Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas is almost here!

As Christmas approaches, the weather is starting to feel quite appropriate. We had a bit of sleet and snow this week, although it was not enough for the sled. Nevertheless, the pups had a wonderful time running and chasing each other through the yard in the muddy slush.

Calypso is making leaps and bounds in her training. She is running farther and faster, and she is truly enjoying each run. We are very pleased with her, and love that she is eager to head out the door for each training session. Ruger and Denali have been great teachers for her, and she especially loves running with them.

We hope you enjoy this week leading up to Christmas. Although the season can be hectic, we wish you peace, tranquility, and happiness.

Ruger loves the Christmas tree and will switch his gaze between the television and the tree. In the meantime, he attempts to steal a cup of hot chocolate. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Frosty Paws 5k

Congrats to Denali and Nick who brought home a championship today! It was a wonderful morning for a race. 

Nick and Denali before the race.

This morning we attended the Frosty Paws 5k in Springfield, MO benefiting the Boxer Schnauzer Rescue of the Ozarks (BSRO).

Nick had not had a chance to race with Denali before today, so this was special for both of them. Denali is Nick's snuggle buddy and today she had a chance to race with him as well.

The course is an out and back, and Denali tends to do better on loop courses. However, she did well today and listened to her commands. She met quite a few new friends including a very pretty newfie.

We are so proud of the dogs and their accomplishments this year. They have all made strides in their training, and we are so grateful for them.


Joy, Nick, and Denali after the race. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, Calypso!

We were fortunate enough to have Calypso (Caligy is her nickname) join our family in June. Although we are not sure of her real birthday, today is a good estimate based on what we know about her. So, we have chosen to celebrate her special day today. She is currently celebrating by finishing up a treat and settling in for a nap on this cold day.

Over the past few weeks, she has made tremendous progress with her running. She is getting stronger, faster, and is building endurance. Over the holiday, she pulled the rig with Ruger and Denali for the first time. We kept the pace slow and made sure not to go too far, but she did an incredible job. We are so proud to see the progress she is making, and we love seeing the smile on her face when she runs.

Nick and Calypso

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snow!

It is November 16 and we have our first snow of the season. It has been snowing most of the day, and while there is not a large amount of accumulation, it is still quite pretty. We do not usually have snow in November, and many of the trees still have their colorful fall leaves.

There is not quite enough snow to get the sled out, but we are getting excited as we gear up for winter. Perhaps Calypso will get a chance to try pulling the sled this winter! She is doing much better on her runs, and she is gaining endurance and strength. We are pleased with her progress, and we are very happy to have her in our family.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rig Rendezvous - Canicross Time!

This weekend was one of the best weekends we have had in a long time. We had the chance to travel to Woodstock, Illinois to compete in our first true canicross event at the Bill Leonard Memorial Rig Rendezvous (Rig Rondy) presented by Adopt a Husky. Living in southwest Missouri, we are the "oddballs" with sled dogs. People think we are a little strange when we head out on the trail with the rig or sled. It was refreshing for us to hear people using mushing terms and to be surrounded by other Alaskan Malamutes, Huskies, Samoyeds, and mushers. As we were sitting in the mushers meeting, we smiled at each other when we heard the race director saying things like gee, haw, and neckline - no one uses these terms at home.

Nick competed in the 1 dog canicross event with Ruger, and Joy competed in the 1 dog canicross event with Denali. Both Ruger and Denali came away from the race as canicross champions! The course was about 1.2 miles and was held at the Red Barn Farm Market. The trail was well kept and absolutely beautiful.

Calypso traveled with us to the event, but did not participate. We are still working on building her endurance, but wanted her to have a chance to be around the other dogs and experience the energy of the race.

We are in the process of looking for more canicross, dryland, and sled races. We cannot wait to attend Rig Rondy again next year. If you are looking for a great first time event, we highly recommend this event. They have options for scooter, rig, bikejor, and canicross. They also have a fun relay event!

