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Hello,

I always hear about the usual northern sled breeds, but what other breeds might be suitable and interested to be trained in these kinds of winter activities? Not for racing or actual work, but just to help foster a bond and exercise them physically and mentally.
 

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There is a youtube video of a team of, I think 8, border collies all in harness pulling a sled.

Also, in one of the articles in "Mushing Magazine" there was a musher who said that when he was growing up there was a neighbor who mushed with Doberman Pinschers. I'm pretty sure they needed jackets or something, but I remember him saying "they pulled like hell".

German Shorthair Pointers are another popular sprint racing dog. They too have short coats and need protection from the elements but they can be trained to pull.

Poodles are one of the most...I feel, unusual breeds to participate in mushing. Though some pull like they were huskies. This guy, John Suter, has raced standard poodles in the Iditarod and John Beargrease, two very challenging races.





In all honesty, any dog who is about 40lbs or so and in good health and has the conditioning can learn to pull and learn to like it. Some breeds just adapt to it more, like the northerns. If you also look at weight pull competitions you see all sorts of dogs you necessarily wouldn't expect (Chinese Crested, toy poodle, etc.) pulling their hearts out like they were born to it.
 

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Oddly enough one of my favorite breeds that I've used for skijoring was an Akita! LoL He pulled me like a bear on the run through the woods, thankfully very much in control but loving every second of it. I also had friends who used large breed dogs for their games, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands and Saints were very popular for deep snow runs! But yeah honestly Nil is correctly almost any dog can be interested in pull type events, in fact my two current pups will be out skating with me in a few more months. =) Skate-joring isn't as much work as snow runs of course but still are great fun for everyone and I find it a fantastic way to get my high energy dogs exercised to contentment! Plus living here in Seattle means I can use my inline skates pretty much year round. I think last year we had about one week of weather that was gave us enough snow that I had to put away the skates! LOL Not quite the same as when I was living in Minnesota and we got to spend six-seven months in snowbound conditions! =)
 

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Oh my old Akita was a great puller but so much harder to motivate than other dogs! LoL And your right it was a lot like a malamute...they just bulldoze through snow drifts so its a ton of fun! I wish I still had some photos of us skijoring...but sadly since I moved those pictures are lost somewhere in tons of boxes or my parents house! LoL
 

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Pretty much any dog that is 30#s and up and loves to run will work!! I started running sled dogs with an Aussie mix and a GSD. The GSD turned out to be an excellent leader, even better than the Alaskan that I have now, but she just isn't fast enough to "run with the big dogs" anymore. The breed that is getting more and more common in the sledding world though is a Euro-Hound which is a cross between an Alaskan Husky and a GSHP. They are called Euro-Hounds because they were first breed by a guy who lives in Europe. I can't, for the life of me, remember his name though. These dogs are built for speed and stamina. They have the body of a Grey-Hound, the drive to run and pull like a husky and some of them can be trained to have a good recall if they get loose or for free running, unlike the huskies. I have one Euro H and she is the fastest sled dog that I own. :)
 

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I took a look at this and was smiling when I saw the poodles.

I had a Standard Poodle when I was a kid. We had a small horse barn with some hay storage. In winter we also had an outside hay stack which was covered in plastic. When the barn got empty and we had a nice day I would move hay from the stack to the barn using a toboggan. One day I had the bright idea of taking a horse halter and putting it upside down of the dog with his head thru the part the horse's nose when thru and then snapping ropes with snaps to the side rings like traces.....

Much to my surprise, that dog was a pulling fool and we moved a LOT of hay. I had him pulling and I was back by the toboggan guiding and braking... so the whole works would not over run the dog.

Good old Pip.. the BYB Standard poodle with a seizure disorder was one great working dog.
 
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