WATCH: Urban Dog Mushing Right Here in Laguna Niguel

Mushing isn't just for snow anymore as many Southern California residents are beginning to partake in something called urban dog mushing. One location the club meets is Laguna Niguel Regional Park.

When I hear the words “dog mushing,” I imagine a pack of strong, muscular dogs pulling their owner on a sled through the icy arctic winds that are blowing snow in every direction. Well, that image was shattered the other day when I saw a pack of dogs pulling their owner around the .

Rancy Reyes, 50, started an urban mushing club in Southern Orange County back in 2005 after seeing the trend in the Northwest.

“Urban dog mushing started from a musher who had big dog kennels and needed to keep the dogs in shape year-round. They started using urban mushing as way to train their dogs during the off season,” said Reyes.

Reyes, who has three huskies himself, found it difficult to keep his dogs in shape. His husky needed a lot of exercise so he started doing urban dog mushing.

“It only takes one or two Siberian huskies to pull a person on a scooter or bike. Sometimes, we will use a three-wheeled cart when we run to six-to-eight dogs,” said Reyes. “These dogs are born to pull.  If they aren’t pulling or not getting enough exercise, they aren’t happy.”

The group runs up to three days a week on different trails throughout Southern California such as the , Fairview Park, Laguna Niguel Regional Park and the Santa Ana River Trail. The huskies have no problem running 12 miles or more according to Reyes.

The urban dog mushing community is quite large in Southern California. Reyes' Yahoo! group has more than 950 members of other dog-mushing enthusiasts.

If you would like to learn more about the local urban dog mushing group, visit its website by clicking here. 

Frieda Wales February 02, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I saw them last summer getting the gear and dogs out! Now I know I wasn't imagining it.


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