Sleddog, or sled dog racing, is a winter sportpracticed on sleds pulled by dogs and guided by a conductor, called a musher. Before becoming a sporting activity in effect, dog sledding allowed people to move between the various villages in the north (Siberia and Alaska), in fact it was mainly used by Eskimos. Nowadays, dog sledding has not lost its connotation as a means of travel, also becoming a sporting practice as well as a funny hobby.
Sledges and dogs protagonists of the sleddog
Until a few years ago, sledswere built with different materials, from wood to blocks of ice or even with whale bones; today, however, the predominantly used material is wood mixed with light fibers (titanium, carbon).
The sled dogsmost used in dog sledding are generally the result of crosses (for example between Nordic dogs and hunting dogs) which allow to obtain stronger, faster and more resistant subjects. Usually these dogs belong to the Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed or Greenlander breeds.
Overall, dog sledding is made up of a variable number of dogs, among which one or two hold the position of leader and are usually the oldest or most experienced dogs able to better understand the commands thus acting as a tow for the group.
At the controls of the musher
The figure who takes care of leading the dogs is called musher: the latter is usually the one who at the end of the day looks after and takes care of the dogs with commitment and dedication. Although apparently it may seem an easy activity, we must always take into consideration the fact that animals are involved, dogs in fact, which must be trained in the correct way: the musher exercises control over them exclusively with his own voice. The basic commands to be given to dogs are “Hike”, “Easy”, “Whoa”, which correspond to “Go”, “Piano”, “Stop”: the simple message, however, will not be sufficient to obtain what is requested if the dogs do not have confidence in the musher.
Dog sledding in Madonna di Campiglio
Although it is a discipline that has been handed down to us from the Nordic countries, there is no need to go abroad to try this experience. Dog sledding can also be practiced in Italy and right in our Madonna di Campiglio.
Special centers take care of organizing winter excursions where expert dog sledding instructors will accompany you on a fantastic tour, during which you will enjoy the skill of the dogs and the magical scenery of the Dolomites.