Wikipedia's Definition:

Sled dog racing (sometimes termed dog sled racing) is a winter dog sport most popular in the Arctic regions of the United States, Canada, Russia, and some European countries. It involves the timed competition of teams of sled dogs that pull a sled with the dog driver or musher standing on the runners. The team completing the marked course in the least time is judged the winner.

A sled dog race was a demonstration sport at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York and again at the Olympics in Oslo, but it did not gain official event status.

Sled dogs, known also as sleighman dogs, sledge dogs, or sleddogs, are a highly trained dog type that are used to pull a dog sled, a wheel-less vehicle on runners, over snow or ice, by means of harnesses and lines.

Races:

Sled dog races include "sprint" races over relatively short distances of 4 to 100 miles, mid-distance races from 100 to 300 miles, or long-distance races of 300 to over 1000 miles(Iditarod). Sprint races frequently are two or three-day events with heats run on successive days with the same dogs over the same course. Mid-distance races are continuous events of 100 to 300 miles. (These categories are informal and may overlap to a certain extent.) Long-distance races may be continuous or stage races, in which participants run a different course each day, usually from a central staging location.

Races are categorized not only by distance, but by the maximum number of dogs allowed in each team. The most usual categories are four-dog, six-dog, eight-dog, ten-dog, and unlimited (also called open), although other team size categories can be found.

One example of a dog race is the American Dog Derby, which was first started in 1917. Competitors enter a 20, 40, 60 or 100-mile category. The race starts in Ashton, Idaho.

Races are organized either as "timed starts", or "mass start". In a timed start, teams start one after another in equal time intervals, competing against the clock rather than directly against one another. This simplifies some logistical considerations such as that of getting many teams of excited sleddogs to the starting line simultaneously. In mass starts, all of the dog teams start simultaneously. Mass starts are popular in Europe and many parts of Canada. Some mass start events can have up to 30 teams (300 dogs) start all at once.

Although some races are unsanctioned, held under the sole guidance of a local club, many races fall under one of three international organizations. In the United States and Canada, ISDRA (International Sled Dog Racing Association) sanctions many races. In Europe ESDRA (European Sled Dog Racing Association) provides sanctioning, and the IFSS (International Federation of Sleddog Sports) sanctions World Cup races all over the world, as well as a world championship race every two years.

For the race to be sanctioned, a variety of rules must be followed. For example, the ISDRA sanctioning rules specify that all hazards must be avoided, distances must be reported correctly,and the trail must be clearly described to the competitors. The racers have a duty to treat their dogs humanely, and performance enhancing substances are strictly forbidden.

Dryland Dog Sled Racing is a variant where competitors use a rig (3–4-wheeled cart with a locking brake and handle/steering wheel) or a scooter, a bicycle (Bikejoring), and on foot (Canicross) usually on packed dirt trails instead of a sled on snow. Another mode of dogsled racing is the freight race, in which a specified weight per dog is carried in the sled. This type of race only has about 1 to 5 dogs pulling the sled or scooter at one time.

American Dog Derby

The American Dog Derby is the oldest dogsled race in the United States[5] and was the first dogsled race that rose to international prominence. Begun in 1917 and heavily promoted by Union Pacific Railroad, it was on par with the Kentucky Derby and with the Indianapolis 500 in terms of interest and press coverage in the early part of the 20th century and was considered to be the world championship dogsled race.[6] American Dog Derby mushers were international celebrities to such degree that one photogenic female musher named Lydia Hutchinson was tapped by a producer to star in his movie. She may have been on her way to being a movie star when she died of pneumonia in 1930. The American Dog Derby popularized dogsled racing in the 20's and other dogsled races were organized in towns and cities across North America and Northern Europe in its wake.

Iditarod

The most famous long-distance race is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Also known as the "Last Great Race on Earth", the Iditarod is roughly 1000 miles of some of the roughest and most beautiful terrain in the world. The race consists of fierce mountains, frozen rivers, thick forests, and desolate tundras. Each team of 12–16 dogs must go from Anchorage all the way to Nome.

