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Physics of Mushing

Mushing: Dog Sled Racing

Mushing, better known as dog sled racing, is an exciting snow sport. What exactly is dog sled racing? Well, the name of the sport pretty much gives it away. The sport of dog sled racing requires a sled pulled by a team of sled dogs controlled by a driver, called the musher. The team consists of about 4-10 dogs, usually trained Eskimo dogs, Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, or Alaskan Malamutes, that are hitched in pairs. Depending on the duration of the race, a musher may choose to use more dogs. A typical dog sled race varies from 12-30 miles in length, and usually take places in Canada and snowy parts of the United States.

Dog sled racing requires much endurance and skill. Believe it or not, the process of harnessing dogs and traveling across snow and ice in severe conditions has much to do with physics. Velocity and acceleration, momentum, and force are all a natural part of mushing.


Riding off into the Alaskan sunset.

Dog sleds were initially used to transport mail and medicine, way back in the day when snowmobiles weren't in existence.