What is sledding?

Sledding in Australia

Photo: Leah & Ian Creative Photography

Sled dog racing originated in countries in the northern hemisphere where it snowed in winter. Sledding is a competitive sport which now occurs throughout most of the continents. The sport involves the timed competition of teams of sled dogs that pull a sled with the dog driver (musher) standing on the back of the sled. The team completing the marked course in the least time is judged the winner.

The majority of sledding events in Australia are conducted in bushland on dirt tracks with one- and two-dog teams pulling scooters. Larger teams pull a three-wheeled cart.

Racing season in Australia starts in May and finishes in August sometimes September depending on the temperature and humidity. Generally, the races are held at State Forest trail systems and also on personal properties. These are places where it is not too hot and access is allowed for dogs, cars and camping.

At the present time, there are races in NSW, VIC, ACT, QLD, SA, and WA and in the future hopefully in TAS.

For more information about sledding in Australia visit the Australian Sleddog Sports Association (ASSA).

What Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) titles can be attained?

Eligible dogs competing in Sled Race events shall be able to compete for the following titles:

Working Team Dog
Working Team Dog Excellence
Working Lead Dog
Working Lead Dog Excellence

Is my dog suitable for sledding?

Sledding in Australia

Photo: Leah & Ian Creative Photography

This sport would suit northern hemisphere dog breeds such as Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Samoyeds. However, the Australian Sleddogs Sports Association Inc allows any dog that is able to pull and run to participate.

Age restriction: The minimum age of competing dogs shall be 12 months. This age must be attained no later than the day before the race.

Where can I do sledding?

Contact the ASSA or ANKC‘s State member bodies:

Dogs ACT

Dogs West

Dogs Queensland

Dogs NT

Dogs NSW

Dogs SA

Dogs Tasmania

Dogs Victoria