Saturday, November 18, 2006

Puppy Training




One of the most fun parts of maintaining a dog yard is raising and training puppies. Henry’s yard now has ten puppies, born from the two July litters. I put a few pictures on the blog when they were two weeks old. Now they are strapping four-month olds, and bounding all over the place.
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The puppies live together unrestrained in a big 10’ x 20’ pen. They play together in a very
rough-and-tumble way, and dominance fights break out frequently but are quickly resolved. They all get along together quite well.
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By the age of five months, they will go on
individual chains, and each will have his or her own house. They will also start training in harness. Two or three at a time, they will be hooked up with a team of older, patient dogs and go out for short easy runs.
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Before their first hook up, they are allowed to go out with a team a few times, to see how much fun mushing is. It is a chaotic event that is a lot of fun.
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Last Sunday Henry, Dutch and I took the puppies out for one of these. Henry hooked up seven of the older dogs and the puppies were turne
d loose to follow along. Dutch and I walked behind the team, encouraging puppies along. We only went about a mile before turning around. The puppies got yummy meat snacks several times, thus learning to pay attention to the musher and stay close.
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Once the puppies got into the idea of heading along a trail, they rushed back and forth ahead of the team in a big pack, yapping with abandon and glee. They tended to swarm over the team and sled, and had to learn a few painful lessons abou
t staying out of the way.
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When we returned to the yard, Henry took the bucket of meat snacks into the pen and all the puppies followed him right in. They got lots of pets and head scratches for being so good, and a special treat: a small chunk of whale blubber.
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All photos by The Tundra PA. Puppies in the pen; part of the dog yard; cutting meat snacks; feeding meat snacks; Dutch with puppies, Henry with team; whale blubber.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous neopa said...

Very nice photos to go with the commentary. As always, very interesting. You were able to replace your camera fairly quickly!!!! Is there somewhere to purchase a digital locally or did you borrow a camera?
Keep it coming........ I always look forward to your writing!

Sunday, November 19, 2006 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

They look so cute! Your pictures are great. Thanks for sharing them with your readers.

MJ

Sunday, November 19, 2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger TheTundraPA said...

Thanks, neopa! Actually, this story is from last Sunday, the 12th. I didn't lose the camera until Wednesday the 15th. Dutch was on the internet yesterday, researching a replacement for me. In the meantime, I'll use photos from my files whenever possible, and borrow his camera if I really need to.

Sunday, November 19, 2006 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a treat these stories are! Feeling very privileged to find this blog!

Monday, November 20, 2006 2:09:00 AM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

Wow thanks for all the pics... the puppies are adorable and i bet that is so much fun to train them..

Monday, November 20, 2006 5:08:00 PM  

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