This was a wonderful experience for us and for the dogs and we are looking forward to many more.

Check out the results of the race here.
Check out a few photos of the race here.


 Prior to the race

Prior to the race

After the race with their awards

Ruger and Denali's canicross awards

Joy and Denali

Nick and Ruger

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekend Training on the Lakeview Trail

We took a day trip to beautiful Stockton State Park to enjoy the 8 mile Lakeview Trail. Nick took Ruger and Denali on the rig, and Joy finally had a chance to run the entire trail. It's a great run - if you're in the area we highly recommend it.

Below is a video of Nick and the dogs headed out for their training run. The dogs had a great time.

video





Saturday, September 27, 2014

Run for the Paws 5k

Today we had the opportunity to attend one of our favorite races - Run for the Paws 5k benefiting the Pulaski County Humane Society. The race was held in St. Robert, MO.

It was a little warm (67 at start time), but the dogs did well. Ruger led from start to finish. He and Nick were the overall winners, and also took home the "First Dog" award. He listened well, and was so proud of his medal. Joy and Denali were third overall and took home the "Second Dog" award. Denali got a little warm, but ran very well.


Joy, Denali, Nick, and Ruger after the 5k


Joy and Denali after the 5k. Denali did great!


Nick and Ruger after the race. Ruger is so proud of his medal!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall Is Here!

Although the official fall equinox has not yet arrived, it certainly feels like fall. We have had some cool temps - think high 40s low 50s. This has given us a chance to get the rig out and start training.
On Saturday, Nick and Ruger spent the morning together exploring the trails. The weather was perfect, and Ruger did a wonderful job. He listened well and he and Nick worked wonderfully together. Denali had the day off, but will be joining him next time!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Fall Is On The Way

We hope you all had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend, and as the weekend draws near, the weather is starting to cool down. This will be perfect for the dogs as it will allow us to start logging additional mileage, both running and on the rig.
We are looking forward to one of our favorite dog friendly 5k's coming up on September 27. Run for the Paws benefits the Loving Paws Adoption Center in Pulaski County, MO. Hopefully the weather will be cool enough that morning for the dogs to race! Last year it was a tad bit warm for Denali. We have to be careful with all of the dogs in the heat, but specifically Denali due to her dark fur.

All four dogs are getting along very well. Calypso is blossoming as a family member, and we are so grateful to have her. She and Fox are quite similar as they both enjoy pretending not to hear you when it's time to go outside.

Here is a photo from Run for the Paws (2013). Nick and Ruger were the overall winners and Joy was first female. Hopefully Denali will be able to attend and race this year!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rig Training

video


A couple evenings per week, we have been working with the dogs on their commands with the rig. This has been helpful for when we are actually out and about with the rig. The dogs are doing quite well with this. Some instances are better than others, but the video is a good representation of their current level.

Of course, Fox was interested in being less than helpful all while being in the middle of things. He is concerned as there is no place for him to ride on this rig. 

We plan to keep working with them so they will be ready to go this fall!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summertime Heat

The pups have been getting a bit restless this week, as we have not been able to take them running due to the heat and humidity. The temps have been about 73 degrees in the mornings with the humidity around 80%. This is borderline for them, and we have chosen to stay on the safe side as we do not want to risk them overheating.

We have been working on hooking them up to the rig and working on commands. We have been asking them to line-out, sit, lay, stay, etc while hooked up. They are doing very well and we hope this will help as we move into the fall and start working with the rig.

Over the weekend we visited Stockton State Park to help out with a few events new to the area - Yoga in the Park and the Stockton Lake Triathlon. On Saturday morning, Nick took Ruger and Denali on the Lakeview Trail with the rig. The humidity was pretty high, but they did very well and were able to go for a swim after their run. They were definitely tired out for the day!

Calypso's training is coming along. It has been a bit difficult with the heat, but she is making progress. We will keep you updated.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Taking the Rig on the Trail

This weekend we visited Stockton State Park and had the chance to take the dogs and the rig on the new 8 mile Lakeview Trail.


