Thursday, January 06, 2005

Cruiser's Debut

Well, Strider, the big goofy German shepherd mix, I just found out has developed some horrendous foot problems so he is out for a while as I research foot care and buy some extra large size booties( he has Mastadon size feet) I know where I can order this ointment called algyval that is supposed to be really good. I probably should have been prepared for this, but I figured I was only going on short runs so I didn't forsee a problem. I went and checked all the dogs feet and they all look really good. That was one of the things I specifically asked about when buying dogs and deliberately chose dogs with no history of foot problems. All the other dogs have soft pliable pads that are the consistency of a "shammy" you know the thing that you wax cars with. Striders are kind of dry and cracked. A couple of my dogs have run several 250 mile races and never had a problem but I am going to order booties for all just in case. Strider is the only dog I have that is not a "real" sled dog, so it stands to reason his feet would be less tough. Poor Guy. He was a little bummed that I didn't run him today.
But the great thing is I got a chance to run "cruiser"! He is awesome! This was his first run in harness, except for a couple disasters I had where I was having leader problems and never left the dog yard.
He is a natural sled dog. Beautiful to watch. For some reason, he requires no training. It is kind of a weird thing but all he wants to do is pull. He never screwed around or straddled the gangline or got tangled up or did any of the things I expected him to do as a yearling, his first time out. He pulled the whole time and was very focused on his job. The only problems I had were the other dogs faults. They aren't used to running with him and scuffled with him a couple of times. I broke it up and reprimanded all of them, grabing my hands ofer their muzzles with both hands and looking them in the eyes and saying "NO fighting." I think I got their attention. It was a dominance thing. The dogs are trying to sort out his place in the pack, but I am not going to let it happen. My philosophy is that I am pack leader and I don't allow dominance battles.
I hope Cruiser wasn't intimidated by this experience. I don't think he is he is a very self assured confident dog. After getting scuffled with, he seemed a little hesitant to keep his line tight and necklined a little, but before long he was pulling for all he was worth again.
Here is the situation: This is an unregistered siberian husky that I got for $100.00 from a recreational musher. He was very thin and I suspected he had worms. I wormed him a couple times and some worms came out but he has a hard time putting weight on. I found that if I over feed him he gets the runs. What I think it is is that he runs all the weight off. He constantly paces around in circles all day long on his chain, wearing a circular trench in the ground. He finally gained a little weight and so I thought I would try him out.
All that pacing must have paid off because he is a natural . He actually is more focused and harder working than Doppler, so if I can get him to get along with Jack I might try him up front.
Jack and Doppler are still pretty spotty on commands but with only four dogs it is not hard to hop of the sled and pull them onto the right trail.

I am pretty excited about this new "star" of mine.

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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 7:02 PM  

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