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Monday, January 21, 2013

Silver's Youngblood

Dog sledding is an interesting sport.  Probably more so for us because we do it as recreation and don't have pressure to compete and the serious training that is involved.  We just do it for fun down our road.

I've been learning for some time bit by bit and I've made some changes this season.  We are taking shorter routes and finding the dogs have more energy to make it home.  It is less stress on me and them physically and mentally and is making a world of different when we do sled.  It also saves on the possibilities of injuries, which nobody wants.

Now Silver has sledded over the last five years before with Fiona and a few times with Chance.  She was unsure whether she liked it and wouldn't pull for all the milkbones you could give her.  But pairing her with Zappa she somehow made a complete turnaround.  She was excited, she was pulling and she was enjoying herself.  She suddenly had more energy than she knew what to do with and wanted more.  So when I took her and Zappa out for a second time I noticed something different.  She was taking the lead.  With her maturity and listening to commands and I think her experience from sledding before, she took over the lead dog position (mentally) and let Zappa be the strength of their little two dog team.

Watch here or on YouTube

This was first time using new sled (instead of homemade chair and skis) and it rode great!
And there are brakes!! (that freaked Zappa out a bit) something our homemade version desperately needed.  

Silver and Zappa are pretty tight as mother and son and they are close to the same height, which makes a big difference running side by side.  Chance's leg were so much taller than Silver's she had a hard time keep up.  I keep learning!  :)  So the beauty of Silver and Zappa together is pretty amazing.  The first point I noticed that Silver was taking the lead was when we got close to the stop sign and Zappa started to shift to the left side of the road (like I taught him to) and Silver kept him going straight.  Light bulbs were going off.  When we came to a stop and needed to turn around, for a second I didn't know what to do, then, ding! ding! ding!  I asked Silver to turn around and she did.  I could feel the shift from when Zappa runs by himself to Silver stepping up to plate, it balanced the two dogs out and their running style.  Zappa who has always needed someone to run with but didn't have, had more than his brain could handle.  He just needed to be the muscle dog and have someone else take directions and that's where Silver comes in.  And she handled in beautifully.  She just took it upon herself to take the lead and it made all of the difference.  I didn't have to do a thing, they worked it out for themselves.  

I haven't seen Silver so happy in general with a youthful quality since she had her puppies.  Sledding has given her a place since she doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the gang sometimes. (except to be their mom)  She is more a regular dog, while the rest of the packs have a little more "bite" in them.  And I am so proud of her.  Zappa and her are much closer in personality and temperament as well and I think that also plays a big part that she gets to run with her buddy.  

I was just hoping for Zappa to have a running companion, I didn't realize Silver was going to give me so much more!


haopee said...

Is it like that all year round? It looks so cool! I mean... snow... and two amazing sled dogs who love doing their job and who match each other's physical prowess.

Huggies and Cheese,


24 Paws of Love said...

No haopee, we have four seasons, just seems like winter is year round!! lol!

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! You guys got lots of SNOW. How FUN is that ... we wish the video is a bit longer. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Unknown said...

Woof! Woof! seems that you're having a cool day.,i mean you enjoy being in the snow., I remember santa's reindeer with the two dogs...lol

Patio Dog Door

Unknown said...

What an epic win. Nice one for Silver. We have snow here too and I have been out larking around. Have a marvelous Monday.
Best wishes Molly

Saved by Dogs said...

Congrats on having this pair come together - what a great outing!

The Daily Pip said...

That's really cool! They look like they are having so much fun!

Your pal, Pip

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Oh what fun you all are having!! We would love to have a sled too - heck, we would really love to get some snow:)

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Pamela said...

Wonderful. Great that you kept trying things until you hit on a good team. Looks like everyone is having fun.

jen said...

Oh I love it! How fun! Wishing we could get outside more these days and do something similar!

Anonymous said...

This is so good to read! I'm glad the dogs are figuring things out. But, seriously, you were using a sled with no brakes?! We don't live in sled country, so I don't know, but that seems like a *lot* of trust in your dogs. Good for you for having it but yikes!

White Dog Blog said...

What a great pairing! Everyone seems to be having a blast. We too find that who is paired together makes a huge difference in the tone and pace of just walking so with sledding it has to be so much more.