About Mushing



This is the rig we use when there is no snow, which means it gets a lot of use here in New Jersey. The driver stands between the two rear wheels using the upright for the left hand and the steering column (red curved part) for the right hand. The steering column turns the front wheel assisting in cornering. There is a break bar at the rider's feet that pressures a break pad against the tires.



This is what the dog pulls with. It focuses the pulling power on the chest area. It is attached to the tug line by a snap which connects to the loop in the rear of the harness.



Setting Up

Dogline: This is the completed line consisting of the dog line, tugline, shock cord, and necklines.

Tugline: The tugline is attached to the harness and transfers the pulling power straight back and onto the mainline.

Neckline: This piece of line has nothing to do with pulling, all it does is hold the dog close to the mainline to prevent fanning out and turning around. The leaders neckline is attached to both the leaders to keep them together.

Shockcord: This is a small piece of the main line.


Team Organization: Teams have either one or two dogs per position. The dog(s) in the front are called the lead dogs, the dogs right behind them are called the point dogs, the dogs in the back in front of the gig or sled are the wheel dogs. The dogs between the point and wheel dogs are called team dogs. Some teams have multiple sets of team dogs (if above 8 dogs), or none at all (6 dog teams and below). A four or three dog team only has lead and wheel dogs.

Leaders: These dogs are the dogs out front, they need to be able to run without a dog in front of them, take commands, and set the pace.

Point Dogs: These dogs are immediately behind the leaders, they keep pressure on the lead dogs to help hold a good pace. These dogs are normally future leaders

Wheelers: The wheel dogs are the dogs immediately in front of the gig or sled, these dogs are usually the strongest dogs on your team, yet they have to keep up to the rest of the team. Their job is to give the extra effort needed to go uphill or through heavy sand/snow.

Team dogs: These are the dogs that provide extra power to your team. They are located between the wheelers and point dogs. On larger teams there can be more than one set of team dogs.