The Vital Importance of Sled Dogs

  • Mary R. Tahan


With the momentous decision to attempt to reach the South Pole, comes the conclusion that Roald Amundsen must now rely even more upon dogs to accomplish his goal – the best dogs, from Greenland, who are best suited to conduct long-term treks across the icy terrain of Antarctica, and to pull loads of necessary provisions. He immediately travels to Denmark to procure the very best dogs and personally meets and corresponds with the Greenland Trading Company and its top inspector, Jens Daugaard-Jensen. An analysis of the correspondence between the two men uncovers interesting details about the physical conditions and values placed upon the dogs, their places of origin, the terms of their purchase, the authorizations required to import them, and the logistical arrangements organized with the two governments, including the dogs’ place of delivery prior to the start of the expedition.


  1. Amundsen Letters of Correspondence. Manuscripts collection. Oslo: National Library of Norway.Google Scholar
  2. Amundsen, R. (1912). The South Pole: An account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram”, 1910–1912 (2 vols, A. G. Chater, Trans.). London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  3. Knud Rasmussen Personal Papers. (1876–1920). File 12 Box 1, Henry Larsen collection. Leonard G. McCann Archives. Vancouver: Vancouver Maritime Museum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary R. Tahan
    • 1
  1. 1.VancouverCanada

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