Freighting Dogs: Where it all Began

"Some breeds of freight dogs (such as the Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and Inuit sled dog) were developed over centuries. Human and dog depended on each other in the harsh arctic environment. Dogs had to come when called, accept the harness, identify seal blow holes for the hunter, corral polar bears until the hunter(s) arrived, and be dependably friendly to their humans." Read more

The Canadian Inuit Dog

"There was a time, not long ago, when this ancient breed of dog almost disappeared. Following the enforced settlement in the mid-twentieth century of the nomadic Inuit and the arrival of the snowmobile a couple of decades later, dog teams were no longer the vital form of transport they once were. Consequently, the dogs were abandoned." Read more

Sled Dogs are a Part of Human History and Culture

“Sled dogs have coexisted and cooperated in partnership with humans for many thousands of years in the northern regions of North America and Siberia. Archeological evidence puts the earliest date at more than 4000 years ago. Some anthropologists suggest that human habitation and survival in the Arctic would not have been possible without sled dogs.” Read more

From Babiche Webbing to Kevlar Runners—An Intro to Alaska Dog Mushing History

“When Russian and then American pioneers moved into the Alaska frontier, they found a culture already greatly shaped and supported by its interaction with dogs.” Read more

Famous Trail Dogs

“A living reminder of our state’s colorful past, sled dogs played an important role in the early transportation networks of the territory of Alaska.” Read more


The Birth of Sled Dog Racing

“With the same fervor that brought gold seekers north, ice-bound Nome residents a century ago pioneered sled dog racing as we know it today.” Read more

The Early Days of Mushing

“Intrepid teams of hardy sled dogs were the primary mode of winter travel in the early days of Alaska and the Yukon, and the colorful history of dog team travel in the north country was surprisingly well documented.” Read more

The Origins of Mushing

“The earliest historical records of the use of sled dogs in the Siberian subarctic appear in Arabian literature of the tenth century; in writings of Marco Polo in the thirteenth century; and of Francesco de Kollo in the sixteenth.” Read more

Hero image by Ari Sigglin