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Everything posted by silhouettestable

  1. We've just finished our second race of the season, my first season running a 4-dog team. We've had a good start, great training experiences and met a lot more really nice people. I'm finding it's a really good crowd of people at the races, everybody pitches in and helps everyone else out. It's a big job to get some of the larger teams to the start line when the dogs are leaping and banging in their harnesses and screaming to go. I think everyone realizes that we all need to help each other and it builds a real feeling of camaraderie between fellow mushers. I've made more detailed posts about our races on my own message board, and there are some pics there too. If anyone is interested in viewing them here's a link Silhouette Racing Rescues board that will take you to my Dog Sports forum where there are posts about the individual races. The one about Kearney has the pics. I'm meeting with my webmasters today to go over some updates, there should soon be lots more pictures on my website.
  2. Try a JAWZ. I love KONG products but you'll find that the JAWZ will fly further and stay aloft longer. I have found that Lightning can't damage them unless he carries them in the side of his mouth and really chews with the back teeth, or takes them away to chew on. The other teeth haven't been able to puncture the JAWZ. My first one lasted a whole season (which for him is unbelievable) and it would have been around longer but I think playing with it out in the snow made it a bit less flexible and more prone to damage, it seemed stiffer in the colder weather. Plus I got lazy about putting it away all the time, I'd leave it laying out in the field or front lawn and the next time we were out he'd pick it up. I have another one now that I always put away after playing and it's still it great shape.
  3. With my dog Lightning any normal plastic disc like a fastback gets chomped in one round of disc competition. For practicing at home I have a JAWZ and it is great. As long as I only bring it out for disc practice and then put it away it lasts. If I forget and let him carry it around for a while he will sometimes lay down and start chewing and they aren't completely indestructible. But, the best I've used so far. Well, we also have a KONG one that my daughter won in a contest and it hasn't so far been damaged but it's pretty new and we haven't tested it all that well yet, though I do like the other KONG rubber products for our dogs. The only thing about the KONG flyer though is that it is much heavier and flies differently. Which kinds of discs you can use in competition will depend on the club. When I compete in CDDA we have to use a fastback and Lightning destroys them. When I entered a SODH trial I was able to use the JAWZ
  4. The Marmora race is this weekend and yes we'll be there. A friend of mine from Peterborough will also be there with a team of BC's. We'll both be in the 4-dog class, it's scheduled for 11:30 each day and my daughter will be in the kid & mutt class on Sunday at 3:30. Hope to see you there. We'll be racing every weekend now, after Marmora we're going to Kearney, Haliburton, Cannington and Apsley.
  5. Well my 4 are (plus 4 other dogs for 8 total) for me. Can I see them all living at somebody's else's house, hmmm...not likely. I mean, aside from the fact that you'd have to pry them out of my cold dead hands before they'd leave here.
  6. I gave a sled clinic/demo/rides for the local Girl Guides last weekend and also invited over a reporter who's done some articles for us before. Here's a link to the article that just came out if anyone's interested in reading it and seeing some pics. Dog Days of Winter Unfortunately if you click on the photo thumbnails in the album to enlarge them, they come up with "preview" written across the middle.
  7. I think it's too cold if the dogs seem uncomfortable. If they're happy and playing they're fine. We've been having nighttime temperatures of around -30C or a little lower. By mid-afternoon it's been getting up to around -16 and gorgeous sunny blue skies. My guys don't care about the cold (they better not eh? They're sled dogs!), we go out doing chores and they keep active playing and wresting and rolling around in the snow. We're usually out for a good 30 minutes in the morning if all I do is chores, but often I walk part of our sledding trail with them (to check for horse poop on the trail and remove it). If we get to doing other stuff like sledding or if I let them run along while I groom the trail with the skidoo then we're out much longer. Tomorrow I think we'll be out most of the day, I'm hosting a sledding clinic for the Girl Guides and then a friend invited me to go sledding with her on one of the nearby lakes. It's supposed to be a high of around -14 to -17 tomorrow. How much cold the dogs can tolerate depends on activity level. Most of mine have short coats and would chill if they were just standing around but they don't seem to feel it when they're running and playing. And of course when they come back inside they snuggle up all cozy on all the furniture. Until the next time I'm ready to go outside and then they're clamoring for more outside time.
