Archive for the ‘Hilary’ Categoryby Northernmost on October 6, 2013 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Carting & Bikejoring, Hilary, Titan, Wilder with No Comments
We hooked up Wilder for his first run in front of the wagon today. He turned 9 months old this week and it’s high time that he gains some experience of working on a team. We normally start our puppies in harness a little earlier, at around 5-7 months of age, but since it’s been a warm and humid end to the summer, and since Wilder has been growing a lot during Aug-Sept, we decided to wait a little longer with his first hookup. When we introduced him to his harness today he stepped into it like a pro and worked like he had done it a million times before. A complete natural! 🙂
A happy team!
Hilary worked in single lead for the first time today and did a great job. She has gained a lot of experience from working alongside Tuisku this summer, and during last winter.
Wilder started out next to Titan in wheel but finished the run working alongside Hilary in lead.
Halfway into the trail we took a water break to allow the dogs to cool down and to practise the line-out routine. It’s not hard to get the dogs to run, but to keep them calm and orderly before the run, and during breaks, requires a bit more work 😉
Hilary worked well today and we could see that this summer’s bikejoring has paid off. Instead of taking a complete break from road work this summer we have trained our dogs on a moderate basis each week. All the dogs (except for Wilder) have been doing 5 km evening runs about three times a week next to the bicycle, sometimes one-at-a-time but most often in pairs.
It was a good first run for Wilder that promised well for the future.
Well done pup!
It’s early October and the days are quickly getting shorter so we are very happy to be able to train our dogs at the Åbyn-Byske Brukshundklubb’s indoor facility a couple of times each week. Yesterday we brought along Titan, Wilder and Hilary for an evening of weight pull, rally and agility training. Fredrik and Titan joined the weight pull section while Wilder and I started out by training Rally-O outdoors. Later on in the evening we all went indoors to work on agility with Hilary and do some relaxation training with the boys. On Thursdays the club has “open training” which means that there are plenty of people and dogs around and the busy environment is perfect for off leash obedience training and to encourage relaxation afterwards, in the company of all the other dogs.
This was Titan’s first indoor session so we started out by letting him take in the new surroundings.
Wilder has been to indoor training once before while this was Hilary’s first visit to the Åbyn-Byske Brukshundklubb. A whole new place with plenty of new people and dogs – it’s useful to change environment now and then as it adds an extra dimension to the training.
Fredrik and Hilary started off by practising down-stay in the busy room. Hilary is still very keen on visiting people and dogs but has made great progress during the summer.
At the agility course she is usually fully focused on the task.
Wilder too tried his paws at agility and did really well ignoring all the distractions in the room.
We set the bars low since he’s still a puppy and shouldn’t be doing too much jumping.
The weight pull section usually ends their training sessions with indoor relaxation and massage and their dogs were lying just next to us when we were doing jumps. Clearly they have been trained well in the art of relaxation as three flying Malamutes did not bother them one bit.
Titan too knows how to relax. This big boy is ready for a cuddle in any environment, anytime 😉
Our training evenings are great fun, for both us and the dogs. In fact, joining a local dog club to train agility, rally-o, obedience, weight pull etc. is something I would recommend to every Malamute owner. There are so many fun things, besides sledding and showing, that you can do with your dog(s), that will both strengthen your bond and keep your Malamute physically fit and mentally stimulated. Honour the breed’s amazing versatility and try something new this autumn – I promise you won’t regret it!
I have two friends keeping me company in the office today. Not easy to focus on work when I have four brown eyes begging me to go for a walk in the rain 😉
At nearly 9 months of age Wilder is slightly taller than Hilary, but he still has a lot of filling out to do.
This is what they looked like in May, when we met Wilder for the first time at the airport in Stockholm. What a difference a summer makes!
It’s been a lovely sunny Sunday and we have been out all day preparing the garden and the dog pens for fall and winter. The bedding in the dog houses has been changed, the wooden decks have been scrubbed clean, and the smooth gravel in the pens has been disinfected and thoroughly rinsed with a hose. Now everything is dry and clean and the dogs have already snuggled up for the evening in the fresh straw while we are winding down with a movie. Below are some pics of Titan, Wilder and Hilary having fun while Fredrik was raking leaves in the play area. Autumn equals happy dogs 🙂
There are some more pics in our September album.
Lyra and Hilary’s Rally Obedience and Agility classes continue on a weekly basis and both girls – and their handlers – are making good progress. Some of the elements that seemed complicated and hard at our first sessions have turned out not to be so difficult, while other elements will take a lot of practice to get it right. Fredrik and Hilary have been introduced to all the agility obstacles apart from the teeter-totter and so far the weaves is their biggest challenge. At Rally-O, Lyra and I have attempted 20 of the 30 signs that make up the Rally Novice class in Sweden and it’s obvious that we have some work in front of us when it comes to improving our precision and smoothness. I think both Fredrik and I could easily get bitten by the training and trialling bug, as this is great fun! However, one disadvantage of having multiple dogs (in our case 8 dogs) is that we do not have the time to become really specialised in individual sports, as we need to make sure that all our dogs get their fair share of attention and training. But we will definitely make the most of our classes this autumn and the girls are having a blast!
