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 promoting dog sleding
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Half_Alive

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  04:12:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine that I have got into bikjoring with me and he sprung this question on me "why don't more people know about this kind of stuff." well my frist thought of an answer was because the fact that we live in SC and there is never snow here to attract mushers then i got to thinking about how dryland and bikjoring and using scooters have actualy started becomeing a big thing in some of the southern areas of the united states.
That got me to thinking into a chain reaction(which i will aviod telling the whole thunking process on that cause its lengthy) untill i wound up thinking of how to promote it better than talking to the occasional curious kid i catch out on what is consided a cold day to us and figured I would ask others as to what they to do promote the whole thing or what they think would be a good way to promote it so here i am asking what do other fellow dog lovers as myself and competiors do to promote the sport to the public unaware to the joy of the many sports envolved with working dogs?

A thanks to all for posting the questions and those for sharing your knowledge me and my dogs are grateful

P, Ann Nelson

USA
438 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  06:24:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit P, Ann Nelson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You are promoting dog-powered sports by doing them in public, answering questions, and sharing the excitment you feel about it. To "spread the word", go to schools for demonstrations, or just to meet the dogs and talk about what you are doing. Offer to speak (and always take a dog!) at Boy Scout events, to 4-H groups, church picnics, pet store special events, sports stores, or anywhere there are people, especially KIDS. Kids and dogs go together like peas and carrots! Dryland events are becoming big even up north, as our winters have become somewhat iffy for the sleds! Also, it is easy to scooter or bikejor with one dog, and there are a lot more people with one dog and a bike than with a team and a sled. If you have the time, make up a brochure or a sheet with general information and resources listed for any that wish to become involved. Start a dryland club in your area where like-minded people can unite, and stage some fun events for the public to witness. You may be surprised how many people in the "warmer" states are interested in dog sledding/dog powered sports!

Ann Nelson
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GA Musher

36 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  09:42:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit GA Musher's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, there are more and more of us down in the South! I will say that, in the last couple of years, I have seen a tremendous jump in the popularity of sled dog sports.

One thing you might do is get in touch with your local newspaper and tell them that you are DOING SLED DOG SPORTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA!!!! They might be interested in featuring you and your sport.

You might even try to set up a dryland demo. And I agree about the school groups - kids LOVE dogs and are always excited to see mushing in real life, especially if they live in a place where it isn't as common. Also, get some mushing-related T-shirts or sweatshirts and wear them! You might get some curious people asking about your hobby.

And, of course, we can all help mushing by sending thank-you letters to sponsors and supporters of sled dog races, as well as positive letters to papers that print articles on mushers and sled dogs.

"Dog & Sled" - http://www.dx4solutions.com/dogandsled/
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sallydawson

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  10:53:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with being visible! Take smaller teams (1-4 dogs?) into urban areas - parks, etc. Especially if you have any non-traditional dogs. Go where people are. Schools are great places for generating interest from kids, but also realize, their parents are the ones with $$$$.

Cancross, bikejoring and scootering are ideal for showcaseing the sport in populated areas. I think when the uninitiated hears the word "mushing", their first thought is I-rod with big teams - an ideal not attainable to the average urbanite.

Show the public what Fluffy and Fido are capable of doing IN PARTNERSHIP with their hooman, and carry information cards with you. If you talk to people who want more information, then you are ready with a small handout.

Sally J. Dawson and the Mushing'dales
N1BCF; "RED HAT" Musher
Live each day as if it is your last
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Frozen Tundra

USA
73 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  1:55:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd also contact the local Forest Preserve office to offer a demo for them that they can promote. Adopt a Husky Inc, the local Siberian rescue in the Chicagoland area started doing a small dog sled demo at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, a suburb of Chicago, about 7 years ago. Couple teams, couple hundred people who showed up. It has grown now to a huge event, with 4000 visitors each day and coverage from the local news and papers. Our demo is now the largest event the Arboretum has all year. They had to turn folks away at the gate two years ago. Last year it was the same day as the Bear's playoff so attendence was a bit down but still big crowds.
The Chicago Park District now has a dog sled demo on it's books too, no doubt due to the success of the Morton event. Word is getting out!