  8. All of my dogs, ranging in weight from around 45-90 pounds eat large breed, in fact I've been starting them on large breed puppy as well. Large breeds are usually considered around 50+ pounds or 55+ and I lean towards the larger dogs for sledding so most of mine are "large breed". The main differences I see between the regular and the large breed formulas, in the brand I choose, is that the large breed has added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and lower fat. I think the regular adult food is something like 26% protein and 16% fat, the large breed is 26% protein and 12% fat. The large breed puppy food is considered to be a controlled growth formula so they don't grow too fast. When the dogs are in training and they're working harder I also use a high energy formula which is 30% protein and 20% fat. I don't switch most of them right over though, on non-working days I'll mix it half and half with their other food and on the days they're working I'll feed all high energy. When they're not in training they just get the large breed adult. And the fatties that don't work, they stick with the lower fat large breed adult.
  9. Was there anyone else who overheard what the vet told you? Given what he said, the fact that he hit your pup and the way Blake is now acting if anyone can back up what you say I'd be filing some kind of complaint against that vet, maybe even talk to someone even if there are no witnesses and still put in a complaint. I'm glad you found a new vet but what about all the rest of the dogs and pups he deals with? Is he the owner of the clinic you went to or an employee? Can you talk to someone over his head and file a complaint with them, or with whatever body governs the vet practitioners in your area? I agree with bcnewe2 about letting him slowly get used to the leash again, letting him drag a short one around etc. Maybe in the meantime you could try walking him with a harness or halti or something that won't be restrictive on his neck, if that's what he has developed a sensitivity about.
  10. Awww, poor Blake and poor you. It sounds like a trying time for everyone. I have to say that none of my dogs have experienced any kind of trouble like you've described after neutering. Aside from sometimes being a bit dopey the first day they're completely themselves and keeping them settled is the hardest thing I have had to deal with. I've never used a collar on them (I'm always there to watch them and the crate is beside my bed so they're near me at nighttime too). Also, aside from whatever pain meds are given while they're at the clinic they never get any anything else and haven't acted bothered at all by their surgeries. Always happy and playful and no trouble walking or going outside. If they ever offer to lick at the incision I'll just say "ah ah, no licking" and they quit but maybe because they're under close supervision they rarely even try. I also usually get them something yummy to chew (like a new smoked marrow bone) so that the have something to take their mind off the incision. My neighbour has a couple of little mixbreed fluffballs (sorry, that's just my nickname for them) that she had spayed a while back and one of them seemed to have some trouble with that. I was told she was acting uncomfortable and would sometimes kind of yelp and jump like something hurt. She was also on pain meds for a while and after a few days started feeling better.
  11. My first was Lightning, a BC/lab mix that I got 4 years ago. Growing up my family had a Kerry Blue Terrier, then in high school I got two collies. After the collies it was two great danes plus another collie (Noah). We lost one dane to torsion and the other had health issues that meant she was not going to have a very long life. I thought to myself, really Noah is such a great dog, he's all I need. I'll be back to just one dog and that will be okay. Then we got Lightning and WOW! He introduced me to a whole new world. I've had a lot of really good dogs that I've really loved but there is just no comparison between them and Lightning, it's like he just raised the bar several notches. Loving his intensity, heart and great desire to please me of course I had to have more. Along came a couple more mixbreeds (Flash and Thunder) that were listed as BC mixes on petfinder, then Rain and Storm (BC), then Flurry (BC) and most recently Dru (also BC). You see where this is going? They're addictive!
  12. I don't mind at all. But didn't you know that my dogs sleep in a doghouse too? My house is a dog house Actually they all sleep around my bed, or on my bed or in the hall just outside the bedroom.
