The average team that we run consists of 6 dogs; but it is highly dependent upon weather, trail, and snow conditions. We never run more than 6 dogs on each team.
The two front dogs on the team are called leaders. We always run two leaders on each team. Leaders are responsible for making sure the team takes the proper trail directed by the musher.
The next 1-2 dogs are called point dogs. They are responsible for helping to maneuver the team around corners; and to pick up on lead commands where a lead dog may be lacking.
Your back 2 dogs are wheel dogs. They are normally big and the strongest on the team. They are responsible for a good portion of the pulling done by the team.
The basket is designed for carrying large loads with ease. These baskets can hold approximately 250 lbs.
There are 2 runners that support the sled and help to glide through the snow. You will stand with one foot on each runner.
The handle bar is for the musher to hold on to.
The brush bow is designed to absorb the impact of hitting brush and trees so that the integrity of the sled is not damaged.
The brakes work on a pressure system. The more pressure you apply to the bar brakes, the slower you will go. They dig into the snow, creating resistance in the dog's pull, and encouraging them to stop.