(back to Getting Started) Spectator Tips

How to Enjoy a Sled Dog Race!!

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Sled dog racing can provide your family with unique and exciting entertainment. To enjoy the sport at its fullest, take advantage of the following tips.

  • Never bring your pets to the race site. Drivers of racing teams cannot be responsible for the safety of your animals. Races can be disrupted by pets bolting onto the course.
  • Bring your camera and take all the pictures you want. However, if you are using a Polaroid, please be aware that the chemicals used in the film are poisonous to dogs.
  • All photographers should make sure that their activities will not startle the dogs or interfere with a team's progress.
  • Sudden moves toward or away from the trail may cause a team to bolt so pick your position and hold it until all teams in your area have passed your post.
  • Never offer a dog treats and always ask before petting.
  • Naturally, if a dog shows signs of nervousness, this is not the time to form an alliance with him. He has important business at hand and should not be distracted. Many people feel that they 'have a way with animals" but a sled dog race is not the place to test that theory.
  • Keep toddlers in hand. Eager dogs, ready to run, may leap or rear up in anticipation of the race and it would be unfortunate to have an accident that was the fault of neither dog nor child.
  • Cooperate with race officials. Stay clear of the trail. Stand well back as anyone too close may distract the dogs and cause them to bolt or balk. It's easier for everyone to have a clear view of the teams if the crowd is not jammed together.
  • For more information check out  Dog & Driver Magazine  

For a booklet about sled dog racing, send your name and address along with  $2.00 to:

International Sled Dog Racing Association

Dave Steele, Executive Director
22702 Rebel Road
Merrifield, MN. 56465