SLED DOGS—HOW TO HARNESS AND DRIVE
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SLED DOGS—HOW TO HARNESS AND DRIVE

SLED DOGS—HOW TO HARNESS AND DRIVE




      

SLED DOGS—HOW TO HARNESS AND DRIVE


SLED DOGS—HOW TO HARNESS AND DRIVE—I would like to know how to make dog team harness, how it is hooked together, etc. I have seen it in photographs, but they never show it clear enough. Does the driver walk, or does he ride at times? How does he make the dogs go and how does he make them understand him? Where can I purchase dogs, near here, and what do they cost? What kind of a sled is used, and how is it fixed for the dog next to the sled?

The toboggans and trail sleds used in the northern bush are described fully in Camp and Trail Methods. On trap lines, where the trails are always more or less soft, and by the Indians and bushmen in general, the flat bottomed toboggan is used and the trail must be broken out with snowshoes ahead of the dogs. On the frozen lakes no trail is needed. The driver walks if the sled is loaded and the traveling hard for the dogs, and he drives them by voice, the lead dog being trained for this. On a trap line the Indians usually break out the trail the day before, or the squaws go ahead and break trail.

Dog harness is very simple, as it consists of a collar, a pair of traces attached to the collar, and an adjustable band around the body, catching the traces. The traces of the dog nearest the sled are fastened directly to the sled, and those of the next dog are fastened to the traces of the dog behind, and so on. The best way is to have the harness fitted with buckles where needed, and snaps on the ends of the traces. A breast collar may be tried, but a dog can pull more with real collar.

There are various kinds of sled dogs used in the North, but when dogs are in demand for this use all - kinds of dogs, if of good size, are broken in. A trained leader is necessary, but unbroken dogs can be used behind. Some dogs enjoy this but others dread it, and must always be dragged to their feet and made to go. I don’t know where you could purchase trained dogs without being in the country where they are used.

Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.

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