Visit our Photo Albums!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Girl Scout Event

Illy and Aise got a lot of puppy socialization yesterday!

Joel helps our guest hook up her dogs; Phoenix and White Feather

The girls were so gentle with the dogs and did such an excellent job running their sleds. The dogs, for the most part(Zodiak), made this easier for them. Zodiak became distracted during the last run of the day when he caught sight of a plane flying over head and began taking the girls on several different fun but unexpected adventures in various directions around the lake.

Wimzi and Oken in lead!

Big smiles all around and Wimzi and Oken take our guest on a fun zip around the lake!

Klaus cuddles up to one of our guests.

Ari doesn't seem to mind his picture being taken today!

Joel and Hailey display the tools of their trade. Joel scoops the food while Hailey conquers the poop.

Points Unknown was host to twelve 6th-8th grade Girl Scouts and their four chaperons this weekend! We discovered recently that the Girl Scouts have a Dog Mushing Badge and busily began creating the curriculum for a class and hands-on event that meets the criteria for this badge.

On Sunday we took several dogs and loads of dog mushing gear to the classroom portion of our course at a youth building in a nearby community. Here, we taught roughly 40 girls from the age of six to fourteen, all we could about dog mushing in an hour and a half. Only the older girls would be able to attend the hands-on portion of the course at Points Unknown the following day which gives the younger girls something to look forward to!

There is another Girl Scout badge that pertains to community service and donating time and/or goods. Our local Adopt-A-Husky organization was kind enough to accept our invitation to attend this course to help the girls earn yet another badge. In return, the girls donated several items which will be put up for auction at the Adopt-A-Husky Hike in May, to help earn money for the organization.

The weather conditions were excellent yesterday for twelve girls and thirteen dogs to play out on the lake. We look forward to our hands-on group events each year because the participants have so much fun and it gives each of our dogs the experience and subsequent confidence of leading in a two dog team.

The girls did an excellent job with the dogs and made so many fun memories. At the end of the day, the dogs appeared exhausted from all of the mental activity but seemed to really enjoy all of the attention and new experiences. Neil and I had a wonderful day with our guests and found ourselves exhausted from all of the activity of the day and ended up falling asleep at 8PM that evening! We are looking forward to hosting another weekend event with this Girl Scout Troop in February.

So many thanks go out to Chris, Joel and Hailey who helped for this event!

The Puppy Nanny is Back!

Sweet Pea with Illy

Sweet Pea and the babies

In 2007, when Tuloon had her first litter of pups, Sweet Pea quit her job as the puppy nanny. We thought it was because of just how bonkers they were. Then in 2009 with Tuloon's second litter, there was absolutely no interest in helping to raise those little fuzz monsters. Up until that point, Sweet Pea had happily raised every puppy that came to our kennel.

Neil made a good point that I hadn't even considered but now it is glaringly obvious. All of the puppies that Sweet Pea raised came to us from other kennels without a "parent". She took over that role. In the case of Tuloon's puppies, Tuloon was here and quite capable to raising her own puppies. Sweet Pea didn't see the need or the point in assisting. Now that Illy and Aise have arrived "parent less" and Tuloon has made it clear that they are not hers. Sweet Pea quickly scooped them up under her wing and has taken on the role of puppy nanny yet again. She sleeps with them, plays with them and gently disciplines them. They follow her everywhere. She even went so far as to regurgitate her food for them yesterday which is something I've not seen her do in the past.

Tuloon, on the other hand, is quite happy to sit back and watch all of this, knowing that even though they are her grand puppies, she's not obligated in anyway to lift a finger. She will occasionally terrorize them with a bit of rough but needed play that teaches them that she is the boss and that they shouldn't forget it. Otherwise, she sits on the couch and watches with a subtle mischievous grin on her face.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Topa in Lead!

There she is, our beautiful Topa.

"This is serious business", she thinks to herself. I am in awe of Topa's structure and she's got some serious long legs.

Daughter, Zala and mom, Tuloon were in point position on Neil's team

This was Topa's first time in lead since fall training. Not sure why I waited so long to put here up there. She was amazing! This 19 month old Hedlund Husky took numerous commands and did remain tight other than the time she stopped to poop, getting a quick correction as she got a bit trampled on by the dogs behind her. She was no worse for the wear and it appeared as though she got the message and quickly sprang back up in lead.

Of course, she was so proud of herself and couldn't help but do a little dance in harness when I praised her.

Klaus did what Klaus does in lead. He set an excellent example and pulled as if his life depended upon it, taking commands as requested. We're so lucky to have such an excellent leader to help train our beginners.

Puppy Class!

How cute is that?! Very cute but the behavior of hiding when things get scary will need to end. They were using the wagon as a crutch for their safety. They'll need to learn to be more self confident which will come with age, training and time.

Illy wanders out to check out a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy

A 5 month old Great Pyrenees puppy was very gentle with them

Aise hangs by dad

Both pups sought refuge in the lap of this little girl. Aise yawns, trying to calm herself from the stresses of something new.

