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Leader of the Pack
Mushers must be strong leaders. To a sled dog they are the "leader of the pack", and if the musher is tired, hesitant or uncertain, the dogs will sense it and become confused and not respond to commands. On long distance journeys through the barren wilderness, this could be dangerous.
It is also the musher's responsibility to look after his "pack", and make sure they are properly prepared and cared for on a long race or journey.
Sled dogs are tough, but they can have sensitive feet. To safeguard them, mushers tie on polar-fleece booties that keep paws warm and protected on sharp ice. In the Iditarod race, a single team will use hundreds of booties - each usually lasts just several hours and up to 100 miles / 160 km.
The dogs prefer cold, snowy days - they run faster and longer - the snow pads their feet and the chilly weather keeps them from getting overheated in those thick warm coats.
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Library: Sled Dogs, Arctic
Links: Inuit, Cold Places, Arctic
Sled Dogs: An Alaskan Epic )
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports
DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?