The trail is fairly smooth, and we could tell the dogs were having a great time. They listened very well and were excited to try out a new route. There isn't much room for passing, and the trail offered some steep challenges, but the dogs did a great job.


Calypso is doing well with her training. It is a slow process, but she is coming along. She is doing well with her commands, and responds well to directions. We are working on her endurance. She gets very excited when she sees the harnesses and is always eager to run with the other dogs. She does not get quite as excited to run alone, so we are working to foster the love of running on her own and with the other dogs. Overall, she is doing pretty well and she is fitting in well with our pack.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Running with 3 Dogs

Recently, Nick had his first experience running with 3 dogs. He had Denali, Ruger, and Calypso all connected to his running belt. We use the Cardio Canine belt which has proven to be a good choice. It was amusing to watch Calypso, as she is still new to running. In all honesty, it was amusing to watch Nick with 3 dogs hooked to him! Overall, the run went quite smoothly. Calypso still tires fairly quickly, but she did her best to keep up.

The training has been going pretty well. We have had several hot and humid days that were not conducive to training, as it was just too hot for the pups to be out. Calypso is learning her commands and is starting to feel more comfortable in her harness. We have a bit of work to do with her, but we are looking forward to it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Update: Week of June 16

Happy Friday!

This has been a busy but enjoyable week! The weather has been decent, but a little bit on the warm side. The mornings have been ranging from 70-75. We run before the sun comes up, but 75 is still too warm, even for a slow run.

The dogs have been doing great with their training. Calypso is beginning to shed her winter coat, so until she loses a bit more hair, will be very careful with her training with regards to temperature. Ruger and Denali have been enjoying shorter runs in the morning ranging from 2-3 miles.

It is supposed to cool down next week, so we are hoping to get some extra mileage in. Additionally, we are ready to allow Calypso to get some mileage in as well.

Calypso's health seems to be doing well. We have not witnessed any other head tremors which is a plus. We are fortunate to have her in our lives, and we want to make sure we can provide her with the best care possible. She is really growing and fitting in well with our family. She is developing relationships with each of the other dogs, and is bonding well with us.

Enjoy your weekend, and enjoy some time outside!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Health Scare

This week we had a bit of a health scare with the dogs.  After a trip to the vet, hours of concern, & hours of research, we are 95% sure that everything is fine, but we wanted to let others know what happened so maybe they can learn what we have learned.

This week has been full of run one day, off the next for Calypso.  It has put a little damper on Ruger & Denali's training, but hey, this is summer and is only about putting in a good base for the next racing season.  Thursday, we took all three for a run together and increased Calypso's mileage from 1.5 miles per run to a 2 mile run.  Overall, Calypso did decent, but did get a little warm in the last part of the run (she has barely started to shed out her winter coat while Ruger & Denali are 50%-75% shedded out).  We got Calypso water, did our normal cool down walk, gave more water, then went back home.  Everything seemed fine.  Calypso had cooled down nicely.  All the dogs were inside as we were getting ready for work.  Joy walked out to pet the dogs and everything was fine.  About two minutes later, Nick walked out and something was wrong with Calypso.

Calypso was laying on her side making unusual head movements.  From the way Calypso was holding her mouth, Nick first thought shock or a heat stroke.  As he bent down to pick up Calypso to get her into the bathtub to try to cool her down, he noticed that her gums and tongue were normal, indicating that it probably was not shock or a heat stroke.  Our next thought was it might be a seizure.  Nick called to Joy, and Joy started to check to see if it was a seizure.  Calypso's eyes were clear and focused, but we did not know what else it could be.  We started to treat it as if it was a seizure; took off Calypso's collar, moved the other dogs away, and moved anything that she could hit and hurt herself.

