The sled race

Originally, the sled was used as a means of transport in the polar regions, by the Inuit in particular. It then moved across the world and gradually turned into entertainment.


Today, sled sports are practiced according to everyone's aspirations: competition, discovery of virgin spaces over one or more days, learning to drive ...


It is possible to practice this activity in summer as in winter by means of wheeled carts, thus allowing dogs to train all year round and to expend their boundless energy.


What are the breeds of sled dogs?


Alaskan husky: Derived from a cross between the husky and other dog breeds. This is the "snow formula 1". It is the fruit of a ruthless selection for its speed, power, endurance and resistance to climatic conditions.


Greyster: The cross between a hunting dog, the German shorthaired pointer, and a pure sprinter, the American greyhound. He is the sprinter par excellence in speed racing.


Greenlandic: It is the ally of polar expeditions. He is a tough, sturdy, runaway animal who needs authority even if he is gentle and sociable towards humans.


The Siberian Husky: Renowned for its blue eyes, it is the quintessential racing dog, fast and lively. He is sociable and independent, playful and mischievous, more "cat" than dog!


Alaskan Malamute: This vigorous and powerful heavyweight has all the appearances of a wolf. Affectionate, intelligent and friendly, he is made to live in a pack despite his taste for independence. It is nicknamed the "snow locomotive".


The Samoyed: This large all-white teddy bear, originally a shepherd dog for reindeer herds, is distinguished by its softness of character, its elegance, its robustness and its agility. He is fast but less enduring than his cousins.


What is the role of each dog in a team?

We asked Baptiste, author of the books "Le puppy" and "Débuter en canivtt" to detail the role of each dog in a sled dog team.


The position of each is no accident. Each dog has a role to play. You will know everything about it.


This is a question that comes up often: "They each have their role in the team, that's it, eh?", Speaking of dogs.


Everyone has heard that dogs are not randomly positioned in the team. They each have their role, their specificities. We could for example hear that through the adventures of Nicolas Vanier.


But what is the real role of each dog? Why do we put this one in mind rather than another?


There are a lot of misconceptions, misconceptions about these issues. "


A lot of people think that we put the chef in mind. The dog who dominates the others, the boss of the team. But not at all! Received idea!


In this article we will see the different positions that exist in the team and which type of dog is more suited to which role.


Usually, sled dogs are trained like children in a row at school: two by two one behind the other. It can happen that one is alone if his buddy is not there, or that we put a single dog in the lead.


Then it breaks down as follows:


As close as possible to the sled, at the base, we put the strongest. These are the "wheel". They are the ones who will bear the most the weight of the sled when starting. Their main task is to make the sled take off when it starts.


Then, in front, we find what we call the "team". This term is used for large hitch. These are the dogs who are in the center of the team and who have no other role than to follow the rhythm and contribute to their scale to the pull of the sled.


In front, it becomes more serious. We find the "swing". These are dogs which are not far from having the qualities of lead dog but which are not yet. They will come in support of the lead dogs by accompanying the rhythm and the directions taken.


Finally, at the head, there is the two "leaders". They are particularly intelligent dogs and are distinguished by their strong listening to their master or mistress. It is mainly they who will listen to the instructions to know which direction to take, for example or to give even more rhythm to the team. They are therefore dogs that have what is called a lot of Will to Go. That is to say, the desire to shoot, the ardor. They give rhythm to the team.


There you have it, you know which dog is going where in a dog sled team. You know the peculiarities of each and how to choose the right dog according to his position.


These positions, as well as what one learns on the sled is also used enormously in many other sports with his dog such as canivtting, cycling with his dog, or canicross, running with his dog; and vice versa!


We will notably find the need to learn right-left directions to your dog or for example basic commands, such as pulling, stopping or ignoring disturbing elements.