SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fire Puppies In Harness!

It's that time of year when the puppies learn what it is to be in harness to give them a taste of what they are destined to do! It's always a race against time to get some training runs in before the snow melts.

We ran the the Fire pups in groups of three with some adults in front leading the way including Mamma Olivia and Pappa Nacho, Schmoe, Boondocks, Pepe, Quito, Chemo and Pud. We stopped frequently to give them lots of positive encouragement and praise and to (hopefully) teach them to face forward when stopped. We did that by walking right past them then turning and praising them when we were standing in front of them.

The first group in harness was Hotshot, Coal and Amber. HOTSHOT was a "hotshot" and knew exactly what to do, you could not tell this was his first time in harness. COAL was a little hesitant at first and you could almost read his thoughts: "Woah, this is weird, what's going on… hang on… not too sure… wait, wow, THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!" and from that moment there was no turning back! AMBER settled in to a smooth, steady lope early and has a compact, efficient form like her mama.

Next up was Tinder, Torch and Daisy. DAISY looked a bit like a dolphin as she took huge leaps and bounds in the snow. TORCH got right down to business, which is true to his character - somewhat serious and no nonsense. TINDER pulled hard and looked just like a real sled dog. He is big and strong and looks remarkably like his Papa.

Next we took Commando, Spark and Violet. COMMANDO looked supremely confident which is unlike him. In the yard he is somewhat reserved, even a little shy but in harness he was like a different dog. SPARK was fun, he seemed to enjoy himself very much but then he always seems to enjoy himself! He's inherited his father's happy-go-lucky personality. VIOLET looked gorgeous bounding and loping along the trail. She is very vocal, like her older sister Junior and she was "woo woo" talking all the way around.

The final group had Chena and Nomex. CHENA was very vocal and gave little "yips" of joy as they ran their two mile route. NOMEX looked strong and focussed on the trail ahead, he was particularly well behaved when the team was stopped.

We didn't managed to capture any footage, there is a lot to do when running puppies and we each have only one pair of hands. Instead I have some updated pictures of the pups in the yard so you can see how much they have grown.

Amber and Chena

Coal and Commando

Daisy and Hotshot

Nomex (with Spark photobomb) and Spark

Tinder and Torch

Violet (that's mud on her face, not freckles!) and - just for fun - here they are six months ago

Every year we say it but it is so fun to see the pups instinctively know what to do. Like a labrador retrieves a stick or a cattle dog rounds up cattle, a husky runs and pulls.


Anonymous said...

What a handsome group of pups. Thanks for the wonderful update, sounds like they are going to be great at their job.

LynneD said...

They are beautiful! This is such a wonderful look at the kennel's future and I can't wait to watch you all grow.

Moosekahl said...

I'm in love with Chena and Hotshot! Need a cuddle!

Anonymous said...

Congatulations to all the fire litter! Torch keep up the good work, your New Zealand family is proud :)

Nessmuk said...

I have been waiting for this post! Awesome!! The first day in harness sounded like a great start for these pups....wow...with young ones like this SPK will be at a performance peak for some time!! You folks certainly know how to plan for the future!! Well done!! Again, what a handsome group of pups...thanks for posting their pictures! Olivia and Nacho...you both ROCK!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so very, very much!!!

Awesomely gorgeous!!!

But then, Mom and Dad are, too!!!

Best regards and congrats again for the thrills this season!


Lourdes, VT said...

Those pups are so adorable!!! And, extremely smart! Tinder looks like his dad Mr. Nacho!!! A lot of them look like mom, Miss Olivia!
All in all.... ADORABLE!!!
Thank you for sharing! :)

Heidi Phillips said...

Wow! Well done Olivia and Nacho(dog) ...Sounds like their pups are talented and they are gorgeous...SP Kennel has a deep bench to pull from for the future!!!


Atown's Becky said...

Now you have 11 more youngsters that will be leaping and yelping, begging to go, every time you pull the sled or ATV out, ha ha!
They all look fabulous, and it sounds like they are naturals. Who would expect different considering the parents?
Thanks for telling about the adventure.

Dawn E said...

OH MY GOSH! They are all so beautiful! WOW! They have grown out of puppy-dom of who's who? So neat to see their characteristics starting to show. BEAUTIFUL

JCW said...

OMG...the puppies have gotten sooo BIG! I love the description of each pups experience in harness. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Of course, we loved seeing "our" pup Commando. Such a handsome dude!

Lisa B said...

Kinda wish those were real freckles on Violet - they suit her well. All are adorable and I'm glad to hear they took so well to being in harness. Tinder sure does seem to the one that most favors his Daddy Nacho - here's hoping that he becomes a superstar just like him too. Thanks for the post!

marilyn cozzens said...

Oh my goodness, the Fire Litter pups are so big & fantastic looking. Thanks so much for the individual write up of each dog. What a future team SPK has! I have been eagerly awaiting an update on the Fire Litter. They all are gorgeous, HOWEVER TINDER is so, so handsome. What a fabulous dog he is becoming.
Go Tinder!!

marilyn cozzens said...

And by the way--I put handsome TINDER'S picture on my desktop so I can see him all the time! What a future superstar. Tinder you are special.

weedabble said...

What a beautiful group of pups...they are so lucky to have been born at SP...they truly have an exciting and wonderful life ahead of them. Wouldn't it be fantastic to see the whole litter of them run together to NOME!!!

weedabble said...

And I agree about Tinder being "handsome"...he reminds me of Teddy who was my first favourite SP Kennel dog! I miss Teddy and Manny...Oh how I loved listening to Manny!!...but it is so much fun to get to know the new generations of SP kennel's fantastic dogs.