Wisconsin is known for its winter activities. As winter loving Canadians we knew we were going to love it in the coldest of seasons. There were so many activities we could choose from. We could ice skate and glide across one of the countless frozen lakes. Or perhaps we would find ourselves careening down one of the many sledding hills in Wisconsin. But what had us most excited was the chance to go dog sledding.
“You ready?” Mary me asked with a gleam in her eye, knowing full well that her fur children certainly were. They were yelping, jumping, howling, and pulling their ropes tight, eager for the brake to be released so they were free to run. It had to be their favorite time of the day.
I was as excited as they were, I knew I was in for a fun time. I had only been on a dog sled once before back in Canada, but never with full control of my own team. This time I was on my own.
“The colder the better.” John, the owner of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing, had explained earlier in our training. “if it’s too hot, just think of it as your car overheating, it’s not good to run them that hard.” We laid out the food for the dogs and received careful instruction on how to handle the sled and our team.
He made sure to tell us something personal about each pup and the story of how they arrived at Wolfsong and started their “dog sledding in Wisconsin” adventure. The dogs all sat quietly, waiting patiently to be introduced and then be indulged in a barrage of attention and love. “You need to make sure they know you are confident and in control. Otherwise they won’t trust you.”
Wolfsong is a company that takes great pride in their dogs and their business. From the well manicured grounds that were kept extremely clean, to an enormous playpen where the dogs sleep at night and have lots of room to run around, you could tell the owners loved every single one of the pups.
And really, look at those faces! What’s not to love?
They’ve even adopted a theme-based naming system and some of the following names I thought were very clever:
The Egg Litter – Benny, Mickey (short for McMuffin), and Diablo (deviled)
The Dr. Seuss Litter – Cindy Lou, Horton, and Green Eggs
The Tea litter – Ice and Earl Grey
The Steak litter – T-Bone, Porter, and Minnie (short for Filet Mignon)
Diablo and Horton led my sled, followed by Benny and Mickey.
My brake was released and my dogsled adventure was off to a flying start.
We winded around corners, dipped through valleys and ran around frozen lakes. The dogs were in their element, and I was just along for the very joyful ride.
When we stopped to rest I made sure to give praise to each one of them. The dogs rolled around in the snow and continued pulling at the reigns, they just wanted to go again. Even after just a couple of hours I felt connected to my team. I jumped back on the sled and we took off, but only because this time it was the dogs telling me: “Let’s Go”.
There’s something so magical about Husky dogs. Their eyes, their beautiful coats, the strength they have to run and pull the sleds, and their pure ecstatic joy in doing so. Dalene grew up with two of them as pets, and she has many stories of them pulling her around town on a toboggan. I was a city boy, I only saw major dog sled races on the TV. This was an unforgettable afternoon.
If you have never experienced sledding with a team of Huskies, then you will really enjoy this video. It is unbelievable how excited they get to start running!
**Special thanks to Diablo, Horton, Benny, Mickey, and all the great staff of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing in Bayfield, Wisconsin for hosting my dog sledding experience.
Wow, what a great experience. I haven’t been dog sledding yet but when I do, I want to make sure they love their dogs and treat them well. The dogs look happy and always ready to go.
Agreed, and Wolfsong sure takes care of theirs. I swear the dogs were smiling all day 🙂
What amazingly gorgeous dogs!
That looks so much fun! I definitely want to do that some day!
Jarmo recently posted..Night of Tram Lines and Castles in Ghent
It was my first time driving a sled and it was so much fun. Highly recommended if you have the chance, cheers Jarmo!
So cool! This is in my bucket list, I hope it happens soon. By the way, I didn’t know it could be done in Wisconsin…and I’ve been there many times!
It’s waaayyyyy in the North, so if you venture up that way make sure to look these guys up. The dogs are in heaven right now the temps are about -20 degrees.
Yeah…did you know I lived in Houghton (in the UP) for a year?? All I remember is snow lol
My Mom grew up in northern Manitoba and her uncle had sled dogs for trap lines. Beautiful, beautiful dogs.
They are such beautiful dogs, and they just LOVE to run.
This is so on my bucket list.
I get weirded out by huskies sometimes with the coloring making them look like they are pissed off all the time but these guys look amazing.
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LOL, these guys looked like they were smiling all day. Hope you get to tick this one of your list soon 🙂
I love the naming system! So fun. I saw this advertised in Iceland and was definitely tempted, but it was actually too warm while we were there. Next time!
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I loved the naming system too, so clever! I imagine you have to be though with 46 dogs 🙂
Too bad it was so warm, but yes there’s always a next time!
Aww this is incredible! I love dog-sledding! I also have my own husky x named Scotia and she is the greatest. I have such a fondness for huskies in general, they are such magnificent dogs indeed. It looked like you had such a great time. Can’t wait to read more about your winter adventures (especially those upcoming in Finland!)