The A-frame is a walk in the park for Hilary as she loves to climb on top of things.
The jumps are still her favourite obstacles but we’ll have to improve our “send away” technique.
And while balancing on things is fun, we have to make sure that she doesn’t miss the contact areas by running too fast across.
Rally-O is all about establishing great teamwork with your dog through positive training.
One of the most important skills your dog needs to do well is the ability to walk on a loose leash – as a tight leash, even if it’s just for a moment, will deduct points from your score.
What I particularly like about Rally is that you are allowed and encouraged to talk to your dog throughout the course to keep him/her happy and interested. As you can see in the photos, I use a lot of verbal cues (and yummy Orijen Treats!) to keep Lyra alert and on the ball. In fact, I probably talk too much and should focus more on developing a more effective body language.
We are already looking forward to next week!
Saturday was a tough day. We spent the whole day deconstructing an old horse fence that we are going to turn into a dog fence for a play area and rebuild in a new location. From the early morning to the early evening we dug up posts and pulled out long nails to remove the stringers from the posts. It was hard and sweaty work, especially since it turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year. When we woke up this morning our muscles were so sore that we decided to take a break from work and spend the day on the beach instead. With the warm and humid weather we’ve been having the dogs seemed quite happy to just do nothing for a while.
Fredrik snuggled up with Thunder on the beach.
Thunder turned nine years old in July but is still very much a young dog in body and mind.
Hilary and Wilder dug a comfy hole where they could cool down in the wet sand.
They even dozed off for a while, close together.
The spiral tie-out stake is perfect for securing dogs on the beach. We buy ours from Häromi, they also have a sturdier version but since we only use the tie-out when the dogs are closely supervised the smaller version works fine for us. There are many different styles available from Amazon, probably best to test their quality at home before trusting them to work on the trail.
Struggling to stay awake?
After a refreshing swim in the sea Hilary’s energy was back!
Since Thunder isn’t keen on swimming we have to make sure he keeps cool by drinking plenty of water instead. We encourage our dogs to drink directly from the bottle when they are puppies, just in case we would one day forget to bring a water bowl when out on a hike. Some dogs take to drinking out of a water bottle naturally, while others need more training.
Wilder did a good job settling down on the beach…
...until he got bored and started digging – a sure sign that it was time to go home.
After all, puppies can only stay quiet for a (very) short time 😉
There are plenty of small sandy beaches on the coast where we live. Most of them are too small to be marked on any maps and we often discover them by chance when out walking the dogs.
There are more pics from our trips to the beach in our BEACH album.
Wilder and Thunder were trusted off leash for a while when we walked home through the forest.They stopped now and then to wait for us to catch up. Good boys ♥
We joined our friends Kjerstin and Johan and their dog training group for an active walk in the forest yesterday. It’s been nearly a year since we last took part in their Wednesday walking and training session, as it often collides with our other activities, but it was great to see everyone again and join in the fun. For Wilder it was the first time that he met with the “Bernese Mountain Dog Gang” but he blended in fast and was keen to say hello to all the dogs, which besides the large BMDs also included a Cocker Spaniel and two Terriers. Wilder is now in adolescence which makes it even more important that we continue with positive socialisation and let him meet friendly dogs of different breeds, sex and age to experience fun things together on a regular basis. Hilary is a great asset in these situations, as her positive outlook on life is passed on to Wilder and to the dogs that she meets. “The more the merrier” seems to be her motto!
The forest walk was combined with balancing exercises on rocks and fallen trees – a good mix of mental and physical exercise which made it more interesting for the dogs.
Wilder had completely forgotten how to walk nicely on a leash, he just wanted to be up front!
Hilary was more calm yesterday, maybe she is growing up, or maybe it was just a temporary thing 😉
Luna and Hilary posing together on a rock.
Nellie and Precious working on their balance skills in the background.
The BMD group is a great place to socialise our dogs with calm and friendly “big black dogs”.
The whole gang, minus two photographers.
Kjerstin and Johan’s Wednesday gatherings is all about having fun with your dog, using positive and creative training methods and not be afraid to try new things. After the walk we all sat down for a 10-minute relaxation and massage exercise – a perfect opportunity to train “Settle Down” with our two Duracell dogs 😉 Thanks everyone for a great time, we hope to see you again soon!