As soon as Joy got Calypso's collar off, Calypso got up and walked around the room, went to get a drink, then walked to Nick, sat down and started licking Nick's hands, all while the strange head movements continued.  After about 3-5 minutes from the start of the ordeal, the head movements gradually stopped.  We rushed to finish getting ready, then took Calypso to the vet.  After an exam and blood work at the vet, the diagnosis was an idiopathic partial seizure, meaning a seizure isolated to only a portion of the body (determined by our description of the events) with no known cause.

Before we continue the story, we want to make the disclosure that your vet is your partner.  Their job is to help you take the best care of your animal.  Your vet is a trained professional and you should heed their advice, but you have the responsibility for the health of your animal.

After the diagnosis, we began researching everything we could about seizures and partial seizures, to learn the best care, potential triggers, etc.  Joy had had some exposure to seizures in animals before and Joy had doubts about Calypso's "event" being a seizure for several reasons.  First, Calypso's eyes never lost focus.  Second, Calypso was able to get up and walk about the room without even a stumble, as if nothing was going on.  Third, Calypso took a drink of water during the event.  Fourth, Calypso was completely responsive to commands throughout the whole ordeal.  Fifth, Calypso did not lose control of any bodily functions (salivation, urination, etc.).  Finally, the other dogs did not respond as dogs usually do to another dog having a seizure.  In any event, we accepted the diagnosis and were 100% focused on figuring out the best treatment to minimize risk to Calypso.  In fact, Calypso had been retired from racing before her career ever started.

As we researched, things were not adding up.  It seemed like Calypso had had the most mild seizure ever in history.  We started looking at videos of seizures in dogs to try to get a positive identification on what we saw in Calypso (We would strongly recommend against watching these videos with children around.  They are very difficult to watch.).  Seizures look 100 times worse than what Calypso experienced.  Partial and focal seizures look 10 times worse than what Calypso experienced.  We continued to look for videos of extremely minor seizures, and nothing we found was anywhere close to what we experienced.  We were only seeing a 5%-10% overlap in any one video and what we had seen.  Then we had a break through.  We came across a video of a idiopathic head tremor.  Bingo!  That was exactly what we had seen in Calypso.  Essentially, a idiopathic head tremor is a muscle spasm where a dog moves its head in a repetitive motion either as if they are saying "no" (Calypso's case) or "yes".  It is also called idiopathic head bobbing.  Video after video after video, all matched what we had seen, with the exception that some dogs were moving their head vertically instead of horizontally.

After more research, here is what we found.  Idiopathic head tremors most often effect boxers, bulldogs, and labs.  Middle aged females who have been breed seem to develop these more than other dogs.  Vets are not sure as to the underlying cause, but anecdotally, it seems to be caused by either a drop in blood sugar or a calcium deficiency.  This seems to be the case because the quickest way to get the tremor to stop is to give the dog a little bit of honey or milk.  Also, keeping the dog distracted, through food or toys is another way to get the tremor to stop.  Dogs are 100% responsive during the tremors and can act as if nothing is going on, although some do act scared because their head is moving outside of their control.  The entire ordeal usually lasts 3-5 minutes, but can last longer.  Head tremors are often misdiagnosed as seizures by vets because the event is over and the vet is using a description of what happened from the owner.  Best of all, there seems to be absolutely no ill effects to the dog after one of these, although they may continue to develop them into the future.  More or less, these tremors are more painful to the humans to watch than they are to the dog.

Remember Calypso's story. She was rescued from a breeder, is a 6 year old female, had just run less than an hour before this happened in the heat (which could cause a drop in blood sugar), acted normal other than her head shaking, and the "event" stopped when Calypso was licking Nick's hand.  All the information points to Calypso's "event" being a head tremor and not a seizure.  We have not had the opportunity to discuss what we found with our vet at this point, although we will next week.

After having dealt with this, we do have a couple suggestions for other people who have a similar situation.  First, once you are positive there is no immediate danger, grab a phone, camera, or anything to document what is occurring.  This will help your vet with a diagnosis.  Second, after the dust has settled, you have visited your vet to rule out other items, etc. write down everything that happened.  Every detail.  If you do have a second occurrence, this journal will help you to try to find a pattern for triggers.

