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Swanny Posted on: 09-Jul-2009, 07:31 AM

Replies: 17
Views: 1,882
As a matter of course, I smudge not only my house, but also my yard, quarterly at or near the solstices and equinoxes. It's a two step process, first with either sage or cedar to clear the air of (as it were), then followed up with sweetgrass to invite the friendly and caring.

I also smudge any time there is sickness in the house or kennel. Smudging is a part of many ceremonies and celebrations, and I know many who smudge daily as part of their prayer and meditation practices.

  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #283310

Swanny Posted on: 26-Jun-2009, 09:35 PM

Replies: 0
Views: 1,040
Rather than hijack another thread, I though it appropriate to start a new one on this topic.

It's a sad twist of fate that with only a few exceptions most non-human animals don't live as long as we. Those of us who love our animals must one day face the fact that life just isn't fun for our companion any longer, and it becomes our responsibility to help them pass over to the next realm with love and dignity.

The hard part is knowing when, and no people will come up with the same answer.

This is an issue that Mush with P.R.I.D.E. (Providing Responsible Information on a Dog's Environment) has struggled with as our board of directors has attempted to update our Sled Dog Care Guidelines. It is especially acute for me, as my Darling Daisy is now 14 years old, deaf as a post, having difficulty with her vision and is "acting geriatric".

If you are facing similar issues, here is what the PRIDE Guidelines Committee is planning to recommend to our members:

Animal care experts agree that it is appropriate to humanely kill a dog rather than to prolong suffering. There are no hard and fast rules regarding when it is or is not appropriate to do so. Here are some considerations you can use to help make your own decision:

• Is professional veterinary care available in your community?
• Can you afford to pay for the necessary veterinary care?
• How likely is your dog to recover from the problem?
• Is your dog in pain? If so, can the pain be effectively controlled?
• Is your dog able to eat and digest enough food to remain properly nourished?
• Is your dog mobile enough to move around its housing area?
• Is your dog able to breathe without difficulty?
• Does your dog behave as though it still enjoys living?

Once you have considered the above, establish a euthanasia baseline condition. These are best established before the animal reaches the euthanasia threshold. It is much easier to establish these before human emotion becomes the deciding factor. It can be stated as simply as: When the dog is not longer able to……. , then we will euthanize it. It is very easy to change this threshold as a dog approaches it but experience has shown that as one level of quality of life goes by and you establish yet another threshold, you are only avoiding the inevitable.

Whenever possible, animal control shelters or veterinarians should be used to perform euthanasia. In isolated rural areas where such facilities are not available you must still make sure your dog is killed humanely, with no suffering. Consult a veterinarian or animal control officer for advice.

In some regions, body disposal is regulated by local or state/provincial laws or regulations. Many veterinarians and animal control shelters can cremate the body for you at little or no cost. If the law permits and you wish to bury your dog’s body at your home or kennel it is recommended you place the body in a heavy duty plastic bag encased in a secure receptacle such as a wooden or metal box. You should bury the body under at least 3 feet of earth to prevent other animals from digging at the grave site.

Wishing you and yours the very best that life has to offer, we are...

Swanny & the Stardancer Historical Sled Dogs
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #282759

No New Posts  Kong (Pages 1 2 )
Swanny Posted on: 25-Feb-2009, 09:04 AM

Replies: 16
Views: 2,282
OK, here is a very neat trick with a Kong that can save your dog's life.

Bloat is killer of dogs (you can google it up for details). If your dog is bloating s/he needs surgery ASAP. You can sometimes buy time for the emergency trip to the vet if you can get a tube down the dog's throat and into the stomach to relieve some pressure.

Have you ever tried to shove a tube down an unhappy dog's throat? Past all those razor sharp teeth?

Easy solution. Shove a kong into the dog's mouth to hold it open, pass the tube through the holes in the kong straight down the dog's esophagus, and stand to one side as all the gas and semi-digest food comes flowing out.