Although each musher has different strategies, each team must have certain pieces of equipment, such as an arctic parka, an ax, snowshoes, and boots for each dog's feet to protect against cutting ice and hard packed snow injuries.

The dog sled

Racing sleddogs wear individual harnesses to which "tuglines" are snapped, pulling from a loop near the root of the tail. The dogs are hooked in pairs, their tuglines being attached in turn to a central "gangline". The lines usually include short "necklines" snapped to each dog's collar, just to keep the dogs in proper position. It is unusual ever to see more than 22 dogs hooked at once in a racing team, and that number is usually seen only on the first day of the most highly competitive sprint events. Dogs may be omitted from the teams on subsequent days, but none may be added. Many other rules apply, most of which have been in effect since the beginning of organized dogsled racing in the city of Nome, Alaska, in 1908.

Equipment Needed:
Sled
Properly Fitted Helmet
Properly Fitted Harness('s) for Dog('s)
Tuglines (connect several dogs)
Cold Weather Clothing
Items carried with team
   Poop bags
   Water
   Water bowl
   Booties
   Leash
   Multi tool or knife
   Basic first aid kit for human/dog

Optional Equipment/items:
gloves

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Wikipedia's Definition:

Skijoring (pronounced ['skē-ʃɜːr-iŋ]) is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.

Dog skijoring

Skijoring with a dog is a sport in which a dog (or dogs), assist a cross-country skier. One to three dogs are commonly used. The cross-country skier provides power with skis and poles, and the dog adds additional power by running and pulling. The skier wears a skijoring harness, the dog wears a sled dog harness, and the two are connected by a length of rope. There are no reins or other signaling devices to control the dog: The dog must be motivated by its own desire to run, and respond to the owner's voice for direction.

Many breeds of dog participate in skijoring. The only prerequisite is a desire to run down a trail and pull, which is innate in many dogs. Small dogs (less than 35 pounds) are rarely seen skijoring, because they do not greatly assist the skier; however, since the skier can provide as much power as is required to travel, any enthusiastic dog can participate. Athletic dogs such as Pointers, Setters and herding breeds take to skijoring with glee, as do the northern breeds, such as Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Inuit dogs; however, any energetic dog is capable of enjoying this sport. Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, Labs, and many cross-breeds are seen in harness. Pulling breeds work well also such as American Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American bull dogs, and mastiffs.

The sport is practiced recreationally, and competitively, both for long distance travel and for short (sprint) distances.

Competitions

Skijor races are held in many countries where there is snow in winter. Most races are between 5 kilometers and 20 kilometers in length. The longest race is the KALEVALA [1] held in Kalevala, Karelia, Russia, with a distance of 440 kilometres (270 mi). Next is the River Runner 120 [2] held in Whitehorse, Yukon, with a distance of 120 miles (190 km). In the United States and Canada, skijoring races are often held in conjunction with sled dog races, skijoring being just one category of race that occurs during the day's activities. In Scandinavia, skijor racing is tightly associated with the older Scandinavian sport of Pulka. Skijoring races are not normally limited to purebred Northern breed dogs such as the Siberian Husky. On the contrary, the top ranked racing teams in the world are German Shorthaired Pointers, Pointer/Greyhound mixes, Alaskan Huskies, or crosses between these breeds.

Although some races are unsanctioned, held under the sole guidance of a local club, many races fall under one of three international organizations. In the United States and Canada, ISDRA (International Sled Dog Racing Association) sanctions many races. In Europe ESDRA (European Sled Dog Racing Association) provides sanctioning, and the IFSS (International Federation of Sleddog Sports) sanctions World Cup races all over the world, as well as a world championship race every two years. At the IFSS World championship event, skijoring races are separated into men's and women's, and one-dog and two-dog categories.

IFSS World Championships in Skijoring:

    2005 Dawson City, Yukon, Canada
    2007 Gafsele, Sweden
    2009 Daaquam Quebec, Canada
    2011 Hamar and Holmenkollen, Norway

The USA held the world's largest Skijoring event in February 2011 at the City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis. 200 Skijoring teams raced in this event which included the first ever National Skijoring Championship.

