There are great days of training and then there are days like yesterday morning. If you race or run sled dogs recreationally, you may have the tendency put the same dogs paired together, which helps keep things simplified during the hookup. When you operate a guide business, because you will keep running the same trail over and over during the winter, you need to do a few things to keep it interesting day to day for the dogs. One way that you can do this is to change the dog’s position within the team or put different dogs paired together.
The group of dogs that I planned to take out for their training run composed of mostly yearlings. I brought over a big male dog named Yetti from the other side of the property. We want to slowly introducing him into the kennel. I hook the leaders into position first, then the two youngest dogs in the middle of the team, and continue filling in the positions of the twelve dog team, when all of a sudden all hell seems to break loose. I hadn’t kept my eye on Yetti and he chewed his neck line and slipped out of his harness. He was in a tussle with the two leaders, Pudges and BoBo, both females! I break that up and Yetti runs into the main area of the kennel. That’s all it takes and dogs are slamming into the ends of their runner lines. You see, nothing bothers dogs that are tethered more, than to have a dog running loose. Within seconds I have 3 more males that have busted their runner line or old collar snap and want to introduce themselves to Yetti, heading straight towards him. Now is when you have to move fast and think later. The best way to regain control, is to control the creator of the uproar. I quickly catch Yetti and load him into the dog trailer, getting him out of harms way. Now it is easy to catch the males and get them into the trailer or back onto their line.
By this time, things are settling down and I takeYetti back to the team that was being hooked up. To my dismay, I find now that one of the two pups in the middle of the team has shredded both neck lines and one harness! I don’t have any extra neck lines handy, so I put some chain drop lines in place of the poly rope lines. Let the puppies try and chew through that! Shortly we are off and running so the dogs settle down and get into a work mode.
Customers are always commenting on how well the dogs are trained. It is direct result of days and days of repetition, finding out which dogs work well with each other and discovering the bad habits that certain dogs may have. It truely a sport of “Murhy’s Law” and it is your job as a trainer to be prepared to catch things before they happen. It starts back in August and the goal is to have the crazy habits worked out by mid December so that the customer is benefits from all our hard work.
So plan your dogsled tour, reap the results of our months of training and come and experience an adventure of a lifetime.