The dogs of the Arctic

I had the opportunity to document a three-day dogsledding trip in Spitsbergen with Green Dog Svalbard. During the three days we took care of the dogs and travelled inlands. We stayed in several cabins, prepared food for the dogs and got rid of their poop. In the Arctic one doesn’t leave anything behind.

Once upon a time dogsledding was the way to get around on Svalbard. However, modern life; snowmobiles, took over. Nowadays dogsledding is here for tourists only. Having a snowmobile is a lot cheaper as dogs need to be fed year round, whereas the snowmobile is only used in winter time. We had to cut up the meat for the dogs and mix it with dogfood. They eat quite a lot as they burn a lot of calories while running with the dogsled behind them.

Every dogsled has 6 dogs in front of them. Except the guide, he has 13 dogs running. The dogs exists of two leaders, two strong dogs pulling the sled and two dogs who run in between the leaders and the strong dogs.