Not a pretty picture - but a life saving one if your dog happens to be suffering.
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #275372

Swanny Posted on: 22-Feb-2009, 04:18 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,528
QUOTE (Harlot @ 22-Feb-2009, 09:39 AM)
Swanny, I real enjoy watching your video's you post for us. I too have a couple questions. Frist what are your dogs doing when they look like they are licking up some snow, are they thirsty? And second question what do you do if one of them has to take a potty break? I know when I get cold that is the frist thing I have too do. hehe

Sled dogs will dip snow for one of three reasons. Studies done by Ray Coppinger back in the day when he was mushing dogs found that dogs that are hot will dip snow in order to cool their brains and ward off heat stress or heat exhaustion. Since the temperature was about 20 degrees above 0 Fahrenheit (about -6 C) that's most likely why Sheenjek and Seamus were dipping. They are very large for sled dogs, so tend to get hot very easily.

Dogs will dip snow because they are thirsty, but that's unlikely in this run. Dogs get about 75 to 80% of the daily water needs from moisture in food (assuming it's available in the food). Obviously they won't get much if they are fed strictly dry kibble. Since my team was watered about 2 hours before our run, it isn't likely they were thirsty.

Some dogs will dip snow out of boredom or as a displacement behavior (something to do instead of what they want to do). IN the video, the smaller dog at wheel (closest to the sled) can be seen dipping. She usually runs in either swing (right behind the leaders) or lead, but the last few runs she has been wanting to scotch at her running mate. I intentionally put her beside Sheenjek because he won't tolerate that behavior. Rather than trying to pick on a dog that is 1/3 again larger and 3 times shorter tempered than she, she chose to dip snow. That was a good decision on her part.

Sled dogs learn to urinate or defecate while running. Since they are running in a team, if they try to stop the other dogs just shove them along. After a few times they figure out that can "poop on the run", especially with encouragement from their team mates and their musher. It makes for some very messy equipment at times, but with 8 dogs on the line, each one needing to "go" at a different time, if we didn't train dogs to do it on the move we'd be stopped more than moving.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #275186

Swanny Posted on: 22-Feb-2009, 12:05 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,528
QUOTE (Rindy @ 22-Feb-2009, 06:41 AM)
I have a question if you wouldn't mind answering. What do you dog do if a deer runs across the path or is off to the sides. Do your dogs go after them or not?

Although there aren't any small species of deer in this part of Alaska, we do have lots and lots of moose, the largest of the deer family. Encounters are relatively common and very dangerous.

The sled is equipped with a brake, but it has limited effectiveness as it's basically just two long, steel prongs that drag in the snow. I also have a pair of "snow hooks" on the sled (the blue hardware you see me messing with at the start of the video). The snow hook is basically a steel claw that digs into the snow to anchor the team. The combination of the brake and snow hooks is usually plenty to keep the team in place.

If worse comes to worse, I almost always carry a firearm of sufficient caliber to dispatch a moose while running my dogs.

During fall and late spring, grizzly bears can also create a hazard for dog teams and mushers.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #275163

Swanny Posted on: 21-Feb-2009, 07:59 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,528
I wasn't sure whether to post this here, or in the trail sign category, so being indecisive I figured I'd put it on both.

Yesterday I took a team of 8 out, pulling my 19th century reproduction toboggan. Since the dogs were in a modern "Nome hitch", it is the type of rig that was common on the trails of the North West Territories and Alaska in the 1880s and 1890s. You can see video of our run on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhjGySyOP90

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #275126

Swanny Posted on: 21-Feb-2009, 07:56 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,211
I wasn't sure whether to post it here or on the animal talk category, so figured I put it on both.

Yesterday I took a team of 8 on a training run, pulling a 19th century style toboggan. I had some time this morning, so made some clips, found some nice music, and posted the video on YouTube. If you'd like a vicarious taste of running with the big dogs, just click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhjGySyOP90

Swanny and the Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs
  Forum: The Trail Sign  ·  Post Preview: #275125

Swanny Posted on: 27-Jan-2009, 09:27 AM

Replies: 23
Views: 1,175
Gosh, it's hard to believe the litter is now six months old, and ready to start harness training.

