husky safari in lapland

Ethical Husky Safari in Lapland: The Do’s & Don’ts

A Husky Safari in Lapland is the number 1 winter activity in this part of the world. But there are some things to be aware of should you choose to take part in this one of a kind experience.

When planning a trip to Lapland in winter, a husky safari should be at the top of your bucket list. Skimming through the majestic winter landscapes led by a pack of energetic mountain dogs is a feeling unlike no other.

Thankfully, we recently returned from our winter trip to Finland, where we experienced what is possibly the best husky tour in Lapland.

And in this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know to help you prepare for your own.

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History of Dog Sledding in Finland

Dog Sledding in Finland
Dog Sledding in Finland

Dog Sledding has played an integral role in Finnish culture for centuries. Before cars and snowmobiles, dog sleds were a critical means of transport across the arctic circle

Very few breeds of dog are suitable for such strenuous work. Typically, you’ll find sledding dogs to be Siberian huskies, Alaskan huskies, and Alaskan malamutes.

While today, dog sledding in Finland is more of a tourism initiative rather than a local necessity, it makes little difference to the dogs. 

All they know is that they are wild at heart and born to run. And boy, do they run.

Ethical Husky Safari in Lapland

Dog Sledding in Finland – The Best Husky Tour in Lapland
Dog Sledding in Finland – The Best Husky Tour in Lapland

Which leads me on to my next point and the all-important question… Is dog sledding ethical?

We had our doubts about doing a Husky Safari in Lapland. We discovered that there’s a bit of a grey area as it comes down to how well looked after the dogs are.  

Unlike riding an elephant, who would have endured years of mistreatment to allow you to ride them, sleddogs are born to run.

But that doesn’t mean some tour companies won’t exploit them for financial gain. This is why it’s so important to research ethical husky safaris in Lapland before taking part

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How to Choose an Ethical Husky Safari in Lapland

Husky Safari in Lapland

With strict animal rights laws in place, I think you would struggle to find a dog sledding company in Lapland that isn’t ethical. But it doesn’t harm to do a few checks.

The best way to do this is to contact the company directly and ask them about their safety and dog-care standards. You may also ask them if they follow the P.R.I.D.E. principles.  

Mush With Pride is an organisation of mushers (dog sled drivers) who were concerned about the care and treatment of dogs in the industry.

Together they’ve come up with various guidelines that represent a standard of care deemed fair and humane.  

Any reputable kennel or tour company will be familiar with the P.R.I.D.E principles and should adhere to them. 

Book your Husky Ride in Lapland Here – Dog Sledding in Lapland Tour

Save Time and Book a Tour

For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:

Husky Safari in Lapland FAQs

aurora lapland

If you still have your heart set on doing a husky tour in Lapland, the next step is booking one. This section aims to provide any info I think you might need to help with the process.

How Long is a Husky Safari?

There is no set time for a Husky Tour in Finland. Excursions can range anywhere between 1-hour to a multi-day trip.

In our experience, a half-day tour is a perfect amount of time. This way, you get plenty of time sledding, but it will also include lunch and a visit to the husky farm. 

Keep in mind when booking your husky safari, that any length of time stated may include transportation, breaks and time for debriefing.

For example, a 2-hour tour may only equate to 1 hour on the sled. You can check this with the company when you book.

How Much Does a Husky Safari Cost?

Prices for a Husky Safari in Lapland will vary throughout the region; however, here is a guideline based on our experience:

  • 1-3 hours: €150-200 per person
  • 3-6 hours: €200-300 per person
  • 6-8 hours: €300-400€ per person
  • 8 hours +: €400-800 per person
Husky Tour in Lapland
In Love with the puppies on the Husky Tour in Lapland

Do I Need to Book in Advance?

Booking in advance is recommended, particularly during the peak months (December & January). 

Book your Husky Ride in Lapland Here – Dog Sledding in Lapland Tour

How Many People per Sled?

