Sled Dog Races
Sled dog racing can be a great spectator sport. However, if you are cold you will not be able to enjoy your day. Dress warmly so that you can enjoy a full day’s excitement at the races. Ski clothing is the most appropriate and comfortable apparel for viewing a race. Most important is your footwear. Warm, comfortable boots can be the difference between fun and misery. Even plastic rain boots over a pair of plain walking shoes prove more successful than the thin, leaky footwear often sold as” great for snow fun”.
Its best not to bring your dog or pets. If you do, place it in or by your vehicle, well away from the dogs and the race. A sled dog driver handling many dogs can’t be held liable for the safety of your animals and races have been lost because of pets bolting onto the trail or in front of a team.
Sled dogs are on a high quality precisely balanced feeding program. For that reason, you should’nt offer dog treats or food to the dogs. Even small “extras” could unbalance their diets.
Always ask the driver before petting sled dogs. They are trained racing dogs, besides pets. Although most of them are extremely friendly, they have an important job to do and it’s bet not to distract them. Sometimes their friendliness is submerged in the excitement and anticipation of the race to come. Naturally, if a dog avoids you or shows nervousness this is not the time to attempt to form an alliance.
Dog racers don’t mind questions and most of them will appreciate your interest. Just don’t expect a driver to be too informative when he has two minutes to harness and hook up six dogs! Please wait until he has returned from his run and taken care of his dogs to ask questions.
Please keep your children close by. Sled dogs that are excited and ready to race may jump up and it would be terrible to have anyone get injured. Remember, there are many things lying around to trip over such as ganglines, harnesses and gigs. Lines connecting the team and chains attached to tied-out dogs can be as dangerous as an actual bite or knock-down. Please be careful and supervise your children closely.
Sled dogs have been bred to get along with each other and with man. Please don’t tell your kids “they’re mean”, as we have heard some parents say to keep the kids clear from the racing teams. It’s better to say “Look out… you’re in the way” and keep the children at a safe distance.
Sled dog races are great places to take pictures. Photographers should make sure that their activities will not startle the dogs or interfere with a team’s progress. Sudden moves towards or away from a trail can cause a team to bolt, so pick a position and hold it until all teams in your area have passed your post. If you are using a Polaroid, remember that the chemicals used in the film are poisonous to the dogs. Use flash bulbs with discretion, and PLEASE DO NOT LITTER THE RACE GROUNDS!!!
Finally, pick a team to cheer for!!! It makes the race a lot more interesting and the drivers appreciate your support.