Learning how to be a sled dog

Togo’s continuing education revolves around his pack. This is the first pup I’ve had that his mom came with him. I’ve learned a lot about how mom has tough love. She didn’t hesitate to roll or hold him down on his back when he got out of control, playing and biting.

And when it’s over and the lesson has been learned, they curl up together and nap. The pack mimics family life in a dog version. It’s not unlike our own human families. Despite disagreements, when it comes down to it the bond of mother/son/ daughter etc. is still stronger.

I don’t have to teach Togo how to pull. That comes as naturally to him as living in the snow and cold. I need to teach him directions and commands. Mushing is a team effort, and a team is greater than the sum of its parts.

I’ve been letting Togo run free on our sled runs. He’s not pulling, just having fun running and creating havoc for the leader who is pulling. Pulling a sled is much harder than running in front of an ATV with the motor assist. I don’t want to overtax his young body. It all comes down to judging what is enough, and what he can do without injuring his body or mind. No two dogs are the same. In Togo’s case, he is exceptionally large and smart. He is progressing faster because he is capable of doing it safely.

One Comment on “Learning how to be a sled dog

  1. I love your updates. with new dogs and your new environment, you are something of a pioneer! ________________________________


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