Siberian Huskies are natural pack and sled animals. It was their job to pull their owners through snow for work. It is part of their heritage, but not all of them will like doing this today.
Siberian Huskies make great sled dogs, but you should never force your dog to pull you or anyone else if he doesn’t enjoy it. It is cruel to make your dog do something that scares them or hurts them or makes them uncomfortable.
Training to Pull
When dog sledding is done correctly, it can be a fun activity for both you and your dog. If he likes pulling, you can train him to pull. Start small with something light and make him get used to pulling weight behind him. When he gets used to it, you can try attaching a sled or something similar. It is of great importance that you make sure your dog is wearing a cross-breasted and secure harness. The harness should not hurt your dog and it also shouldn’t be too loose. The wrong harness and incorrect wearing can cause your dog injury and pain.
It is also important that you teach your dog the pulling or sledding commands. You can decide which works for you. You should have commands that tell your dog when to start moving, when to stop, when to go left, when to go right, when to slow down, and also when to pass an obstacle or distraction. There are commands associated with these actions, but you can decide what works best for you.
Dog sledding and dog racing is a controversial issue in some places. Professional sled dogs are not always treated in the best way and are left outside in the cold. Animal rights groups have a big problem with this treatment and so do we. However, we are talking about dog sledding as a recreational activity and not necessarily a competitive one. If you treat your dog well, feed him, and give him lots of care and love, there is no reason to worry. If you use a sturdy harness and don’t allow your dog to pull excessively heavy loads or for extended periods, you are being responsible.
Taking part in Events
If you want to take part in events with your dog, you should join a club like the International Siberian Husky Club. They have a lot of good advice to share and can even help you train your dog to be a sled dog. These clubs promote the rights and well-being of the Siberian Husky and will not allow inhumane treatment. They also have events where you can compete and have your dog practice his training. It is important to make sure that your dog is fit enough to do these events. Sledding should be fun for you both and should in no way harm your dog.
If you are interested in training your Husky as a sled dog, contact ISHC for more information. Also, keep doing research and always put your Husky’s health and well-being first.