Actually, harness training started in November, with the puppies harness and hooked up to me for little canicross runs. This was to teach them to keep the tugline tight and to give them a 'feel' for pulling and running.

They had their first little puppy run in December. My training partner was in charge of that run, and she just gushed about how well they did.

They had their second little run on Sunday. I posted a note about it in my blog, along with a video on YouTube. You can catch the vid through my blog entry at http://oldschoolak.blogspot.com/2009/01/pu...puppy-runs.html or directly on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDAE9mM8BLs.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #273002

Swanny Posted on: 23-Jan-2009, 10:40 AM

Replies: 7
Views: 481
That is just too cute!!!

As they saw - Awwwwww!!
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #272788

Swanny Posted on: 01-Jan-2009, 10:02 AM

Replies: 7
Views: 469
You can solve the house training issue by confining your dog to the crate when you aren't there to supervise her. Be sure to let her out to 'go' as soon as you return. Is is truly rare for dogs to soil their dens unless they are confined for a truly unreasonable amount of time.

Dogs like to be busy creatures, and terriers usually seem to be especially busy. Covering the crate with the blanket isolates her from the stimulation of the environment, and it is quite possible the barking in a sterotypic behavior performed to relieve what you and I would call boredom. That she is quiet when left to roam around the home leads me to suspect that boredom is the root of the excessive barking behavior.

Have you tried leaving her in the crate, but leaving the crate uncovered and perhaps leaving a television or radio playing in the room? In addition, be sure she gets lots of human interaction while you at home. A good hard run or game of fetch or other physical activity before leaving for work will probably help as well. A tired dog is usually a well behaved dog, but it takes a LOT of exercise to prepare even a small dog to truly rest quietly.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #271387

Swanny Posted on: 11-Oct-2008, 12:35 AM

Replies: 8
Views: 599
QUOTE (stevenpd @ 10-Oct-2008, 06:45 PM)
Was the drunk beaten within an inch of his life?

Lance dealt with the fellow one-on-one. No details have been made public other than Lance saying that the guy "made it right".

Last year was a tough one for collisions between snowmachines and dog teams. A dog on Jennifer Freking's team was killed, and another injured, when a snowmachine struck their team during the I'rod.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #264244

Swanny Posted on: 10-Oct-2008, 09:40 PM

Replies: 8
Views: 599
Although Lance won both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod, he was not able to prevail in the All Alaska Sweepstakes. In that race he was literally rear-ended by a drunk on a snow machine. He had his favorite dog in the sled basket (Zoro) and Zoro was badly injured. He's recovered enough to be comfortable, but will never be able to run in harness again.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #264235

Swanny Posted on: 23-Sep-2008, 04:07 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 587
OMG, dogs are GREAT students of human behavior and many of the things we do cue their behaviors.

Most of my dogs live outside (I have 10 adults and 3 puppies). They know that when I turn on the outside lights without walking out onto the porch it means I'm getting ready to feed or water them. When I start my car they ignore me, but when I start the truck to warm up the whole yard "goes off" in a roar of excitement, because they know that means I'm planning to take them somewhere, most likely to do something really fun like a training run or visit to their buddies at their respective boarding kennels.

Most of my dogs rotate through the house, taking turns as "house dogs" and most of the adults have figured out that when I start undressing it is bed time, and most will trot down to the bedroom and "kennel up" in their airline crates or on my bed without a single word on my part. All of them watch my hands. If I leave the house carrying a white bucket the puppies get all excited while the adults sigh and settle in - they know I'm bringing food for the little guys, but not the adults.

