Thursday, December 12, 2013

Running dogs

Usually my Tuesday and Thursday mornings are dedicated to tracking training with Pelly but today I opted to load everyone up in my big van and take them for a run instead. The weather wasn't great…a steady stream of slushy rain was falling but what's that saying…."there's no bad weather, only the wrong clothes"? Outfitted in sturdy leather hiking boots and my trusty Filson coat I can stay out for a good long time.
I find that these "hound runs" as I call them are one of the best ways to assess your dogs and see where your breeding program is going and what your strengths and weaknesses are. I'm able to watch a living pedigree right in front of me as there are several generations out enjoying the fresh air and they are freely running and trotting all around me. I can see exactly how their bodies move from all sides, how quickly they tire and I really get to know their temperaments. It's also a great way to train solid recalls as the youngsters go out with the more steady adults and learn that as soon as they hear me whistle they must come running immediately. I carry lots of cookies to reward their efforts.

Not only are these runs great for breeding program assessment but they are also good for the dogs physical and mental condition as well as my own. It's just us out there, it's quiet, we are all getting exercise and fresh air and it makes me feel so happy inside watching their joyful exuberance. While I enjoy our training and competing days very much and think that if you have a breeding program you should always be testing and proving it through conformation and performance events the days I spend running the dogs is really the heart of it all. I truly love my dogs and love spending time with them and these runs make my heart feel full.

I hope you are getting to enjoy quiet outdoor time with your four footed friends too. It's one of the best feelings on earth.

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