Thanks Chrystal! And we’re definitely looking forward to the possibility of dog sledding in Finland. Dalene was bummed she missed out on this.
I adore huskies and once visited a sled dog farm near Whitehorse, though it was pre-snow season and I was taken on a run with a 4 wheel bike instead. Walking down the lines of kennels and meeting a few of the dogs was such a pleasure, though the cuteness factor went off the scale when I go to hold a puppy! Hope to experience such a place again one day – in snow.
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That must have been an experience on a 4 wheel bike, I can’t imagine. And how cute that puppy must have been!!
Always wanted to do this! Looks like plenty of fun!
Lots of fun for sure. I don’t imagine too much snow where you are? That only means you’ll have to make it over to snowland and do it 🙂
Nope! 37 degrees C here in Melbourne tomorrow… just another excuse we need to get over to North America in Winter! Hope all is well with you two! 🙂
That is TOO hot. Yikes!
i really want to do this.
as a new dog owner, i can really see how certain dogs just WANT to do certain things, based on their breed. my dog wants to herd people/other dogs. these doggies just wanna pull. so cute.
Annie of TravelShus recently posted..Weekly Photo: Cerro Catedral, Argentina
Thanks Annie. Yes, these guys definitely want to pull and run and run and run. It’s so much fun if you get the chance to do it!
A nice story. The photos of the dogs are great! Love the one with an open mouth and ice around it 🙂 Would love to do a dog sled one day.
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Isn’t Bayfield amazingly magical too? Just moving back to Wisconsin (lovely -15 F this morning…) so loved reading about your adventures here. Now anxious for your sun-drenched stories!
We got to go dog sledding twice last year and it was such a great experience both times. I’d love to see a dog sled race like the Iditarod in person one day.
Jennifer recently posted..Seven Romantic Getaways for Valentine’s Day
For sure that would be pretty cool to see in person. To compete in it would be out of this world…
Aloha Mr&Mrs Heck
When you travel to Finland
Let me welcome you warmly to cafe Murunen (Sweetheart) to have best super hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted 🙂
Welcome to the north!
(Fb : Murunen , instagram : Murunen )
Thank you so much for your invite and I hope we have the opportunity to come to your Cafe! We are big fans of hot chocolate 🙂
Pete and Dalene
Sled dogs are so cool. I hope one day to have to opportunity to do this, too.
I hope you do too Laura 🙂 It’s so much fun.
what a great experience to mush with the huskies. One of my favorite friends is a musher in Minnesota – he has Samoyeds though ( http://winterlong.com/ ) little puffs of white – ok they’re huge but really sweet.
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Samoyeds are SO cute! Any of those fluffy dogs I would love to take around the world with me, as long as they carried their own backpacks. 🙂
I have a Samoyed, which is also a sledding dog, and can just imagine how much fun it’d be taking her out in the snow like this! Loved this post, what a great experience!
Gotta love those huskies ! Thanks for sharing.
Loved Loved Loved this post! It was so cute. Can’t wait to try dog-sledding. It looks really fun!
They’re such beautiful animals.Those eyes get me every time! This looks like such a fun experience, I have to try it myself sometime!
Great video and wow, did that one pup ever howl. 🙂
Ha! I laugh every time I watch the video and see that puppy losing it. He was so excited!
Really would love to go dogsledding like this someday! And I love hearing about sledding companies that truly seem to love their dogs. I’ve met some sled dogs before (Iditarod dogs in Alaska, no less!), and they are so sweet – and so in love with pulling that sled!
Amanda recently posted..Highlights of Belize and Guatemala
You have to do it Amanda! Surely you can’t be too far from finding an opportunity to do so? It’s so much fun!
Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan offers sled dog rides on Thursdays in February, along the river. Always wanted to take my daughter. It sounds like you had a great time!
This certainly seems like a lot of fun. Those dogs are just beautiful!
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SO FUN. I’ve only ever done this in Svalbard (Arctic Norway), and there was no snow so we did it on sleds with wheels!
I loved that video! Benny (or Mickey?) is clearly so excited to get moving. This sounds like such an incredible adventure.
I always had a blind spot for Husky dogs. I think it’s because of their eyes. I would love to try dog sledding…
Izy Berry – The Wrong Way Home recently posted..Volunteering in Cambodia
They have to be one of the most beautiful breed of dogs, for sure! We had two growing up, and I LOVED them (even if they were a bit too hyper!)
This looks like so much fun, it’s definitely on my bucket list!
That looks great. I would love to try it, but worry I wouldn’t be able to control the dogs. It takes me quite a while for my confidence to develop in a new situation like that.
That and convincing Ali to come to a place that cold could be difficult. Wonder if they have dog sledding in Iceland?
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They really aren’t hard to control at all – very well trained. I think it’s actually quite relaxing! I bet they do have it in Iceland (and we just did it in Finland today)!
This looks so much fun!!! I would Love to do this some day. Have to get my husband to go too. The Dogs are beautiful and look happy.