|Perry leads the puppy pack toward me down the puppy paths|
Because sled dogs must work together as a team, I believe in allowing the dogs free time to interact as a pack daily. They work out their differences and, in general, they all get along very well. It's quite a sight to see a dozen or so dogs running full-throttle through our pastures, playing and wrestling!
I also believe strongly that dogs need social/play time as well as physical training throughout the year, not just during training season, so I diligently stick to a strict daily "free running" schedule for my dogs, and the puppies (especially the puppies!) are no exception. At least twice a day, I turn the pups out and work with them, handling each one, allowing them to run and play, and teaching them to run with me along our puppy paths.
|Perry follows Marley, our Australian Shepherd, along our puppy paths at the Ranch|
In my opinion and experience, dogs who don't have nurturing and safe "formative" years in these critical weeks of puppihood end up having issues later in life. In order to give our dogs the best shot at forming healthy relationships with the world around them, I really try hard to offer a loving and stimulating environment for them to romp and play early on.
|(from left) Toots, Tosh and Rasta explore the ruts in papa Yeti's circle|
When they are done playing, they drift off to sleep wherever they land. Oh, to be young!
They're so trusting, so innocent. It's hard to believe they will grow up to be such amazing athletes.
It's also hard to believe Tak's beautiful puppies are already seven weeks old. Sweet dreams from sled dogs in training!