Even the weight in the sled cues different behaviors. When the sled is relatively lightly loaded they seem to know it will be a fairly short run (two hours or less) so they all but run amok, maintaining a very fast pace for the first two or three miles. When the sled is more heavily loaded they seem to know it will be a longer run, maybe even a camping trip. They'll dash out of the yard as they always do but slow to their working trot within the first few minutes, usually after only a quarter to a half mile. It's not a huge weight difference, either. No more than 20 lb or so.

I think they even look at the clothing I'm wearing. If I come out to do chores relatively lightly dressed they don't pay a lot of attention, but if I come out wearing my heavier gear they get all excited, knowing that it means we'll be going out for a run.

The ability of dog's to read subtle differences in human body language has been well studied and is well documented. Dog's know things, and much of what they know is because they study humans so closely.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #262494

Swanny Posted on: 18-Sep-2008, 02:14 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 481
QUOTE (flora @ 18-Sep-2008, 04:01 AM)
Good morning,

It looked like Polaris's tale was docked.  It didn't look like the others were, so I wondered why his was. 

It's just the angle he was standing to the camera when I tripped the shutter. His tail is just as long as everyone else's.

So you breed the dogs to sell or do you keep them yourself?

Although puppies of this caliber are quite valuable, I have personal issues with the concept of selling puppies. It's probably because I have so much heartburn with commercial breeding operations (aka "puppy mills") that contribute so heavily to the euthanization lists in dog pounds and animal shelters throughout the U.S.

It's quite possible this may be the only breeding I'll ever do. I own the sire, and a mushing friend in Dillingham owns the b*tch. Both are truly exceptional lead dogs with traits we each felt would improve the type (freighting sled dogs) and the breed (Alaskan huskies) and give us puppies we wanted for our own teams. My friend sent Lucky (the Mom) to me through the summer to breed and whelp. I have much better access to veterinary resources than does he.

Thus far the puppies seem to exhibit the traits we were breeding for. They are long in body and leg ("rangy" is the term mushers use), very bold and curious and there isn't a "shy" puppy in the litter. Although impossible to say for sure, all the signs are that the three smallest ones will top out in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 lb, and the three larger ones around 70 to 80 lb., the "perfect" size for the type of dog mushing we do.

Half of the puppies will be going home with my buddy on Saturday, and the other half staying with me for my team.

I'll be keeping Cassiopeia, Capella and Orion (the most bold and adventuress of the litter). Star, Son and Polaris will all go to my friend's team. It just happened that we had half & half sexes in the litter and I need more females to balance out the estrogen/testosterone levels in my kennel, and my buddy prefers males. My choices are relatively smaller than their siblinges, but my friend needs larger, bulkier dogs as he lives a subsistence lifestyle and needs his team for hauling firewood (LOTS of firewood), hunting, running his trap-line and all the other day-to-day transportation tasks that are a part of living and raising a family in the bush.

Having my big dog-buddy Torus come into my yard at the same time my big "bush rat musher" buddy was looking for a male from somewhere outside his kennel to prevent having to line-breed his dogs was really a matter of the "stars lining up" in the Universe. Such opportunities are pretty rare and I consider the opportunity a gift from the spirits.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #262135

Swanny Posted on: 17-Sep-2008, 08:11 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 481
No one can post a puppy picture without other lurkers saying "Awwwwww, ain't that cute." Please post pictures of your own celtic canine puppy. I'll start by sending you to my blog to see the members of the Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs litter - at http://oldschoolak.blogspot.com/2008/09/wo...y-pictures.html

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #262084

Swanny Posted on: 07-Sep-2008, 08:12 AM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,211
Thank you for starting a new subject forum because I have a habit of asking questions without going to a different forum. I'm a bad person.

Hurting or killing someone might make you a bad person. Being curious does not. thumbs_up.gif

May I ask how you became involved with this?
How do you determine the dogs for your kennel?
What do you have to do to maintain your dogs?

"Keep a big balance in my check book." (paraphrasing a quote from 5 time Iditarod champion and one of my neighbors, Rick Swenson)

Although that's tongue in cheek, in financial terms my team costs about $1,000.00 per dog per year. That's not bad when you consider that according to 2005-2006 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) National Pet Owners Survey, the average yearly cost of owning a dog is $1571.00.

