Family Dog Sledding by Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies
Have you ever dreamed of going dog sledding before or do you fear being trapped in a sled flying across a meadow out of control as it veers towards a giant tree? Nah, that would never happen if your driver knows what he or she’s doing, right? Well, what if your driver is your husband. (Or wife.) And he or she has never ever driven a team of dogs before. Maybe you’ve never even had a dog before, let alone had to steer and guide a sled being pulled by 6 to 8 very excited pups.
Well, our family went dog sledding last month and we all loved the experience right down to my 5 year old son. It was definitely a thrill ride, but it was the best thrill ride I’ve ever been on as our dogs literally flew across the snow, our sled hopping over bumps, and the dogs excitedly barking as the sled went faster, and faster, and faster!
What does it feel like to ride in a dog sled? It’s kind of like riding in a car when your driver accelerates very quickly and pins your head to the back of the seat. Actually that’s definitely what it feels like when the sled takes off down the trail. After that you ease into your comfy seat wrapped in warm blankets, hold on to any precious child snuggled in with you, and just enjoy the scenery. Unless you’re the one driving that is. Then you’ve got a quick crash course in mushing to take before you head out.
Our mushing crash course was all of 30 minutes long but at the end of it my husband was completely equipped to take us out on the easy beginner trail. He knew how to brake, how to direct the dogs with simple commands, and how to keep the sled on the trail. And, he never tipped us over! At the end of the short lesson we got to go out for a short 45 minute ride which felt way too short but given the cold temperature that day, was probably just about right.
My favourite part of the tour was the interaction that we got to experience with the dogs. We hugged them, received a ton of kisses, and my son was actually lying on top of a couple of them (hugging them I think.) These were amazing dogs, super friendly, and clearly well taken care of. The guides knew each dog by name and were always gentle with them. In fact, when one of the dogs got a bit noisy during our introductory lesson, one of the handlers was told to go hug the dog. Yes, HUG the dog. Not hit, control, or quiet that dog down, but to hug it. The dog responded right away and we continued with our lesson.
ABOUT TANYA: Tanya is the mom of a spunky 4.5 year old boy and lives in Calgary, Canada at the doorstep to the fabulous Rocky Mountains. Her family makes it a priority to get out to the mountains most weekends year round for awesome adventures from camping to hiking, paddling, biking and skiing. Family time is a number one priority for Tanya and you can read about her family’s adventures on her blog, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies.
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