About the load on the dogs...

I am often asked if it will be normal for one dog to pull such-and-such weight on a such-and-such a sledge. Somewhere in some topic on the Husky forum a certain "veteran" said that the weight is 60 kg, for example, is nothing for the dog. Please do not listen to such characters. You should not consider the dog as something average. And you should not take on faith the figures voiced by incompetent people. Yes, there are dogs so impulsive and with such physics that some at that time, they are really capable of dragging their double, or even triple, weight and at the same time have fun from the process. I have some. But I understand perfectly well that this is not a useful norm.

Therefore, perhaps, it is worth mentioning things that some "veterans" of the Husky forum have not heard about. For example, a comfortable effort on the chest harness strap. This effort determines the speed with which the dog can walk. If the weight of the load significantly exceeds that which the dog can pull for a long time, then the dog inevitably switches to a slower gait. A bit about gait: step, trot, gallop. Their fundamental difference is not only in the layout of the limbs and in the groups of muscles involved, their difference is still in the phases of repulsion and inertial motion. A step is the most "repelled" gait. A dog constantly makes an effort to move forward. There is already some moment of "flying" on a trot - pushing off the ground, the dog, moving forward by inertia, puts another on the ground a pair of diagonally spaced limbs, and its next push will be another pair. Gallop - implies an even shorter push of the limbs, in a completely different pattern than a trot. Gallop is the fastest gait, but at the same time the most dependent from the effort on the chest strap. Simply put, if it will become hard to pull to your dogs you uphill at a gallop, they will go trot, because the trotting phase of the application of force is longer than at the gallop. The speed will drop, but the effort on the strap that the dogs experience and which they are not able to change will remain acceptable for them. If the climb is so steep that it’s hard for them to trot, they will take a step. So, in the authentic sled dog breeding, it is the trot that has applied value. It’s the speed of 10-15 km per hour - this is the speed with which long and until now distances have been overcome in that life, and for those people who gave the sled dogs to the world. On the trot that a dog can run all day without overheating and without falling from fatigue. On the trot all processes in the dog’s body proceed harmoniously - breathing, blood circulation, metabolism, cooling. On the trot the dogs evenly and gently placing their limbs diagonally, step on the snow crust and do not fail, as if the dog had failed to gallop. All this can be found out even now from the source - Chukchi natives, owners of sledding teams. If someone is interested I can give a link to forum conversations with one of them. Therefore, it was the trot that had real applied sense in sled dog breeding and is still a criterion for assessing movements in the ring at sled dog shows. The weight of the load with which a healthy working dog can trot for a long time - as a rule, it does not exceed its own weight. That's where it came from - do not overload the dogs at large crossings. This is not an axiom, of course. Many polar expeditions took place against the background of other figures, when with a whip dogs were forced to drag to eat one and a half to two weights, and then weakened just shot and fed to other dogs. But the normal practice of the domestic use of sled dogs is more human loads and a more careful attitude to such valuable property, which is a trained sled dog in the north. The Siberian husky breed is not derived from dog races, such as bald Alaskans or Kurtshaars. You should not demand comparable speeds from pedigree huskies. The husky standard is deducted from a real, authentic sled dog when it has not yet been spoiled by sports breeding. That is, with a well-dressed, strong northern dog that is trotting, does not freeze at night without a booth and blankets, does not allow itself to drive and does not eat too much. This is a very useful animal in sled work. Take care of it and do not overload it. 

In general, sometimes, dogs are tired of trotting or trotting, switch to amble. As you know, this is a gait comparable in speed and energy consumption to a trot, but the limbs are rearranged not diagonally, but in parallel. The muscles are involved a little differently than trot. Honestly, I don’t know what this is connected with, maybe the dogs give some muscle groups a break or it’s just more comfortable walking from birth. I have at least two such dogs that are practically do not trot, and after a gallop they begin to walk amble.

And I want to summarize with regard to the choice of sledges. Please do not ask me - "will my husky pull me on the “Kukushka” model?". I don’t know either your weight or your dog. Just remember - a dog it’s not pulling a sledge, but TOTAL CARGO. And sometimes it just doesn’t make much sense to chase a projectile

weight less than a couple of kilograms if, with a musher, its weight, for example, exceeds a hundred. No, I don’t discourage you from getting up riding. Just remember that in any case, if there is a clear discrepancy between the weight of the dogs and the weight of the load, you will have to help yourself by pushing away.

Or don’t build illusions about the distances that your pets will go with you.

I apologize for the tediousness, I hope I didn’t get bored you with a similar text.

Thanks, if anyone read it! :)

Sincerely, Roman Karev


Russia, Moscow

Тел. +7 (916) 1З2-63-96

E-mail 4uhon@mail.ru




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