Dogsledding 101 with Musher Terry (by David)

On Saturday, Feb 21, we went to a dogsledding class.

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These are some of the things that we learned from Mr Terry.

  • Rule #1: Don’t let go of the sled. Rule #2: Don’t let go of the sled!
  • If you ever have to leave your sled and get something, you have to be careful because the dogs will run away. Even though there’s a brake on the sled, it only works for about 10 seconds.
  • Sled dogs only get 1-2 cups of food a day because you don’t want them to overeat. Mr Terry said to think about the dogs like ultra athletes who are very thin. I thought that they would eat a lot more!
  • In the spring, summer, and fall, Mr. Terry doesn’t use his dogs and he doesn’t even exercise them. I couldn’t believe this.
  • The dogs will bark like crazy when they know they are about to get harnessed to the sled because they are so excited.
  • If you have thin mittens, we could freeze your hands. Some sleds have mittens attached to them so that you can put your hands in them.
  • On sleds, there is an emergency bag for dogs to sit if they are hurt or limping.
  • The fastest Mr Terry has gone with his dogs is 25 miles an hour, about how fast Mom and David went on our bikes together.
  • The dogs all have an order – one is the king, one is the queen, prince, princess, maiden, servant and so on. If one leaves or is too old, the others will fight for his/her place.
  • Mr Terry had Syberian huskies and Alaskan huskies.

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