I currently have 10 adults and 6 puppies in the kennel. 2 of the adults are semi-retired in that they do short runs for training puppies and to maintain their physical and psychological health, but they are no longer physically able to do the longer and faster runs associated with back-country touring.

My dogs are fed Dr. Tim's Momentum brand kibble, a very high quality corn-free kibble specially formulated for athletic dogs. They are also supplemented with raw protein (meat, fish or fowl), probiotic and salmon oil. Thus far this year nutritional expenses have averaged about $253.00 per month. Because of my work schedule at a remote industrial site I have to board my team with other mushers 2 weeks out of every month, which adds boarding fees of $300.00 a month to my mushing budget. If I were home every day like most mushers my nutrition budget would run about $500.00 a month, or $50.00 per adult dog.

Although I can do most of my own veterinary work (I'm a paramedic by trade and a quick study) veterinary expenses nonetheless average about $9.00 per dog per month. My vet expenses include spay/neuters, annual "well dog" physical examinations, cost of vaccines and of course the cost of veterinary services I am unable to do myself.

Thus far this year my equipment costs have been pretty minimal, only $50.00 per month or so. That will go up slightly over the next few months as I replace worn or chewed harnesses and lines, make repairs on my rigs and sleds, and so forth. Last year my total equipment cost was about $2500.00, but that included the purchase of a new sled along with new lines, snowhooks and other accessories.

Daily kennel chores are done in two sessions, while watering in the morning and feeding in the evening and scooping the entire kennel each session (a clean kennel is a healthy kennel). If I must rush through them to meet an appointment or something, I can have the dogs tended and the kennel scooped in about 30 minutes, but most of the time it requires closer to an hour and 1/2 each session as I use the additional time for behavior training sessions, trimming nails, grooming or just lovin' up on my buddies.

Since my litter was born there is an addition 2 hours or so each day, broken up into 10 or 15 minute sessions, for puppy socialization. During the "off" season each adult dog gets at least one 10 to 15 minute behavior training session each day, focusing on whatever behavior I am working on with the individual dog. Although that time isn't "necessary" to maintain a team of sled dogs, I feel it is necessary to maintain psychologically healthy and well-mannered dogs, which is very important to me.

So, this summer I've spent about 8 hours out of most days doing something or another relating to the team.

During the mushing season the time commitment increases considerably. While training on wheels during the fall we run relatively short distances and hours, but we run small teams so it takes more training runs to get all of the dogs done. Dur autumn I train with a partner or two so we are running dogs from everyone's kennels to spread the workload and the funload.

Once there is enough snow on the ground to run sleds our training group starts to break up a little bit, because we do different mushing disciplines. My primary training partner is a sprint racer, her dogs are bred, conditioned and trained to run as fast as possible over relatively short distances (8 to 10 miles in her class). For back country touring, my dogs just trot along at an easy pace, but do so while hauling about 150 lb of weight plus my heavy carcass for four to six hours at a time.

If you think that is intensive, keep in mind that I am just a recreational dog musher. Imagine the time and work commitment of a competitive long-distance racing musher who has anywhere from 30 to 150 (or more) dogs in the kennel, training their teams to run 100+ miles per day. Now THAT will knock your socks off.

Most truly competitive long distance mushers earn they money at seasonal occupations during summer so they can focus their time on their teams the rest of the year. Actually, I think they work during summer in order to rest up for the mushing season. <BG>
  Forum: The Trail Sign  ·  Post Preview: #260989

Swanny Posted on: 05-Sep-2008, 04:36 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,211
In the camping thread, Flora wrote
May I ask how do train yourself for the running of your dog team? Is this something that you do year round?

When touring with the dog team on back country trails over relatively flat terrain, the intensity level on the musher is similar to that of downhill skiing. On very hilly terrain it is about the same as cross country skiing (striding vs skating) over similar terrain.

