Team Koyuk

Training

In order to build up the shape of the dogs it is very important to be patient and let the kilometers gradually sink in and leave their marks. You have to make a slow start to avoid injuries and - especially - not put too much pressure on the dogs. Training must always be fun and pleasant, and the pressure you put on the dogs has to be as little as possible - and never for longer periods at a time.

billede 1

The physical part of the training consists of building up muscles and respiration. After the first short and quiet trips you can start considering changes in speed during training. This will be quite natural, if you are training in hilly terrain. But if you are not, you can strengthen the pressure by driving a little faster for a short while and then slow down again.

The other part of training - and actually the most important part - is training of commands and the whole psychological part. Concerning commands it is essential, that you can trust your lead dog 100%. That means that it has to be able to set pace, obey your slightest command and pass other teams, dog walkers, horses and deer. That is why the training of the lead dog is the most important training of all. If you lose trust in your lead dog, you are in deep trouble - in training as well as during races.

If you have a promising young dog, you believe has the potential to be in front of the team, it is important that you put it through as many tests as possible during training. It has to be driving new routes, new trails, do unusual things and meet with all thinkable obstacles. Often you try to avoid meeting anything during training to save your dog that trouble. That is a serious mistake. A good idea is to make appointments with horse riders, other dogs etc. in order to train under controlled conditions. That is the only way to be in control, when serious trouble appears - and it will - be sure of that!

Apart from training your lead dog it is important that every dog is allowed to try all positions. But each dog has to have a pleasant experience and feel comfortable by the exercise. If not you risk getting a dog which is insecure about what is expected from it. An insecure dog will get physical reactions and not give all it has got, because too big a part of its attention will be directed at rage towards the other dogs etc. Therefore a good piece of advice is that all training - even though it has not been going the way you planned - has to be a success for the dog. Always remember to praise the dogs and give them plenty of treats after training.