Winter care for canines can be a tricky thing to tackle. Most of how we exercise our pooches rely on it being nice outside. Have you ever thought about having your dogs pull you around town on a sled? East Anchorage man Christopher Michael did a lot more than just think about it. He trained his four adopted canine companions to mush all around town, according to Alaska’s NBC affiliate KTUU.
Michael was once a dog handler but decided he wanted to train his own sled dog team. While he had the home and yard for it, he didn’t have a truck capable of carrying the dogs and gear. So, rather than sledding through traditional trails, KTUU explained that he takes the dogs down snowy sidewalks for trips through town and to the local coffee shop, as well as local trails.
Not only is Michael a fan of this arrangement, but he said the dogs love the opportunity to run as a team. The townspeople also enjoy this unique spectacle and many shoppers at the local Kaladi Brothers shop where Michael buys his coffee come out to meet the dogs regularly.
Michael has loftier goals for his small sled dog team, hoping to get a complete pack and to ride farther someday, the news station explained. But for now, he likes riding into town and teaching locals about the importance of mushing and dog racing to Alaska and its early inhabitants.
What do you know about dog sledding?
When early Americans and Russians first visited Alaska, using dogs for transportation was already a big part of culture. Even early French colonists in Canada used dogs for transport when they arrived.
The exact origins are unknown, but the practice likely started in Canada, Siberia or similar climates. While some speculate that dog sledding is thousands of years old, the community website for Two Rivers, Alaska, explained that the earliest archaeological evidence of dog harnesses and sledding traced back to between 1,000 and 1,600 A.D. in Canada.
Dog sledding has been used for practical everyday movements, long trips and even races. It’s an efficient way for people to travel, as the dogs can go for long periods and across regions that vehicles cannot traverse. Although some animal activists are critical of competitive dog sled racing, many defend it, and mushing is the official state sport of Alaska and has a proud history. It even made Balto a super star around the world.
Whether you want to train your dog to mush or just help him prepare for cold weather, PetPlus has all the supplements and info you’ll need to keep your dog in top shape.