HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Do You Have What It Takes ... Dog Sledding
by Staff
Mushers lead sled dogs on long-distance races. They have to endure freezing temperatures, avoid hostile predators, cross treacherous environments and navigate through hundreds of miles of open Alaskan wilderness. Do you have what it takes to be a musher and lead a team of sled dogs to victory? Take this quiz to find out.

You're organizing your team before the race. Where do you put your two best sled dogs?

  • Put them in the very back so they can keep an eye on all the other dogs.
  • Put them in the middle of the team so their influence can be felt by everyone.
  • Put them in the front. They're called "lead dogs" for a reason!

The race just started, but you already see that one of your competitors is having trouble. It looks like one of her dogs got tangled up in a tow line and is being strangled. What do you do?

  • Stop your dogs, hop off your sled and help free her dog.
  • Winning is what's important here -- hope for the best and keep moving!
  • Call out to her that you'll alert a vet or race official at the next checkpoint.

Back on the trail, you keep racing until night has fallen. It's very cold, but neither you nor your dogs are tired. Should you continue racing in the dark?

  • Absolutely not! Pitch a tent and wait for daylight to get moving again. No one is crazy enough to race at night.
  • Keep moving, but slow down. It's dark and cold, and you can't see. You can keep going for a little while, but do so at a leisurely walking pace.
  • Yes. You're a responsible competitor, and if you want to mush at night, you'll mush at night!

You see a large horned moose up ahead, and your dogs want to avoid it. What should you do?

  • Forge ahead. You have a team of burly sled dogs, and you're not such a bad fighter yourself. That moose will just have to move.
  • Go around the long way. It's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep your distance, and yell or throw snowballs at the moose to scare it away.

After another day of hard travel, you reach the next checkpoint. What's the No. 1 thing you should before going to sleep?

  • Examine all of your dogs' feet to make sure there are no cuts or bruises, then apply ointment as necessary.
  • Nothing. Your top priority is getting a few winks, so you should immediately curl up and go to bed.
  • Assess your supplies. If you're running low on food or other supplies, notify race officials.

You stop for a short break after racing for several hours straight. You're starving, so what do you eat?

  • Reach for chips, candy and anything else that gives you a quick rush.
  • Opt for fruits and veggies -- mushers need their vitamins.
  • Choose dense, high-energy foods, like nuts and jerky.

You and your team are racing down a frozen river. Suddenly, your team slows down. What do you do?

  • Pick up the pace. You've got a race to win, and you can't stop whenever the dogs want to sniff around.
  • Investigate the situation. If your dogs stopped or slowed down, there's probably a good reason. You should always trust your animals' instincts.
  • Stop and take a break. They're probably tired and need the rest, and you wouldn't mind taking a power nap yourself.

A few miles from the finish line, one of your dogs sprains his foot. How do you proceed?

  • Put your injured dog on your sled, and keep racing.
  • Examine his paw, and if it seems like a minor injury, keep him running.
  • Disconnect the injured dog from the rest of the team and keep going. He'll probably find help.