Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sacco Cart Training 10-09-07

Since both of our four-wheelers are down for repairs, Lynn Orbison and I trained dogs on the Sacco cart this morning. The cart lets us run the dogs, but is limited to only two dogs at a time. We were able to run 3 pairs of dogs this morning.

The first pair to play were my two older leaders, Daisy and Gump. Gump is brand new to the team, and I had no idea what he would be like. I'm pretty sure he never pulled a cart before in his life but I've been assured that he is a gee/haw trail leader and good worker. He proved it this morning

It was about 12 degrees F when we left the yard. These two dogs have been around awhile, Daisy is 11 years old, and Gump is 8, going on 9. Both are old-school trap line dogs, accustomed to running at a steady pace regardless of the load. There were no wild antics with this pair of distinguished seniors, they just put their heads down and started pulling at a nice steady trot. Gump proved to be a really steady worker, putting his shoulders into the harness and trucking right along. They weren't fast, but they were very steady. They left the yard at about 10 mph, and averaged 6 mph through the 2 mile run.

Then it was Lynn's turn to ride the rig, with Amazing Grace and Scooby Doo. Both are very young, very talented racing dogs who can be scrappy with each other when they get the chance to do so. Once moving, they can be described as "fur rockets" with a fair degree of accuracy. These two left the yard at 17.5 mph, ran 3 1/2 miles, and averaged 11.1 mph through their entire run - pulling a wheeled cart as opposed to a sled. Both dogs were just as energetic and scrappy when they returned to the yard as they were at the start of the run.

The next pair were my Hedlund/Forsberg twins Rose and Nels. Nels was out most of my last R&R following his surgery, so I wasn't sure how he'd do. I had no reason to be concerned. Once he figured out the cart wasn't all that scary a thing, he and his sister took me for a nice two mile run, leaving the yard at 14 miles per hour and averaging 8 1/2 mph through the course of our little journey.

By the time we got home from Lynn's, all four of my dogs were acting like they hadn't been out at all and could easily go for another run. I think it is time to bump up the mileage on all of them.

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