Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC, Central Maryland's only dog sledding operation.  Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC offers Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities, educational dog sledding tours, and dog sled programs near Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
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Zoe , our female snow dog, waits patiently during a break from the dog sledding action.
Zoë was our original leader.
Contact Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC by phone or email

Dryland dog sledding and dryland dog sledding requires it's own special terms and jargon.

Bar brake or claw brake
This is a piece of aluminum with metal spikes that dig into the snow that the musher steps on to hold the sled in place once the sled is stopped.

This is the portion of the dog sled in front of the musher where passengers sit or where gear is carried.

Similar to the rigging on a sail boat. It is a series of lines and bungees that run from the rear of the basket to the front of the sled and are used to connect the lines. A carabineer is then connected between the bridle and the shock absorber (if one is being used) which is then connected to the gang line.

Brush bow
The brush bow is a piece of curved wood, metal or plastic in front of the basket. It is designed to absorb impact during crashes similar to a bumper on a vehicle.

Bungee or Shock Absorber
These devices are inserted between the rig or the dog sled and the gang line to relieve stress on the dogs and absorb jolts during starting and stopping. Smaller lines designed for one to three dogs are used for skijoring, bikejoring and scootering may include a shock absorber built directly into the line.

Dog boxes
Made of fiberglass, metal or wood these boxes are mounted on the bed portion of a flat bed or pick up truck and are used to transport sled dogs.

Dog sled
Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC uses MaineMade dog sleds which designed for mid-distance, stage, and long distance mushing. Similar to skis, dog sleds are steered by flexing them. Dog sleds come in many different varieties including, basket sleds and toboggan sleds. Basket sleds ride on runners on top of the snow about four to six inches off the snow. Toboggan sleds ride directly on the snow. Toboggan sleds usually work better in deep, untracked snow. Basket sleds work better on packed trails and in general are a little easier to steer through sharp corners. Dog sleds are also categorized by how they are used for racing including, sprint sleds, mid distance sleds and distance sleds. Typically, the longer the race, the larger the sled because most mid-distance and distance races require the musher to carry certain required equipment (e.g., snowshoes, an axe, a sleeping bag rated to a certain temperature, booties for each dog, and dog food).

Dog Truck
This is a truck used for transporting dogs. With large teams of dogs, the truck is usually a large pick up or flat bed truck with dog boxes built on the bed. Smaller, micro mushing kennels, may use different vehicles including, SUVs, mini vans, full size vans, or station wagons.

Drag or drag brake
This is a piece of snowmobile track that rests between the runners of the dog sled right under the driver's feet. To slow the sled, the musher steps down onto the drag.

Driving bow
This is the handle bar of the sled which the musher holds onto while driving the sled.

Drop lines, Drop Chains or Picket lines
These are cable (or chain) lines used to tether dogs at a trail head, race or event while waiting to go out for a run.

Gang line
This is the main line which is connected to the rig or the dog sled. A gang line is made up of three distinct components: The main (center) line, neck tugs, and tug lines. The dogs are then connected to the center line by a neck line which connects to each dog's collar and by a tug line which connects to the tug loop on each dog's harness. The dogs pull by pulling on the tug line not the neck line. The neck line merely keeps the dogs alongside the main line and the leaders side by side.

The musher's chief assistant. A handler helps harness/unharness dogs, hook dogs up to the line, hydrate dogs, train dogs, feed dogs, load and unload dogs and equipment from the truck, repairs equipment, drives the dog truck from check point to check point in long races, and generally helps the musher out. At races, a handler might help the musher get his or her dogs to the starting line. A good handler doesn't get paid much but is worth his or her weight in gold.

Leaders or lead dogs
These are some of the most special dogs on a dog team. They are the dogs that know best the commands that the musher gives and are responsible for following those commands. They are also in the dogs that set the pace. As they say in mushing: "If you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes."

Also known as a dog driver and chief poop scooper. The musher drives the sled or rig, trains the dogs, cares for the dogs, assists by pedaling or running up hills, and scoops the dog yard.

Point dogs
These dogs run right behind the leaders.

Sled Bag
This is a heavy bag which is tied to the basket of the dog sled and holds gear. It can also be used to hold a dog injured on the trail or too tired to continue that needs a lift back to the trail head. Race rules usually require that these bags be vented (i.e., have a mesh window) so that a dog being carried in the bag does not over heat.

Snow hook
This resembles a small but sharp boat anchor and serves much the same purpose. It is connected to the sled by a line, and is deployed (set) when the musher needs to hold the sled in place and get off the sled. The musher sets his snow hook by putting it on the snow and digging it in with his foot while allowing the dogs to pull forward to "set" the hook.

Snub line
This line is used to hold the sled or rig in place on the trail or while hooking the dogs up or unhooking dogs. It is frequently paired with a quick release, panic snap or wooden pin so that it can be quickly released by the musher at take off while standing on the dog sled or the rig.

Swing dogs
These dogs run right in front of the wheel dogs.

Team dogs
All other dogs between the point dogs and the swing dogs.

