Yep, its that time of year here, snow, cold and…FUN! What is responsible for fun in the winter? Dog sledding of course. This year we have to train two dogs, Miranda and AJ. Luckily they are happy to do the work, because it doesn’t seem like work to them.
Often when starting out a dog on the sled, a new dog gets run too far and fast right at the beginning. This is the fastest way to ruin a dog. Because our dogs are not bred to be sled dogs, they sometimes can be a fan of QUITTING in the middle of a run. This is due to being out of shape and not having fun. AND not only will your dog(s) get fit, but you will too. In the picture below, I am warming up so that I won’t pass out when I start sledding with the dogs attached. We use a kicksled rather than a regular dog sled.
We prevent this by using food rewards. Obviously. Start slow, teach the dog the behaviour and increase difficulty gradually. This is the same process for any behaviour. It is also the method of choice if you want to ensure that your dog enjoys the work.