What Is A Wheel Dog?

Since it’s our name sake, wheel dogs are near and dear to our heart. So, what is a wheel dog?

On a traditional sled dog team they are the dog, or dogs, closest to the sled. They are often the biggest and strongest dogs on the team. And, usually not the fastest.

wheel dogs pulling a sled
The two rear dogs are "wheel dogs" on this sled team

Somehow, that means they always get portrayed as being less intelligent. At least when it comes to movies and pop culture. But, that’s far from the truth.

The truth is these dogs are the backbone of any team. They’re the work horses that pull the most weight on the team. And, for working teams that brought equipment and mail across the northern tundra, they were the dogs you depended on.

The leader gets all the attention, but the wheel dogs make the sled move!

Now, if you’re a recreational musher and have a small team, your leader and wheel dog might be the same dog!

Small Team: Wheel Dogs & Lead Dogs

But, as you can tell by our name, we wanted to give these unsung heroes their due.  

Share This Post

Related Articles