How do we train a Siberian Husky for sledding? What types of commands and strategies do we use for this activity?
Pasca Bianca from Ordea, Romania
Back in my younger, more fit days I ran a sled dog team. We had 3 Siberian huskies, and were a part of a club of mushers. We raced a 3-dog team and ran our dogs with some others for a 5-dog team. The easiest way is board to find another team and run your dog with them. The pack will train him. Look for some clubs in your area and see if they would be willing to work with you and your dog.
I also would train my lead dog on a skateboard to teach him the commands and refine his leadership skills. We were quite a sight in the neighborhood!
The most common commands for a dog team are:
- Hike!: Get moving ("Mush" and "All Right" are sometimes also used).
- Kissing sound: Speed up, faster.
- Gee!: Turn to the right.
- Haw!: Turn to the left.
- Easy!: Slow down.
- Whoa: Stop.
- On By!: Pass another team or other distraction.
Please keep in mind, Siberian Huskies and sledding are "Pack" oriented. You need more than one dog for a team, and Siberian Huskies need to be part of a Pack.
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