Anchorage GenWeb Log
ANCHORAGE BOROUGH, ALASKA GENWEB PROJECT
MUSHING TERMINOLOGY
Alaskan husky a northern dog of mixed breed, usually used to denote those bred for racing.
Basket the main body of a sled, where passengers or gear may be carried.
Beargrease a 500-mile sleddog race held every January in Minnesota. Named after John Beargrease, an Ojibway (Chippewa) Native American who carried the mail by dog sled, the race runs from Duluth to Grand Portage (on the Canadian border) and back to Duluth.
Booties slippers for dogs, worn while working under certain conditions to prevent ice forming between their toes. Made of a wide range of fabrics, including fleece and Gore-tex
Brushbow the curved piece out in front of the main body of a sled, designed to stop brush from damaging the sled.
Dog Bag a fabric bag carried on a race sled, used to put a sick or injured dog into in order to carry him to a place where he can be cared for.
Dog Box a carrier for several dogs, most often seen as a wooden structure in the bed of a pickup truck. Styles vary widely, but usually built with individual sections that hold one or two dogs each.
Driving Bow the handle that the musher holds on to - also called a Handlebow.
Easy! the command for the dogs to slow down.
Gangline the main line that the dogs and sled are attached to.
Gee the command for the dogs to turn right.
Handler a person who assists the musher.
Harness a webbing of fabric that fits a dog snugly, to which the Tugline and Neckline are attached.
Haw the command for the dogs to turn left.
Hike! the command to get the dog team moving.
Husky in common useage, any northern breed dog - properly, a Siberian Husky.
Jingler a noise-making device, usually bells or washers on a ring or rope. The noise made by the jingler accompanies a correction.
Lead Dogs the dog or dogs in the front of a team. These dogs are noted for their high level of intelligence and drive, and are often females. May be run as Single lead (1 dog) or Double lead (2 dogs).
Malemute The largest breed of Husky. Also the Eskimo name for "dog".
Mush! many people think this is the term used to get a team going - Hike! is most commonly used.
Musher a person who drives a sled dog team - also called a Dog Driver.
Neckline a short line (10-12 inches) attached to the Harness and Gangline, that keeps the dog in line.
On By! the command to go by another team or other distraction. In other words, don't slow down -- keep going.
Pedaling pushing with one foot while keeping the other on the sled.
Point Dogs used by some mushers to denote the two dogs right behind the Lead Dogs. Others call them Swing Dogs.
Rigging all the gear used to attach dogs to a sled.
Runners the narrow pieces of wood that a sled rides on. Usually have a replaceable plastic layer to reduce maintenance. The runners extend behind the Basket so the Musher can stand on them.
Safety Line an extra line from the Gangline to the sled, in case the main fitting breaks.
Single leading one dog as a single lead dog. The alternative to a single lead is a double lead, where two dogs run together at the lead position.
Snow Hook a large metal hook that can be driven into firm snow to anchor a team for a short period of time without tying them.
Snub Line a rope attached to the back of the sled, which can be tied to a tree to hold the team when the snow is not firm enough to use a Snow Hook.
Stakeout a main chain with separate short chains to attache several dogs to. May be strung between the front and back bumpers of a truck, or between two trees.
Stanchions the upright pieces that attach the runners to a sled.
Swing Dogs depending on which musher you're talking to, either the two dogs directly behind the Leda Dogs, or those between the Point Dogs and the Wheel Dogs.
Tack harnesses
Team Dogs all dogs other than the Lead Dogs, Point Dogs, Swing Dogs and Wheel Dogs.
Toboggan a sled with a flat bottom instead of runners. Used when deep, soft snow is expected instead of a good trail.
Tuglines the main line that connects the dog's harness to the Gangline - the line that the dog tugs on.
Village Dogs a derogatory term for poorly socialized dogs of unknown breeding.
Wheel Dogs the two dogs right in front of the sled. These will normally be the heaviest dogs in the team.
Whoa the command to get the dog team to stop.

 

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