One of the joys of not working on Mondays is deserted trails! This morning was frosty, calm, perfect for a training run. At long last, Deuce was not limping, the ATV started no problem. I can't walk Deuce on a leash. He's too much for me to control. Never had a dog I couldn't leash walk before. I've been dying to see what Deuce would do in a harness and today was the day to find out!
I hooked him up last and ran him alone in swing. He can be a bit of jerk and is a bit fussy about his canine friends. I didn't feel like dealing with a fight today so he ran alone. He was raring to go! I suspect that at some point in his life he's been a sled dog before. He was very cooperative with putting the harness on. Sometimes with a new dog that simple act can turn into a full on wrestling match!
Off we go, heading down the trail. That's Raven & Paxil up front, Deuce in the middle and Antare & Pacer in wheel.
Taking a break at the half-way point. We didn't go very far today. Again, I didn't want to push Deuce too much. I wanted this to be a lot of fun for him, so he'll want to do it again!
I think he'll want to go again! He was a little confused about why we had stopped. He was the first dog to start tugging and whining to get started again! He kept his tug line tight the whole run and pulled every bit as hard as he does on leash. He's got an odd gait--runs like a malamute, front and back legs together instead of one side at a time, like a husky runs. But it works for him!
My happy leader girls. Paxil was flawless, as she always is. What will I ever do without her!???
I was thrilled with Raven today. Last winter, Raven had a rough time. She had no enthusiasm for pulling. She rarely wanted to come and when she did she didn't do very well. She spent most of her time looking back, slacking off and wanting to be set free. So she got left behind alot. The first winter Raven ran for me, she was amazing--ready to go all the time, learning to lead. So I was a little disappointed last year, but whatever, she doesn't want to pull, she doesn't have to. Today she was a little pulling machine, the Raven I remember from two years ago. She was having fun, listening well, pulling hard. I hope she stays like this!
Patient Pacer waiting to be unhooked at home. I freakin' adore this little dog. He's a sweetie and a steady, consistent worker.
Next time Deuce might get a running partner.