Which dog breeds are capable of sustaining a considerable load, often hard conditions and a touch of stress? Of the pure breeds (with pedigree approved by the FCI), these are the Siberian husky, the Alaskan malamute, the Greenland dog and the Samoyed dog. In short, it generally applies that for short to medium distances dogs with a higher share of pointer blood and similar breeds are used, while for longer distances furrier, tougher dogs like the husky are used.
Mushing refers both to the sport and means of transport in which two or more dogs in harnesses drag their musher on a special sled or steerable cart. Essentially, it means using the pulling strength of the dog or dogs.
In Alaska, mushing is among the most popular sports. The famous dogsledding races Yukon Quest and Iditarod are held here. The Yukon Quest, which means crossing 1646 kilometres on sleds between Canada and Alaska, is the toughest challenge. This luxurious race through wild and unpredictable nature over the course of two weeks could be considered a sort of goal for every athlete.
The training of sled dogs begins from the second month of their life (after weaning). Initially, it involves everyday running and learning the basic commands, the first of which is responding to their name. Young puppies must not wear a collar, and must be left to run around freely. If they get too far, they are called by their name and offered a treat. The dog is rewarded for every call.
Offers can be found in the Jeseník Mountains, Rychlebsko Mountains, Orlicko Mountains, Giant Mountains (Krkonoše) and Svatá Kateřina. You can try a luxurious ride on a classic sled, or skijoring – riding behind the dogs on cross-country skis.
Would you like to watch a dogsledding race? In the Czech Republic, you can do so in Radíkov at Chata pod věží, in Lesná (Nová ves v Horách), in the Krkonoše Mountains – during the Dr. Václav Vojtěch Ice Ride Memorial. The most famous races abroad are the ME IFSS European Championships Snow SPRINT (Millegrobe/Lavarno, Trento), ME FISTC Sprint or in Slovakia at Zuberec in Roháče.