I am new to dogsledding, but have always had a fondness for the sport. My sleddog Coho (who is literally the love of every breath I breathe) and I have been working together for about a year, when she came into my life a stray little puppy. Her real owners, my neighbors, refuse to feed or care for her. She is one of many fur-balls that have made themselves at home in my yard, for the obvious reason of food and attention. But onwards with the conversation!
This winter I'm hoping to get Coho used to a harness, she's finally an adult and can fit into one. And I'm wondering what some tips are on training her for long distance running? Is there a step by step process I should take to getting her used to running for prolounge periods? How should I go about training, while letting her enjoy running and not completely wearing her out on the way home? I don't have a team by any means. I have a team of strays, but she's the only one who has that bred-in love of racing, so I'm taking that gene and running with it (no pun intended). I'd love to make her my 'lead dog' someday, but as for now I'm just having fun training her, and she's having fun in return. I've never ski'd in my life, but I intend to buy a cross-country pair and have her pull me this winter to get her started with the harness. She's a year old and full of life, I'd love to be able to adventure around the tundra with her, without holding her back with my slow human-like legs. We take walks everywhere, but she's always whining at me to catch up- needless to say my two legs can only go so fast. And if I could train her for long distance, we would be able to explore scenery that we've never had the chance to together. That's my hope, it's not so much about the speed, so much about the ability to run for long periods of time without wearing her down.