Some types of training you can begin in any season. It is good if your dogs will obey some basic commands such as sit and stay. Even if your dog is on a leash instead of a harness, he will know what the words mean, if you teach him. You will need to be patient and instruct the dog. You will have to correct his mistakes by showing him the right thing to do.
Hot summer weather is not good for running dogs, but you can use the cool mornings or evenings to go for walks and teach commands such as whoa or stop.
When you decide you are training the dog to learn any command, the most important thing for you to do is be consistent. That means that you always use the same word every time you mean the same action. For example, decide ahead of time: do you want your dogs to stop when you say whoa or when you say stop. Your dogs will need to hear your command word and respond quickly. You aren't asking them or discussing what you want; you have to tell them in a clear voice. Usually it isn't necessary to yell. These dogs can hear you rattle the biscuit box in their sleep, so they can almost always hear you.
You can begin leader training by showing the dog that turning to the right is Gee and to the left is Haw. A good way to do this is to let the grass grow tall in part of your yard and then mow some paths with turns and intersections. Try with the leash first and lead your dog to the proper side as you tell him the command. When he understands, put the harness on him and let him walk in front. If he makes a mistake, show him the correct thing to do. Let your experienced sled dog help you train your pet dog.
Be sure that the training is fun and positive so the dogs enjoy it.
In autumn, you can train your team using a wheeled rig. Start slowly and go short distances. When the snow comes, your team should be working its way up to race distances and faster speeds. It is important to remember that it is not always the fastest dogs that win the races. The musher must drive the team well, too. That means watching the trail ahead, and having dogs who are well trained to obey the commands.
You should try to train with other mushers so that your dogs learn how to run on the same trail with other teams. There will be times when other teams pass you and times when you will pass them. Passing can be going by a slower team in the same direction or passing when going in opposite directions, which is called head on passing.
Training for races is more than going fast. The dogs will have to know how to start a race. Some dogs are afraid of cheering people and the starting chute. You can practice by having friends be the crowd and act out the race start and count down. Most dogs learn the count down "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" and they are ready to fly when they hear the words "Go driver!". Teach your dogs that it is fun to run to the finish line and the noisy crowds. Here is where you remind them that there are "Biscuits in the truck".
Another skill sled dogs need to learn is how to travel.
Mushers with big teams have special dog boxes put onto trucks and travel in a mobile canine condominium from race to race. Your team can easily ride in airline crates or cages in the back of the family station wagon, but they must learn the routine of riding in the car, stopping briefly at rest areas and eating and drinking while away from home.
You need to decide how to pack all of the mushing equipment you need, keeping the scooper in a handy place. When you stop, you may want to be able to chain your dogs to the vehicle. You must prepare for that; find the best way, safe for the dogs, without damaging the vehicle.