Long story short, we went from a very scary situation that may have ended Calypso's running career before it started, to having a manageable and hopefully benign situation.  We are still being cautious with Calypso until we are 100% certain of what we are dealing with.

SUPing with Denali

We visited Stockton State Park Marina for Father's Day this weekend. We had a little time to take the SUP boards out on the water. We decided to take Denali along, as she likes the water more than the rest of the pups. She had a wonderful time, and was on the board before we could get them in the water.




Sunday, June 8, 2014

Calypso's First Run

We had the honor of taking Calypso for her first run this morning. We were not sure how it would go. We were a little concerned she might get yanked around a bit as she would be running alongside Ruger. Calypso and Ruger ran with Nick, while Denali ran with Joy. Calypso was a total natural. She got yanked forward a bit with the first "hike!" command, but immediately after, she put her head down and pulled. She was enjoying herself, so we kept the run short to ensure she had a pleasant experience and would look forward to the next run. As with any new activity, we wanted to make sure to start her out slow so she had the chance to learn. We will carefully build her mileage as she grows more comfortable with running and the commands.

We chose to run her next to Ruger as he is a great teacher. She will learn quickly from him.



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Happy Weekend!

This has been a relaxing weekend for us. We have been on the go quite a bit, so it has been nice to be at home and spend some extra time with the pups.

We started Saturday morning off with a run. We have had to take a few days off this past week, so the pups were very excited to run this morning. Despite the humidity, we had a wonderful time. The dogs have also been logging their 100 Missouri Miles - a challenge issued by the State of Missouri to get Missourians outdoors and moving.

The dogs are also shedding. It looks like someone shot a bird (a very large fluffy bird) in our front yard when we brush them outside. We have also upped our vacuuming (multiple times per day) inside the house.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Meet Calypso

We would like to introduce the newest member of our family, Calypso! She is a 6 year old Siberian Husky. We were lucky enough to find her through a great rescue in Rocky Mount, MO called Paws Place. They are absolutely wonderful to the animals in their care, and it is obvious each animal benefits greatly from their love. They do adoption drives at PetCo in Osage Beach every other weekend. If you are in the area, we encourage you to stop by.

Calypso

Calypso came from a breeder that was shut down by the state. She is such a sweet girl and is fitting in very well with our pack. She is having a lovely time running laps around the yard and exploring the house.

We are excited to take her for her first run.

Someone is ready to play!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Race 4 Hope - Paws 4 Autism

On Saturday, we decided to head to Lee's Summit, MO (near Kansas City) for the Race 4 Hope benefiting a very cool organization, Paws 4 Autism. The mission of Paws 4 Autism is "to bring Autism Service Dogs and related services, including community outreach and education, service dog awareness, informational training and social skills classes, to children who demonstrate autism spectrum behaviors. Our vision is for all children on the autism spectrum and for those with spectrum behaviors to have access to specifically trained autism service and/or therapy dogs to assist with their peer interaction and improve social integration in their schools and communities." They will be combining their Egg Hunt and 5k next year to create a larger event. It will be held at the beginning of April. 

We decided to bring Denali along to spend a little one-on-one time with her, and to allow her to meet other dogs. Joy was debating racing with Denali, but despite the rain the weather turned out to be a little too warm, as Denali has not yet shed her winter coat. 

While Joy was racing, Nick worked with Denali. It was a good exercise for her to meet other dogs her size without having Ruger around as backup. She did very well, and made several new friends.

The course was a little short, but overall we had a great time.



After the 5k

Waiting for the 5k to begin




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How a Sled Dog Falls Asleep

After a long day of sleeping, sometimes it is necessary for a sled dog to sleep a little more. Unfortunately, it tends to be difficult to sleep with your leg straight in the air.

video

The dogs have been doing great with their training. This week, Denali completed 2x12x200 with Joy. She loves speedwork and did an excellent job.
Ruger has also been doing well with his training. Nick and Ruger have been working on Ruger's leadership skills.