Mary Beth
Frozen Tundra Siberians
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Cliff Maxfield

USA
2631 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  5:27:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can become the local "OFFICIAL" dog sled rescue team. Horse people do this sort of thing alot for PR. Maybe you'll never be needed but a lot of communities get a kick out of knowing their local fire hall has one on hand if they every need it. It's kinda unique. The well trained dog team can go where no snowmobile ever will and the dogs(at least some) can multitask as search dogs.
Then when your practicing, breaking trails, etc. you do it for a larger purpose than just having a good old time(which we al know is fine too). It's also a neat thing to show off at parades.
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csimmons21210

USA
56 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  5:48:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit csimmons21210's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We frequently talk to people and answer questions about dog sledding and dryland dog sledding. We spend hours every day responding to questions via email about dog-powered sports from all over the country and even from abroad. We offer programs that are specifically designed to get folks with 1-2 dogs involved in dog-powered sports because that is where the future of dog sledding, dryland dog sledding and dog-powered sports really seems to be (many people just can't own a huge kennel of dogs and I want folks to know there are plenty of dog-powered sports that can be done with 1-2 dogs). We run a free program each year for our local park that includes a dryland demonstration and a discussion of training, equipment, etc. We run Girl Scout and Boy Scout patch programs in dog sledding and dryland dog sledding and the scouts love it. We go to festivals and events and do demonstrations and rides. Our dogs are all rescue dogs and despite a few bad habits (barking at other dogs mainly) they are some of the best ambassadors for dog sledding and dryland dog sledding out there. You can check out some photos of the dogs making new friends and introducing folks to dog sledding, dryland dog sledding, and dog-powered sports in the gallery on our website:

www.marylanddogsledding.com/gallery.htm (click on the links at the top to see photos from different programs and events we've been at).

Catherine Benson
Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC
www.marylanddogsledding.com
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Gail

Canada
401 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2008 :  10:00:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Gail's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Funny this topic should come up. I'm booked to give a talk/demo for our local Beavers pack in a couple of weeks. I also have non-traditional, mostly rescued dogs that I'm working with and friends of mine who run a web design business made me a website to help promote what we're doing. I also contacted the local paper about doing an interview before our upcoming Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby. The newspaper interviewed me back in the summertime about my lifelong involvement with horses/the local horse club and my business, and when they heard that I sled they expressed an interest in writing about that when the season came. Since the derby is coming up in a few more weeks, I suggested they could do an article on a local youth preparing for the race (my daughter), and that we're using rescued dogs. She only enters the kid & mutt classes right now, but we do a bit of a circuit and she gets out to 5 races in the season. I've also got a 12 year old neighbour who's going to enter 2 of my dogs in the 2-mile youth race and maybe come to some of the others with us. I got a call today from a reporter who wants to come out and do the interview. We're waiting until next week though for better weather because right now we're having mild weather and rain.

If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
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Edited by - Gail on 01/07/2008 10:04:27 PM
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Half_Alive

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  12:32:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
wow heh so many sources and alot never even came to my mind before. Though I am moving to Missouri here soon(yay they actualy get snow there) I have been discussing this matter with a friend that bikejors with me and he is very interested in the whole promoting thing along with me though neither of us have been at it very long but enjoy it greatly which is why I asked about promoting it heh so thanks for the replies.
Though I know alot of the basics about dog powered sports and could put them down in a little packet to give the curious people but any ideas on what else would be good to include i was thinking about putting web addresses in it to dog power sports related pages but also was curious as to what else i should put in it. Heh any ideas

P.S. a great big thank you to go out to everyone here for willing to share your knowledge and even to those who asked the questions.

A thanks to all for posting the questions and those for sharing your knowledge me and my dogs are grateful
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Half_Alive

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2008 :  11:20:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was going over some stuff and since i was moving to missouri i was checking out what kind of shelters and rescues they have out there so i could see about getting more dogs once i got settled out there and i thought of an idea about talking to shelters and rescues about dog sports and seeing if they would help promote it as well as a means to get more people adopting dogs do you think that would be a good idea or even work or has anyone done this already?

A thanks to all for posting the questions and those for sharing your knowledge me and my dogs are grateful
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sallydawson

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2008 :  11:24:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just gave 2 lecture/demos this morning to the local elementary school. Must be that time of year. Problem: took me over a week to create a hand-out, so I am going to start a new thread.....

Please see Hand-out, and give me some feedback.....

Sally J. Dawson and the Mushing'dales
N1BCF; "RED HAT" Musher
Live each day as if it is your last
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