If you take a look at the offers for dog sledding, you’ll quickly notice that the organizers of sleigh rides and dog sledding do not overlap. These two activities are very different. If you’ve already experienced a sleigh ride, then maybe it’s time to try a dog sled adventure instead. It’s a fun activity, especially for children.
Dog sledding tours are run by experienced people who love dogs. Interestingly, this activity is not limited to the winter season. During the summer months, the sleds are replaced by carts, and even without the white snow, it is still fun. Another advantage of dog sledding is that it is less expensive than a sleigh ride, making it a great alternative if you are looking for a cheaper activity.
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Preparing for a Dog Sledding Adventure in Zakopane
The dog sledding experience in Zakopane can vary depending on the operator you choose. However, there are some common factors that most offers have in common:
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- Sleds that can carry a total weight of up to 100 kg, usually one adult or one adult with one child or two children.
- A team of 4 to 6 dogs pulling the sled.
- The option to drive the sled without a guide for shorter distances.
Depending on the package you choose, you can either have an individual trip where the guide focuses solely on your experience, or join an organized group. On organized group trips, participants can enjoy a picnic in a forest clearing while waiting for their turn. This is an excellent opportunity for children and adults alike to engage in snow-related activities such as building snowmen or having a snowball fight while the dog sled team takes a break.
Two Options For Riding a Dog Sled
When it comes to dog sledding, there are two ways to ride: driving or sitting. If you choose to drive the sled, you stand on the runners and the guide sits on the sled. The other option is to sit back and enjoy the view while the guide takes control of the team.
Both positions have their advantages, depending on your preferences. Some people prefer to relax and take in the stunning views, while others enjoy the thrill of being in control of the sled and feeling the wind in their hair. Whichever option you choose, dog sledding is a unique and exciting experience that will leave you with lasting memories.
Dog Sledding Basics
Dog sledding, also known as „mushing”, is a popular sport that has become an integral part of Alaskan culture. Mushing has become so popular that the person who operates a dog sled team is called a „musher”. The musher is responsible for assembling a team of dogs, each with different skills and abilities.
The musher decides what position each dog will take on the team based on their strengths and abilities. The relationship between a musher and his team of dogs is vital, so it is important for anyone interested in dog sledding to have a positive attitude toward these incredible four-legged friends.
Today, dog sledding has become a recreational sport with mushers coming from all over the world to compete in the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska. This challenging race covers more than 1,800 km and can take nine to fifteen days, depending on weather and trail conditions.
The first Iditarod took place in 1973 and has since become the most popular sporting event in Alaska. With temperatures as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy snowstorms, it’s no surprise that only the most adventurous and daring mushers can complete this remarkable race.
The Most Popular Breeds of Sled Dogs in Zakopane
In Zakopane, there are a variety of breeds that are used in dog sledding, but the most popular breeds are the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. These breeds are chosen for their intelligence, excellent training, and quick response to verbal commands, all of which are critical to the safety and success of the entire team.
Feeding the dogs is also an essential part of their care. Domestic dogs typically require about 1,700 calories per day, but for sled dogs such as Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, their caloric intake can skyrocket to 10,000 calories per day. This is because sled dogs need a lot of energy to perform their tasks on the trail.
Zakopane’s Dog Sledding Offers
I found three interesting offers on the Internet. Here is what I found.
Krzeptowki.pl – Dog Sledding
They offer two packages. The first one is an individual husky ride for one or two people. You will ride with the musher to one of the Tatra valleys, where you can choose whether you want to stand on the back of the sled and lead the team, or sit and enjoy the stunning views. We can provide two teams of 4 to 6 dogs to pull your sled.
During the adventure we will take you to a secluded forest clearing where we will have a picnic away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is a track around the clearing where the dogs can run and pull the sled with one or two people on board. If you prefer to go it alone, you can do so without the help of a guide. While waiting for your turn, you can build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or just relax by the fire and enjoy some snacks.
Overall, dog sledding is an exhilarating activity that is perfect for those looking for a unique adventure and a chance to bond with these incredible four-legged friends.
Sled Rides in Białka Tatrzańska
Their sleds consist of two to eight dogs of northern breeds, depending on your needs. As the only company in Poland, they are proud to offer our clients three breeds of sled dogs, including Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds and the unique and rare Yakut Laikas, which come all the way from Russia. In addition, we have specially selected sled dogs, known as Alaskan/Eurodogs, which are used for fast sled dog racing.
During the event, you will be instructed on how to drive a sled or four-wheeled cart to which the dogs are harnessed. And the best part is that only with them you try to drive a dog sled independently.
In the winter season we offer rides on special wooden sleds. A team can consist of one adult, one adult with one child under 6, or two children under 10. Depending on the number of rides and the possibilities of the route, two teams can leave at the same time. During the winter season, there are two types of routes:
- Two kilometer route for 150 PLN
- Four-kilometer route for 300 PLN
In the summer season you are invited to ride a four-wheel cart. A team can consist of one adult or one adult with a child up to 6 years old. Depending on the number of rides and the possibilities of the route, two teams can ride at the same time. We offer three types of routes during the summer season:
- Two kilometer route for 150 PLN
- Four kilometer route for 300 PLN
- Longer routes according to the client’s wishes.
Dog sledding – Zakopane / Ząb / Podwilk
Their activity offers dog sledding for children, families, couples and organized groups in Orawa and Podhale.
For individuals, couples and families they offer a 2 km dog sled ride as a passenger with the possibility of driving and securing a musher. The ride lasts about 12 minutes and costs 120 PLN/ride.
For small groups and families we offer a dog sledding adventure, which includes a ride combined with instruction on how to drive a sled, preparing dogs for riding, a talk about dog sledding, familiarization with the equipment, and playing with dogs. Rides are organized over a distance of about 2 km.
For those who are looking for an unforgettable long-distance adventure, we offer a dog sledding expedition with preparation that lasts about 2 hours, depending on the number of people transported and weather conditions. The trip takes place in areas less frequented by tourists, especially in winter, and guarantees great experiences, wonderful views and close contact with nature. After the expedition, we can organize a campfire in a tipi and refreshments to complete your experience.