Mushers and sled dogs : an odyssey in Savoie Would you like a sled dog baptism?

Are there dog lovers amongst you? Don't you think they're all so cute? If you do, we strongly invite you to try this adventure. The hottest of the season. Beautiful and proud huskies, will lead you on the most beautiful trails of Savoie, to discover incredible sensations.  

  

In the spirit of the great arctic expeditions   

About 9500 years ago, dogs were used by our Arctic ancestors to pull sleds across the snowy and icy plains. The lineage of sled dogs is very old and it is even said that wolves were bred as the first sled dogs.   

Dog sledding was democratized around the year 1000 by the Inuit culture as a means of transportation for trappers. But it is much later, in 1887, during the gold rush in Canada, that the sled dogs are truly part of northern cultures. And it it’s when dog sledding becomes a sport and gained popularity thanks to competitions, races and public interest.   

Siberian huskies are the most common dogs used for leading sleds. They are small and known for their agility and speed. But other breeds of dogs can also be used for this practice: Greenlanders, very muscular and powerful; Alaskan Malamutes, for their endurance; Samoyeds, solid and elegant dogs; Canadian Eskimos, who are robust but fighters; or the Sakhalin Husky, from the Japanese island of the same name.  

In the major ski resorts of the Alps, it is not uncommon to find "baptisms" of dog sledding. An activity full of pure sensations. Two hours are enough to teach you the basics of driving a sled, but you can also relax by sitting in the sled and watching the scenery.  This activity is ideal for outings with family or friends.   

It's an opportunity to make a childhood dream come true! Enjoy the beauty of the Alps, while living incredible gliding sensations on fresh snow!   

Book your activity! Contact us by email at experience@1786.travel or directly on our website

 

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Mushers, leaders of the pack  

Would you like to learn more about dog sledding? Who are the Mushers? They are the people who drive and lead the dogs. The name comes from Canada. The drivers use to use the word "march" to give the order to move forward. Over time, this command was gradually transformed into a more English version of the word "mush".   

In the past, Mushers were messengers or carriers. But nowadays, they are mainly used to transport people in the mountains, especially during tourist excursions. The role of a Musher is above all to raise and educate dogs in order to teach them the trade of dog sledding.   

 

Leaders generally have between 4 and 12 dogs on their team. A team with fewer dogs allows a better handling of the sled. But more the dogs, the faster the sled. The role of each dog in the team is very important. At the front of the sled are the “lead dog(s)”. These are the first dogs that usually respond to the commands of the Musher and set the pace. Just behind them, we have the "swing dogs" who are there to assist the leaders. In the middle are the "team dogs", they are usually the most numerous in the team. And finally, just before the sled, there are the "wheel dogs". They are the most powerful of the pack. And they are the ones who will carry most weight and start the sled. 

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Like wolves, sled dogs inherit certain behaviors and physical characteristics. They all live in packs and respect a social hierarchy. They also have a dominant and independent character. Physically, dogs are strong and energetic. They are also very enduring and resist very well to the cold. Thus, they are able to pull the sled for several hundred kilometers, and thanks to their speed, they can reach a top speed of 30 km/h.  

The formation that the team takes is a very important decision. Not every dog could be a driver, for example. The allocation of positions is therefore done according to the abilities and behaviors of the dogs.   

 

So, do you want to drive a sled? Don't worry, you won't be asked to choose your team. The Musher is above all a professional who will accompany you throughout your experience 

   

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