Origin

Since many leashed dogs naturally tend to pull a skier with no training, the sport cannot claim a single country of origin. It was invented and continues to be reinvented all over the world. As a competitive sport, however, it is believed that the first races were held in Scandinavia as an offshoot of the older sport of Pulka. Competitive racing has been taken up in North America while its older cousin Pulka racing has not yet become popular.

Equipment

The skijoring belt worn by the skier is a wide waistband which is clipped around the skier's waist, and which may include leg loops to keep it in position. Rock Climbing harnesses are also commonly used as skijoring belts.

The sled dog harness can be any of the several types of dog harness commonly used for dogsled racing.

The skijoring line is usually at least 1.5 metres (8 feet) long. A longer line is used for a three-dog team. A section of bungee cord is often incorporated into the line to absorb the impact of the dog's forward motion or a quick stop by the skier. Special quick-release hitches or hooks are available, used so that the skijorer may unhook the dog's lead rapidly.

Techniques and training

The skier uses either a classic diagonal stride cross-country technique, or the faster skate skiing technique. In races, the skate-skiing technique is almost exclusively used. The skis are hot waxed from tip to tail, to avoid slowing the dog team down. Classic skis with grip wax are not used for races but are occasionally used for extended back-country travel.

Skijoring dogs are taught the classic dog sledding commands to start running (hike), turn (gee and haw—right and left respectively in the US), to stop (whoa) and to pass distractions (on by). Training is best done on foot, before the person straps on their skis, to avoid being pulled into objects, like trees or half-frozen creeks.

To participate in races, skijoring dogs must be taught to pass, or be passed by other teams without interfering with them. An overly friendly attempt by one dog to stop and greet another team passing at high speed can be as problematic as a dog that attempts to nip other dogs in passing. A top skijor racing team can pass other teams head-on, without even turning to look at them.
In the media

Skijoring features in the 1998 film Silver Wolf, starring Michael Biehn and Roy Scheider. Skijoring was also talked about in the Castle Films short Snow Thrills, pronounced by Joel Robinson as "she-horring" and described by Tom Servo as "A safe and fun way to blow a Saturday...or a knee!"

Variations Include:

Snowboarding while hitched to a dog
Grassjoring - skijoring on grassy fields rather than snow.
Equestrian skijoring
Motorized skijoring

Equipment Needed:
Skijor Belt (connects tow line to you)
Properly Fitted Harness('s) for Dog('s)
Tow Line (6'-8' from post)
Sturdy Shoes
Long Pants
Backpack (to carry below items)
   Poop bags
   Water
   Water bowl
   Booties
   Leash
   Multi tool or knife
   Basic first aid kit for human/dog

Optional Equipment/items:
Neckline (if running more than 1 dog)
gloves

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Wikipedia's Definition:

Canicross is the sport of cross country running with dogs. Originating in Europe as off-season training for the mushing (sledding) community, it has become popular as a stand-alone sport all over Europe, especially in the UK. Canicross is closely related to Bikejoring, where participants cycle with their dog and skijoring, where participants ski rather than run.

Canicross can be run with one or two dogs, always attached to the runner. The runner typically wears a waist belt, the dog a harness, and the two are joined by a bungee cord or elastic line that reduces shock to both human and dog when the dog pulls.

Originally canicross dogs were of sledding or spitz types such as the husky or malamute but now all breeds have begun taking part including cross breeds, small terrier breeds to large breeds such as rottweilers and standard poodles. Not only can all breeds run but people of all ages and abilities can take part. Including children and the disabled such as the visually impaired. Some breeds are very well suited to not only running and pulling but running at steady pace over a long distance. Cani-cross is now not only a great way for the runner to keep fit, but great for the dogs too. It encourages people and their dogs to take part in outdoor activity and meet other like minded individuals.

