Since late August, I have been training our dogs to have them ready for your tour with Dogsled Express. Why do we start so early you ask? The obvious answer is, “To get them in tour condition”, which includes cardio work and also building muscle mass. After we build up their muscles, we start to let them run, allowing those muscles to stretch out, keeping them limber. If you don’t allow those muscles to stretch oput then you maybe setting your dogs up for shoulder injuries! If a dog is to muscle bound and steps in a hole in the trail at a running pace, they can pull a muscle in their front shoulder and that is an injury that can worsen if the dog doesn’t get the proper rest to heal.
This year we have a crop of young dogs that need some extra attention to get them ready for touring. As with both the adults and with the younger dogs, they get bored during the summer, waiting for the fall training days. When you do start training, they almost seem out of control with all their excitement. The only way to calm them down is by repetition. Getting them to keep their attention forward. Figure out who prefers running on one side over the other. Which dogs want to chew lines or harnesses and teach them not to chew. Often after having the whole team hooked up to the ATV, I will just stand there a while to allow them to settle down some. Because when giving tours, so often just as we are ready to leave somebody will walk up and want some information and the dogs have to learn to be patient.
Yes, we use ATV’s to train the dogs. It is the safest way that I have found to train and condition the dogs. You are always in full control. You may stop them anywhere to show a young dog on how to step back over a line, how to stop-start and what Easy, Haw and Gee mean.
Watching the young dogs develop into real sled dogs is one of the many true joys of the sport of dog mushing. So come out and reap the benefits of all our fall training and plan your tour early so that we can schedule the day and time that best serves your needs. looking forward to hearing from you. Pat