Wheel dogs or wheelers
These are the dogs that are hooked in closest to the dog sled or the rig. They tend to be large powerful dogs. They usually have the most impact in pulling the sled or rig through turns.

Contact Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC by phone or email

(443) 562-5736


Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC is a mushing educational program provider in Baltimore, Maryland.

Our dogs are a part of our family and are as much sled pets as working dogs. We started dog sledding with our first two dogs because we were looking for a way to exercise them.

Our sled pets are family. They live their entire lives with us including their retirement years.

Today, dog sledding and dryland mushing are things that we do to spend time with our dogs. It's not about getting them to pull you, it's about enjoying the precious time that you have with them.

Vale is a command trained sled dog

Kiana's Vale CGC, RN, SD is a very accomplished ten year old female Siberian Husky. As with Beaver and Acadia, Vale is from Kiana Siberians, a Siberian husky breeder in New Hampshire that specializes in multipurpose Siberian Huskies. Vale (pedigree) is an amazing command trained lead dog. Vale can frequently be spotted leading the team down the trail. Vale had puppies fall of 2016l and both Vale and her puppy, Casco, have returned home.

Kiana's Acadia (aka Kadie) is a ten year old female Siberian Husky. Acadia also comes to us from Kiana Siberians. With Acadia, we were looking for a Siberian Husky with strong running lines and a good temperament. Acadia's sire is CAN CH Sequoia's The Memory Remains CGC, TT, AM/CAN CD, RN, WPD, SD (Orion) and her dam is Northome's Isabel, CGC, RN, SD (Belle). Acadia (pedigree) was one of a litter of five. Acadia is very versatile and can run anywhere on our team. Acadia loves to give face kisses!

Acadia relaxes before a run

Ebony is a seven year old female Siberian Husky from Bray Hill Siberians in Phillips, Maine. Ebony (pedigree) is one of the shyer dogs on the team, but can run in any position. We are training Ebony to lead our teams. While she is small, she is quite mighty. Ebony is developing into quite a nice little leader. Keep an eye out for the little "nose nibbler" leading our teams this winter.

Ebony is our newest sled dog

Nisha is a super awesome lead dog.

Nisha is a seven year old Siberian Husky from Bray Hill Siberians in Phillips, Maine. Nisha (pedigree) is a sensitive, but skilled sled dog and runs in the lead through wheel positions on the team. Nisha is Ebony's sister. We continued to be amazed with Nisha's performance in harness. Look for Nisha to be excitedly leading our teams down the trail!

Drogo is the cornerstone of the team. Drogo is a four year old male Siberian Husky from Kelim Siberians in New Hampshire. Drogo (pedigree) is a super active dog and likes to meet people, dogs, and anything new. We are hoping he will become the foundation of our future teams. Drogo's sire is Jedeye Dean Winchester of Kelim and his dam is Kelim's Camelot, SD.

Drogo is one of our youngest dogs.

Casco is our emerging yearling

Kiana's Casco Bay ("Casco") (pedigree) is one of our best lead dogs. Casco is from the breeding of our dog, Kiana's Vale, with an established long distance sled dog Sibersong's Super Trouper. Casco is almost four years old. Casco, along with Drogo, give the team a solid foundation for the future.

Fort Illio's Zoom is one of Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC's newest sled dogs! Zoom (pedigree) comes to us from Maine's Fort Illio Kennels. Zoom started training this winter.

Zoom is our newest sled dog

Yara is one of our youngest dogs

Kelim's Yara (pedigree) is the newest sled dog to join Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC. Yara started training in the Spring.

Visiting Sled Dogs

From time to time, Maryland Sled Dog Adventures, LLC, hosts visiting sled dogs from other kennels. These dogs get the opportunity to run with our team and socialize with lots of kids.

Charger is joining us for 2012 - 2013

Kiana's Mopar Muscle RN (aka Charger) was a red and white siberian husky and more importantly, Sammamish's litter mate. Charger now lives in Massachusetts with several other siberian husky friends, but was with Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC for the 2012 - 2013 season. Charger absolutely adored being around PEOPLE! Little ones, big ones, and all sorts in between were Charger's favorites. Charger ran anywhere and everywhere he could in the team.

Retired Sled Dogs

Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC loves it's active and retired sled dogs. Our retired dogs live a pampered life.

Kiana's Leave it to Beaver SDO RN (aka Beaver) is an awesome and very experienced thirteen year old Siberian Husky who became a permanent part of Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC after the 2012- 2013 season. Beaver's SDO title is the highest recognition a sled dog can receive for achievement in running or racing from the Siberian Husky Club of America. Beaver (pedigree) is very versatile and can run anywhere including in lead. If you aren't petting Beaver enough, he'll gently remind you to pet him. Beaver's last run was May 9, 2020. He retired after almost 14 years in harness!

Beaver at one of our programs

Lumos is a big, white strong dog who runs in the point and swing positions with Maryland Sled Dog Adventures

Kelim's Lumos is an twelve year old male Siberian Husky. Lumos joined Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC from Fort Illio kennels in Lexington, Maine in December 2014. Lumos was bred by Kelim Siberians in New Hampshire. Lumos has experience running on 30 mile, 60 mile, and 250 mile race teams. Lumos is a super awesome tank dog whose tug is always tight. Lumos (pedigree) primarily runs in the point, swing, and wheel positions with Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC. Lumos loves food! Lumos retired midway through the 2019-2020 season when he began to show lameness in his hind end. Lumos is looking forward to his full retirement benefits including meals twice a day and a midday snack.

