Alaska’s gold rush resulted in a massive need for dogs, since most mining camps could only be reached by dog sled during winter. Anything that needed transportation – from prospectors and supplies to doctors – was moved by the dog team. Legend has it that all of Seattle’s stray dogs were rounded up and shipped to Alaska for this purpose.
Dog sled teams could travel up to 70 miles daily and a dog sled of 16 could pull up to 600 pounds. Dog sleds continued to deliver mail into the 20th century, able to withstand weather that would halt trains and boats.
– Eve Lederman, The 100 Companies