Dogsleds are limited to 2 people. The first person is the musher (driver), and the other sits in the sled and enjoys the ride. (Don’t worry; there will be a break where you can switch driver if you wanted to).

For this reason, it’s better if you can book in groups of 2, 4, 6 etc. Otherwise, you may find it’s more expensive to book as a solo rider.

Can Children Ride the Dog Sled?

So long as an adult accompanies them, Children under 14 are permitted to ride in the dog sled. They won’t be able to drive, however, only ride in the sled itself. If your child is 14 or over, they can drive the sled with your permission.

Our Experience Dog Sledding in Finland

Husky Ride in Lapland
We loved the Husky Ride in Lapland

As we arrived at the husky farm, we could hear dozens of playful howls coming from the dogs. Our guide explained that the dogs get super excited when they are anticipating to run. 

We were excited to meet the dogs at this point, but first, we had to get dressed in the appropriate gear. Most companies will provide winter gear for you to wear, such as overalls, boots, and a ski mask. 

Dressed and ready to go, it was time for a short safety debriefing. Although we were eager to get going at this point, it was a crucial part of the experience. 

Not only did our guide talk about the driving instructions and safety aspects of the dog sledding ride, but they also went into detail about the dog’s welfare and level of care.

When the time came to start the safari, the energy was infectious; I could feel my adrenaline peak before we’d even moved. 

Natalie took the driving seat, and I got in the sled. Now, all we could do was wait to be released. The way the dogs were jerking forwards, I already knew it was going to be one hell of a ride.

Dog Sledding Finland - Husky Tour in Lapland

As soon as the chain released, our energetic pack lurched forwards, gathering speed at an alarming pace. I screamed at Natalie to break, but it didn’t seem to deter the dogs at all.

Carefully sculpted runways keep the dogs from deterring off track, but at times they had the sled entirely on its side. How we didn’t fall off, I will never know.

This is nothing like last nights reindeer safari I thought. But soon enough we relaxed into the pace of it.  

It takes quite a lot of skill and confidence to drive the sled. More so than we had imagined. A couple of the dogs kept looking back at us with big grins on their faces. 

We darted through majestic winter landscapes, under cover of sweeping forests and into open white plains. The dogs continued to speed ahead with no sign of tiring.

The only time they slowed was on an uphill stretch when Natalie would jump off and run behind to support them. It was surreal, exciting, and magical all at the same time. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  

Any concerns about the welfare of the animals had dissipated by this point. These dogs are doing what they were born to do… and that’s run.

Book your Husky Ride in Lapland Here – Dog Sledding in Lapland Tour 

Husky Tour in Lapland

What to Wear for a Husky Safari in Lapland

Winter in Lapland sees temperatures as low as -30 C, so having the right winter packing list is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

After surviving our husky safari in sub-zero temperatures, here’s a short list of items I suggest to take with you.

Dog Sledding in Lapland
The Husky Safari was our favourite thing to do in Lapland in Winter!

Did you Enjoy our guide to Dog Sledding in Finland?

Let us know. We truly hope our article will help with your trip planning. But, if you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below.

Stay adventurous and Happy travels.

finland flag

Planning a trip to Finland? Check out our Finland series for more travel tips and advice. 

Charlotte & Natalie
If you enjoyed our free guide, you could support us by buying us a coffee! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we share more travel advice and inspiration. Charlotte & Natalie x


Dog Sledding in Finland - The Best Husky Safari in Lapland

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4 Responses

  1. Hey There, Great article! Would you mind sharing the company you did the dog sledding with? I am going there in December!

  2. Hi Girls, great article. It’s my dream to take part in Husky safari. Maybe one day… For now I’m happy with everyday walks in the forest with my black terriers. Take care!

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Charlotte & Natalie

Hi There!

We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.
Here you will find everything from LGBTQ+ travel & lifestyle advice, to comprehensive guides and itineraries designed to make your travel planning easier.
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