Training of sled dogs starts when they are puppies. It is recommended that a litter of pups are purchased at the same time to train. The two most important things about sled dogs is that they know when to go and stop. Other things such as avoiding obstacles follow on. The method set out below is for guideline purposes only!
The puppies are introduced to their collars and leads as soon as possible. The collars are kept on for most of the day and the puppies are taken out for walks regularly. This ensures that they learn to trust their owner whilst also learning to take commands.
Typically the dogs are introduced to the harness when they are about 4 months old.
A rope measuring 4 or 5 metres (15/20ft) is attached to the dog’s collar and the start command is given. The owner then runs behind the dog while he pulls.
After the dog has travelled about 10 metres the stop command is given. This start and stop process is repeated a number of times until the dog acts correctly upon the instructions each time.
The dogs are taught teamwork by being introduced to the harness alongside an older experienced dog. The older dog will teach him how to work together as a sled dog team.