Today was Kona, Blue, and Tensaw's first day of sled dog training.
Nicki, a musher in the Bitterroot, put on a pull clinic and we decided to take the dogs. It was very chaotic when we arrived, Tensaw began talking to the other dogs and continued to talk throughout the entire training (earplugs next time?). Blue and Kona had done some pulling in harness before, specifically with Cobey on a longboard. Both did well when pulling Cobey and I walking behind them. When the chains were attached behind them, Blue and Kona got very nervous and took a while to get used to them. Once they warmed up to it they did well.
Tensaw the 1 year old male took to it all very well. He pulled hard and was not fearful of it...but he has a distraction problem when it comes to other dogs. He will make a very good sled dog once we get him trained to ignore the distractions. Nicki said all of our dogs, but especially Tensaw, are built well for sled running, they have long torsos which make for better strides. Last in the training today, each dog pulled a wheeled cart with Nicki's husky J.C. It was thrilling to see them working and pulling; something they were made to do.
The way the dogs responded to the training today gave us some idea of where each dog would ideally work in the traces. Our thought was that Tensaw would be a lead dog (at least of the three of ours), Kona would be a wheel dog, and Blue would need to be in the middle, having dogs behind and in front of her to keep her working. Nicki invited us to join her tomorrow and to put our dogs in the traces with her dogs. More to come on that event!
Brandi and Cobey