so yesterday was our first day of training.
due to the girls all being in heat I hooked up a girl team and took them out first. we have more males inthe kennel than females so I had the chance to make room on the line for puppies. We have 2 that are just 10 months old and 2 that are just over a year old. we decided that we would use this run as a nice teaching run for the puppies and to get used to our new routine.
so after I took the kids to school I cam back and I startedt he quad the temp was just zero and the quad sputtered as I started it. the dogs were all excited with me being in the kennel and putting the quad in the place it sits when we go for a run. I wanted to wate rthem all before I went but the hose was frozen and so I had carry some buckets by hand. I had to let the quad warm up so I left it running while I went in to the cabin to start a fire and some coffeeI wanted to be able to come back and enjoy some warm coffee and sit and go over the run miles.
so after I got all organized inthe cabin I whad to go and look over the dogs and decide who was all going.normally I would take them one by one out of the kennel and put them on the long drop chain in the yard but now that I have enclosed the kennel I can just let them out of their pens to run in the community area until I am ready to harness. this is a new system and I was hoping htat is would save me a bit of energy when I am hooking up teams for touring.
so off I went and started letting out dogs. they burst through the doors and ran wildly along the kennel excited and full of energy this was a good sign. after I had out all the girls I let them run around and enjoy exploring while I got the harnesses and gangline ready. some of the girls are so small I had a hard time finding harnesses that would fit them, searching I found some old ones that I had put away and yep they fit. so I called the girls over one by one and put on their harness and then let them go run again. not sure if this was going to work letting them go after I was worried I may have some dogs chewing them. but they all did very well smokey my old girl stuck by my side and keep me safe.
so the gangline was ready the quad was warm enough to go so I hooked them all up and opened the gate. the dogs screaming now wanting to go jumping and tugging at the line I ran back tot he quad put it in gear and took off.
because we had babies on the team I wanted to keep them at a specific speed so they could keep up and enjoy their first run with thebig girls, I was watching both the speed and the team in front and we cruise d at 15/km hour they wanted to go more but I held them back. we took the first corner with out any problems and then had a few issueswith command along the way I think it was about the 2 mile mark I switched leader and this worked great. The puppies were doing better than I had thought they would at first they were awkward and clumsy but now they have started to get in the groove of things no longer running in zigzag movement they have figured out the groove of the dog next to them.
the sun was now in full view and we are running along the highway. My dogs are only ever used to running along trails in the bush I have to train them to run along the highway now. The race I am going to runs along the highway for many miles, so this will be good experience for them to run with the roaring sound of vehicles beside them.
they handled it like pros only my leaders were not used to going over approaches and onbying so they kept wanting to turn into the trail or road we got that all figured out and they have learnt something new. the last stretch of the run is back along bush you could see them easy mentally and all get back in the groove, we stopped along the way to have some water I had to try and convince the babies to drink they have to learn to keep hydrated along the trail even if they do not want to.
so I could have pushed them another 4-5 miles but I choose to bring them home and make it a nice first run, so back tothe kennel we went and after I brought them in I closed the gate unhooked and took off harnesses and let them go free again I gave the leaders treats for a job well done and then after I treated the others.
they all still Had heaps of energy running around playing now in the kennel I went to the cabin and grabbed a coffee and made notes on the team sheet so That I can remember how everyone did. I like to make notes and compare them as we train that way it is easier to choose the dogs for the race team and the dogs for tours.
so after I watered the dogs now that it had warmed up enough for the water to flow through the hose. I put away all the dogs and went in to do paper work. It was a good run and look forward to getting out the boys today.
that is all for now