How to Use Dog Sleds

How to Use Dog Sleds
Where you live and the amount of snow you get each year will determine how often you could use a dog sled. Living in a place such as Alaska, it can come in handy to have a few dogs that know how to pull a dog sled through the snow. There are various types of dog sleds, but the main difference is the weight of a sled. The more snow, the heavier the dog sled should be. Dog sleds can weigh from 20 lb. to more than 100 lb. The heavier the sled, the more dogs are needed to pull it.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dog sled One or more dogs X-Back dog harnesses Dog collars
  • Dog sled
  • One or more dogs
  • X-Back dog harnesses
  • Dog collars
Step 1
Stand on the footboards of the dog sled. These are made of coarse materials such as artificial turf so that your feet will have a grip as the sled is pulled through snow.
Step 2
Use the drive bow to steer the dogs. The drive bow is located in the middle of the dog sled where the person standing on the footboard can maneuver the handle right or left.
Step 3
Push on the brake with your foot when you want the dogs to stop or slow down. The brake is located at the bottom of the dog sled near the foot boards. The brake is attached to the rope that is attached to the dogs' harnesses. Press down slowly on the brake to make it a more gentle stop for you and the dogs.
Step 4
Place items in the basket that you want to carry with you. The basket is between the footboards and the opposite end of the sled. Heavier dog sleds have a larger area, called a cargo bed, to place items into.
Step 5
Use snow hooks when stopped. This will keep the dogs from running off with the sled. There are two metal snow hooks, one located on each side of the sled. They are kept in the basket of the sled until you stop. Then they can be pulled out and the claw-type ends are placed into the snow to grip further and further in if the dogs get a little overanxious.

Tips & Warnings

Do not overwork the dogs and be aware of when one or more of the dogs get tired. Take a break when you notice the dogs getting tired, especially in extremely cold conditions.

Article Written By Laura Hageman

Laura Hageman has written varied articles on real estate to entertainment topics for the past three years. Hageman wrote a romantic comedy novel entitled Her Desire listed on She has written for Web sites such as CurrentForeclosures and Triond over the course of 7 years. Hageman holds a Bachelor's degree in Arts.

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