Equipment Needed:
Belt (connects tow line to you)
Properly Fitted Harness('s) for Dog('s)
Tow Line (6'-8' from post)
Sturdy Shoes
Long Pants
Backpack (to carry below items)
   Poop bags
   Water
   Water bowl
   Booties
   Leash
   Multi tool or knife
   Basic first aid kit for human/dog

Optional Equipment/items:
Neckline (if running more than 1 dog)
gloves

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Wikipedia's Definition:

Bikejoring is a dog mushing activity related to skijoring, canicross, and dog scootering. It is a recreation or sport where a harnessed dog or team of dogs attached to a towline have to pull and run ahead of a cyclist. Bikejoring is a non snow season (dryland) activity. Bikejoring and canicross are both dryland mushing activities that probably developed from skijoring and dogsled racing. Bikejoring is also sometimes used to train racing sled-dogs out of season.

Although any breed (or non-breed) of dog can be used, American Pit Bulls, Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Malamutes, Alaskan Huskies, Sled Hounds and Pointers are probably the most popular breeds for bikejoring. However, any type of dog that can be taught to pull, run, and to accept a few lead dog commands can be used to bikejor. Bikejoring and dog scootering are activities that can be beneficial to the health and fitness of dogs. It can be used to provide dogs with work and exercise, without letting them run off leash and endangering wild-life or livestock.

Although often practiced as a dog exercising recreation, in some parts of the World, dog sporting organizations and mushers (people who train dogs to pull - mushing) provide bikejor and dog-scooter racing classes at their competitive dryland sled-dog rallies and events. These competitive bikejor classes often run alongside other classes for canicross and dryland rig racing. In most cases, the competitors are started off separately on a timer, to avoid tangles and collisions.
Bikejoring race in North America with an Alaskan Husky and a Eurohound

The dog or dogs are fitted with harnesses suitable for pulling and running in, such as x-back harnesses. The harnesses are normally attached to a gang line (if more than one dog is being used), and a bungee towline, which clips to the front of the bicycle. Many bikejorers use bayonets, antennas, or plastic pipes to suspend the towline above the front wheel, and to prevent it from tangling between the wheel and forks. If two dogs are employed on a gang line, they are sometimes also attached to each other by a neckline between their collars. Bikejoring can be fun but has its dangers. The dogs may be distracted by wild-life.
Waiting to cross a road with two dogs

Bikejoring usually takes place cross country on soft trails. The dogs should not be run far over paved surfaces, as this could damage their paws or limbs. Most bikejor competitions have strict rules over the age and fitness of the dogs, and provide watering spots. The bikejorer also has to take care of their own safety by wearing protective equipment and by keeping the bicycle in good working order. It is important that the towline is not held or attached to the handlebars.

Scooters are often used instead of bicycles, as they are easier to dismount if the dogs decide to give chase to an animal. Although exactly the same as bikejoring except that a scooter is used to carry the musher instead of a bicycle, this activity is known as dog scootering rather than as bikejoring. The musher can still assist the dog/s by kicking at the trail, rather than by pedalling. The scooters used are usually rugged enough for carrying an adult cross country. Some scooters are manufactured specifically for dog-scootering.

An easier and maybe safer alternative to bikejoring or dog-scootering, especially for use in urban and built up areas, is to attach a dog to the side of a bicycle using a number of designed dog-bicycle attachments. However, these patented side attachments are designed to allow a dog to run beside a bicycle, rather than to pull it from ahead. These patented dog-bike attachments usually include some sort of shock absorption, usually a spring. Some of these side attachments can be fitted either side of a bicycle so that two dogs can be exercised at the same time. Examples of these dog-bicycle attachments are the WalkyDog, Springer, bikejor converter and more recently the bikejoring attachment

Equipment Needed:
Bike
Properly Fitted Helmet
Properly Fitted Harness('s) for Dog('s)
Tow Line (6'-8' from post)
Sturdy Shoes
Long Pants
Backpack (to carry below items)
   Poop bags
   Water
   Water bowl
   Booties
   Leash
   Multi tool or knife
   Basic first aid kit for human/dog

Optional Equipment/items:
Tire Pump
Tire Repair Kit
Neckline (if running more than 1 dog)
ice pack
knee and elbow guards
gloves

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