Many members of the Minnesota Malamute Club actively work their dogs in teams, whether with a sled or skis during the winter, or carting, ATVing, or scootering during the warmer months.
What is mushing? Dog-sledding! Dogs are run in teams ranging in size from two to six dogs. Occasionally larger teams are run.
"Vesta and Nero." Owned by Julia Berquist.
Why mush? Mushing can be exciting! It can also be surprisingly peaceful and satisfying - there's nothing quite like watch malamutes doing what they were bred to do. It's a beautiful experience, and the dogs love it!
What equipment do I need? Mushing is one of the more equipment-heavy activities we do with our dogs. While some may choose the skijoring route of winter dog sports, mushing requires a sled. These can range in size and price - the kicksled is small and suited to a small team of 1-2 dogs, but a real sled is ideal. You will need a harness, gangline with a shock-absorber, snow-hook, and more!
What do I earn? Dogs can earn a Working Team Dog title (WTD) by running at least 40 miles with each excursion at least ten miles in length. Dogs can earn a Working Lead Dog title (WLD) if they run the requirements as a single lead dog (as opposed to a double lead, which is two dogs working together in the lead position). The titles are awarded by the Alaskan Malamute Club of America. See the AMCA website for more information.
Banner: "Winterstar Team." Owned by Tim O'Brien (pictured) and Karina Burger.