Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book?
Please use our booking form or call us on 0488 040 308.
Do the dogs love it?
Yes! It is in their linage to pull. If they didn’t love it they wouldn’t do it. Some of our dogs have chosen to retire as early as 6 or 7 years old due to losing the love for the sport. These dogs now participate in different types of tours and programs. We keep them happy doing their special job.
Do you have the real “snow dogs”?
Yes we do! We currently have 46 Siberian Huskies, 8 Siberian Husky crosses aka Alaskan Huskies, 2 Alaskan Malamutes and 2 Australian Cattle Dogs.
Do the dogs get cold?
No, they are an Arctic breed. They are also extreme athletes capable of running a marathon a day which would keep any athlete warm. If the dogs are showing signs of being cold they will be given a jacket or be put in a bed which is full of nice warm straw. Our dogs live outside all year round. They live permanently at an altitude of 800m where summer is very short and can often be below 15 degrees at night for the majority of the year.
How many dogs pull a sled?
We use 6-10 dogs depending on trail conditions but the usual team size is 8 dogs. The weight limit for our sleds are 160kgs for 2 people riding together but we will sometimes run 7 dogs if we have light loads such as young children.
What do the dogs do in summer?
We provide demonstrations with our Howling Husky Demo Team as well as offering dog safety programs, dogsleddirun programs and provide dog entertainment keeping the dogs active. We also teach the dogs other dog sports like agility and high jump to keep them active during the hot summer months.
Where do they live?
During the summer months all of our dogs live just below Mt. Hotham on 100 acres of land where we have 22km of dog-safe trails on our doorstep. During the winter months most of our kennel moves to Mt. Baw Baw to run tours, with two team of dogs and our retirees staying home.
Do they sleep in the snow?
No, all of our dogs have their own indoor straw filled beds located away from the public for their own safety.
Why are they so noisy?
Our dogs bark because they are excited! They love their job and they want to be picked to go for a run. They also howl and sing when they are happy.
Why are they on chains?
They are called drop chains and they are designed for the dogs to rest in between runs. Siberian Huskies have a very high prey drive and were bred to run all day long - if they get off lead they have very little recall and once they start running away they won't stop so we never let them run offlead while they are working. They receive 1 hour of off lead time in the morning before we go to work and 1 hour in the evening after work in our fully enclosed play yard. This is the time for the dogs to play and socialize with each other. A pack that plays together works together. This time is also closed to the public so they dogs can play without distraction.
Are the dogs fully grown?
Yes, huskies are a medium sized breed so often look smaller than people expect. They are often confused for Alaskan Malamutes which are a much larger breed. Our dogs come in many shapes and sizes as most of them are rescue dogs who have come from pounds and shelters. Any dog pulling your sled will be over 12 months of age and they do not become full time working dogs until fully grown at 18 months of age. We do directional training, fun runs and weight pulling with our pups but only up to their individual capabilities.
Is this the “real” thing?
Yes! In Australia we have to run where the snow falls and don't have much choice on the trails we use, all of the trails we run on are cross country skiing trails and can be quite technical. Overseas operators are able to create their own trails and often use wide, flat trails for their tours whereas our are narrow and winding. It's just as exciting (if not more exciting!) in Australia as it is overseas. We have up to 15 kilometers of available trails.
Can I bring my dog to the snow?
Unfortunately not to the resorts that we operate at. We are under a strict permit which allows us to have our dogs in the Alpine Resorts. There are a few mountains within State Forests that are high enough in altitude to receive snow after a heavy snowfall - we will advertise which of these mountains have snow on our Facebook page as we hear reports. These mountains aside the only snow resort that will allow you to bring your dog is the Dinner Plain Alpine Resort.
Is it safe?
Yes! Our dogs are well socialized and friendly. We adjust tours according to trail conditions. We may cancel tours due to high winds as all our tours run under trees. We have gone without an incident for the past 10 years.
How do I get to Mount Baw Baw?
If you are driving we recommend coming up the mountain via South Face Road from Moe. It is a gravel road suitable for every type of car. When coming from Melbourne this route is a much more relaxing drive and while it might be longer in kilometers it often shorter in time. It is also less winding than the Mount Baw Baw Tourist Road so it is a great option for those prone to travel sickness. Alternatively you can hire a coach through Mountain Top Experience.
Is there an age limit on the tours?
Our tours are suitable for any age or ability as long as they can wear a helmet.
What do the dogs eat?
Our dogs require strict balanced diet. They are extreme athletes and require a high calorie diet with large amounts of fat and protein to sustain them while they are working. They are also fed on a strict time schedule as running on a full belly can be very uncomfortable. Keeping routine is essential to keeping them healthy. Huskies are also remarkable as they have adapted to a slow metabolism and may only eat the amount of calories they burn. They are also given an all-natural supplement which is to help with joint health and general wellbeing.
Where do I find accommodation?
Mount Baw Baw list all of their accommodation available on their website. We recommend staying at EdSki, a reasonably priced ski club located on the mountain. Similarly, Mount Hotham have their accommodation listed on their website as well.
Do I need snow chains?
Yes you are required by law to carry snow chains whilst in an Alpine Resort during the declared snow season, regardless of the weather conditions or if you think you won't need them.
How can I get my dog into the sport?
We offer sledding training days for you and your dog to come along and learn the basics. See this link for more details.
There are also clubs you can get involved in that offer training weekends and races throughout winter:
- Siberian Husky Club of Victoria
- Alaskan Malamute Club of Victoria
- Northern Victoria Sled Dog Club
- Australian Sleddog Sports Association
There are also clubs available in nearly every state of Australia. Contact us for more information.
Where can I buy sledding equipment?
We recommend the following businesses for tried and true, high quality products: