

Facebook Wheelchair Mushing

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What is wheelchair mushing?
Wheelchair mushing is a recreational activity in which handicapped persons are pulled by their dogs using a bungee rope, tug line, and quick release. Shafts allow the dog to provide braking power, particularly on steep downgrades. In some structures, the person steers by leaning in the wheelchair. Others employ a team of two dogs, some with special wheels for different terrains, and many even attach a third after-market wheel that transforms the chair into a three-wheeled cart.

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Can any breed participate?
Any dog can be trained for wheel mushing that loves to run. However, the larger breeds, such as Huskies, Samoyed, Malamutes, and Pointers, are particularly up for the challenge. Currently, other breeds are participating because most dogs have the ability to pull and run. The size of the dog is less crucial unless you plan to win the race.

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Are there competitions?
As wheelchair mushing becomes more popular, more events will be sanctioned. Currently, So Mush Fun is an annual race that benefits the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue to save homeless Huskies and other northern-bred dogs.

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What special equipment is required?
This dog-powered sport requires the following equipment:

  • Wheelchair lead with quick-release chair attachment
  • Pulling and balance working dog harness
  • Shaft wheelchair mounts

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What are the goals of wheelchair mushing?
The goal of wheelchair mushing includes training your dogs to pull your wheelchair, whether in a race, across a mountain range, or around the block.

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What training is required?
Dogs and their handlers lead sled dog positions and roles within the team, such as steering, stopping, general control of a dog sled, lead dog communication and commands, care and feeding of the dogs, and moving dogs from their house into their team position.

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How do I get started?
If you are interested in wheelchair mushing, start with one of these organizations:

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