  13. Food bowls are stainless and usually licked spotless so they only get washed if they look dirty. Water bowl gets rinsed/refilled 2-3x daily (big bowl but 8 dogs in the house!) In the warmer weather they have a water bucket in the yard, it gets rinsed and refilled every couple of days Also a kiddie pool in the yard in the warm weather, they drink from and play in it, changed weekly Dog blankets/bedding washed if smelly Dogs bathed only if they get stinky (rarely) unless they roll in something gross in which case they qualify as stinky anyways. Sometimes they come in muddy and I let them play with water in the bathtub to clean their feet and rinse them a bit, but it's not a full bath. Also I take them swimming in the warmer months and they rinse off nice and clean, no soap needed. Nails trimmed weekly in the winter, never once the snow's gone, they wear them down. Brushing very rarely/never for most of my dogs, as needed for the longer coated ones, usually when they're blowing out undercoat Collars rarely washed, they rarely wear them Sledding harnesses washed occasionally as they sometimes get stinky, maybe from getting wet? Poop pickup varies, sometimes daily, sometimes a few times a week. Occasionally when it's snowing a lot and gets buried it doesn't get done for longer periods, but then just wait til the snow melts. With so many dogs I try to keep on top of that job. Luckily it's not all in the yard, lots also get scattered around the field when out doing chores, or up in the bushes.
  14. I'm very sorry that Asker is so sick I don't know what to tell you to expect as an outcome but if she wasn't vaccinated on schedule and the breeder said she was up to date then they should be responsible for your bills. She should have been needled at about 8 and 12 weeks with everything except rabies and at 16 weeks with everything else again plus rabies. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way for her speedy recovery.
  15. I've noticed that when we're outside walking through the fields the BC's tend to group up, away from the other dogs. The dogs will all run around, wrestle and play for a bit but then the BC's will usually go ahead and when I look, they will be sitting, standing and/or lying down in a group looking towards me, while I and the others make our way up to where they are. They'll wait by the hay shed for me, or the chicken coop, or walking back up towards the house just anywhere in the field that's along the way. Funny guys
  16. Something else that may help is to make sure the surface he is on is not at all slippery. Splay/spraddle legs can be common in other animals that are raised on a smooth surface (young poultry etc.) so I don't see how it wouldn't also be a concern for pups. If you're already worried about the pup it wouldn't hurt to consider the type of flooring where he is.
  17. I had to cut a martingale collar off one of our old great danes. Not specifically because it was a martingale though, the problem didn't occur because of the chain section. The two danes were wrestling and then I heard panicked yelping. At first I thought one dog was attacking the other for real but I realized they were stuck together. Perdie had slipped her jaw under Pongo's collar and then they somehow turned or twisted and it was twisted around her lower jaw. The more the dogs struggled to get loose the more it choked him and pulled her jaw. I remember we practically had to sit on the two dogs to safely cut the collar off him. After seeing that happen I will never leave a collar of any type on my dogs, I only put them on if they're walking on leash or sledding. Mine spend way too much time rough-housing to risk ever having something like that happen again.
  18. You're lucky if you have trails to yourself! I maintain my own trail around my property but for more distance and a change of scenery I like to find other places to run the dogs. It seems that around here I don't have a lot of options, none of the ski trails welcome dogs to the best of my knowledge and I'm currently investigating the county rail trail. I do dryland running on it but I'm not sure if it's meant to be exclusively for snowmobiles in the winter. I did a 4 mile run on it just yesterday in the middle of the day and met about 5 snowmobiles, even though the trail hasn't started being groomed yet. I'm waiting for the lakes to freeze up enough to be safe to run on, that opens up a whole lot of new possibilities.
