Our club, Western Australia Sleddog Sports Association (WASSA), was formed in 1991 (initially under the name of Alaskan Malamute Association of Western Australia but changed due to the variety of breeds the club has attracted), to bring this sport to the dog owners of Western Australia.
The club has grown quickly over the years, and our members enjoy the benefits of participating in training days and races over the colder months of the year.
About Sledding in WA
Dog sledding is depicted as involving long tracks through the snow with large teams of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes. In Australia, and more specifically Western Australia, snow is impossible to come by.
To combat this, the sport of dog sledding has been re-invented using scooters and rigs in place of the normal snow sled, and using any breed that has a desire to pull, run and just have fun.
For the safety of all dogs who participate in the events the club holds, we have a strict policy that no dog is to be run at temperatures above 15 degrees. This is to protect the dogs from heat stress and to provide more suitable conditions for a sport which initiated in areas of the world that very rarely are not covered in ice and snow.
The sport is definitely not restricted to any specific breeds. All the movies show teams of huskies and malamutes, but in our club we encourage owners of any breed to come along and have a go.
The breeds that are currently enjoying this sport through our club include: ‘Traditional’ sled dog breeds and mixes of these, Shepherds, Pointers, Retrievers, Kelpies, Border Collies, various hounds, mixed breeds of all sizes, and more.
If your dog is too small to pull you on a scooter or rig, there is always canicross, which involves you and your dog running together.