gee/haw

bushrat

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gee and haw

gee and haw

Most mushers teach gee and haw by putting a dog alongside an already-trained leader. The new dog picks up the meaning of the commands by being pulled right (gee) or left (haw).

This brings up the question: "What if I don't have a leader?" In that case, I hope you have a lot of patience, because training a leader from scratch can be really frustrating. First you have to find a dog that will go in front and lead. Some will, some won't. Once you have a dog that is willing to run in front, you make some side-trails, Ys, and start giving the gee or haw command when you encounter a Y. This often involves having to run up and manually get your leader on the correct trail. Do it over and over and over again...eventually the dog figures it out. If you're lucky <grin>. Then you can work on "gee a little bit" or "haw only two feet over" when running on open expanses of frozen rivers or lakes or jumble ice. That's fun. After your leader has that down, you're ready to teach the all important "Jump the open lead" command along with the "Onward through the overflow!" command.
I have to train a new leader next winter. I can't say as I'm looking forward to it. A good leader is worth his/her weight in gold.
Best, Mark
 

homerdave

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skijoring

skijoring

we have had good luck teaching commands on skijor trails...of course, we have also thrown our hands in the air and screamed...some dogs just don't have leadership skills...
 

Shortwave

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Mushing

Mushing

I'm suprised there isn't more posting on this thread.

I've been facinated with mushing since early childhood and reading White Fang, Call of the Wild and any other stories of Alaska I could get my hands on.

Those of you still persuing the "art of the dog" continue a truely admirable and valuable tradition. At least that MY opinion.

I hope to be in Alaska full time soon enough to learn about how its done before... "It is no more."

Any suggestions on sleds and dogs for someone wanting to learn? The dogs I have now, I like more than MOST of the people I know.
 
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