List of Common Urban Mushing Commands

Basic Commands

GO – used to tell your dog to start pulling/running or to move faster. Apparently, it’s the same command that is sent via mental telepathy by jackrabbits when they dart in front of your dog team.

HIKE – same as GO, just make sure that nobody named Mike or Ike is close by or you will be annoying the heck out of them.

MUSH – also same as GO but contrary to popular belief, nobody really uses this command.  But hey, if you want to be like Yukon Cornelius in Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, then by all means use it.

GEE – command for turning right, I mean left…..wait a minute, is it right or left?  Why the heck don’t they just say RIGHT or LEFT?  Might help if I write the word GEE on the back of my right hand so it’s as plain as day when I am holding on to the handlebars….

HAW – command for turning left (hold on…..I am using a sharpie to write H-A- W on the back of my left hand).  Oftentimes, your dog may just look at you with a mischievous smile on his face and say “haw-haw-haw…I’m not going to do what you tell me to do!”

EASY – slow down.  Best enforced when gently applying pressure to the brakes.

WHOA – as in STOP!  As in like, right now!

WHOA, WHOA, WHOOOAAAAA…….AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! – the last words you will be screaming out loud as your sled tips over and you hang on to the handlebars while your dog team drags you through the snow.

LEAVE IT – as in "Don’t"….universal command to tell your dog to ignore various distractions along the trail as in don’t sniff the bushes, don’t chase after the squirrel, don’t wrestle with the other dog team when we pass them by, and DON’T try to eat that Chihuahua for breakfast.

ON BY – means to keep moving forward and go straight.  Most often used when passing or being passed by another dog team and often used in conjunction with LEAVE IT.

STRAIGHT AHEAD – same as ON BY, but with more syllables.  

Advanced Commands

LINE OUT – used to tell your dog to face forward, straighten the line and keep it tight.  Not as critical when running one or two dogs but VERY important when dealing with a larger team.  A good lead dog that holds the line tight will prevent tangles as well as help enforce order within the rest of the team dogs.

GEE OVER - move over to the right of the trail.

HAW OVER – move over to the left of the trail.

SLEEP OVER - this is what happens when your dogs get together after a fun run. A tired dog is a good dog!

COME GEE – an advanced command used to turn around a dog team by having them make a U-turn to their right.  If learned and executed properly, is a very valuable command specially when running 4 or more dogs in a team.

COME HAW – same as above but make the turn towards the left.

COME ON, YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING – is what your dog is thinking when you try and enforce the COME GEE/HAW command.  You think your dogs will want to turn around when they are having so much fun moving forward along the trail?  You gotta be kidding…..

Additional Commands

NO – it really simply means NO but apparently most dogs interpret it as "Go ahead, make my day!"

OH **** (insert favorite four letter word here)!!! – the all time favorite command that your dogs want to hear as it urges them to continue doing, whatever it is that they are currently doing, with even more intensity.  This may include chasing after a squirrel while dragging your scooter down the side of a hill or making a turn at breakneck speeds as your knuckles are turning white while gripping the handlebars.