TRAINING YOUNG WORKING DOGS
The puppies are now approaching 9 months old so lately we've been taking advantage of some of the cooler summer moments to introduce them to the equipment they'll be using during their working lives. Taster sessions in weight pull and backpacking!
The organisers of our weight pull competitions, Kaytoo Alaskan Malamutes kindly put on a practice weight pull during the summer months. This is ideal for teaching youngsters the ropes as no big weights are used. The aim is to familiarise the puppies with the chute, the harness and then the feel and the noise of the trolley behind them.
We prefer to keep our dogs on a lead whilst training to encourage them to move in the right direction and to prevent them from jumping which can cause injury. Whilst training, the puppies pull a maximum of 400lbs and are rewarded with a smelly treat we save just for this activity.
The next chapter in training introduced Rowdy and Nome to hiking in the Peak District. Rowdy also wore the back pack stuffed with some carrier bags (and a few sandwiches for the road) to allow him to get used it and to give him a bit of a job to do. Needless to say he took to it like a duck to water.
Walking out here is quite different to walking in the country side on our doorstep at home. The puppies have had to practice their 'wait' when tackling steep terrain, how to negotiate styles and to interact (or not) with the local livestock.