Visit our Photo Albums!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back on the Runners!

Unassuming Zala in lead with Klaus, contemplating...
Zodiak and Journey are in point and McKenzie and Sweet Pea are in wheel.

The crazy dog bug hits before the others know what happened

And a roll as the others look on

After a while, the others stop watching...its just Zala being a crazy dog again.

Phoenix, Tuloon, Oken, Ilu and Icoa

There they are! The amazing duo.

Back home!

I've been back on the runners now for 5 days after taking a long break to recover from the latest mega cold/flu bug that went around. It sure has felt good!

You would think that with over a foot of snow on the lake and warmer temps to let the snow melt a bit and pack down, you just might be able to sink a hook to stop the team or at least be able to slow them down with the claw brake but, alas, no. Stopping does come in handy when running alone if you'd like to reinforce commands. Instead, if it looks like the dogs are having a "we can't hear you back there" kind of day, then forget even trying. All you can do is just reinforce what they do well and hope that at least, they stay on track. That was the run with Klaus and Zala in lead today. Zala is just all gang busters to go. She encourages seven year old Klaus to keep a quick and steady pace and spends a lot of time licking his face as if to say - "This is so fun, don't you think Klaus! I'm so glad I'm up in lead with you, aren't ya, huh, aren't ya?"

Since I couldn't stop to reinforce commands, after an initial failed attempt at giving them a challenging command that fell on deaf ears, I tried to give commands that I was 95% sure they would take so at least we got a little training out of the day when I could then praise their excellent work.

Zala just wouldn't stop seeking affirmation from Klaus with the face licking. He even began to back away from taking the "Gee" commands because that would mean he would have to get closer to her. This calls for some training strategies yet to be determined. This little girl just cracks me up. When we would stop, she has made a habit out of tossing herself in the snow, line tight mind you, but tossing and rolling in the snow like a crazy dog. I figure that as long as her line is tight, I really have no issue with this. She's having fun and encouraging others to have a good work ethic but also have fun.

Our second run consisted of Tuloon and Phoenix in lead. I usually reserve this term for Oken but Phoenix was just "smokin'" today when it came to turn-on- a-dime commands. He has gained so much confidence in the past couple of years, he now doesn't defer to Tuloon but actually contradicts her if he thinks she's wrong. Independent thinking! Yes! I got confidence early in the run that I could challenge this team, even with the lack of ability to hook down and continued to challenge them the entire run. Awesome is the word for for this Hedlund Husky duo. Phoenix is a modest one. He's never full of himself but just displays a big grin when he knows he's done a good job. Tuloon shows a bit of modesty out on the trail while the challenge is taking place and reserves her "take that" attitude for our return to the kennel as she prances around, head and tail held high.

No comments:

Post a Comment