Mushing Terminology
Alaskan husky: a northern dog of mixed breed, usually used to denote those bred for racing.
Mals racing in the White Oaks Classic
Basket: the main body of a sled, where passengers or gear may be carried.
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 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 Handle Bar.
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 is attached.
Haw: the command for the dogs to turn left.
Hike!: the command to get the dog team moving.
Lead Dogs: the dog or dogs in the front of a team. These dogs are noted for their high level of intelligence and drive. May be run as Single lead (1 dog) or Double lead (2 dogs).
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 dogs collar and Gangline, that keeps the dog in line.
On By!: the command to go by another team or other distraction.
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.
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.
Sled Bag: a fabric bag carried on a race sled, used to cary survival supplies or a dog.
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 attached 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 Lead Dogs, or those between the Point Dogs and the Wheel Dogs.
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.
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.