Fox has been doing well with guarding the yard and making sure we know when it is dinner time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter and Happy Earth Day

We had a wonderful weekend with the pups. We traveled to Stockton State Park (Missouri) to visit family for the holiday weekend, and had a chance to check out a new trail within the park. This was the perfect way to celebrate Easter and Earth Day! The new Lakeview Trail is "open" but the grand opening will take place May 17. This is a gorgeous 8 mile trail with a beautiful view of nature and the lake.


Enjoying a beautiful Easter Sunday on the Lakeview Trail at Stockton State Park


Ruger posing for a picture along the trail. 

We also had a chance to take our paddleboards out on the water. Denali was really excited to go out. We will take the dogs out when it gets a little bit warmer - neither of us are interested in falling into 50 degree water if we flip! The park is home to a 6.65 mile water trail - Denali is looking forward to trying that out on the board this summer!


Denali was ready for a paddleboard ride!

It is warming up quickly, and we have to be sure to be careful with the dogs' training. The mornings have been cool, so we have been doing most of their mileage before dawn. We are really looking forward to racing with them this fall. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Training

Spring training is in full swing! We have been very busy recently with work and training so we apologize for the lack of posts.

We recently purchased a dryland rig from Artic Rigs. It has been fun to use the the dogs, and gives us an option other than running for their training. It also gives us a chance to take them to different locations.

The weather is starting to warm up so we are doing our best to make sure they are getting their longer runs in on cooler days. They're starting to shed, so the twice a day vacuuming has also begun.

We have also been doing some research on fall races we would like to do with the dogs. We will add them to our races page soon.

Thanks for visiting! Happy training.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Paws March for a Cause

Nick and Ruger attended the Paws March for a Cause in Lees Summit, MO this weekend. The 2k/3k/4k benefitted Wayside Waifs. Wayside is the shelter where we got Denali, so this is particularly special to us. Nick and Ruger had a great time, and won the 4k event.

The dogs have also been doing longer runs. They both completed their longest run this week - just a little over 12 miles. They have been doing great with their training. They're listening well and really enjoying their runs.


The look on Ruger's face must be the definition of pure happiness. 

Sunshine Award

We were very excited to receive a Sunshine Award this morning from one of our favorite blogs, Talking Dogs.  Our pups thought the award should include lots of treats and belly rubs.
We would like to pass this award on to one of our favorite blogs, the SPKennel Dog Log. The SPKennel Dog Log follows the Alaskan Huskies of SP Kennel as well as mushers Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore. We are Iditarod lovers, and we love this blog.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring is (almost) here...

The past few days have been unseasonably warm. Our highs have been in the mid to upper 70's. This has hampered the dogs training a bit as they still have their winter coats. We have been spending time searching for upcoming races and have found several we hope to do this spring and fall.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Payin' for the Spayin' 5k Race Day

Yesterday we attended the Payin' for the Spayin' 5k in Crocker, Missouri. The race benefitted the Loving Paws Adoption Center. We had a wonderful time, and the dogs did a great job.

 
Denali and Joy before the race.

 
Ruger and Nick playing before the race.

Although we have not seen a published total, there were probably 90-100 participants, many of which participated with their dogs. Of course, Ruger and Denali were the loudest at the start line. Ruger was ready to go, and slammed forward - it was his way of saying "let's get this show on the road."

The course is a bit hilly, and is comprised of paved roads and gravel. Nick and Ruger had a great race, leading from a quarter mile in. Ruger listened well and he and Nick had a lot of fun together.

Joy and Denali made a few friends along the way. They ran part of the way with another runner who was enjoying Denali's company. Denali listened well, and was quite talkative throughout the race, responding to commands with little sounds.


Joy and Denali coming into the finish.
 
Nick and Ruger were the first ones in. Denali and Joy were the first females in, and were 4th overall.