I run dogs one wheeled rigs as much as I can during summer, but they are short runs as dogs can't tolerate heat very well. They are at their best in temperatures between 40 above to 40 below zero.

During the mushing season just running the dogs keeps me in good enough shape to have fun. From mid-September through mid to late April I typically run my own team 4 days a week, and teams belonging to other mushers another 2 days. During the off season I have to work out on the recumbent bike 3 to 4 times a week an hour per session to maintain leg strength and aerobic capacity. Those workouts are with a high level of resistance but a moderate pace. If I weren't a big guy with 54 years of bad habits behind me I could get away with less. Unfortunately knee issues won't let me substitute running for the bike.

The dog powered sports of bikejoring and dog scootering are gaining a huge following, especially in the Lower-48 States. Either can be done with just one or 2 dogs and represent a nice workout for both dog and musher.

Skijoring (running dogs with cross country skis) is very popular in the north, especially in more urbanized areas where it is impractical to keep a kennel with multiple sled dogs. Canicross is essentially cross country running while being pulled by one or two dogs. It's an easy workout for the dogs, but brutal on the human. That'll get you in great shape in very short order.

  Forum: The Trail Sign  ·  Post Preview: #260824

No New Posts  Camping (Pages 1 2 3 )
Swanny Posted on: 04-Sep-2008, 07:27 PM

Replies: 37
Views: 3,548
Now how did I overlook this thread? My mind must have been elsewhere.

I'm not a big fan of camping just for the sake of camping. Not disparaging it in any way, it's just that to me camping is always part of a wider outdoor adventure such as fishing, hunting or exploring the back country with the sled dog team.

My favorite "camping" trips are long dogsled runs during winter and I'm frequently either alone with my team or running with just one companion and his or her team. Camp often isn't much more than the shelter of the sled bag in a copse of spruce to break the wind. After a hard day of running, by the time we get the dogs fed and settled and stuff something resembling food into our own mouths we are pretty much done in ourselves.

There isn't anything in the world quite like the mixed emotions of waking up in the middle of the night in a nice, warm sleeping bag knowing one has no real choice but to get up and empty that full bladder while the northern lights are dancing around the stars, and the thermometer reads 3o below or colder.

True fact - it's cold no matter what you do about it, but it sure is pretty.

  Forum: The Trail Sign  ·  Post Preview: #260622

Swanny Posted on: 03-Sep-2008, 08:30 AM

Replies: 23
Views: 1,175
QUOTE (TamiMcLeod @ 02-Sep-2008, 02:12 PM)

I know when my pups go to a home, i have 5 pages of questions and care sheets, and i was thinking about adding this info that we have been doing to that as well.

Tammi, I'd love to see the information and compare notes. Perhaps you could start a new thread on raising puppies? I would certainly enjoy such a thread.

As to the latest developments, several of the puppies now have fully erect ears. Cassiopeia, the sable girl hiding in the "hungry pup" photo, has one erect and one that is tulip, but will probably stand up later on.

While scooping the other day most of the litter were having a great time following the scoop pan around the yard. In a stroke of brilliance I decided to see if the behavior would transfer to a target stick. Indeed it did, so we are now in the process of training a bunch of 6 week old puppies to target. That will make future behavioral training ever so much easier.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #260333

Swanny Posted on: 31-Aug-2008, 09:53 PM

Replies: 0
Views: 356
I put together a clip with some of the highlights of our first training run of the season with the sled dog team pulling an ATV. It's a pretty big file (about 14 meg), but I think you'll enjoy it. You can download it at http://www.tworiversak.com/FirstRun.wmv
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #259986

Swanny Posted on: 27-Aug-2008, 02:21 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 440
Although beavers aren't inclined to attack, they also aren't inclined to back down much. If they feel threatened by your dogs or a human or anything else they are likely to fight very aggressively, and they have a nasty set of teeth to work with.

