First of all you have to know that dogs looooove to run. They are really made for that, they love it. When they know they’re going to go out, they’re all crazy and when we have the misfortune to press the brake a little to avoid being ejected, they look like “what the hell are you doing man?!” . So on that, it’s not about exploitation, really.
About the kennels, inevitably the big ones are more industrial, but the dogs are well treated there. In winter they all go out very regularly, while out of season they also go out but a little less. Those whose mushers know they will not run away can be released during the day. But you should also know that summer is more complicated for them in terms of climate. They are winter dogs so they cannot provide the same effort. The lady of the small Lofoten kennel told us that her dogs, above 10°, were too hot and had to be preserved.
In short, all that to tell you that it’s a great activity and especially with dogs who only ask for that and who are well treated. There are probably exceptions, but I’m lucky not to have seen any. So the ones I’m going to tell you about here, there’s no problem.
Dog sledding is one of the best things to do in Tromso. You can find all this list of activities in this article.
Why is Tromso a great place to do dog sledding
So technically, dog sledding requires snow, dogs and a sled. Not very complicated. But in fact, it needs a bit more and that’s why Tromso is not bad, it needs flat, large and flat areas so that the dogs can run. Although the region is very mountainous, this kind of place is found in several valleys, like Breivikeidet and Laskvatn in particular, but also south of Kvaloya which is much less hilly, or south like surrounded by the mountains of Camp Tamok. In the Lofoten Islands it is much more difficult because there are only mountains and there is only one musher in the whole archipelago.
It must also, of course, be a region with snow for a good part of the year and in that Tromso is a safe bet.
Finally, Tromso is great because it allows dog sledding in a fantastic setting, surrounded by mountains.
What is a dog sledding like?
Well, clearly, it’s too nice. First, it is not you who will choose the dogs. They are chosen according to their form and temperament of the moment, I advise you to ask how they are selected, how to choose the order, those who are in first position (the leaders), it’s super interesting.
Once chosen, however, it’s up to you to dress them and it’s quite funny. You have to put the harnesses on them, they are used to it and they allow you do do it, but as it will be your first time, you will be a little clumsy and they will look at you with pity, like “you’re really not good at it”.
Then the serious things begin. We will explain to you how it works, in pairs, one lying or sitting, the other standing to drive. The mushers will explain the only maneuver to be made, namely braking. Ideally when it picks up too much speed and a turn comes, otherwise it will be like my wife “ahhhhhhhh! puf!” (literally).
We will also explain to you that you should not take photos and film at the same time as you are driving, otherwise you can lose your balance since you have a gripping hand. Well, it depends on your level of confidence, huh. I did it, it’s a little olé olé but it can be done.
It will last between 1h and 3h, depending on the tours, and you change in the middle. It goes by quickly even if it’s quite sporty so don’t hesitate to take a long tour if you have time because it’s really nice.
When can we do dog sledding in Tromso ?
Oh well, if I tell you that dog sledding requires snow, I shouldn’t surprise you too much. So it will only depend on that, the first big snowfalls, a snow that holds so as not to damage the paws of the dogs.
The last two years, it started at the end of January in Tromso, there hadn’t been any big snow before. And as the snow is holding, it will easily last until April. But it can start earlier! I remember a snow season that started in November, while in 2020 the snow was still falling in mid-May.
There is also a possibility if there is no snow, they will do it with kind of kartings, that’s also funny !
So it depends a lot, but try your luck, if the tours offer it is that it is available, quite simply 🙂
How to chose your dog sledding tour in Tromso
So we will find several tours, and we will have to make a choice according to several criteria:
- the size of the kennel: well, it’s a criterion and not too much in itself, because there aren’t a lot of kennels in the Tromso region. There are two large ones nearby and a smaller one further away. I really liked having a fairly confidential kennel in Lofoten, but concretely, it’s not going to change much and especially the two main ones here are two quite big.
- the price: there is something for everyone. We start at 180€, it can go up to 230€ depending on the size, the duration and sometimes for no reason.
- the activity itself: some offer dog sledding under the northern lights, it can be a great activity. Please note that this is not always available. Others will only offer the visit of the kennel, it’s much cheaper so you have to be careful about that
Avec toutes les infos que je vous ai données, je vais vous simplifier encore plus la tâche avec un petit tri. On va trouver ces options :
- 1h30 of dog sledding close to Tromso, in the most popular kennel, 195$ (discover it here !), 195€
- 1h30 in the famous Camp Tamok, surrounded by incredible mountains, with a visit of the Ice Domes ! 200$ (discover it here!)
- The northern lights with the dogs in a kennel (be careful, not always available!), from 110$ (discover it here!)
- Snowshoeing and kennel visit, 108$ (discover it here!)
Some advices and useful information
- Price: well it’s still not cheap, but there are all kinds of prices. It starts around 180€ at a glance, it goes up to 230 (without seeing too much difference, I admit).
- Difficulty: Not difficult in itself. But it does require a bit of attention and it pushes on your arms and abs when driving the sled. It’s a bit sporty, but doesn’t require to be in good shape
- Who it’s for: Well, it depends. It’s physical, some accept children from 7 years old (not to drive, eh), others only adults. It will also be necessary to avoid if you are pregnant, plastered, this kind of pathology.
- is it dangerous ?: well no, it’s not strictly speaking dangerous. On the other hand, you can easily be ejected from the sled, especially when you are driving, if you’re distracted. But the idea is to fall in the snow so that’s fine. On the sled itself, you must above all store your feet and especially not allow them to stick out. So no, this is not dangerous 🙂
- If we are afraid of dogs: the dogs are soooo lovely. Others are not going to see you because what they want is to run. But they are hyperactive! So absolutely not dangerous, but they wriggle, even to cuddle them. And if they are selected, it’s also for their sociable side, so they won’t mess with you. All of them I saw were perfectly sociable.
See the dogs when it’s not winter
If, like me, you want to see the dogs when it’s not the sledding season, it’s possible! First, some kennels must be open from time to time (but not during high season) to visitors. Then, two great activities are offered.
First of all we will offer you the training of the puppies. Well, I did it, it’s more of an outing with a lot of cute puppies that you have to make run. We spend a lot of time with them, it’s funny, they’re crazy, it’s really nice. And then we can spend time with the bigger dogs.
You can find it out here.
But you have another activity that looks very nice, it’s going on a hike with the dogs. As they need to exert themselves (and so do we!), we therefore have the possibility of walking them in the magnificent landscapes. And after there is a visit to the kennel and patting the dogs.
To be discovered here!
There you go, I think I’ve told you everything! It really is something fun to do. There is no mistreatment, the dogs are super friendly, hyperactive, sociable. It’s going to go quickly, it’s a very good experience, I hope I have convinced you 🙂
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