Monday, November 28, 2011

Dog Sledding Tours near Waterville Valley

I am really happy to say we got our permit to use the White Mountain National Forest for dog sled tours.  We have been granted several trails, and will be offering sled dog rides right in the White Mountain National Forest.  The areas where we will be giving tours include one trail very close to Waterville Valley.  Skiers and other winter enthusiasts staying in Waterville Valley, Campton, Thornton and Plymouth will enjoy easy access to a really unique and beautiful new winter adventure.

The trails we will be using are trails I have been mushing on for years, recreationally and in preparation for races.  I know them inside and out, and love and treasure every inch of them.  Some of the MOST beautiful stretches of trail on earth!  I am really excited to share these with people.
-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Leader training...again

I had a chance to retest myself on my own methods this past week.  Snowy conditions (not enough to sled on) caused me to drop back to small teams and use my Fritz Dyke cart.  I took 2 teams of 6 dogs out and so once again got to test some other members of the first string at lead.  I was really happy with the outcome, Tula and Bridget are really shaping into nice leaders.  I had the usual tussle with Tula about Gee Over.  She is a strong lefty.  I had to stop many times when we first started out.  So frustrating to do when you have a fresh team!  I did the usual gentle-pushing over.  Those moments of frustration (I really felt like giving up) are a great stage for the dawn of success.  So the praise is really heartfelt.  When Tula felt my admiration and appreciation she started to work for it!  My next step working on Gee Over is to not stop the team but ride the brake if I need to correct the leaders to gee Over more.  That step lasted only a short while before Tula and Bridget were perfectly Gee-d Over, and for the rest of the run!  Good job girls!
-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Emma and some of the puppies

Puppies available

We still have 2 white siberian husky puppies available from our latest litter of puppies. Please visit the puppy pages on Lots of great photos!
The pups are from very nice working lines, lots of leaders in the family:parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles. Also wonderful temperaments, friendly and sweet. Great house dogs or kennel dogs. Great with other dogs and children. And these puppies are getting loads of kid time!
Ready to go in about 3 weeks.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Training Lead Dogs - a gee over tip

Training new lead dogs is always a lot of fun, and is so easy in fall.  It seems like the hardest skills to teach are the turn commands and "gee over".  You get really motivated to teach gee over when you run on a road like we do, or go up to Pittsburg and share the trail with snow mobiles going 70mph.  Also, running sled dog tours like I do, you really need to do your homework in fall to get the team ready and up to snuff.

To teach gee over I start with stopping the team and pushing the dogs gently over to the gee side.  Repeat ad naseum, but when you get that golden moment when the lead dogs see you coming and scoot over on their own PRAISE LIKE HECK!  This is the moment you have been waiting for.  And you need to let them know how great you think they are as they are doing it.  Now you still have a lot of work to do if you have strong lefty dogs.  Keep at this, it matters, it works, you will succeed.  If you think your dogs are getting bummed out, just imagine how bummed out they would be to be in a car or snowmobile crash.
After the dogs get so they know what you are saying, what you want to do is not stop, but use the command shortly followed by pressure on the breaks if they do not respond.  Slow the team down to a crawl.  Then, as they step over to the right, praise like heck and let go of the brakes right away!  Once you get to this point things go a lot faster, because lets face it, these sled dogs LIVE to run.  It also feels much better as the musher, bcs you are not stopping a million times on the trail.  But you need to make sure the dogs know what the words mean FIRST.
Good luck, and good "gee over"!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big loss...we miss and love you Trader

Trader is off on his last trip, mushing in his silver harness to some great place beyond our knowing.  We burried him next to his great friends Boomer and Ranger.  (And Blue Dog)
I cannot even stand it hardly, to write all this, a week later.
He was such a pretty boy, a soft boy, a handsome and stately boy.  His nature was gentle and giving.  His needs simple, his forgiveness complete. Quirky, happy, sparkly...
As his physical presence dwindled with old age his eyes become MORE intense and joyful, more sparkly.  He was totally there, with so much heart and knowing.  He spent his last months with Blanche, a perfect kennel mate I suppose.  Both slow eaters, fragile in body, in need of gentleness.

I still remember the day I drove home from Valerie's house with Boomer and Trader.  I was beyond proud and infatuated.  Two real sled dogs!  To add to my little growing sled dog kennel - to help the 4 puppies learn!  To help me learn!  (Oh Trader you taught me so much.)  I remember thinking how absolutely beautiful Trader was, and wanted him in the front seat of the saab on the way home.  Boomer nosed his way up first though, and that was the pattern.  And Trader was happy to be part of the scene, even if he wasn't the center.  So many early adventures back then with 4 dog teams, skijor teams.  Then 6 dog teams!  Wow!  Then 8 dog teams.  A lot of learning.  Trader and Boomer were experienced sled dogs, and along with an elderly Alaskan Husky named Ebony, created my first team.
Sled Dogs + musher = team.
Sled dogs with heart + adventure = bliss

Thank you for the bliss Trader, and everything in between.  It was all special.
I love you!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc