Sled dogs can’t all be the same, nor can any dog be a sled dog. Even a little Chihuahua may not be able to draw a Santa’s sleigh around the home, much alone pulling a toy one. On the other hand, many breeds thrive when required to haul freight through a frozen landscape in a harness.
They have thick, dense fur that keeps them warm even in the coldest of conditions. They look a lot like wolves, too. These are some of the greatest and best mushing dog breeds.
Incredibly strong and hardy creatures, sled dogs can endure temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time. We’re going to go through twelve various sled dog breeds so that you can decide whether they’d be a good fit for your family since many of these dogs are terrific pets.
We’ve given a picture and a brief explanation for each listing so you can decide whether or not you want to learn more about them. Below we will discuss some of the best mushing dog breeds.
What Makes Certain Dog Breeds Ideal for Mushing?
There is no restriction on the breeds of dogs that may be used for harness dog activities and sledding. In order to be able to pull the sled and travel long distances at a fair pace, it must be big enough to do so and have the endurance to do so.
Depending on the distance and track conditions, a typical sled dog must pull up to 80 miles (129 kilometers) every day at speeds ranging between 6 to 14 miles an hour (9.7 – 23 kilometers per hour).
For this sort of exercise, a thick coat helps keep the dogs warm, and they may operate as a team with discipline. Some organizations and kennel clubs have different classifications for these dogs.
For example, the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) only recognizes the Alaskan Malamute, Greenland Dog, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed as breeds of nordic sled dogs under section 1 of group V.
The Best Mushing Dog Breeds
This dog has two distinct breeds, both of which are used for hauling a dog sled. Speed and short-distance pulling are the focus of one, whereas long-distance pulling is the focus of the other. This gorgeous pup is really a combination of Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky bloodlines, with a dash of Pointer and Saluki thrown in for good measure for sprinting ability.
Compared to purebred dogs, he’s not nearly as obstinate or prone to wandering off as this mixed-breed dog.
It’s no surprise that a big guy like this is designed to last. This kind of dog, referred to as a “freight” class, isn’t going to win any races, but he will complete them, and he’s often used for extended trips that require dragging big loads across rugged terrain.
Despite his energetic nature, he is a team member, but he has a mind of his own and may become agitated and violent if his activity demands are not satisfied. He is regarded to be on the bigger side of sled dogs in terms of size.
Eskimo Canadien Dog
For people who live in the severe Arctic climate, this dog is genuinely “Made in Canada,” having been bred by the federal government. It may not be a speedster, but this sturdy middleweight sled dog can pull up to 175 pounds (per dog) across rugged terrain and over lengths of up to 70 kilometers without stopping.
In spite of his normal Canadian demeanor, he has a ferocity to his bark, since he was formerly trained to defend his human companions from the polar bears that lived there.
In the early 1900s, he was initially bred in New England and has since become a well-known member of the pack. This tough, trustworthy dog is another cross between a Mastiff, a German Shepherd Dog, a Greenland Husky, as well as a Belgian Shepherd. When he’s out with his team, he’s a hard-working dog with a tireless stride who’s a touch less motivated than other sled dogs.
A purebred pointer (usually German Shorthaired / English) and an Alaskan Husky make up this dog, which has been a favorite of Nordic dog sled racers for more than half a century now.
If you’re looking for an agile, fast-moving sled dog for sprint racing, you’ll want to look no farther than him. It is possible to transform this dog into a tough-as-nails long-distance runner. It’s simple: Remove the Pointer genes and allow the heavy-furred Husky genetics to take hold.
To be honest, all dogs are derived from wolves, but this one has an even narrower gene pool of sled dogs than the others. Yes, he resembles his Canis lupus family to an uncanny degree. In commemoration of the three wolf-hybrid breeders who helped establish the breed, this sled dog was renamed “Kugsha” instead of “American Husky.”
In Greenland, he is a key mode of transportation in the winter and is frequently used by people for hunting for long-distance sled rides into the wilderness. With cushioned feet that convert into snowshoes, this dog is a little smaller and taller than its Canadian cousin, but he has the same endurance-focused design. This dog has a thick coat and a forked tail that covers his face as he sleeps.
The Siberian Husky
Smaller than the Malamute, this renowned sled dog can haul significantly larger freight for a longer length of time despite being smaller in weight. The Siberian tag is not a misnomer; he was transported to Alaska for dog sled racing at the start of the twentieth century from Russia. A dog that howls instead of barking is great for a lengthy road trip since it will keep you company.
Siberian huskies were developed to not only pull sleds but also herd reindeer, making them essential for surviving in cold climes by transporting people and goods alike. Because of this, he would frequently sleep in with his masters to provide both additional warmth and protection.
In spite of his lack of speed or endurance, this all-white sled dog, with his fluff double-coat and amiable demeanor, is often seen racing in mid-distance competitions and even sprints.
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