History of Sled Dogs

Scheduled for publication in the fall of 2022 by Northern Light Media, The History of Sled Dogs in North America, by Helen Hegener and several contributing writers, will tell the many and varied stories of the teams of working sled dogs which helped shape the future of the continent, whether hauling the mail, gold, freight, passengers, or racing each other for winning purses for their owners.

This full-color, elegantly illustrated book will feature outstanding art and splendid photographs and illustrations. Drawing from many vintage books and historic writings on the earliest accounts of travel by dogteam, the book will become a landmark reference on the interdependence of man and dog.


“They were new dogs, utterly transformed by the harness. All passiveness and unconcern had dropped from them. They were alert and active, anxious that the work should go well, and fiercely irritable with whatever, by delay or confusion, retarded that work. The toil of the traces seemed the supreme expression of their being, and all that they lived for and the only thing in which they took delight.”

—Jack London, The Call of the WIld, 1903


This wide-ranging book will include the use of sled and pack dogs by native Americans, traced back to prehistory; the coureurs des bois (runners of the woods), who were the first European mushers in North America; historic explorations which relied on dog teams; the dog teams of the Hudson Bay and Northwest Companies; the intrepid dogs of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; famous mushers such as Harry Karstens, Arthur Treadwell Walden, Scotty Allan, Leonhard Seppala, Emile St. Goddard, Harry Wheeler, Jujiro Wada, Robert Kennicott, Dick Moulton, Norman Vaughan, Joe Redington Sr., Albert Campbell, Tud Kent, and many others; The Sirius Dog Sled Patrol in Greenland, the history of sled dogs at Denali National Park; the demonstration races at the 1932 Olympic games; the many gold rushes in which dog teams played key roles; the 1925 Serum Run to Nome; the breeding and development of northern breeds such as the Alaskan Malemute, the Chinook, the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Husky and others; the great sprint and long-distance races; the long-distance travels of mushers such as Slim Williams, Mary Joyce, Eli Smith and others; and the dog teams of the scientists, doctors, mailmen, missionaries, businessmen, and dozens more whose teams made winter travel easier–and sometimes they were all that made it possible.

Scheduled for publication Fall, 2022. Cover shown above is subject to change.

About Helen Hegener

Author and publisher, Northern Light Media and Alaskan History Magazine.
This entry was posted in Books, News & Information, Sled Dog History, Sled Dog Races, Transportation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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