I used to feel really bad for sled dogs. How horrible their lives...strapped into a harness, attached to a sled which is laden down with heaping, heavy piles of crap. And what kind of awful person would strap those dogs in and then hop on back to ride? How cruel!
I now admit my impressions of dog sled is completely off base. Those dogs could probably pull an elephant & not break a sweat. How do I know this??
I have a dog. He's a 50 lbs. (give or take a pound) mutt that was born with seriously deformed hips. (Basically, the poor thing had no sockets.) We adopted him as a puppy & spent $10,000 repairing those hips. He has steel plates in his back end that created artificial hips for him. Does that slow him down? No.
Today, I was sitting outside on the stoop with my sweet little beastie. Down the street, we see our next door neighbor coming back from a walk with his dog. Our dogs love each other. I immediately locked my dog's leash (its one of those 16 footers). When the neighbor reached his yard, he decided to walk over and say hi.
Now, I am 165 lbs. - no lightweight. That's more than 3 times my pooch's weight. I'm fairly strong, too. Did this slow him down when he realized his buddy was coming? No. He took off like a bat out of hell to get to him. I tightened my grip on the leash and planted my feet to brace myself from being jarred. I was sure that would stop him.
I didn't have a chance. He charged forward (to my left side) and I shot off the front steps like a rocket - still on my ass! I flew about 5 feet off the side of the stairs & crashed down on said ass, still in sitting position, in my nicely rounded yew bush.
Did that end it? Um no.
As I attempted to extricate myself from the sadly mangled, broken bush he took off again. I was propelled out of it and face planted on the lawn with the leash now firmly clamped in both hands. As I struggled to slow down the damn dog, I was summarily dragged another twenty (yes, let me repeat that - 20) feet across the lawn, on my stomach until he reached his buddy.
If my dog can do that, those sled dogs as a team can pull anything.
(And yes, I'm very scratched up. I actually had to pull out a small branch from where it lodged under the skin in my forearm. Yowch.)