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A dog sled
is a sled
A sled, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle with a smooth underside or possessing a separate body supported by two or more smooth, relatively narrow, longitudinal runners that travels by sliding across a surface. Most sleds are used on surfaces with low friction, such as snow or ice. In some cases,...
pulled by one or more sled dog
Sled dogs, known also as sleigh man dogs, sledge dogs, or sleddogs, are highly trained types of dogs that are used to pull a dog sled, a wheel-less vehicle on runners also called a sled or sleigh, over snow or ice, by means of harnesses and lines.Sled dogs have become a popular winter recreation...
s used to travel over ice
Ice is water frozen into the solid state. Usually ice is the phase known as ice Ih, which is the most abundant of the varying solid phases on the Earth's surface. It can appear transparent or opaque bluish-white color, depending on the presence of impurities or air inclusions...
and through snow
Snow is a form of precipitation within the Earth's atmosphere in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by...
. Numerous types of sleds are used, depending on their function. They can be used for dog sled racing.
Dog power has been used for hunting and travel for over a thousand years. As far back as the 10th century these dogs have contributed to human culture. (Coppinger, L.)
Assembling a dog sled team involves picking leader dogs, point dogs, swing dogs, and wheel dogs. The lead dog is crucial so mushers take particular care of these dogs. Important too is to have powerful wheel dogs to pull the sled out from the snow. Point dogs (optional) are located behind the leader dogs, swing dogs between the point and wheel dogs, and team dogs are all other dogs in between the wheel and swing dogs and are selected for their endurance, strength and speed as part of the team. In dog sledding Siberian Huskies
The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family...
or Alaskan malamutes
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as a utilitarian dog and later an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways...
are the main types of dogs that are used because of their willpower to work.