You need a variety of specialised equipment to compete in events with your dogs. We’ve compiled a quick guide for you below. If all of this seems a bit much or you just want to exercise your dog or have some fun with him/her then have a look at our Scooter Guide as well.
The safety and comfort of your dogs should be your main consideration at all times.
The three-wheeled vehicle that the dogs pull and the most expensive piece of equipment. At a later date you may also want to buy a sled.
The two-wheeled bike like item used for light weight training.
These must be bought to fit each individual dog as sizes vary.
This is the main line between the rig and the dogs. It is connected to the harnesses and onto a carabiner at the rig. This line will vary depending on the number of dogs that you wish to run, so if you buy a two dog line you will need a different line to run three dogs etc.
This is a strong clip (more usually used in mountaineering) which is connected to the rig. The gang line and shock absorber (bungee) are hooked onto it.
This is a shorter line with clips on either side. It is attached between the collars of two dogs so that they run together in the same direction.
This is slightly stretchable, one end is connected onto the carabiner while the other end of it is attached, approximately one foot away, onto the gang line. In this way when the dogs begin running the shock absorber takes some of the impact, allowing the dogs to run forward without there being a sudden jerk when they take the full weight of the rig and musher.
This is a strong line which is used to hold the rig onto a stationery object while the dogs are being attached to the gang line and until the musher is ready to run. It has a special quick release hook.
To prevent dogs from getting injuries to their pads some mushers put boots on them. The decision on whether to use them or not depends a lot on the conditions underfoot and the individual dog.
This is required if running more than two dogs. The bag clips onto the rig in front of the musher. It is used to carry an injured or over exerted dog. A sled requires a different style of dog bag.
You will also need suitable clothing for yourself, waterproofs, comfortable footwear, etc. In this photo Ewan (with his natural hair colour!) shows us what NOT to wear, while (a young) Christopher (the style guru) shows us sensible rally clothing!
Points To Note
A method of transport for all of the above as well as maintenance equipment and spares for the rig will be required. All of the lines, harnesses etc. will have to be carefully checked regularly and replaced as necessary.