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Puppy training time

Gail P
March 6th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Now that racing season is over for us, it's time for some fun runs and for harness breaking Blaze. Today was puppy training day, tomorrow a trip to Algonquin Park with the big dogs. :thumbs up

Over the next few weeks (however long the snow lasts), we'll give Blaze a gentle introduction to the harness and sled (without asking him to do much work) so that in the fall when he's ready to do more he'll remember what it's all about and the training runs will go smoothly. With most of the others when they were pups we started them beside Lightning, letting him show them what it's all about. They pick it up very quickly from him, easily learning to run in the team, but so far none has become such an independent-thinking leader like he is. He was only hooked up with another dog a couple of times (Noah, who didn't really know what he was doing) and then we worked one-on-one with Lightning and he's turned into a fantastic leader. We're hoping that Blaze will turn out the same if we work individually with him and then he can be the leader for my daughter's team.

Here are a few pictures from today, Blaze's first time getting hooked up.

Okay, I'm ready!

All hooked up

Looking good!

Gail P
March 6th, 2010, 10:41 PM
All lined out and looking good

Come on Blaze!


Gail P
March 6th, 2010, 10:47 PM
Ooooooh! Itchy, itchy, itchy!

Two of a kind

Huh? Blaze, what are you doing in the old fire pit?

Gail P
March 6th, 2010, 10:53 PM
Okay, what's next?

Can you get this thing off me?

Thank you!

March 6th, 2010, 10:55 PM
Huh? Blaze, what are you doing in the old fire pit?

He's makin' snow :angel:s in there! That's what he's doin! :laughing:

Looks like he's already getting into the pulling :thumbs up

March 7th, 2010, 12:18 AM
Love those pictures :cloud9:. Looks like Blaze is a natural :thumbs up.

March 7th, 2010, 12:56 AM
Great first run Blaze :highfive:

Love the itchy pic :laughing:

March 7th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Looks like Blaze is a natural :thumbs up.

I sooooo agree :thumbs up:thumbs up
He looks born to run :highfive: (and pull) and loving every moment of it :D

Blaze is a lucky boy to have such great role models to learn from :cool:

Gail P
March 7th, 2010, 11:46 PM
We have high hopes for Blaze. He's not huge but he's got a nice sturdy build, really nice shoulders and hips and he's a serious, inquisitive kind of pup. Don't get me wrong, he loves to play but mostly with the other dogs. With us he's more likely to just watch what we're doing and you can see his mind is working to figure us out all the time. He's not at all a rambunctious, goofy puppy and really never has been. We're hoping he will take to his training really well and be able to develop into another great lead dog. He's off to a good start anyhow.

We took the other guys up to Algonquin Park today and now have some really tired pups. The plan was to probably do about 10-12 miles in total, with a nice long lunch break in the middle. Well the lunch break was at about mile 6 1/2 and we planned our route back from the trail map, but we didn't exactly end up following that plan. I stopped at the top of a hill to wait for my daughter because she has fallen behind a bit, and I said to my friend who was ahead of us to go on if she wanted to, we all knew where we were going (which was to turn left at the next junction, and work our way back down to the main trail and eventually back to the trucks). When I got to the junction I had a choice to make. I knew left was the way we wanted to go, but judging by the tracks in the snow it looked as though our friend had carried on through. She wasn't very far ahead of us so the fresh looking tracks should be hers. Hmmmm...what to do? Turn left and go all the way back to the trucks, or go straight and try to get back together. I decided to go straight, hoping that in a few minutes we'd catch back up to her or that she might have decided to wait a bit further up for us. Going straight through, the map showed another 4.4km to the next junction, then about 1.4km if you go left, or 1.7km if you go right, to where they meet back up again and to another .6 or so to the very end of the trail. We ended up doing the 4.4km without seeing her, stopped at that junction and gave the dogs another break and a drink and then I started second guessing if she had come that way or not. We decided to start heading back, figuring that if she had gone to the end of the trail she wouldn't now be far behind us, or if she had not even come this way she'd be on her way back to the trucks. We finally got back, albeit very slowly towards the end. Right at the end though we picked up some speed and made a final mad dash down a big hill and back to the parking lot where our friend was waiting for us. In total, my daughter and I did 27.9km (17.4 miles) with our dogs today. 4 on my sled and 2 on hers. Tonight we have tired puppies :p We've occasionally done around 10 miles (with a break in the middle) but for sprint racing we're usually training distances of about 4-6 miles, short and fast. So this was about 3 times their usual distance, but they were allowed to go as slow as they wanted and got a few breaks along the way, with the lunch one being pretty long. I took a few pictures but need to put them on my computer. I'll have to try to get around to posting them tomorrow.

March 8th, 2010, 10:01 AM
he didnt looked stressed at all, like it was just another play session, nice looking pup!!! and looks like your daughter was having a ball

Gail P
March 8th, 2010, 12:58 PM
he didnt looked stressed at all, like it was just another play session, nice looking pup!!! and looks like your daughter was having a ball

That's the idea when starting out with pups. Fun and easy and leave them begging for more :thumbs up

As for the others, I thought after our big trip yesterday they might be feeling tired or even a bit sore today since we went further than intended, but today they're feeling great and look like they're ready to head out and do it all over again. This morning I took them out to play and walked around our own little trail and they were ripping around full of energy. :D