And the time has finally arrived...! One late March day the Whiskies tasted their very first sled dog experience.
First they learned about the ready chain, which, despite being a bit stressed and unsure, they quickly accepted.
They let us harness them without any fuss at all and it was rather easy and uneventful to hook them up.
We even left the yard without much fuss and by the time we covered our first 30 meters, they were all running forward without looking around what is going on.
I stopped my team after 500m to praise everybody and let the babies catch a breath. By the time I got back to the sled, neighter JB, nor Jameson got tangled and JB was already whining, pacing and jerking the line, wanting to continue. During the next 500m they were not just running, but pulling. At the half way, turn around point, they were relaxed, taking everything as it came. Turning around was uneventful, although I made sure to unhook the babies´ tugs to not stress them out in case they tangle.
They were both relaxed, happy for treats and ear rubs, looking ahead for more running.
Jachym´s team with Jamie and Johnnie seemed to be doing exactly as well. On the way back, we followed them and had fun chasing. Both kids worked their little butts off up the steep hill towards the Fire Pit Spot and boogied up and down the rest of the trail home.
Once back, everyone was relaxed, grinning from ear to ear (especially JB), drank well and waited calmly in the team. Checking feet was with no fuss and everyone loved being turned loose to play and stretch out for a bit in the yard.
Clicker training and loads of time spent with these guys during summer and fall, all the loose walks in the woods, time invested in bonding and giving them all sorts of experiences had confirmed to give the kids a great start. They are confident, calm, relaxed and happy young dogs who can handle new situations without much stress.
And so, just like that, the little Whiskies became Sled Dogs! :)
|First time on the ready chain - Jameson is a bit unsure|
|JB is cool about all this new thing|
|Jamie - stick with the family (right: uncle Goosak, behind her: mom Galena)|
|"if they are cool, I guess I could be too"|
|"What is going on?! I´m confused"|
|"What´s up?! Seems like there´s some fun planned"|
|Johnnie: "If I actually look at it from another angle, this looks like fun"|
|Turning around went smooth|
|Just gotta fix a few tangled lines, the kids behave great meanwhile|
|Everybody ready to go again|
|Johnnie - gotta stretch those legs :)|
|Little Jamie is not as little anymore. She grew into a nicely built young lady|
|JB thinks pulling a sled and running is FUN|
|Buck´s wonderful genes, so visible on this "family pic" :)|
|Jamie with Goosak - look at the family resemblance!|
|"It was great, mom!"|
|Jameson relaxed and happy with his run|
|Two big boys - uncle and nephew|
|Jameson with uncle Grayling|
|JB - happy with her run and everything else.|
|Jamie (right) with her uncle Goosak|