View Full Version : Back to work!!pics

08-18-2005, 09:26 PM
Back to work, little sled dogs! Tonight was the first training run since late April. The dogs were insane, hence the tiny team. Sorry about the blurry pic, it's hard to drive the quad and the hold a camera!

Taking a break. Pingo ate grass at every stop and they had several today. She eats snow whenever we stop in the winter, sometimes when we aren't stopped. She is a "dipper"!

Back home, happy, puffing dogs! For a first run, it went remarkably well. One loose dog approached us, but we were stopped and he was well behaved. One little arguement about where we were going to turn around! I told them to "haw", they thought we should go straight and take the long trail today. It's a little warm for a 15 miler though. Silly sled dogs!

My remarkable Paxil. How I love that spotted tongue! You'd never guess she's over 9 years old and had cancer last winter!

If you are interested in following their training in more detail, check out our kennel blog....www.wanderingspiritskennels.blogspot.com

08-18-2005, 09:39 PM
Great pictures! And I have always wondered, How do you choose a lead dog?

08-18-2005, 09:53 PM
great pics!i always love seeing your sledding pics.

08-18-2005, 10:22 PM
These are some wonderful pictures you have posted for us! I'm so glad you posted your website, I didn't even know you had one. I'll definately have to be keeping up on things now;)

I'm so glad you all had such a great run today...those dogs of yours sure look HAPPY:D

finn's mom
08-18-2005, 10:31 PM
They look awesome! What a truly incredible life you lead. I love that picture of Paxil.

08-18-2005, 10:44 PM
Woooooooo - Wooooo - Woo - Woo - Wooooooooo!
I can just imagine how your dogyard sounds right now-
What a happy looking bunch of huskies!

08-19-2005, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by CagneyDog
And I have always wondered, How do you choose a lead dog?

Well, in general, they should have a calm temperment, not too timid. Alpha dogs in general aren't great leaders, although most people expect them to be. My three best leaders are all females. They are all very similar in temperment--quiet, unassuming, confident, but not dominant, and calm, new things don't scare them and they are emotionally stable enough to handle the added pressure of being out front.

I have two that are "born leaders"--Sleet and Paxil. Paxil will swing wide and try to pass the other dogs if she is dropped back. Sleet is now fully retired, but in her day, she would go limp and let the team drag her if she wasn't out front. No way would she run if she wasn't in lead. Sleet actually trained Paxil and they are remarkably similar in their styles. Both flawless, never miss a command, don't get distracted by wildlife, other dogs, people ect. Both demand their teammates follow them. Paxil will turn around and tell the other dogs off if they are messing around. She is much more effective than me yelling at them!

Pingo is a different kind of leader. She's a trail dog at heart. She has unfailing trail sense. She can judge snow, ice, overflow and find the safest, quickest way through. She always knows the way home, even when I don't. She responds to commands, but she really shines on the days when I let her pick the trail.

I'm training two males to lead, Mac & Founder. Mac needs to learn to focus and he'll do well. Founder needs to learn his commands better, but he loves to be up front and in charge. That's most important--Do they like being up there? I have a couple who would be great, but they hate it! Franklin is an amazing puller, but he falls apart up front. Too much pressure for him. I sometimes spend a lot of time moving dogs around just to see if some of the team dogs like it up front.

Oh, and never trust a musher who tells you they "have puppies with leader potential"...what that really means is "I have too many puppies and I'll say anything to get you to take one off my hands!" So far this summer, I've had four calls from guys trying to give me "puppies with leader potential"...I tell them to call me back in 4 years when that puppy can lead but is too slow for their race team!:p

Ginger's Mom
08-19-2005, 06:23 AM
Thanks for the link. I didn't know that you had a website either. I will definitely be checking it out, I love hearing about your dogs. I always learn so much from you.

The dogs look very happy to be back in the harness again. :)

08-19-2005, 08:18 AM
What a remarkable life you lead. Thanks for sharing the pics & site!

08-19-2005, 11:18 PM
Great pics, and looking forward to more.:)

08-20-2005, 06:39 AM
Yippee!! The sled dogs are back to work! Great pics! I look forward to reading more about their training at your website. You have no idea how bad I would like to tag along with you for a day or even a week. I think I'll bring Tori to see if she would like to be a sled dog too;). Although she may be a bit too much of a city girl. I giggled when you said Pingo was a "dipper":D

Go Sled Dogs!

08-20-2005, 04:53 PM
wow, all tangled with these leashes and dogs!

do you say haw to turn left only? what's for straight, right/left and do they back up too? -- how about stop?

I'll check out your link for those commands but takes me forever to open up a page - I'm curious!

love paxil's spotted tongue! no, I won't believe she's nine and had a cancer.. gee, what a survivor you are, girl!

08-20-2005, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by Gina's Ark Inc.
do you say haw to turn left only? what's for straight, right/left and do they back up too? -- how about stop?

Haw is the command for a left turn. Gee is right. Add an "over" to the end of either of those and means move to that side of the trail. I use Gee over alot. Pingo likes to run on the left side of the trail, which technically is the wrong side! Doesn't matter much until we run into another team.

On-By is the command for going straight or passing something--a dog, a turn, person, another team.

Dog teams do not have a reverse command. They don't back up without great difficulty. If they miss a turn, it's way easier to just take the next one! There is a command for turning around--"Come around Haw" or "Come Around Gee", depending on which way is easier. However, it's only used in emergencies. It's almost impossible to do a come around without tangling the team.

Whoa is the command for stop, but most sled dogs ignore it. Paxil will stop on command sometimes. Sled dogs don't like to stop. That's why there is a brake on the sled, a drag mat and snow hooks are required equipement. I carry two snow hooks as they are notoriously unreliable devices. It's a lousy feeling to be 20 miles from anything, sitting in the snow, watching your dog team run without you!

08-20-2005, 07:07 PM

08-20-2005, 08:46 PM
lol that last sentence, funny! did that ever happened before?

let's hope...never!

gotcha all! :cool: did you made up them or they're used for general? (like sit, down, etc..)?

08-20-2005, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Gina's Ark Inc.
lol that last sentence, funny! did that ever happened before?

let's hope...never!

gotcha all! :cool: did you made up them or they're used for general? (like sit, down, etc..)?

Yup, it's happened. I've walked home several times in the past.

Those are all pretty standard mushing terms. They are actually mule driver terms. Mushers just borrowed them!

08-20-2005, 08:58 PM
oh yeeks..sorry! *stifles..* :D

I see. thanks for 'educate' me, glacier! :)

once again, nice to see (tangled) dogs again!

and (((paxil & friends))..

08-21-2005, 03:22 AM
your dogs certainly look happy working :D

will have a look at your training blog