For over a thousand years, dogs have been used to pull sleds, carry items and assist in hunting in the Nordic region. These dogs are usually huskies, due to the fact that they are the most eager and wiling to work.
One thing that is very much associated with Norway is dog sledding. Not only is it a fast-growing, popular tourist activity, but it can also be a sport. In dog sled racing the sled dog teams usually consist of between 5 and 14 dogs, selected according to speed and stamina.
Robert Sørlie is a champion dog sled racer and member of a famous dog-sledding team, Team Norway. In 2003 Sørlie became very well known for winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska. He is particularly well known for this due to the fact that he is the only non-American who has won this race.
Another breed of dog used for pulling sleds are Samoyeds (pictured below). These have a long history and are believed to have originated in Siberia. The Samoyed people, otherwise known as the Sami, not only used the dogs for pulling their sleds, but for hunting, guarding property and for herding reindeer. They were even used for warmth, sleeping closely to their owners on cold nights!
Have you ever tried dog sledding? I never have but it’s very high up on my wish list. A few of my friends have been, up in the northern Norwegian town of Tromsø. It is possible to take two-day trips, camping overnight out in the wilderness. Apparently on the overnight trips, the dogs dig little holes in the snow, side by side and curl up in them to keep warm! Adorable! I can’t think of a lovlier way to experience the Norwegian countryside than sitting back in a little sled and watching the breath-taking scenery whizz past! And imagine camping overnight in the snowy wilderness, watching the northern lights shimmering over-head! Idyllic!