  19. I got the equipment and have done a bit, but I'm not really a cross-country skier (I've always been into downhill skiing) so I prefer to stick to the dogsled than to skijor. My daughter started last year though and she enjoys it. We bought our skijoring belt and a matching harness from Komatik Outfitters, a vendor that was at a race and I've bought a bunch of other equipment from him as well. For harnesses though I really like the ones I ordered from AKKO Sports, they specialize in harnesses and have many different styles to choose from. You can find a link to "equipment and supplies", as well as beginner tips etc. and a ton of other mushing related information on the Sled Dog Central site. Ninso, if you're just starting out something you might want to think about is where you'll be skijoring and teach your dog to keep to the right side instead of the middle. It will make passing much easier if there will be other skijorers, skiers, snowmobiles etc. to deal with. I'm still working on that a bit myself with my team, they like to travel up the middle of the trail, or just slightly over to the right. I'll be racing them this year and need them to be able to make clean passes with other teams, plus if I'm dryland training on the dirt roads I want to be sure to stay over out of the way of traffic.
  20. Not a silly question, it's not something you'd see unless you're into mushing! It's a homemade training rig, something like a trike with no seat or pedals, it has standing platforms for my feet. I looked around the net for ideas for dryland training, looking at sites for Artic Rigs, Risdon Rigs, Monkey Rigs, Steeldog etc. and made notes. Mine is probably most similar to an Artic Rig. Mushers running lots of dogs will use an ATV, ATV with no motor, car chassis stripped right down or a Risdon Rig which is somewhere around 100pounds. I wanted something fairly light that I could run anywhere from 1-4 dogs on without making them (or me) have to work too hard up hills. DH made it for me with a couple of youth BMX bikes we picked up from Canadian Tire on sale and he did some cutting and welding at a friend's garage. I thought about using a bike but haven't done much cycling in a very long time so I was concerned about my balance if the dogs jerked, plus if I do any pedaling my knees get very sore. Same concern about balance with a scooter, I just wanted something that will stay upright by itself so all I have to do is steer. This works out well for me and it's not too heavy to lift over any trees we come across on a trail and is easy to load into my box trailer to truck it around.
  21. I don't bikejor, but I do this when there's no snow: I normally run 2-4 dogs on it though it doesn't have a lot of stopping power with 4 eager dogs. I can lock up the brakes and the dogs can still drag it, luckily they know "WHOA!" It's not much of an issue when the dogs know their commands, providing I'm vigilant about any wildlife up ahead and such. I also carry a snub line and snow hook so that I can tie them off or hook down into the dirt in case I need to keep them stopped for a bit. I don't think I'd put more than 4 on it for safety's sake, I'd be more likely to do multiple runs with different dogs or alternate which days I run which dogs. I think 1-2 dogs on a bike or scooter is common but I have a friend that has run 3 on her scooter with me a few times. Depends on how eager the dogs are and how well they listen.
  22. Storm used to chase his tail in the kiddie pool. He's go around until he caught it and fell down in the water It was only an occasional thing though, he wasn't obsessive about it. A couple of times I've seen Flurry chase his tail but not often. It's never become a problem with either one of them and none of my others do it.
  23. I used to get that all the time so I finally saddled one of them and walked with the horsemen's association in the Santa Claus parade! Meet Pongo, my "horse"
  24. For sledding I use a standard x-back for some of my dogs and a collared-neck x-back for others (supposed to be more suited for the leaner built dogs like Alaskan Huskies and Border Collies). I've also got another model like the x-back that's meant for larger dogs, it's got an extra wide chest plate with more padding. I think for weight pull a freight harness is usually used, that extends further at the back so as to drop down behind the dogs tail and it has a wooden spreader bar at the back. Some people will use something similar for sledding too. There have been some recent discussions about teaching dogs to line out and not turn around in harness or duck out of the harness on the sled dog forum I go on. You might find some helpful tips if you check it out. If you go to the main page of Sled Dog Central you can find the link to SDC Talk (the forums), but also on the main page there are links all down the left side and you can find many different suppliers of various styles of harnesses. And, from the main page you can also check out the race schedule which does list some weight pull events.
  25. I sled with mine and they pull great. I've finally got a 4-dog team ready to race, it's made up of Lightning (BC/lab) and Rain (BC) in lead with Storm (BC) and Thunder (mixbreed) in wheel. I've also started Flurry's sled training and he's going to be awesome, he's a natural. I have a friend who races a purebred BC 4-dog team and the lady who mentored her used to race a 6-dog team of BC's.
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