Saturday, January 22, 2005

Pingo's trail sense

My lead dog, Pingo has great trail sense. Pingo always knows the best way through deep snow, overflow ect. She always knows the way home, even when I am going "where the (*%&# are we?" This afternoon Pingo showed me a new side of her trail sense....

The run started off as a gong show. I should have known better than to go today. It's only -10C. After two weeks of -40C, everyone and their dog is out today! But I've only run a couple times in the last two weeks and I have itchy feet to get back on the runners so off we go! Six dog team. Raven's first run in weeks as she hasn't wanted to come lately. We get 3km from home and Raven decides she didn't really want to come after all. So after some discussion with her, I just set her free. Raven has great recall and she stayed right with the team. She just didn't want to pull. Probably not a behavior I should have reinforced, but I didn't feel like arguing with her!

We get another 3 km or so down the trail. Down to five dogs so I'm thinking we'll just do the short loop (10km) and call it a day. Come down a big hill, the dogs are finally hitting their stride and we're all having a good time. Screeching halt! 3 skidoos stuck in the deep snow, completely blocking the trail. Now we could have gone around through some really deep stuff. I set the hook and went up to have a little chat with Pingo. Ever seem that look huskies get when they are really thinking, actually problem solving? Well, Pingo, a husky-border collie cross, gave me that look, licked my cheek and did a perfect "come around haw"...Turned the entire team around without even a little tangle in the gangline.

Trail sense can include the ability to know when to call it a day! :)

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