Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Jack and Doppler

Well, JJ totally did not work out in lead yesturday. She missd the first turn and then when I got her back on the trail, she deliberately pulled off into the woods and wrapped the gangline around a tree. I just have to face it that none of the "lead dogs" I got from other mushers want to be lead dogs. Fir never listened to me either even before Ruger chomped on his leg and put him out of commission for the season. Pumpkin is just too unreliable. She gives me subtle hints that she doesn't want to run like hiding inside her doghouse. Then when I hook her up she balks and won't run out front. Once we get going she seems pretty good but half the time she can't lead the team out of the yard. So I need to develop a new leader. One that can at least stay out front and lead the team from the dog yard to the trail. Once on the trail I could probably switch Pumpkin into lead again.
My only real candidate for the Job is Doppler. He is intelligent and responsive and fast, but very young. So is Jack, but I only have so many dogs to work with. Strider is turning out to be too big and slow to keep up with team, Ruger doesn't have the mental capacity to lead, Cruiser might have potential But I haven't run him enough yet.
So after my disaster yesturday, I hooked up just Jack and Doppler with an empty sled. I must say I had some of the most fun I had with the dogs all year! We went six miles. We didn't go really fast. With me on the runners they were each pulling over 100 lbs. so I helped out a bit but still gave them a chance to pull. This gave me a chance to try Doppler in lead without any pressure on him, so that I could observe him.
He doesn't have the "fire in the belly" that Jack does, but he does seem to have some potential listening to commands. I could see little wheels turning in his head. The wheels are still turning in Jacks head to as he decodes these commands also. The difference with these guys and my other "leaders" is that they want to do the job. They are eager to try. The older dogs maybe have some baggage, psychological issues, that I can't sort out. They are no doubt comparing me to previous owners, previous runs and experiences.
These two yearlings are fresh slates. They look up to me and everything is pretty new. I feel like a Holloywood director working with some fresh new actors. They aren't Jaded at all and are eager to take direction. So it was kind of fun just being out there with these two Guys. The snow cover on the trail was nice. It was maybe ten degrees out, clear and sunny. I got thinking that This is my first year, I am not training for a race, I am not trying to impress anyone so I can move at my own pace, really get to know the team well and work on putting a team together. I have decided that for every bad run, I will make sure to do somthing positive, hook up a little team, or work on somthing to make it fun. If I had to be in a race in a few weeks I would be pretty stressed out right now, but as it stands, its not hurting anything.
With this in mind going on that short run with the two young dogs was pretty cool.

2 Comments:

Blogger George Forgan-Smith said...

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

March 31, 2006 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger George Forgan-Smith said...

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

March 31, 2006 at 10:58 PM  

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