North Wapiti's Flare visited Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC from her home kennel, Bray Hill Siberians, in Phillips, Maine for several years before retiring with us. Flare was bred by Iditarod musher Karen Ramstead at North Wapiti Kennels and has an awesome pedigree. Her litter's webpage is available. Flare's mother (Hilda, Iditarod finisher) and father (Draco, 5 time Iditarod finisher) were both strong long distance racing sled dogs. Flare ran any and every position on the team and was a good, reliable leader. Flare retired at the beginning of the 2018 season.

Flare joined MSDA in 2014 - 2016

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Maryland Sled Dog Adventures, LLC, has been very fortunate with most of our dogs surviving well into advanced age in good health.

Kiana's Sammamish (aka Sammi)(8/23/2010 - 10/06/2014) was an amazing dog in harness, around the house, and as our friend. Sammi was from Kiana Siberians in Sanbornton, NH. Sammi was an AKC registered, red and white, blue eyed Siberian Husky. His sire was CH Alkasiber's Tres Pete and his dam was CAN CH Kiana's Khocolate Kiss, CGC, TT, WPD, WLD, RA, SDO ("Valeska"). Sammi ran in all positions on the team (lead, team, and wheel) and was part of our Can-Am 30 team in 2014. At four years old, Sammi was our next generation leader and we miss him tremendously. Sammi was a major hit with the kids and was one of the most tolerant dogs we've seen. He thrived on all of the attention he received at our programs. Sammi became sick and we worked with our local vet until additional resources were needed. Sammi was treated at the University of Pennsylvania Ryan Veterinary Hospital, but emergency surgery was unsuccessful.

Sammi had such piercing eyes

Okemo is our loveable hug-a-head Siberian Husky-Akita mix sled dog.

Okemo (aka Okimer, Keemie) (12/17/2005 - 11/4/2015) was our big Siberian Husky - Akita mix. Okemo came to us via the big silver stork (Delta airlines) from a rescue in Tennessee. Okemo was a bit of a tank and almost always ran in the wheel position. Okemo loved to have his nose rubbed, had the softest ears, and absolutely loved food. Okemo was a big, blue eyed hugga head. Okemo retired from the team in February 2015 after tearing his ACL during a run in icy conditions. Okemo died very suddenly in the prime of his retirement in November 2015.

Gypsy visited Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC from her home kennel in Pennsylvania for the the 2010 - 2011 and 2011 - 2012 dog sledding seasons. Gypsy ran in the lead and team positions at Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC. Gypsy returned home and enjoyed retirement before passing away in April 2016.

Gypsy joined MSDA in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012
Luke came to visit with Maryland Sled Dog Adventures from 2010 - 2012

Luke was Gypsy's kennel mate and joined Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC for the the 2010 - 2011 and 2011 - 2012 dog sledding seasons. Luke had incredible drive and would run all day long. Luke ran in Katahdin Iron Works race with the Maryland Sled Dog Adventures team and was an active participant in the women's Maine Winter Cabin Adventure program. Luke returned home and enjoyed retirement before passing away in December 2015.

Zoe relaxes during a walk on the NCR trail

Zoë (12/25/2000 - 6/20/2018) was the entire reason we got into dog sledding: to find her an outlet for her energy. She took to it well and we soon had not just a hobby, but a lifestyle. Zoë became one of the best lead dogs we've ever had as we embarked on the mushing life. Zoë retired at around ten years of age as arthritis in her back began to bother her. She was seventeen and a half years old when she passed, having lived a good life.

T-Bone (aka Mr. Bone) (3/2/2002 -7/12/2018) was our Siberian / Sheltie mix. T-Bone came to us from Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue, Inc. T-Bone had an injured hip when we got him as a puppy. T-Bone was initially not such a big fan of running, but loved to wear the harness. One day, he decided to run and suddenly we had a team. T-Bone retired relatively early as issues with his hip crept up. T-Bone dealt with Old Dog Vestibular syndrome, bouts of colitis, and a host of neurological issues as he aged. T-Bone was sixteen and a half when he passed.

T-Bone relaxing on his dog bed.

Sobo relaxing in the yard

Sobo (aka Mr. Buboo and Sobolicious 12/6/2004-4/17/2020) was our sixteen and a half year old Siberian Husky. Sobo originally came from Frederick County Animal Control as a four month old Siberian puppy with "too much energy." Sobo was a rescue dog that we were fostering for Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue, Inc. Because he was a such a good fit with Zoë and T-Bone, we failed Fostering 101 and decided to make him a permanent family member. Sobo retired after the Katahdin Iron Works 30 race in Brownville, ME in 2014 being a mainstay on the team for many years. Sobo's favorite activities in retirement were lounging around the yard and sleeping in the bedroom in 'his' dormer.

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