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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Canicross Hikes 2008: Elm Creek Park Reserve

Double training moment; Over a bridge and "on by" the scary bicyclers.

Journey shows her frustration with my slow pace, jumping up and lunging into her harness.

Goldenrod in full bloom

Ears perked up and line slacked when Journey hears something that might be scary, coming around the bend.

Straight ahead

Frankie left and Meg Right

Journey learns to "gee over" on the road which means to run along the right side.

Today's Canicross Hike was held at Elm Creek Park Reserve just northwest of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area. Temperatures were in the upper 60s and there was a slight breeze. The hike lasted almost two hours. No mileage was determined, however we estimate it to have been around 5 miles.

There were numerous distractions for "on by" training that included, bicyclists, dogs on leash, cars and trail workers. Hints of horses on the trail were everywhere but no horse encounters were had today. There were also many trail crossings to practice the "straight ahead" command versus "gee" for a right turn and "haw" for a left turn.

Journey was my trail dog today. The last time she came on a Canicross Hike was when she was 10 weeks old. She came along for a walk and to observe but ended up wanting desperately to join in the fun. I had wanted her to get used to wearing a harness so put one on her for the walk. We rotated between pulling in harness, walking and a bit of free running along with the other dogs to keep her focus. She enjoyed the pulling best, it seemed. I was amazed at the pull instinct and drive at such a young age. Since she is now over a year old and will be training in lead with Klaus this fall, I thought it was time to do some one on one with her during our hike. She has had some issues with other dogs as well as new and "scary" things. Today, with all of the distractions, proved the perfect training ground and she did an excellent job.

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