For the immediate beaver problem, unless you have excessively nosy close neighbor's I'd suggest the triple-S approach (shoot, supper and shut up). A .22 LR placed between the eye and base of the ear will do the job nicely. If you don't have the skill to take the head shot then practice up some. It doesn't hurt to do a bunch of target practice on your property anyway, gives the potentially nosy neighbors a reason to ignore gunfire coming from your property. Use a cheap firearm that you won't mind giving up if you get caught. Forfeiture of your firearm and any vehicle used in the illegal taking of game or fur animals is common to most of the United States and I believe all Canadian provinces and territories.

BTW, if you have have beavers on or near your property, you can bet big money you also have porcupines, and they aren't much fun for dogs either. Beaver and porcupine makes a fine meal for both humans and dogs. No, eating the meat won't make your dogs more inclined to hunt them (that's an old wive's tale).

The "shut up" part is really important. The fine can hurt, but the loss of your firearm, hunting privileges in all 50 States and all Canadian provinces and territories can hurt more. It really will "go into your permanent record", and could even be construed as a firearm related crime that won't look pretty on your rap sheet.

If you do get caught, hire a good lawyer. You may be able to beat the rap if your province permits destroying wildlife in defense of life or property, but you will likely need a real "pro" in order to make your case in front of the Crown.

For the less immediate but still problematic obedience problem in the dogs (refusing a recall), consider this - would YOU come when called if all it earned you was am angry swat on the arse? I sure wouldn't.

To train a bullet-proof recall (which we REALLY need when living in rural or wild areas where beaver, bears, coyotes, porcupines and other potentially dangerous critters abide), practice lots. Call the dogs and make sure they get something really tasty or really fun each and every time they respond. Pretty soon they'll figure out that coming when called is much more fun than harassing the local wildlife or anything else they can possibly imagine.

If they don't "come", go get them. Calling them louder, longer or more often only teaches them that they can ignore it. Don't get upset (punishment doesn't work on dogs anymore than it works on human criminals), just bring them to the house or where ever you want them.

In the meantime, you may need to confine them closer to the house until you've dealt with beaver population.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #259378

Swanny Posted on: 26-Aug-2008, 11:29 PM

Replies: 23
Views: 1,175
Here's the latest puppy-pic.

user posted image

The puppies are now starting to explore the world outside their pen. We've been going "walkabout" in the play yard from time to time. They are also becoming little land sharks, using their teeth for more than just slurping down puppy gruel.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #259310

Swanny Posted on: 20-Aug-2008, 10:08 AM

Replies: 23
Views: 1,175
Sorry to fall behind. I was at my place of employment so my puppies were boarding with my training partner (who LOVES puppies and especially loves my puppies).

They were introduced to solid food (well, semi-solid food) this morning. It went much easier than I expected. Once they realized the gunk in front of them was edible they were just delighted.

user posted image

If you can't see the picture, it's at http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0i14Gt2skLs/SKw6...firstmeal+2.jpg
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #258208

Swanny Posted on: 01-Aug-2008, 07:41 AM

Replies: 171
Views: 6,357
I'd like to claim innocent due to insanity or mental instability. Thanks. angel.gif
  Forum: What's New!  ·  Post Preview: #256059

Swanny Posted on: 28-Jul-2008, 11:00 PM

Replies: 23
Views: 1,175
I'm looking for all the benefits described in Battaglia's article, linked above. These are
" Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:

1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats
3. Stronger adrenal glands
4. More tolerance to stress and
5. Greater resistance to disease.

In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.
Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, wined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress when stressed."

All of these advantages are important for working sled dogs, and I would imagine any other dog.

Today, we have 5 day old puppies who are supporting themselves on their feet rather than bellies, are trying to climb up the side of their whelping house, and are wagging their tails while being handled by humans. This is pretty rapid development for such young puppies, and I'm sure the exercises contribute to that.

Keep in mind that this is not a "stand alone" program, it's only the start of the process of puppy socialization, and of training that will be ongoing throughout these dogs' lifetimes.

  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #255875

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