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Sled Dog Racing Queensland

a family friendly sport and recreation club for sled dog sports and dryland mushing

Welcome

What is Sled Dog Sport?

Otherwise know as “Dryland Mushing” Sled Dog Sports encompass several disciplines or classes including Scooterjor, Bikejor, Canicross and Rig or Cart.
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About Sled Dog Racing Queensland Inc

Social & Competetive

Sled Dog Racing Queensland Inc. (SDRQ) is a social and competitive racing club formed in 2014 by a group of experienced recreational and competitive mushers wanting to create a family friendly and fun training and racing atmosphere. Looking to grow the exposure of the Sled Dog Sport in Queensland the club Introduced the disciplines of Canicross and Bikejor to the more tradition forms of Dryland Mushing (Scooter and Cart), aiming to expand the sport of sled dog racing in Queensland.

Events & Training

Based in South East Queensland, SDRQ holds Sled Dog racing events and training throughout the winter season (April-Sept). The club utilises three main forestry areas for Sled Dog Sports events these are Passchendaele State Forest, Benarkin State forest and Pechey and Geham State Forests. SDRQ also host range of Expo and Social events in various locations across Metropolitan South East Queensland.

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Affiliations

Sled Dog Racing Queensland Incorporated is affiliated to the Australian Sleddog Sports Association, a member of The International Federation of Sleddog Sports. Since our inception in 2014 of membership based has been continually been on the rise and we are now one of the largest and most active clubs for dog sledding In Australia.

What’s new

On the blog

About Sled Dog Sports

Is Sled Dog Sports for you?

Although this dog sport is often associated with arctic breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, sled dog sports are open to any breeds or mix breed, particularly mid to large sized dogs that love to run or pull! It can be done with just one dog or a whole team, it’s really up to you!
It is family friendly dog sport is open to people of all ages offering Mini Pee Wee (up to 8 accompanied by an adult), Pee Wee (8-10), Junior (10-16), Novice and Open Classes (over 16 yrs). Within these human age groups there is a variety of available classes for you to explore.
Your sled dog/s must have a minimum, current C3 Vaccination (or titre test proving immunity) and must be at least 12 months to compete (larger breeds may be encouraged to wait a bit longer again). However, there is many things you and your dog can learn and train with SDRQ prior to hitting the racetrack for competition, that won’t harm the growth and development of your puppy if they are still young.
Dog Sports Australia
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“Sled sports are generally defined by dryland sledding in summer and mushing or sledding in winter.”

(Wikipedia 2014)

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Bikejor

Where do we race and how does a typical Sled Dog event work?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “Do you hold events in Brisbane/Gold Coast?”

Well, to paraphrase a cult classic;
The first rule of Sled Dog Sports is: Never let go! The second rule of Sled Dog Sports is all about temperatures and dog safety.

Unfortunately, it is far too hot and humid for sled dog sports events to be regularly held in many coastal areas including the Gold Coast, Brisbane and more often than not, the Sunshine coast, as a result we must head west! To run our dogs in the coolest parts of the day, racing and training typically has 2 “heats” the first starting late on Saturday afternoon around 4pm, and the second at dawn or around 6am on Sunday. Any members that have travelled to the race site will often camp or stay close by (with in 10km) and several accommodation options for each site from free or paid camping, or cabin and motel options depending on personal preferences.
If you are thinking of attending a Sled Dog Racing Queensland event, you can find all of the relevant and most up to date information on our events page . Upon arrival to events you will be welcomed by one of the committee and asked to register at the registration gazebo. At the specified time (found in the event information), we will hold a ‘Drivers Meeting” where everyone is briefed on the running order, track conditions and general safety Information. You must attend this brief or talk to the “trail boss” If you arrive late to be caught up on the details before you can head out on the track.
If you are attending for the first time, we are happy to lend you any specific sled dog gear you require until you can purchase your own, should you decide to continue.

