Thursday, January 13, 2005

Breaking Trail

It was no where near as cold as it was supposed to be so I ran the dogs. It was probably around minus ten with windchill it may have been 20 below; not that serious. I hooked up Jack and Doppler in lead and JJ and Ruger in wheel. Ruger must be taking a liking to JJ as she lay down during hook up he peed on her.
I am not sure how exactly to proceed with the leader training. The book calls for about 4 weeks of one on one training. Seems like a waste to have eight dogs laying around in the middle of the winter while I take one dog out at a time for a 15 minute jog on a leash. So I decided to keep with the plan of going on four dog runs and varying the route to give Jack and Doppler time to pick up commands. Then from time to time I will go to one on one leash traing to reinforce some things.
Doppler seems to be learning that his job is to pull all the time, not just when things are going fast.
He did much better and even seems more focused on his job than Jack at times. What I want to do is keep running these two guys and developing them as leaders, without pushing them too hard, but slowly adding new experiences for them and mileage.
Today provided a new experience and a new test. About a mile of trail in the Wild Life Managent Area was drifted over with two even three feet of snow in places. My two young leaders did really well. It was slow going for a while and I stopped for short breaks a couple of times but we got through it without a hitch. I only led them by the collar a little bit and once they got the hang of they went at it full bore untill we got past the drifts and onto the better snow.

If I was on a serious long distance expedition, there could possibly be miles and miles of drifted over unbroken trails. What people do in that case is tie out the dogs and mush ahead a few miles with snow shoes to break trail and then walk all the way back and mush the dogs up to where they need to break trail again and then repeat the process. That can make for a long day. That is one reason people on expeditions travel a lot slower than say, dogs running in the iditarod. Racing dogs are faster, but also the trails are groomed ahead of time.

Instead of going around on the Lolly-pop shaped loop and coming back, I went back on the road. I saw one car the whole time and it turned off another way. This is a road that doesn't get much traffic and is pretty wide so I wasn't worried.

They all finished pretty strong and were well behaved as i unhooked them and gave them all a drink. It was another good run. Just a great time spent outdoors with my dogs. When runs go well like this I begin to plan my over night trip. They may be more ready than I think.


Anonymous Alaskan Malamutes said...

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

March 31, 2006 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Alaskan Malamutes said...

LOL, but isn't life always like that. BTW I have been trying to find a good alaskan malamute breeder do you have any ideas? Nancy

March 31, 2006 at 11:05 PM  

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