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Thread: How to get into it.

  1. #1
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    Default How to get into it.

    Hey, I was wondering what I would need and roughly how much you thing it would cost to get started mushing? I don't want anything fancy, just enough to ppull a sled with trappin gear and me. I was thinking 3 or 4 dogs? I know you can find retired dogs for pretty cheap, and since I wouldn't be racing and going pretty easy, I was thinking that would be a good place to start.

    I have done some research and drove a couple teams before but any information would be awesome.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  2. #2
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    FFG, 3 dogs is a good number if you are willing to run up hills and help them out. Every dog you add gives you additional power at the expense of your time, effort, and complexity.

    Personally if I was going to start all over again, I would get 4 good dogs that were also pet quality, ie good with kids, etc. Thats enough dog power to cover alot of ground without the expense of feeding a whole yard full of dogs.

    The good news is you live in the right place to get ahold of good dogs for cheap. The demand never meets the supply...matter of fact, shoot me a pm and I'll hook you up .

  3. #3
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    I'd have to talk to my dad first, then I'll let ya know
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  4. #4
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    FFG,

    Think about this long and hard before getting involved. There are many unseen expenses associated with running dogs than are initially apparent. Although I'm out of dogs now, I know I spent enough to pay for a really nice house just on feeding the kennel let alone the time, gear, infrastructure, and vet costs. I miss not having them around and running them, but will NEVER get into dogs again. I had between 25 and 30 dogs for 15 years and generally put around 2K miles a year on them. I'd suggest helping out as a handler for a good kennel and see if you really want to do it. Good luck with it.

  5. #5
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    ykrvak is right, but if a guy were to stick with 4 or 6 dogs, it's not soooo bad financially. Trouble is alot of people start collecting more dogs and/or having unplanned breedings. Things get out of hand pretty quick if you let them.

    It does tie you down though. You cant just jet off for a week, you always have to have some way to keep the dogs taken care of.

    In general, I agree with ykrvak, its just alot of work. Once mine are gone, I doubt I will get back into it, but I sure am glad I had them when I was young and single. Those dogs took me alot of places I otherwise would not have gone. Maybe my kids will take an interest when they are old enough, but I probably wont actively encourage it

  6. #6
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    I know you're wanting to keep it small but here's a few other thought on the topic. First off when shopping around for dogs unless you're going to spend big money on proven dogs, get them spayed/neutered immediately. It will save you lots of headaches down the road and will also make them cheaper to feed. Breeding average dogs to fill a couple spots in a kennel is a losing proposition no matter how wonderful you think they are. There are plenty of descent dogs out there looking for a home. When you go to look at a dog ask to go for a ride along to see it work in a team where it has familiar dogs and driver around it. Occasionally things will change, for good or bad, but it'll give you a pretty good idea of what to expect for that dog in your team once it acclimates to your system. One last thing, be pretty picky when committing to a dog. Remember you're going to have to work with this guy/gal for a lot of miles and having one that is honest and makes you smile is worth a lot. (Most mushers have rose colored glasses when it comes to their dogs. So, believe more in what you see while watching the dog work than what the musher says about it.) I could go on and on but I'll spare you. Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions. Again, good luck with it, it's a lot of fun.

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