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Old 03-08-2009, 02:47 AM   #1
k9mania
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Iditarod musher's view of well being of dogs

At the White Mountain checkpoint last year, just 72 miles from the finish line in Nome, our teams were still barking and still jumping in their harnesses. With wagging tails and husky smiles, the dogs drove on to the finish line of the 1,039-mile journey across the great Alaskan wilderness known as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Tears were in our eyes. We were so humbled and proud of these amazing animals we raised and trained from birth.
Many, if not all, of the 67 mushers who left Anchorage yesterday during the latest running of the Iditarod will soon be feeling much the same way as they pass over the Alaska Mountain Range, head down the mighty Yukon River, and race along the Bering Sea Coast. The amazing endurance and strength of racers and dogs are in stark contrast to claims of some critics that dogs are cruelly forced to participate.
Hardly. These dogs love to run. They are driven to run and pull just like Labradors are driven to retrieve and border collies are driven to herd. It is hard-wired into their instincts.
We have welcomed many people to watch as we start our young dogs in harnesses at about 6 months to 8 month of age. We allow them to slowly move forward, and it’s amazing, the pups lean into their harnesses and begin pulling and pulling, yipping and cheering and driving to go faster. These youngsters won’t be on serious race teams for two years, but immediately they’re hooked. Then they’re carefully trained and conditioned, just like any other athlete, as they develop strength and endurance and as they learn how to run as a team with other dogs.
In 20 years of raising and training sled dogs, we’ve never had a dog that didn’t love to run. In fact, one of the biggest challenges we face in guiding teams down a trail is managing their pace and keeping the dogs from running too fast.


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http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/eve...cle/id/114342/
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:08 AM   #2
Labman
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Dogs need a job.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:19 AM   #3
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That's neat.
I don't think all dogs need a job. The ones that were bred for a purpose definitely need something to do though. Certain smaller breeds don't really have a "job" they can do...unless I'm missing something.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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i think its great thatthey let these dogs run, thats waht they were bred for they need it working and herding dogs need something like that to keep them happy and calmer
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #5
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A lot of small breeds were bred to be ratters and other types of varmint chasers. Also, any dog needs a job, the term means something mentally or physically stimulating in general, to keep them healthy and psychologically happy. Even if it is playing with you, doing tricks etc. Most dogs that go to the humane society or are given up are because of behavioral problems due to lack of stimulation and training. So, I am not sure but I don't think "a job" meant sheepherding or something a working dog does
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:21 AM   #6
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Chihuahuas can be serious working dogs. Some are trained for the hearing impaired. It made all the sense in the world when I learned that. Smaller dogs live longer and are cheaper to keep. It costs a fortune to train a service dog, and their partners go through an emotional wringer when the dog gets too old to work anymore. Many of the partners don't have very good jobs.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLabs View Post
That's neat.
I don't think all dogs need a job. The ones that were bred for a purpose definitely need something to do though. Certain smaller breeds don't really have a "job" they can do...unless I'm missing something.
I have to disagree a little with you I think all dogs no matter the size or age have a job and that is to give and recieve love. Also I think their main job is to be there for us to pet and cuddle when we feel down and jump up and down for joy when we are happy. I guess they do not have a "job" such as herding, sledding or anything like that, but in their minds they all have a purpose/job when they are with us. Hugs Susan & Lexcee (the best listener and cuddler in the world lol)
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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I think the whole idea behind a dog needing a job is like K9Mania said, giving them the mental stimulation they need. Having stated that, I am a firm believer that what ever the size and breed of your dog, learn what it has an inclination to do and use that to exercise both the mind and body. If you have a small dog that was bred as a rodent catcher, hide fake mice around the house and train the dog to seek them out. It will keep them occupied, help your bond and make them happy that they made you happy - their job. Another example; If your dog is a herder, offer your services at a daycare....just kidding! I think you get my drift.

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:53 PM   #9
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Brigit did her job last night. She trailed a rat in my back yard, and chased it away from the house. All 8 pounds of her. She's my little hunter. I had to block acces to my gutter, I think the rat was going either for my patio roof or my attick. Yuck.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9mania View Post
A lot of small breeds were bred to be ratters and other types of varmint chasers. Also, any dog needs a job, the term means something mentally or physically stimulating in general, to keep them healthy and psychologically happy. Even if it is playing with you, doing tricks etc. Most dogs that go to the humane society or are given up are because of behavioral problems due to lack of stimulation and training. So, I am not sure but I don't think "a job" meant sheepherding or something a working dog does
I completely agree, if we leave our dogs to their own devices...we can just imagine what kind of crazy things they'll do just for the sake of doing something. As a forum community we sometimes read first hand what kind of trouble and habits dogs get into when they don't have the proper stimulation.
-Steven



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