Neil works with Aise

Last night was our first puppy socialization class with Aise and Illy. It was wonderful to have Neil here to take one puppy. we ended up swapping puppies half way through so they get each get an equal dose of each of us and form individual bonds with us.

They responded as most of my Hedlund puppies have. They weren't used to seeing dogs that look different to them and they SCREAMED about it for quite some time every time they were approached by another of those strange looking creatures. They both hid under a wagon for about 10 minutes until they felt comfortable to wander about. H edlund Husky puppies, as any dog does, needs to be well socialized to help bring out their full potential.

Illy was the first to come out of her shell and began walking around checking out the different puppies. Aise was still a bit tentative but by the end did settle down and participate in the class.

I can see the drive and focus in Illy already beginning to present itself. During the recall, the instructor hung on to her leash while Neil walked to the other end of the room. Illy let out a blood curdling scream as she lunged into her collar that lasted until her leash was released. She then took off at full speed across the room the Neil. She wanted to get going and didn't want anything to get in the way of it! Aise was a bit more tentative at first but after the second try, she ran directly to me despite the distraction of a long row of miscellaneous puppies and people staring at her.

The biggest lesson we learned last evening was that Aise relies too much on Illy for her comfort and safety. We will need to separate the two more often and build up Aise's confidence in herself. We'll begin by having one puppy in at a time with an adult then swap for another puppy and another adult. The mix and match adults so the puppies don't get too dependent upon one individual. For the most part, we want them to be interdependent with us, their people.

Puppy Crate Training

Once the doors were open, they remained in their kennels resting. Quick adaptation!

Sharing a kennel

Given that the pups would be taking a 25 hour adventure with Neil in the truck back to Minnesota from New Hampshire, we needed to get them accustomed to their crates.

They would be traveling in their own crates to begin their separation from each other which will be necessary for a well rounded puppy. Each crate had a rubber chewy toy and a soft squishy toy and was lined with fleece.

We extracted our pups from the masses and carefully introduced them to the crates from the outside first. Each pup then wandered inside a crate and the doors were closed while we praised them in a happy high pitched voice for their curiosity. As you might imagine, the puppies began to cry. And cry and cry and cry they did for several minutes off and on. The best thing to do in this case is ignore the crying no matter how difficult. If not, they will associate making noise with getting what they want which is out. Once the crying stopped, we waited several seconds then opened the door of each crate while praising using the words "good quiet." Both puppies stayed in their now opened crates and began to play with their toys!

Once Illy stepped out of the crate we scooped her up and took her outside. "Go Potty" is our command which means nothing to her at the moment. Once she does it, we praise by saying "good potty!". This continues for as long as it takes to ingrain the command and result into their young brains. Once Illy went potty she was allowed to come in and play. She ran right to Aise's crate, went inside and there they both played for a while longer. Once Aise stepped out, the "go potty" training began again. If taken outside and they don't do what is asked then they go back in the crates for another attempt later.

So, after an afternoon of crate introductions, they were ready to travel. Neil said that they were very good travelers, although did, on occasion, cry. He said it got to the point that when he stopped every three hours to let them out, they came out of the crate on to the snow and immediately went potty. Good puppies!

Kim and Kelly and Kelim Siberians Kennel Visit


Richard with Holly

Group shot

All dogs were free running in Kim and Kelly's large enclosure.
Visit their kennel website to learn about their beautiful dogs.

Had to include this shot of Kim's airborne hair!

Spree is the little firecracker in mid air. What a fun visit!

Holly, the matriarch of the kennel.

Mornington Crescent Kennel Visit



Hailey and Rattle

Hailey and Panda

Photo taken by Caroline of Mornington Crescent
Andy cuddles up with Rigel (formerly Pepper), brother to Aise and Illy. He looks just like his Grandpa McKenzie!

Photo of Caroline and Andy, our exceptional hosts, with a background consisting of typical musher decor.

Pingo and Neil

Several large compounds with numerous different fun dog structures comprise the Mornington Crescent kennel.

A dog party!

Caroline with Panda

Hailey with Pingo and Sabe



Uktousa Kennel visit

I know there will be payback for this photo but the dogs looked so cute as they waited for a treat. Hana was in heat at the time, thus the pink bloomers.

Lidia with Honey

After 5 years of working with us, Hailey finally got to go on an "out state" adventures. Hailey, me and Lidia

A series of three groups shots. They wouldn't stop moving! Far left to right - Rosie, Hailey with Wishbone and Honey, Richard with Pepper (now Rigel) and TJ, me with Illy and Aise, Lidia with Pear.

Daisy pops her head in this shot next to Hailey.

Tumac begins the lessons for his puppies. Here, he reinforces that he is the boss and lets Illy know that she needs to mind her manners and not jump in his face.

Tumac isn't quite sure what to make of them yet.

One last drink at the milk bar before Aise and Illy depart with us to Minnesota.