The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Im a Big Kid Now!

The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: I’m a Big Kid Now!

 

Reagan

 

If you are like me and you are a student of pop culture, you know the little jingle that is today’s title: I’m a Big Kid Now! It is from a Huggies commercial but it really fits today and my five month old Siberian Husky pup, Raegan.

Reagan was bred and born to be a sled dog. Not a lounge around the house, eat off the plates and beg at the table kind of dog. She is going to be one of the foundation puppies to our future Team Ineka line and hope that one day she can run on my Iditarod team and pull me under the burled arch in Nome some 1,000+ miles from home.

I have been working daily at a friend of mine’s dog yard that is a long distance mushing kennel. They run Alaskan Huskies and have about 50 dogs. Some great dogs they have, I may add and they are a joy to run and they are teaching me a lot even with most of my time sitting on my butt on the 4-wheeler.

I thought this morning, what better day to take Raegan over to the dog yard and see how the big boys “play”. I took her over in my truck and carried her down to an open spot in the yard. I didn’t have a leash and since she is young and doesn’t know any better she might have gotten into trouble if I let her run in the kennel un-tethered.

I hooked up Raegan to the chain (for the first time) on the tie out while I went about my business hooking up the 10-dog team for our five mile run. I ran two teams today and then started to feed the dogs.

The dogs are eating what I like to call gruel. Its a mixture of water, meat and kibble about the consistency of a nice stew like your mom used to make and you ladle a scoop into each dog’s bowl.

The idea is that you want your sled dogs to eat as quick as possible, preferably in about 30 seconds, and they do. You train your dogs to eat like this so they will eat well on the trail in long-distance races like the Iditarod.

While I have been feeding Raegan a mixture similar to the above mentioned gruel, I use Native performance dog food and a can of Mackerel and water. She eats fast but not nearly fast enough. She has a lot to learn… So I gave her just a bit of the new mixture, no more than 1/8 of a cup or so and she seemed to eat it quick and woofed it down just like she is supposed to.

Raegan hung out while I finished the chores and we headed home. While she has lots to learn and hasn’t even been in a harness yet, this is one step closer to her becoming a sled dog!

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works

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Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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