Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What they don't know helps them.

Ok here is the run down of todays two runs:
I started our with four dogs today to have more control. Doppler and Ruger in Wheel and Pumpkin and Fir up front.
No Go. They "Geed" instead of "Hawing" tried to run into the Garage and then wrapped the gangline around a bush. Ruger got turned around and got tangled with Doppler, had a small scuffle. No bloodshed thank goodness.

So I took Pumpkin out of lead, she actually was looking the right direction when I gave commamds but let Fir, who was testing me, overpower her. So I gave her a break and put Ruger and Doppler away and Tried Just Fir and JJ in lead.

JJ turned around five times before we went a half a mile. I got rope burn from grabbing the gangline. She is a very strong determined dog, hard to hold back. But I tried to be more stubborn than she and kept turning her back around.

We went OK for the second half of the mile, then at the place I had planned to turn around, she turned around with out me giving a command. I let her do it but shouldn't have. Her bad habit started with bike training when I let her turn around on me. I let her do it because I was concerned that I was running her too far and this was her way of letting me know it was time to go back. But after that she started to turn around sooner and sooner, untill she began to turn around at the end of the driveway. That is how the bad habit got established.

Well anyway the one mile run back went well and they either obeyed my commands or just wanted to get back, hard to tell which, there are only two turns.

So I posted a question on SDC on how to solve this, watered and snacked all the dogs and took a break.

I tried Fir and Pumpkin in lead again, hoping to just run those two by themselves, but they kept screwing around, wouldn't hold the line out, so I got fed up and put them back.

Then I got an idea. Doppler, one of my yearling, seems to really like me. He looks at me like he thinks I am God(little does he know what a newbie I am.) He has a really responsive eager to please personality. Then there is Strider, my pet German shepherd husky mix. Super strong, even though he is slower than my other dogs. I did try him one time before on the Bike with Fir but he couldn't keep up with the sheer speed of Fir and necklined the whole way. So I ran him loose along side us. He is a pretty obedient dog.

I went and pused the sled up to my shed and loaded 5 old car tires on there. Two feild mice scurried out of them looking confused.
Sorry Guys

I then hooked up Doppler and Strider by themselves on a shortened Gangline. After some coaxing running up front they got the hang of it and passed me, I jumped on the sled as it went by and we were off! What little Doppler knew of the Haw command, he obeyed better than my three trained lead dogs. I run up front to guide Strider in the right direction. Strider ran with his head down, a natural puller. When they got distracted and pulled to the side of the trail, I yelled "On by!" in a firm yet positive tone. No doubt Doppler had heard that before and it registered. Strider followed his example.

I was pumping most of the way or running behind the sled, but it was loaded with tires so they were pulling weight. They weren't used to it though so when the friction increased a bit they would stop, then I would run out front and coax them along until they would pass me and then I would jump on as the sled went by.

We did that off and on till we got to the top of the hill at the one mile point. I did not use any kind of "Come Gee or "Come haw" command, but guided them around.
The down hill went well,

On the way up and on the way back we did run into two gut piles but that just gave me an opportunity to work on the "on by command" and for some reason these two guys have this idea that they are supposed to listen to me. Kind of nice for a change.

I just might run these two dogs in lead for a while with the loaded sled working the vetrans into wheel untill I am confident enugh to run all six again, then finally, eightafter I add a section.

Hopefully if I run every day all the dogs will get run at least every other day.


Anonymous Alaskan Malamutes said...

Interesting... I am still looking for a great alaskan malamute breeder do you know of directory or something?

March 31, 2006 at 7:00 PM  

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