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Dogsledding with the Family

by Erich Martin

Mar 3, 2019

© Carolyne Pehora | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Anyone with young children or who is a Disney fan knows of at least four films about dogsledding. There are other movies featuring the animals, but movies like Iron Will and Snow Dogs are memorable enough and recent enough to sit close to the surface.

 

Dogsledding is much more than fodder for inspirational family films, though. People who live in remote places with snow-dominated winters use dogsledding as a means of transportation in sport. Many tourism destinations offer dogsledding tours and activities for groups. These are the perfect introduction for families looking for a taste of the Iditarod.

 

Mont-Tremblant is located about 90 minutes outside of Montréal proper, making it the perfect distance for a trip after flying into Montréal. Mont-Tremblant Dogsledding organizes all of the region’s dogsledding activities, including taking care of and maintaining the pups. If you are looking specifically into dogsledding in Mont-Tremblant, you can access all of the offered activities through the village’s activities center. The good news, though, is just about anyone, from young kids on, are able to dogsled.

 

Dogsledding in Canada © Pumucl | Dreamstime.com

Dogsledding in Canada © Pumucl | Dreamstime.com

 

On the tour I went on in Mont-Tremblant, there were two riders set to each sled. One rider was able to cozy up with a blanket and enjoy the ride, while the second acted as the musher. When considering bringing kids dogsledding, this is a no-brainer. Put the kids in the front while the parents focus on mushing.

 

Mushing is not as complicated as it seems in movies and other media, at least not when you are on a family tour with trained guides and trained dogs. Most often, the dogs know the route they are taking and do not need any input from the riders. When I was on a recent trip, the dogs understood vocal commands pretty well, so a quick “let’s go” often got them up and moving if they ever slowed. The musher’s job is primarily to help push the dog through tough spots and hills and slow them down when they get going too quickly.

 

If you are anything like me, you will be worried about the wellbeing of the dogs. After all, we can’t imagine living and playing in these conditions all the time, so it is natural to question their happiness. All of the dogs I saw appeared to enjoy the runs. From their jumping and rolling in snow to barking with enthusiasm, it was clear they were having a good time.

 

Dogsledding can be an excellent way to experience terrain you might not normally get to see. The next time the family goes north in the winter, consider dogsledding.

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