Our Story

Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel and Raft NH have a unique structure and are different than your typical adventure tourism outfitter. Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel (aka Muddy Paw, aka our “winter persona”) was established as a touring kennel in 2006. Since its inception, Muddy Paw has grown year after year and is currently home to nearly 80 sled dogs, some of which are rescue and second chance and some of which are part of our selective breeding process. To generate the revenue required to provide the high level of care these amazing athletes receive, Muddy Paw conducts year round recreational dog sledding tours and summertime rafting adventures. The dog sledding adventures we offer are designed to be educational and hands on to the comfort level of our guests. During the winter season our mushers use traditional sleds. During the snowless seasons our mushers use rolling dog sleds. While we are a touring kennel and do not participate in racing, we do enjoy following local racing kennels and their adventures.

In the summer of 2010, Raft NH (our “summer persona”) was started to further support the sled dogs during the warmer, snowless months. Establishing Raft NH also enabled us to provide year-round guiding opportunities for our mushers (if you join us for both the winter and summer seasons you may see a familiar face or two)! The owner, Neil, is a third generation, licensed Maine guide who has been hitting the rapids since he was child. One of his greatest passions is training all our guides to the same high standards he has practiced for nearly 20 years. Raft NH offered family-friendly rafting adventures ranging from mild Class II to wild Class IV. Like many businesses, Covid impacted this part of our operations in a big way. As of December 2022, we made the difficult decision to close this portion of our business (for the foreseeable future anyways).

In 2013 we formed the NH Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity that focuses on taking in rescue and second chance sled dogs, providing education to the public about northern breed dogs, preserving NH’s rich dog sledding history and finding forever homes for the sled dogs in our adoption program. Together, the NHSDRHEC and Muddy Paw are responsible for the daily care and overall wellbeing of nearly 80 sled dogs. In years past, it can easily cost upwards of $80,000 just in basic care, which does not include staffing, insurance, improvements, rents, etc. Dog sledding is without a doubt, a labor of love.

We provide a much-needed haven for sled dogs in need. Unlike a traditional “house dog”, sled dogs do not always hold up well when in a shelter environment. They tend to develop behavioral problems and are consequently deemed “unadoptable”. We provide a traditional working kennel environment, which they are familiar with and can continue to grow in. When a sled dog in need comes to us, they have a home and job for life. Should they lose interest in running or for health/age reasons have to retire, we then seek out a wonderful forever home for them to enjoy. We have paired well over 100+ sled dogs with forever homes over the years and are striving to grow that number even more in the coming years.