The race benefitted a wonderful organization, and we were grateful we had the opportunity to support it.

 
Nick and Ruger after getting their medals.

 
Nick, Joy, Ruger, and Denali after the race.

 
Ruger and Denali with their medals before heading home.







Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's Iditarod Time!

We love this time of year! The Iditarod is truly an inspirational and wonderful event, and we enjoy following the teams as they make their way along the trail. Our favorite kennel to follow is SPKennel out of Two Rivers, Alaska.

We also have the Payin' for the Spayin' 5k benefitting the Loving Paws Adoption Center in Pulaski County coming up next weekend. We are looking forward to participating in this event with the pups. We are supposed to get some sleet/ice tonight, so hopefully that does not hinder training this week.

The dogs have been enjoying the cool weather, and they are likely going to enjoy the sleet and ice as well!

If you are interested in following the Iditarod as well, you can keep track of your favorite musher at http://iditarod.com/.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Choosing the Proper Harness for your Dog


Recently, we have been asked for recommendations for harnesses. We decided to put a little info together to help out others who are interested in purchasing a harness for their pet.

There are several different types of harnesses:

No-Pull Harness
There are several types of no-pull harnesses.
One type has a leash attachment ring at the center of your dog's chest which allows you to have more control of your dog's front half and guides him toward you when he begins to pull.

The second type of harness works by gently tightening around your dog's chest or leg area, which restrains your dog when he pulls.

A head halter is also an option for pullers. It consists of a strap that goes around your dog's nose and a second strap that goes around his neck behind his ears. The leash connects to the halter under the dog's chin to a ring that is attached to the nose strap. When your dog starts pulling, the design of the head halter causes the dog's nose to be turned down and back toward you. This makes it difficult for your dog to continue pulling.

Pull/Indifferent to Pulling Harness

For Ruger and Denali, we have chosen to use the X-Back Harness with foam from Nooksack Racing Supply in Maine. The harnesses are very good quality and hold up extremely well.
This is a standard sled dog harness. The harness distributes weight evenly over the dog's shoulders and allows him to pull without choking himself.

There are several other harnesses that will allow your dog to pull or will be comfortable for your dog while running. For example, Howling Dog Alaska offers the Distance Harness. The Distance Harness only reaches about 1/3 down the dog's body, which tends to help eliminate the pressure on the dog's hips while pulling. Therefore, this harness a good choice for any dog with lower back problems.

If you have questions about harnesses or what type of harness might be best for you and your dog, ask! We would love to help you pick the best harness for your dog.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Love, Ruger & Denali

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weekend Training Update

video

The dogs were able to get in some more miles this weekend. Here is a video from their run today. We are hoping to get a little more snow soon.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Payin' for the Spayin' 5k

This week, the date for the Payin' for the Spayin' 5k in Crocker, MO was announced. It will be held March 8. We are looking forward to this race as it is well organized and supports a great cause. http://lovingpawsadoptioncenter.com/5k-runwalk/


 
They really mean there's no such thing as bad weather.
Nick and Ruger at Payin' for the Spayin' (2013).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow!

We have been waiting for a while to get a bit of snow. Finally! Ruger and Denali are really enjoying it, while Fox would rather be napping inside.

 
Ruger and Denali are ready to play!

Fox enjoys the snow for a little while - then it's time to go inside.


The snow has given us a chance to get a bit of sledding in as well. It was a little dark, but Nick and Ruger were ready to go.

video

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday Training

Unfortunately, Denali took a tumble down the stairs yesterday and tweaked her paw. So, we decided to give her a few days off from running. She was less than pleased with our choice as you can see from the look she was giving Joy while she was on the treadmill this morning. (The black object at the bottom of the photo is the treadmill). Her paw seems to be doing much better.

 
 
Ruger, on the other hand, is a little tired after getting his fair share of running today in the rain with Nick. They had a wonderful ten mile training run. 



We are hoping to get some snow next week for sledding.