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Thread: Always wanted to mush dogs

  1. #1
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default Always wanted to mush dogs

    Cool site!

    Lord willing I am going to have a dog team! Someone gave me six puppies to start with, and I have alot of questions. Not sure how to judge what puppies are good, thought I would drop by and see what you all think.
    So how do you know what puppy is not what you want? My six are fun so far, I have been taking them out running, I have made little harnesses for them to get used to. I will have to make bigger ones soon. What do you look for in a puppy that would put it in a team? So far all my puppies like running. They don't mind the harness, but had chewed on one that is used by the one I call mischief and outgoing. Was wondering how old they should be before I let them pull a small 2x4 when they go out running?

    I was at work when one guy told me six puppies are not enough. That was bothering me all afternoon. He wanted to give me three more, told him I will start with my six. He was wondering how many females I have (got 4 females), I also told him I was going to get 3 spayed. He said not a good idea, will just make them fat. Hmmm? Wanted to see which female is the best to breed.

    Got me some puppies!



    Best get back to work!
    Thanks for your time

  2. #2
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Smile anyone?

    Anyhow here is another pic of my puppies.



    I will use them for just being out. I haven't planned on using them to race.
    Got a little information on the internet about mushing dogs, tried it in high school a long time ago. Would like them for hunting and trapping, but that seems a little out of my reach. Been lurking on this site, and finally gave in to talking about my puppies before I back off.

    Happy mushing! Hunting! Trapping! Fishing!

  3. #3
    New member Frenchy in AK's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Cute Pups!

    I've never actually raised a team myself, so I can't answer your questions. I really don't know any of the tricks of the trade, but I like to try and develop a one on one relationship with each dog. Take them out one at a time and develop that bond.....once you've got thier respect and trust, you can get them do just about anything. My experience is all with the retriever breeds though.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Hey LDY

    Wow, six pups to start with; that's the most we ever brought up at once and a real handful. We have four right now that just turned five months old and they are a handful.

    It's hard to train that many pups at once, and even harder to give them individual attention if you don't leave some at home. The main thing about pups is not to start them off too early. We generally don't begin hooking them up in the team until six months old, and then only for short distances. At about 8 months old they can begin actually working a bit, but still they don't have the endurance of the adults, so you have to gauge their abilities and be careful.

    Chewing (harnesses, gangline etc) is always a problem. I used to train mine by leaving them hooked up with the snowhook in right in front of the house, then watching through the window to see which ones were "biters." I stongly suggest you buy a cable gangline! You can leave their harnesses on in the house and such...try to get them used to them so they don't chew them, but sometimes you go through a lot of harnesses <grin>.

    Keep it fun for them. Don't expect too much. Expect a lot of tangles, shenanigans, jumping off trail after bunnies and such. Would help if you had a leader...real hard training a lead dog from scratch and very frustrating to boot, especially with pups in the team pulling every which way. When they get older, you might try going out behind another team and chasing. That's a good way to get them used to pulling. Not sure what else to offer by way of advice. No problem getting the females spayed. I recommend it if you aren't going to be breeding. Will save on unwanted pregnancies in future. Or get the males neutered, which cuts back on fighting tendencies.

    Let us know how it goes. I'd say you've got a while yet before you can really put those pups in a team. Meanwhile, get them used to the harness around them, teach them to come, stay, sit, all of that.
    Good luck,
    Mark

  5. #5
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the good advise frenchy in ak and bushrat. Got me thinking, going out one at a time to get the bond sounds good to me. I have a long ways to go yet, and I would like to train them to sit, stay, stop and come back especially. They learned to sit before they eat so far, all but one that runs to his house and sits. lol I try telling them gee and haw when we are turning, and been saying hut for running. Also yell out
    -on by- when I want them to keep running(so far it has been working).I am thrilled to have these puppies, a little anxious sometimes.



    Avon, Chrosky, Leaha (princess), Cinderella, Ruby Red and Inoko.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default My little helper



    Here is my little helper, my neice Summer

  7. #7
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Can't you get help from the other mushers in Unalakleet? Juney, Junior J. or Palmer inSKK?
    You could always marry Binga in SKK...........he's got dogs.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  8. #8
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default Whatever

    tisk, tisk, tisk Mike
    Not looking for more dogs, LOL!

    I am getting help from Jr. J,he was the one that gave me puppies. He said I could use one of his sleds, tow line, and harnesses when I am ready. But I am also interested to know how other people train their puppies.
    What about you, got any advice?

    ttfn

  9. #9
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Ok, if I'm gonna tease I better contribute constructively too.
    Best way I know of is to run pups with experienced dogs. Seems like utter chaos would result if you tried all 6 pups at one time. Plus you need a leader. At least one that doesn't mind being in front. Alot of dogs, when placed in lead, are to worried about the dogs behind them. Running the pups loose along with a team in hartness will give them a little bit of an idea. If junior gave you the pups then you better hit him up for a LOAN, and I do mean loan, of some experienced dogs.(you've made a few things for joan haven't you?) Preferably, borrow older dogs just when you need them, that way junior is still the one feeding them............haha.
    So once the team is ready your going to start trapping marten, right?????? Then we'll change your name to martenldy?????????? Hahaha. Good luck on the team. Once the snow gets good, I can't see you leaving the snogo at home!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  10. #10
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Mike for the advice.

    martenldy? Hmmmm????? (don't like my username?) Still pondering if I should set for marten, I do have bait. Maybe when we get more snow.

    I probably will divide my time with my ski-doo and the dog team. Make sets with the ski-doo and check with the dog team, sounds like a plan.

    Think Snow!

  11. #11
    Blueberry
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    Well, I was gonna say...get an older dog who's been a lead dog , they'll learn a lot from that.

  12. #12
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thanks blueberry for the reply.



    Just wanted to show my puppies sitting for me. I tried getting them to sit and look at me, but my german shepard was barking so the attention is not on me.





    Here I got four to sit near each other. The other one moved behind me.



    And the one that runs to the house.



    Enjoy!
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    Phil 4:13

  13. #13
    Blueberry
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    Thanks for sharing the pics--are the pups all from the same litter? They look like they might have Australian Shepherd in them, do they?
    Or am I thinking of another breed?

  14. #14
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default

    They are from the same litter, from a local musher. Wouldn't know if they have australian sheperd in them.
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    Phil 4:13

  15. #15
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Default

    They're so cute. Very sweet faces. Good luck.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
    http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/

    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  16. #16
    Member wolverineldy's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks 1stimestar

    I will need all the luck, smile. I now take them two at a time, short runs, and they pull a small 2x4. I go whew at the end of each run, but still having a blast.
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    Phil 4:13

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