The Winter Olympics have already started in Beijing, China. The beauty of winter and snow is exciting. The beautiful figures of the athletes on the white snow made everyone applaud their wonderful performance. In the group of dogs, there is also a group of cute winter "athletes" .It’s fun, it’s exhilarating and it’s something you will remember forever. But what about the hero of this tradition? The sled dogs.
What is dog sledding?
Dog sledding is the act of a sled being pulled by at least one, but normally multiple, sled dogs used to travel over ice and snow. There are multiple types of sleds that are used and it depends on the function needed.
Dog sledding has been used as a necessary form of transportation in places like Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and more for a very long time before the modern readily-available snowmobiles and the like. However, dog sledding is also considered a sport and there are many sled dog races around the country and world. Dog sledding is also now a popular wintertime tourism activity that travelers seek out.
What Breeds Make the Best Sled Dogs?
The Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Chinook are some of the most well-known of the sled-dog breeds, and with good reason.Sled dogs probably evolved in Mongolia between 35,000 and 30,000 years ago. Scientists think that humans migrated north of the Arctic Circle with their dogs about 25,000 years ago, and began using them to pull sleds roughly 3,000 years ago.
Dog sledding has been around for 4,000 years
Dog sledding dates back as early as 2000 B.C, originating in Siberia as a way of travel across the icy landscapes. American Indian tribes used dogs to pull loads across the otherwise untnravellable land.The practice became a form of human transport in Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush in the late 1800s. Nome’s beaches were found to be home to an abundance of gold and, due to the lack of a harbor, the easiest and quickest way of reaching it was by dog sled.4 millennia later, visitors to the Scandinavia can still take part in the exciting tradition with a snowmobile safari and 10 km dog sled ride.
On January 20, 1925, doctors in the remote city of Nome, Alaska diagnosed several cases of diphtheria, a very contagious and potentially deadly disease that affects the throat and lungs. The only hope to save the village was a batch of serum that was nearly 700 miles away in Anchorage. The only pilot capable of flying in blizzard conditions was flying another mission to the south, so the citizens of Nome arranged a relay of dog sled teams to travel the Iditarod Trail to Anchorage.
What Makes a Good Sled Dog Today?
Although sled dogs are still used for transportation in some rural communities in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, their main role now lies in racing, or “mushing.” The Iditarod and the Yukon Quest — a race from Whitehorse, the capital of Canada’s Yukon territory, to Fairbanks, Alaska (considered even more challenging than the legendary Iditarod) — are two of the most popular mushing events, but there are dozens of events in the United States alone every year.
One of the most important qualities possessed by successful sled dogs is good feet. Long-distance races are tough on a dog’s body, and the feet bear the brunt of the work. Dogs with tender feet may not do well on the trail, even with booties, and professionals point out that booties slow dogs down in shorter races.
Sled dogs might love to work, but perhaps their most important job today is education. “These dogs, even though they don’t speak, manage to communicate to our visitors about the importance of wild spaces,” says Jennifer Raffaeli, the manager of Denali National Park kennels. Our modern lifestyles separate many of us from the outdoors, and sled dogs are a way for us to reconnect with the natural world.
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*We hope to give you better ideas for your pet, but this information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. If your pet feels bad, please take it to the veterinarian in time.