Hilary and Lyra have turned two years old during August so we thought this autumn would be a good time for them to go to school and learn something more than just the basic training that we do at home and in our everyday life. Since Hilary loves to run, jump and climb, agility was the first sport that came to mind. Lyra, on the other hand, enjoys close teamwork and needs more mental stimulation so we decided that rally obedience would be a good challenge for her. Hilary and Fredrik took part in their first agility class last week while Lyra and I went to our first rally-o session yesterday evening. Considering that neither Hilary nor Lyra have been to any classes since they were puppies I think they both did really well and it looked like they were having FUN!
Fredrik and Hilary tried out the weave poles and some jumps at their first class.
One of Hilary’s biggest challenges will probably be to resist the urge of running up to all the other dogs at class to say hello. She went on a couple of detours during the first 15 minutes, before she realised that playing with other dogs during class is not allowed. Luckily Hilary hasn’t got a bad bone in her body so if she does run off she won’t cause any major trouble.
Lyra and I at the class last evening. This was my first attempt at Rally-O and I can tell you that it wasn’t just Lyra who got a mental workout; after doing a number of 360s and 270° left and right turns my head was almost spinning 😉
Did we have fun? I think her smile says it all!
Fredrik came to visit us in Hetta and brought along Titan for some quality time together with Hilary and Wilder. We have a big fenced play area at the cabin in Lapland where the dogs spend a few hours each day. If I could bring anything from Lapland with me home it would be this beautiful play area. The pine trees provide shade on warm summer days and the soft ground vegetation, made up of moss, heather and berry shrubs, is perfect for running and playing. Right now the blueberries are ripe and I have seen Hilary munching away in between play sessions. Happiness and harmony are words that come to mind when I watch the dogs play in the forest.
Can I stay in Lapland or bring a piece of Lapland with me home?
Our week in Lapland went by very quickly but we managed to squeeze in a little hike before it was time to return home. On a sunny morning we packed our bags to go on an 18 km (11.2 mi) dayhike to Lake Pahtajärvi, just outside the village of Hetta. Titan and Hilary carried our picnic in their bags while puppy Wilder carried an empty pack, just to get used to having something strapped to his back. The temperature was just above 10o C (50o F) and it was a perfect day to spend on the trail.
Wilder chose to work up front for large parts of the hike – that’s promising for the future.
The “work horses”, Titan and Hilary, crossing a bog on a wooden boardwalk.
Two happy Mals – Wilder, 7 months, and Titan, who will be 4 years old in October.
The goal of our hike – a lean-to with a view by Lake Pahtajärvi.
When we arrived at the laavu, Hilary cooled down in the lake. There were reindeer nearby so we had to keep her on a leash but that didn’t stop her from swimming back and forth in the cool water. This girl loves to swim – is this another sign of the beaver gene??
This 18 km hike could have counted as a WPD-leg for Hilary and Titan, who have yet to complete their packing titles, but since we did not have access to a scale at our cabin we were unable to weigh the contents of their bags prior to the hike. So the hike ended up being just a “leisure hike”, but I think the dogs were just as happy 😉
Wilder did well on his first longer hike; soon it’s time to start training him in harness!
The trails in Finland are well marked and often offer good facilities along the way. During the second half of August most of the mosquitoes are gone and one can enjoy the scenery in peace and quiet.The beautiful autumn colours don’t start to appear until September, which is also a great month for hiking in Lapland. The website www.Outdoors.fi has useful information about trails and nature areas in Finland, and is available in Finnish, Sámi, Swedish and English.
We had visitors today! Three handsome reindeer came by to say hello after breakfast. They stayed for over an hour and in the end I had to chase them away as they came a bit too close for safety. The reindeer are odd animals, sometimes they are shy and run away as soon as we look at them, and sometimes they seek our company by following us around on the property. Right now they seem mostly curious about the dogs but since they are unpredictable and their antlers are dangerous we try to keep them at bay. After the morning’s excitement we went down to the river to cool down. It is true what they say – every day in Lapland holds at least one small adventure 😉
A young bull?
The river runs peacefully at the edge of our property. The water is always ice cold.
Both Hilary and Wilder love to get wet!
Wish I could have let them swim and play off leash, but it isn’t safe when the reindeer are around.
“I’m so thirsty I could drink a whole lake!“
On my way to Hetta for a few days of cosy cabin life. Nothing major planned, just going to enjoy the quiet life in the forest, pick some berries and mushrooms, read books and hopefully catch up with some old friends. My travel companions, Hilary and Wilder, will probably drag me along on some hikes too, but my aim is to have a relaxing holiday rather than an extremely active one, if I can.
It’s always special to return to Lapland, as this is where my roots are and where I feel most at home. Most likely we will be relocating the kennel back up north in the future. Not next year, and probably not even within five years, but some day. Meanwhile, going here on holiday is quite nice too 🙂