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The fun facts about urban mushing.


Dry land mushing, also known as urban mushing or dog scootering, is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. It’s a great way of exercising your active dog. The dog is typically harnessed to the front of a specialized scooter or “rig” in the same manner as they would be to an arctic dog sled.


urban mushing harnessThere are various types of harnesses used to hook the dog up with. The most common is called the X-back harness. This is what is usually found being used by mushers in Alaska. This type of harness distributed the weight evenly across the back and the center of the pull is close to the base of the tail. This is much more comfortable for the dog and allows for an unrestricted gape when running. The drawback is that it is less secure and can be backed out of.

Urrban harnessThe second type is called a universal or Urban Trail Harness. This type of harness gives more control and security as it is designed similar to the standard harness you find in stores but with extra padding for comfort.





Gang Lines

gang linesThe harness is hooked up to what is called a gang line. This is typically a nylon line with clips at both ends and some sort of shock absorption. They can be designed for single or double. You can also add gang line sections together to be able to hook up multiple dogs at once.


Rigs and Scooters

four wheel rigThere are four wheel rigs. These are designed primarily for rough terrain and various weather conditions. Three wheeled rigs are designed for a rougher terrain but mostly for dry weather conditions. And finally the two wheeled scooter design. This is what is typically called the urban scooter as three wheel rigmost are designed for pavement and moderately rough conditions.

As an added note there are side winder hookups that can be hooded to bikes and scooters that allow the dog to run next to you.






Dog Scooter







Mush a beginers manual to sled dog training

Although urban mushing is great fun, you first need to be prepared. You can’t expect to hook your Siberian husky up on the first day and have them know what they are supposed to do. The first step in training a Siberian husky or any other dog to dry land mush is to teach them the commands.

“Hike” it the command typically used to go forward, usually full speed. You can also make a kissing sound to

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get them to go faster. “Gee” is to turn right while “Haw” is left. “Easy” is the command used to have them slow down and “Whoa” is to stop. Another useful command is “On by” which essentially means to pass by a distraction without stopping.

I would suggest first walking them on a leash and start training the commands. After that walk them on a leash, but hook the leash up to the harness, again re-enforcing the commands. Next keep them on the leash and harness and walk the scooter/rig with you so they get used to being near it.

After they have the commands down and seem to be comfortable near the scooter hook them up to the scooter with the gang line and “walk” them with the scooter. After they get the feeling of pulling and you know you can control them then jump on and let them pull you short distances at a slow pace.

Before long you will be zooming down the sidewalks and trails like the inner musher you are.


by Phillip Congleton - March 11, 2011

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Phill has been a volunteer for the South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue since 2007 and has lived with the breed for several years. The experiance he has is from experts in the breed, personal experiences as well as the countless hours helping others who have the breed.