Things you must supply for yourself/your dog/s are:

  • Warm clothes, enclosed shoes and gloves
  • Head light and bike light
  • Helmet
  • 2L (at least) of water per
  • Dog
  • Dog Food
  • Food and drink for yourself
  • A chew proof means of securing your dog/s (cable stake out <2m or crate)
  • Any camping requirements you have
  • Flat collar or limited slip collar, (no check chains, prong or e-collars for running)
  • Tick protection strongly recommended

Sled Dog training tips to get you started

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Bikejor

As in any dog sport regular training is the key to success, It also means that you and your dog will be well prepared to have loads of fun together! To get started on your dryland mushing journey you don’t need to wait for winter or club events to start and you don’t need any fancy equipment. Perhaps two of the most important things you can to get started in sled dog sports are building up the fitness of your sled dog and command training, both of which can be done during warmer weather and in everyday situations.

Every dog is different when it comes to how much physical exercise they need to do to keep fit, the same as people. But free running, drag work and swimming are all excellent forms of exercise to keep your dog fit during the offseason as well as between sled training runs. It is safest to keep sled training sessions to one track run per day, per dog (but not every day of the week, rest days are important). Start with small distances (500m – 1km) and work your way up over time, but the general rule in races is 2km of distance per dog. Make sure between each session of exercise, you give your dog rest days so that their bodies have time to recover and always be sure to warm up and warm down you dog to help avoid injury. The more you exercise your dog, the more you will learn what distances they are comfortable with without overdoing It.
We recommend bringing in commands to everyday walks and activities, dogs learn well by repetition and this is the easiest way to do this. If your dog can understand sled dog commands before you hit the trail you will find it much easier to navigate the track. Pick routes that have quite a few turns and say the commands when you change direction. It’s also a good Idea to change the route regularly to keep your dog thinking and listening to you, not just following a remembered route. As you approach distractions or other people/animals you can signal the dog to “On-By”, which means leave the distraction alone and keep going. If you are on a walk with more than one person , you can also use it as an opportunity to practice passing, which is very important. Call out the “Trail” command, and as you overtake the other walker.
Dogs also need to be safely kept at events this could be in crates trailers, cars, or a stake out line. Stake out lines should be made of a material that your dog cannot chew; chain or steel cable is ideal and should also be short so that your dog doesn’t get tangled, injured or interfere with passing dogs, people or traffic. If your dog isn’t used to being confined by any of these methods, you can also practice this at home. You can set up your stake outline in your own backyard and sit out with your dog, giving them treats to make it more fun for them. It’s also a good Idea to get them used to eating their meals while on the stake out, if your dog hasn’t been camping before it’s common for them to not want to eat when not at home. This will make the experience much easier for your dog at their first sled event because they will these actions more familiar.

Choose your sled dog commands

There are different options for commands that you and your dog use on track. It isn’t that important what you use, as long as your dog understands what it is you want them to do. Some choose to use everyday words such as left, right, go and stop, which are all obvious in meaning, while other Mushers choose to use traditional mushing commands, they are used because of their distinct sound to dogs and because they are easy to say under physical exertion. Below is a list of these commands and their meanings

GEE!

GEE!

Command for right turn.

GO GEE!

GO GEE!

Command for the team to move to the right of the trail.

COME GEE!

COME GEE!

COME GEE! 180 degree turn to the right.

HAW!

HAW!

Command for left turn.

GO HAW!

GO HAW!

Command for the team to move to the left of the trail.

COME HAW!

COME HAW!

180 degree turn to the left.

LINE OUT!

LINE OUT!

Command for the lead dogs to pull the team out straight from the sled. Mostly used when hooking up or un-hooking a team.

MUSH! HIKE! LET’S GO!

MUSH! HIKE! LET’S GO!

Command to start the team running.

ON BY!

ON BY!

To ignore a distraction and keep running.

HIKE UP!

HIKE UP!

Command to pick up speed.

WHOA!

WHOA!

Command to halt the team. Accompanied by brake pressure.

Remember: Dogs have great hearing and typically hear you the first time you give a command. If you as a musher are constantly repeating commands to your team they loose meaning and may result in the dogs ignoring you commands completely. Always praise a positive response in your dogs. Running should be fun and rewarding, praise at the right time can encourage your team to perform well for you on track.