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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sled Dog Spring Activity; Obedience Class for Ilu

Obedience class with Ilu, in the rain.

"Stand for exam" command.

Smiling Ilu in a "down stay".


Once the temperatures begin climbing in the spring and running the sled dogs on a sled or cart is no longer feasible, what do the dogs do? In addition to daily group free runs in our large fenced in enclosures and numerous other activities, every Points Unknown sled dog gets to go to obedience and agility class. This is a great time to form special individual bonds with each dog that have been worked in groups all fall and winter.

Ilu, a 23 month old Canadian Inuit Dog, is on his third week of obedience class. His eager-to-please personality makes him a natural. Making it a fun place to be is my job and he does the rest. While heeling, he doesn't take his eyes off of me and sits the instant I stop, which is exactly what he is supposed to do. He is beginning to have a trustworthy "stay" but dislikes the "stand for exam" command, wanting to sit rather than stand. He'll catch on. I am amazed overall by his calm and focused manner while doing this sort of work. Inuit Dogs can have a reputation of being stubborn and quite a challenge to work with, to say the least. Not this boy.

Will he need these tools to be a good sled dog? Not at all. Will he need these tools to be a GREAT sled dog. You bet!

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