The Big Picture: Dog sledding
#1 Mar 12, 2009
#2 Mar 31, 2009
All is cruelty for the care to the running of the dogs is what you hear and claim to see. But what the average human eye, that's not a musher, sees is from the dogs' points of view. Sorry to tell you city folks that live in Miami, Chicago, California..ect. that think sled dogs are treated cruelly. It's claimed to be from the short chains and housed outside, to running 100-200 miles a day, being beaten and whipped, to transportation of the animals.
First, I'll start out by saying that not all dogs love the indoors. My dogs have been brought in the house repeatedly and hate it. These dogs were born outside and know where they belong and want to be. Their place is with the pack. As for the short chains...when you are running 20-100 miles a day year round, who needs chains longer than 5 ft.? These dogs are well cared for from taking hours a day to figure out the exact diet needed for each individual dog to maximize performance to knowing who and what work best with the dog. Mushers have to know their dogs inside and out...the so-called mushers everyone is complaining of may just be in it for the race prizes and not care for the dogs..in which case those prizes won't be theirs no matter how hard they hope. To earn something you have to work...if you think dog sledding is cruel, take my advice and quit listening to news articles. If you notice the top dog mushers such as Lance Mackey who win...his dogs are very well treated and cared for. Sled dogs are some of the best dogs I have ever owned and their care for humans is unbelievable. Get out and see for yourself and build your own opinion. I'm not saying every "musher" treats his family aka dogs like royalty. I know I do... and they love it! But just like every other sport out there, you ain't going to the olympics if you don't risk everything. Training is key to going forward. Kind handling is the extra plus for the dogs to listen to you.
As for transportation, the boxes are little so the dogs contain body heat to keep warm on the road. The measurements are the exact same as a traditional dog crate. And if you truly look at race rules, any cruel treatment of dogs gets you disqualified and vets check the dogs at every long race checkpoint.
so happy trails to you
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