Activities with our dogs...
Our mals hobbies are mostly in different kind of working. We hike and
jog with our dogs and also do biking with them. In winter season 2007-2008
we participated in our first sled dog race with Yepa and in spring we
attended also Off-snow carting. In autumn 2008 and winter season 2008-2009 also
Hino has started his "sledding career" and participated to different carting and
sledding races with Yepa and "guest stars".
Winter season 2008-2009 was really good; Yepa got 1 x REK2-result, 2 X REK3-results, KVK1-result from weight pulling and she also won Alma's Winter Meeting's Weight pull competition. Hino got 1 x REK3-result from sled dog race. Our "guest stars" got also results: Minto got 1 x REK2 and 2 x REK3, Ira got 1 x REK3 and KVK1-result and Nukka got 1 x REK2 and 2 x REK3-result. We are very pleased of this winter season, especially because of so many new experiences for our mals.
In race season 2009-2010 our main goal was to attend to 4MD-Cup, where was 3 cup-races. Leghts were varying of 28-42 km / day. This winter in our team was running also Yona's brother, Talut (Cahppes Knight Of Naxxar). Last autumn Yona, Yepa and Talut participated to Jämi FI CH-carting race and they got official REK2-result from there. Race was Yona's and Talut's first ever. Besides of participating to 4MD-cup, we drove Ohkola Winter race and Kasari race, which were short distance races. From Ohkola our team got lot of priceless experience and from Kasari Yona and Talut got best possible working result REK1 and Yepa got REK3 by running in our friend, Virpi Salminen's team. Yepa also got two official KVK1-results from Weight Pulling Tests and she was best female in Alaskan malamute Club Winter Meeting's weight pulling competition by pulling awesome 18,8 times her own weight (611kg) !! Yepa, Yona and Hino were participating also to Alaskan malamute Club's "Best of 2009"-competition. Yepa's placement in Best Activity malamute-category was 3/26 and Best Sled Malamute-category 4/26. Yona's placements were 21/26 and 26/26, mostly because she was too young to participate last year... :) Hino's placements were 23/26 and 20/26.
Pontus trains obedience with Pekka for their own joy. Pontus does perform moves really well. Pontus also loves running and that's why biking and running with him are good hobbies for Pontus. Before his spaying, he didn't stay at our yard but runs away instantly and that's why we haven't trained agility with him either.
Yepa started pulling training when she was about 7 months old. First it was only getting used to following sound and light weight. At winter 2006 Yepa has pulled kick-sled, skier and at spring also bike and three-tire bike. In season 2007-2008 Yepa participated some sled dog races. In winter 2088-2009 Yepa has been sledding also with our friend's mals and she started also Weight pulling training. Yepa has eagerness and will to pull and she works really well. Yepa has also pulled with Veera or Pontus and sometimes even all three of them has worked together. Nowadays she trains with Hino and Yona. We participate also Shows with Yepa.
Hino's hobbies are different kinds of malamute things. We also train some obedience with him. Hino has already trained bike-joring, pulling sled with Yepa and sometimes we train him by himself pulling kick-sled. Despite of his size, Hino has strength to go longer sledding trips, actually he likes longer excursions more than short sprints. In winter 2008-2009 Hino has got more confidence of sledding and he is very reliable worker. Future will show, how he will develop.
Yona is still young to practice sledding full time. Her first sledding trainings has shown us very promising flashes about her working ability even for a leading. Winter 2008-2009 Yona has trained dog-skiing and sledding with Yepa and / or Hino. Yona is also going to some Shows. In autumn 2009 Yona participated to her first official race / test and in lead with her brother Talut, she achieved REK2-result. We are so exited about her and what future brings with Yona.
Yaykaas will be showing his "claws" in working, when he gets a little bit older... Before that we will be consentrating to some puppy lessons.
But sometimes our dogs could be real "couch potatoes". We also take it easy for a change and enjoy our life with our dogs. They are family members to us, not only show- / or practice things.
How did we start training...
Both Yepa and Hino started training quite early. First we
practiced only harness, how to put them on and take them off
and in a same time getting used to those. We use
x-back-harness (also know as husky- harness). When puppy
don't mind those harness any more, you can attach some
little carpet or a moped's inner tire to them with elastic
string. It is NOT purpose to add weight, but give puppy
opportunity to get used to following noise and little
resistance. At first "pull" trainings we usually worked
together, both Pekka and I; other one will go to the end of
a small distance and calls puppy to come. When puppy comes
really eager, he / she is rewarded. We have also trained
"starts" with Hino; other one of us takes bike and starts
biking along our home road and enthusiastic with Yepa's
example, Hino runs after her and bike really eager.
Next phase is attach dog to bike, sled or your own waist and train a little bit heavier resistance, using short distances. Training should be really short and you need to be sure, that you don't tire puppy down. Training should absolutely stop when puppy still has fun and strength left, not bored or tired. That could easily make puppy's enthusiasm and motivation getting low. Another important thing are appropriate and fitting harness. If they are too small or too big, they can also take motivation down. I think nobody wants to train wearing too small suit or constantly falling pants.
In sledding dog need also direction commands, with those you'll get dog to go wanted direction. Those we have trained in regular walks in every turn. Little bit later those commands can be trained in straight road too. Our other useful command with directions are also Stop, Wait, Forward, Side (that helps keeping dogs in road bank when you need to go along).