Sledding

mushing graphic

 

Xtra Dog offers a choice of products very popular with mushers and recreational sled dog enthusiasts from around the world. We are proud to be the UK buynowdistributor for the Zima and Adanac range of sled dog products that includes the world famous Zima X-back harness invented by Mel Fishback Riley in Montana in the 1950s.

We hold a range of products as regular stock items that include sled dog harnesses, X-back and multi-sport (shoulder harness), one or two-dog gang lines, dog scooters from Pawtrekker, padded limited slip and full circle collars, walking belts, booties and an excellent training guide. We also offer a further 500 or so products that are special order items; for our full range of professional products please click on the catalogue below to download it as a pdf, or contact us if you would like us to post one to you.



Adanac Catalogue Cover
 We offer a full range of sled and working dog equipment from gang lines, tow lines and harnesses to handmade sleds. Our equipment is sourced from Montana in the USA and we distribute the Adanac range made by the famous musher Jack Beckstrom. Our harnesses include the world famous Zima X-back harness invented in Montana more than 50 years ago and which still made by the same company. Click on the brochure cover left to download our full catalogue. Whilst much of the equipment is not kept in stock all of the time, you will receive it generally within two weeks, except sleds which are hand made and require several months' notice. To order or for more information, please call +44 (0) 330-088 -DOGS (0330 088 3647) or email info@xtradog.com




In 2011 We sponsored Kris Hoffman who competed in the Iditarod. He is from Steamboat Springs in Colorado

"I like the fit of the Zima harness; they make enough sizes to fit all my dogs and if not they will make me a custom-fit size".

Xtra Dog is also associated with Montana's premiere sled dog race, The Race To The Sky and during the race our website and Facebook page provides up to the minute coverage of the race. Here is a short teaser ...

Mushing is a general term for a sport or transport method powered by dogs, and includes carting, pulka, scootering, sled dog racing, skijoring, freighting, and weight pulling. More specifically, it implies the use of one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow or a rig on dry land. The term is thought to come from the French word marche, The command to the team to commence pulling is usually 'hike'; the term 'mush' is rarely used in modern parlance. Mushing can be utilitarian, recreational or competitive.

Mushing as a sport is practised worldwide, but primarily in North America and northern Europe. Racing associations such as the International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) and the International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA) are working toward organizing the sport and gaining Olympic recognition for mushing. It is the state sport of Alaska.

Although dogsled racing gets more publicity and is seen now as the primary form of mushing, recreational mushing thrives as an unorganized sport providing healthy outdoor form of winter exercise for families.

Mushing for utilitarian purposes includes anything from hauling wood or delivering milk or the mail to rural travel and equipment hauling. Dogs have been replaced by snowmobiles in many places, but in some isolated areas people have gone back to sled dogs, finding them safer and more dependable in extreme weather conditions.

Dog team members

Dog team members are given titles according to their position in the team relative to the sled. These include leaders or lead dogs, swing dogs, team dogs, and wheelers or wheel dogs.

Lead dogs steer the rest of the team and set the pace. Leaders may be single or double; the latter is more common now, though single leaders used to be more common during the mid-twentieth century. Sometimes a leader may be unhitched (a loose or free leader) to find the trail for the rest of the team, but the practice is uncommon and is not allowed at races. Qualities for a good lead dog are intelligence, initiative, common sense and the ability to find a trail in bad conditions.

Swing dogs or Point dogs are directly behind the leader (one dog if the team is in single hitch). They swing the rest of the team behind them in turns or curves on the trail. (Some mushers use the term swing dog to denote a team dog.)

Team dogs are those between the wheelers and the swing dogs, and add power to the team. A small team may not have dogs in this position. Alternately, the term may be used to describe any dog in a dog team.

Wheel dogs are those nearest the sled, and a good wheeler must have a relatively calm temperament so as not to be startled by the sled moving just behind it. Strength, steadiness, and ability to help guide the sled around tight curves are qualities valued in "wheelers."

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To enjoy these sports you do not have to live in areas with snow; here in the UK mushers use dry-land rigs, a three-wheeled trike pulled by teams of dogs, dog scooters that can be pulled by a single dog or a team, Cani-X running with your dog, bike-joring where your dog pulls you on a bicycle or even roller skating with your dog. You do not even need to have huskies or malamutes, many people enjoy these sports with Dalmatians, GSD, Springer Spaniels and the like.