Friday, 29 March 2013

And The Secret Is....

Brittany will be leaving soon, so I thought it time I shared my deeply guarded secret of harness breaking puppies. You know, so she could go out in the world and make a fortune with the information!!! =)

So I selected the team - Jinx and See in lead, Rocky Rocky Rocky and Astro in swing, the puppies Vader and Chewy, Q and Roscoe in wheel - we harnessed them all up (puppies last) and hooked them up.

Brittany climbed into the sled, I stepped on the runner, I pulled the hook and we were off.

The pups took a few hesitant steps and then took off like they were .... well.... born for it - which of course, they are!!!!

We did about 3 miles with lots of breaks, praise and snuggles. By the end of the run the pups were hitting their harnesses like adults when I called them up to go.

They came back into the yard to lots more praise and scratches.

The second team was Wifi and Smartie, Todd and Billie, pups Trooper and Horton, Turtle and the Old Man Crunch.

We had to stop once to move Horton onto the left side of the gangline but other then that this run went much like the first - wonderful!

So did you figure out the 'secret'???? Yeah, the truth of it is there is no secrets.

Sorry to disappoint.

I guess we do have some things we do to set pups up for success - but no 'BAA RAM EWE' (I'll explain that one day - it is a phrase I use a lot in dog training) secret.

I firmly believe it starts with baby puppies, getting them used to being handled and dealing with all sorts of different situations.

We never harness break pups until they have been leash and chain 'broke'. I believe that helps them not panic when restrained in harness.

We pick our 'puppy breaking team' well - solid leaders and very (to steal a 'Mitch Seavey' phrase) 'forward orientated dogs - and enough of them so that puppies don't have the ability to stop forward momentum. Very important. I believe if a puppy pulls back and feels 'give' in the line, it can cause a lot of issues down the road.

Oh and lots of praise!!!

So sorry Brittany - no magic 'musher secrets' here to share and make a fortune on ..... unless maybe you want my chocolate zucchini cake recipe.


Shirly said...

Love the pictures Karen and I used to do about the same years ago. But calling Crunchie old man come on he is a great guy!!!

Jenny Glen said...

So did Vader look like he's going to follow in his pop's pawprints?

Karen Ramstead said...

He moves VERY much like his Daddy Jenny!!! =)