Activities For Dogs Who Like Sledding

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Introduction

When you have a dog that likes sledding, it can be challenging to find activities that both you and your dog will enjoy together. If you do not have a passion for sledding, there are other activities that you can do with your dog, such as backpacking or weight pulling. Take the time to watch events that you might be interested in and talk with those participating. Be sure to research the expense and training requirements for each activity, so you are fully informed when deciding which activities you are going to try.

Weight Pull

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Weight pull harness
Cart
Weights
Treats
Activity description

Weight pulling is a competitive sport and there are only three organizations that offer weight pulling competitions; International Weight Pull Association, United Kennel Club, and American Pulling Alliance. Puppies should never be introduced to weight pulling competitions until they are older. Dogs are first weighed prior to competing; the dog’s weight is what determines which class they can compete. Weight classes will vary between the three organizations. When weight pulling, there are only three types of vehicles that can be used: a sled on runners, a wheeled cart, or a cart on rails. When learning weight pulling, purchase the correct harness and equipment for your dog. Weight pulling can be an expensive sport and does require dedication. 

Step
1
Introduce the harness
Puppies can be introduced to the harness, however, they should not be allowed to pull heavy weights until they are older and more mature. Find a dog club that offers weight pulling training and seek advice on which harness is right for your dog. Make sure the harness is fitted correctly to your dog’s body. Let them walk around the yard while wearing the harness so they become accustomed to the weight and feel of the harness.
Step
2
Add weight
Once your dog is used to the feel of their harness, it is time to start adding weights to them. Keep your dog in condition by exercising them daily with and without weights so they can easily pull the expected weights. Add weight slowly and never expect too much from your dog. Encourage them with praise and treats to keep them willing to work for you.
Step
3
Enter competition
If possible, join a dog club that offers weight pull training. The trainers will help you determine when your dog is ready for a competition. The dog club will also offer the premium lists of nearby weight pull competitions. Once your dog is ready, enter a competition and have fun! Weight pulling is a lot of work, but it should also be fun for you and your dog.
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Sled Dog Training

Popular
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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Sled
Sledding Harness
Treats
Activity description

Sled dogs should begin their training at a young age. Find a dog club that offers sled dog training, if there is not a club close by look for someone with sledding experience to become your mentor. Training a sled dog can be expensive and does require extensive training for them to be competitive when sledding. Your dog will also need to learn to work as part of a team if you are planning on participating in sled dog races. You will be spending about an hour a day training your dog to pull a sled and keeping them in proper condition. Be sure to research this activity before jumping in so you are aware of the costs and commitment needed.

Step
1
Start young
Unlike weight pulling, sled dogs should be started young. Sled dogs must be able to work as a team with their musher and other dogs. Puppies are generally more malleable and easier to train to be a team player. Puppies should learn to accept the harness and wear it for about 30 minutes a day to start and work up to longer periods of time.
Step
2
Pull something
After your dog has accepted the harness and is comfortable start hooking them up to an empty sled. It will take some time for your dog to get used to the empty sled. Once they are pulling the sled with no problem, start adding some weight. Do not overload the sled and if you notice your dog struggling, reduce the amount of weight on the sled.
Step
3
Teach commands
There are specific commands that the musher will use to keep their sled team under control. If you are not sure of what the commands are, ask a local sled dog club or find a mentor to help you. Use the same commands each time and offer praise and rewards when your dog is able to respond quickly and correctly to each command.
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Downhill Sledding

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Cheap
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Sled
Collar
Leash
Treats
Activity description

Who does not like the thrill of jumping on a sled and racing down a snowy hill? Even some dogs find this activity exhilarating and will race you to the top of the hill to go again. You can easily determine if your dog has a love for downhill sledding by having them stand on a blanket and pulling it across the floor. Dogs that stay on the blanket may enjoy downhill sledding. When sledding with your dog, be sure to keep you and your dog safe while racing down the hill. It is a good idea to remove your dog’s leash before hopping onto the sled to keep it from becoming tangled or causing harm to them.

Step
1
Test your dog's ability
Not all dogs will enjoy downhill sledding with their owners, be sure to test your dog’s ability before asking them to jump on the sled and race to the foot of the a hill. Put a blanket or rug on the ground and have your dog stand on it. Start pulling it across the floor and if your dog stays on and does not seem scared, they should enjoy downhill sledding with you. Should your dog try to jump off or act scared, then this is probably not an activity they will enjoy.
Step
2
Pick the right sled
There are so many options when it comes to sleds for humans. Finding the right sled that will safely fit your dog and you, unless your dog is sledding solo. Lightweight sleds might be better choice if you are planning on sledding for a while. Research the types of sleds available and decide which one will be best. Talk with other dog owners who enjoy downhill sledding and get their advice on sleds and the best locations to sled.
Step
3
Start sledding
Once you have chosen your sled, head to the slopes for a day of fun in the snow. Do not overtire your dog, take plenty of breaks between runs and offer plenty of water to your dog so they stay hydrated while out on the slopes. Be aware of any problems that might arise such as frost bite or hypothermia; protect your dog from the elements when outside.
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More Fun Ideas...

Strength Training

Dogs that like sledding need to be strong enough to pull a sled and any weight that is on the sled. You can enroll your dog in a strength training class if you have a dog club nearby that offers such classes. You can also do strength training at home by watching videos online. There are specific exercises that can be done to keep your dog in shape.

Backpacking

Dogs that love sledding will also probably enjoy spending time out on the trail backpacking through the woods. Do not overload their backpack, but allow them to carry some of the load while you are out hiking. Bring along plenty of fresh water and take precautions to keep them safe.

Conclusion

Dogs who like sledding can keep you on your toes. They are most likely thrill seekers and enjoy the feeling of adrenaline that courses through them when they are sledding. There are some dogs that were bred specifically to be sled dogs, but not all of these dogs enjoy the physical demands that a sled dog must endure. There are so many activities that dogs who like sledding can enjoy, take the time to research each activity and pick the ones that are right for you and your dog.