SLED DOGS

American Survival Guide - - NEW PRODUCTS -

The dogs that pull sleds are just as im­por­tant and spe­cial­ized as the sleds them­selves. While any dog can pull a sled, sled dogs have been specif­i­cally bred to do this job.

Sled dogs can be bro­ken down into two groups: small and large. The dogs many peo­ple see in rac­ing and events such as the Idi­tarod are usu­ally smaller dogs in the 50- to 75-pound range. These dogs are built for pulling and speed.

The dogs used for haul­ing cargo are large dogs that of­ten weigh 100 pounds or more. These dogs are bred for their pulling abil­ity, and al­though they aren’t fast, they have en­durance and can pull weight over a greater dis­tance.

Alaskan husky: Huskies, which weigh be­tween 40 and 75 pounds, are very com­mon in sled-dog rac­ing. Alaskan huskies are mon­grels, hav­ing Siberian husky and Alaskan mala­mute her­itage, as well as poin­ter, Saluki and even grey­hound blood.

Alaskan mala­mute: Mala­mutes are larger dogs that weigh be­tween

80 and 120 pounds. It is thought by some that mala­mutes were one of the first do­mes­ti­cated breeds of dogs. Al­though they are not built for speed, their great strength is their best as­set.

Chi­nook: The Chi­nook orig­i­nated in New Hamp­shire. It is a large, strong breed that weighs be­tween 55 and 90 pounds. Its lin­eage traces back to mas­tiffs, Green­land huskies, and

Ger­man and Bel­gian shep­herds.

Green­land dog: The Green­land dog is also large. Like the mala­mute, this dog is bred for its great strength.

The Green­land dog gen­er­ally weighs in the 66- to 71-pound range.

Siberian husky: The Siberian husky is prob­a­bly the most rec­og­niz­able of all the sled dog breeds be­cause of its two dif­fer­ent-col­ored eyes. It is a smaller dog, weigh­ing be­tween 40 and 60 pounds.

Even so, it pulls like much larger breeds.

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