Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Yearling Run

This will be a quickie.  I just got home from a nice training run with two yearlings in my six-dog team.  Had some issues, but nothing unexpected - adolescent pups need to learn, and the only way to learn is to experience some minor issues.

Here's the journal entry:

25 December, 09:  Merry Christmas Training Run 

3 mile “puppy run”
14.7 mph max
7.1 mph avg

Home to Main Trail to Two Rivers Road trailhead to Wood Cutting Road to Henry Hahn Circle and return via same route. 

6-dog team included two inexperienced yearlings (noted with *)

Grace & Torus (leaders)
Cassiopeia* and Capella* (swing / team)
Sheenjek & Gump (wheel)

Amazing Grace is coming along wonderfully.  On hook up she line-out and stood solid as a rock right next to Torus, even when Sheenjek started jerking and pulling on the gang-line. 

The two yearlings were easier to hook up than I would have predicted.  Capella succeeded in getting her harness tangled around the neck line (that comes from “spinning”, truning 360 degrees in harness).  I thought I had it fixed properly but later in the run I found I hadn’t.  More on that in a bit.

Sheenjek was anxious to run, but this time didn’t destroy any equipment.  He was grabbing the gang line and yanking back on it, though.  That is terribly distracting behavior, but he corrected it when I spoke to him.  This is surprising new behavior from him and I’ll have to discuss a training plan with my certified canine behaviorist friend. 

We got launched in pretty good shape, and when we clearned the “haw” onto the main trail I saw that Capella was tangled in her harness, thus crabbing pretty badly.  I don’t know if that was something I missed before popping the quick release or if she might have tried jumping over the gang-line in the turn.  In any event, it needed to be fixed, but finding a place to hook down was an issue. 
When we made the “gee” off of the main trail to the trailhead I was able to hook a small tree and worked on Capella’s harness, but even before we hit the wood cutting road I could see I hadn’t done it properly (maybe again), and of course the road is hard-packed, icy and has very little honest “snow” on it.  It took about a mile to reach a place where I could get a single hook planted, and it wasn’t planted very well. 

Nonetheless I was able to get her harness fitted properly, and after triple-checking it we continued on our little run. 

Torus executed a beautiful “come haw” at the bottom of Henry Hahn Circle, but of course the poor yearlings had NEVER done anything quite like that before.  At the end of the maneuver they were facing backwards, looking at the wheel dogs and had the most confused looks on their faces .  They got sorted out quickly and we headed back to the house with no more problems at all. 

It wasn’t the easiest or most elegant run, but it gave the puppies a chance to experience some new things, make some mistakes and learn from them.  It offered some gee/haw work for Grace (which she apparently needs), and gave Gump a chance to get out and about for a bit, though I don’t think he took the slack out of his tugline even once. 

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting description of the training run, Swanny. Hope you keep posting them as I certainly enjoy reading them.