Any dog, whether it is of pure or mixed breed, can be used to practice harness dog sports and to pull a sled. However, it need to be large enough to pull the sled and exhibit the required endurance to travel long distances at a speed that will allow to complete the trip in a reasonable amount of time. An average sled dog is required to pull for up to 80 miles (129 Km) a day in a range of speed that can vary, according to the distance and trail conditions, between 6 and 14 miles per hour (9.7 and 23 Km/h).
Numerous types and dog breeds used for this kind of activity possess a dense fur that helps them keep warm and are able to work as a team with discipline. The classification of these dogs varies from one association and Kennel club to another. For instance, the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) categorizes nordic sled dogs under group V section 1, recognizing only four breeds: Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Greenland Dog and Samoyed.
However, there are many other breeds and types of dogs commonly used in mushing, amongst which we can find these 15 Best Sled Dog Breeds that we divided into three articles.
The Alaskan Malamute, which is related to the Siberian Husky, is one of the most ancient dog breeds that still exist today. It is a perfect freighting and hauling dog, built to pull heavy loads during long distances thanks to a well-muscled and furry body and a highly athletic temperament. Its coat helps it resist extreme temperatures.
The Greenland Dog originated in Siberia and was brought to Greenland around 2,500 BC. It was crucial in the development and survival of the Inuit culture in America and it was the preferred dog to pull the sleds designed to transport correspondence.
Strong and covered with thick fur, this breed can endure extreme weather conditions as well as long distances.
The Chinook was created during the 1920s by musher Arthur Treadwell Walden with the goal of transporting supplies to Antarctica in 1927. He did this by mixing Greenland Huskies with other breeds of the mastiff farm dogs type, namely German Shepherds, Belgian Shepherds and Canadian Eskimo Dogs, among others. They result in excellent working dogs which combine hard-working sled dog skills, endurance, agility and speed combined with intelligence, which means they can be easily trained.
CANADIAN INUIT DOG or CANADIAN ESKIMO DOG
The Canadian Inuit Dog is a breed closely related to the Greenland Dog. It is one of North America’s oldest indigenous domestic dog breeds, being around for over 2,000 years. Canadian musher Brian Ladoon, together with the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation (EDRF), have been trying to save this historical breed from extinction.
NORTHERN INUIT DOG
The Northern Inuit Dog originated in Canada and was developed in the UK during the late 1980’s. This breed comes from the cross of German Shepherds with Siberian Huskies and a wide variety of Inuit dogs to obtain a domestic wolf-looking dog that can work long hours while remaning an obedient and loyal family pet.
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