Monday, December 31, 2007

Sled Dog Training Tips

If you want to prepare yourself and your dog for carting or dog sledding you need to start with training for basic concepts of directions, stopping, going, pulling and holding on the line. Sled dog training is not that difficult but it does require some patience from you as not all dogs learn at the same rate. Also, keep in mind that you are required to be able to lift and carry your dog in the event that he gets injured. On the other hand, sled dog training basically means that your dug needs to be able to stop, go, line-out and trot at least five miles pulling weight, on-bye and turn right and left. The objective is for the dog to answer to commands and be ok with pulling weight. If your dog is not trained, there is no sense in putting him on carting or dog sledding as he will not know what to expect and might start panicking. If your dog is not in a good physical shape you could injure him and you do not want this to happen. Also, it is better to start sled dog training when the animal is a puppy and you will need a properly fitting harness, a training collar (sometimes known as choke chains), a limited slip collar, leather gloves, running shoes, belly band and double ended training leash. You could also purchase dog boots in order to protect the paws of the animal but this is not always needed. On the other hand, water is required and you need a water bowl and water together with making sure that the dog is hydrate before starting training. A first aid kit for a dog is also recommended.

The actual sled dog training is not difficult but it must be handled with seriousness. You must gather the equipment and look for a shady and cool area for training and make sure that the dog is hydrated. Now you have to harness him and boot him if needed. The belly band has to be attached and the training collar must also be put on. The double ended leash needs to be attached to the training collar next and make sure you leash it to the connection loops of the harness as well. Now you will have to take the training leash close to the harness connection and pull on it firmly in order for the dog to feel resistance. This resistance needs to be maintained and giving various commands and not respecting them needs that you will need to give corrections with the training collar as required. It is very important to start with one or two commands before you decide to go for more. In order to do sled dog training aimed at your dog lining out you need to attach the training leash to one fixed object. The dog thus has to stay in place and maintain a taut line. Next you will want to attach the training leash to a small tire and get help from your training collar in order to make the dog comfortable with pulling the tire. You might have to pull the dog along at first if it is required.

Keep in mind that you will be required to praise the dog during sled dog training whenever you are satisfied with what he is doing. If he does not follow directions just ignore him. You need patience and must realize that there is a small chance that results will appear immediately. You need to maintain training and not enforce it with strength or too much force.

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