Mushing is a transport method powered by dogs and some examples include carting, skijoring, pulka, and more specifically sled dog racing. The latter is a winter sport and most popular in areas like the United States, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and several European countries. The objective of a sled dog race is to complete a course in the least amount of time possible. The races can include short distances of a few miles or up to 100 miles. These are regarded as sprint races. The middle distances range from 100 to 300 miles, while the very long-distance races can be up to 1000 miles. A great example of the latter is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska in early March. The distance is normally covered within approximately 15 days by teams of 14 dogs and the musher. The sport made it to the Olympics as a demonstration event in the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. That was followed by 1952 in Oslo and 1994 in Lillehammer but has not gained official recognition status by the International Olympic Committee.
Racing sled dogs are hooked in pairs in individual harnesses. The tug lines are attached to a central line. Each dog is also kept in position by necklines attached to their collars. Although 14 dogs are the preferred number, there can be as many as 22 pulling a sled. Dogs can be removed during the race, but their numbers cannot be added. The International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) is the world governing body in charge of the sport. The objectives include further development with current members and potential new members, maintaining the integrity of the sport, educating members and the general public on safeguarding the environment and proper treatment of the dogs. IFSS was formed in 1985 and oversaw their first World Championship on snow in 1990 and on dryland in 2002. Today the federation is based in Brussels and continues to build on the growing popularity of sled dog sports among participants and spectators alike.