Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC, Central Maryland's only dog sledding operation.  Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC offers Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities, educational dog sledding tours, and dog sled programs near Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
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Our drop lines were made from lifeline materials and hockey pucks.
Acadia helped to pick blackberries for dinner.
Okemo looks out from his dog box.
Contact Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC by phone or email

Phone:
(443) 257-4117

Email:
eric@marylanddogsledding.com

Maryland Sled Dog Adventures LLC is a micro mushing educational program provider in Baltimore, Maryland.

Our current dog truck is a traditional style dog truck, with dog boxes above the bed.

We haven't always had a traditional dog truck, with our previous two dog vehicles being a 1998 Ford Expedition and 2004 VW Jetta Wagon. Initially, we liked transporting the dogs loose in the vehicle since it allowed the dogs to pick their spaces. We recently decided to make individual internal dog boxes. One reason for the dog boxes was to make it easier at events since we could release individual dogs. A second reason was for safety. Dog boxes allow the dogs to be securely fastened and allow each dog their own private area.

Most dog boxes are built on pick up truck beds - and for good reason. With a pick up truck bed, there are more straight sizes and there are fewer constraints on the dimensions of the dog boxes. We found out how much easier it was to build traditional dog boxes with our current truck. With a full size or mini-van, the floor is much lower, making it easier to fit the required boxes. With a full sized SUV such as the Expedition, the rear air conditioning, lift gate framework and general shape of the interior intrude. In addition, we wanted to be able to raise the rear seats if required to transport people or equipment.

Dog boxes under construction

We designed our boxes based on Mush with Pride guidelines. We decided to make the boxes so they could be opened either to the outside or inside of the vehicle. We transport our Fritz Dyck rigs on an external rig carrier, which limits which direction the dogs can be loaded or unloaded with the rig carrier in place.

The dog boxes can be opened into the interior of the vehicle as well.

The two larger dogs (Okemo and Sobo) each had their own dog box on the lower level. T-Bone and Zoë each had their own dog box on the upper level, complete with a "bay window" and view. Acadia, then the youngest puppy, had the smallest box in the center of the upper level. The bay window basically fills into the rear windows on the truck and allows the upper boxes to be larger. There is a set of wire grills between the dog area and the window.

The view from the lift gate.

We built the boxes as light as possible. The floor between the upper boxes and lower boxes is made from 1/4" plywood and 1" x 3" framing supports. Wire shelving was used for the doors and sides of the boxes to allow good ventilation and reduce weight. Wire cable clamps were used as hinges for the doors.

One of our concerns was sealing the wood to prevent damage from accidents, wet paws and similar. We used West Epoxy to seal the floors of the dog boxes. Acadia's box had a boot tray bottom, which gives good security against accidents and can be easily removed. The other boxes had bath tub mats on the floor to contain dirt and moisture.

The upper boxes are shorter than the rear boxes. The rear lift gate has a bit of a forward cant to it, which forced the upper boxes to be shorter. Since the upper boxes are shorter, there is a short shelf that can be used to store leashes and other items.

The boxes worked relatively well. Okemo and Sobo both happily jumped into their boxes (something they can't do in a traditional truck that requires each dog to be lifted into their boxes). The upper level dogs need to be lifted into their boxes or can crawl in through the passenger compartment. We really liked the boot tray floor for Acadia's box, but it would be tough to find one to fit the other four boxes since their shapes are relatively unusual.

The view from the lift gate.

The boxes were relatively time intensive to build and required considerable trial and error cutting to obtain a satisfactory fit.

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