Archive for the ‘DOGS’ Categoryby Northernmost on October 15, 2014 in Favourite Photos, Leia, Thunder with No Comments by Northernmost on October 13, 2014 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Carting & Bikejoring, Hilary, Leia, Thunder, Wilder with No Comments
Yesterday we woke up to clear skies, crisp air and below-zero temperatures – a perfect day to go bikejoring! The ground was covered with a touch of frost when we left home in the morning but the sun quickly warmed up the day and we had to watch the dogs carefully to make sure they didn’t get too hot. This time of the year, when the dogs are not yet in top condition, it is easy to do too much too soon. While autumn training is a fun time for both us and the dogs, it is important to remember that Malamutes are usually most comfortable working when the temperature is between -30°C, to -15°C. Everything above can be too warm, and especially if it’s a sunny or humid day. We try to think of autumn as a time to be patient but it is sometimes difficult to say no to the dogs when they want to go faster and further early in the season. So this is a note to self: Winter is just around the corner, don’t rush it!
We explored a new trail yesterday and it turned out to be a fun ride with plenty of options for variation. When training left and right commands it’s ideal to run the dogs along a new route, as it’s only when they don’t know their way by heart that they really have to listen to your commands.
We still need to work on Wilder’s “wait” command, as he’s so eager to go that he doesn’t listen if a team takes off ahead of him. Hilary used to be like that as a youngster but has calmed down a little with maturity. She can now sit down and wait calmly until it’s time to go, at least on a good day 😉
Hilary has starting to grow her coat again after the summer. Yes, she’s a cutie ♥
Thunder (10.5) and Leia (9.5) are still running strong and pulling hard in harness. I believe the apple cider vinegar which we add to their food is really good for them. They seem almost younger than a couple of years ago, and Leia’s skin problems have completely cleared up. ACV is supposed to be good for arthritis too, so it’s definitely a supplement that I would recommend for senior dogs.
The Big Bears in sync!
Hilary and Wilder working with their heads down, halfway into the trail.
We passed a small farm with some free-grazing hens in the yard and cows and pigs in enclosures. Our dogs have never seen pigs before so it was an interesting first encounter – the pigs grunted and chased us on the other side of the fence and our dogs looked both excited and scared as we hurried past! LOL An excellent opportunity to train “On By!”…
I hope we will have more of those crisp, sunny weekends this autumn – one feels energised and ready to start a new week after spending a few hours in the fresh air on a Sunday 🙂
Wilder had his pre-winter bath yesterday and we took the opportunity to get some new pictures while we still have decent daylight conditions. Wilder is now 21 months old and has just started to grow some coat again after the summer. He is 63 cm tall (24.8″) and weighs approx. 38 kg (83.78 lb) (not yet fully mature), which is close to the AKC standard and exactly how we like our Mals to be. The closer to standard the better! I had problems finding a completely flat surface to stack him on but I think the pics came out okay anyway. He sure is a handsome boy and with a fantastic personality 🙂
We recently DNA tested Wilder for the long coat gene and he’s a non-carrier. We use DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) in Ohio for testing, as they have a fast and reliable service.
Sorry to be so long between posts. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy this autumn and there aren’t enough hours in the day, nor days in the week to do everything we’d like to do right now. At the moment we are working on three outdoor projects; clearing trees, building a wooden fence and constructing an elevated shed in the dogs’ forest play area. We are also making preparations for the colder season by giving our Malamutes their pre-winter baths and cleaning their dog houses and changing bedding. At the end of a long day I can’t wait to snuggle up on the couch under a warm blanket, but before I do I need to harness up some dogs and take them running, bikejoring or carting. Autumn is a busy time here in Nedre Bäck but I promise to prioritise the blog more during October and update more consistently. I do have news to share, just not the time to write about it 😉
Sorry Mom, this sofa is taken!
Wilder’s AMCA Working Team Dog certificate arrived in the mail today! Yay!! Wilder earned his WTD title during our sledding holiday in Lapland in April and continues to impress us with his enormous working drive and focus. He exhibits a mature calmness beyond his years and has tons of leading potential. We look forward to developing his skills during this winter’s adventures, as Wilder will be two years old in January he’ll be ready to embark on some longer trips. I’m already looking at maps and planning away, can’t wait! 🙂
We visited our dog club today with Gemma, Titan, Wilder and Hilary to train agility at Åbyn-Byske Brukshundklubb’s new outdoor training area. We’ve had a long break from agility during summer as it’s been too hot to do anything strenuous, but now that autumn is here we plan to continue our weekly training sessions at home and at the dog club. Agility (and rally obedience) is a great complement to exercise in harness as it provides that extra mental stimulation that most Malamutes need. It also improves their coordination, strengthens muscles, increases endurance and helps boost their overall confidence. There are many reasons to train agility with your dog and above all, it’s fun!
Below is a short clip of Fredrik and Wilder from today. Wilder is getting soo good at agility! He is fast, accurate and simply LOVES this game!
After a hot and lazy summer it’s time to get in shape again. We have slowly started conditioning work by heading out for long and brisk walks in the evenings and taking the dogs jogging and bikejoring when the weather allows. Today was a perfect day for work in harness as the temperature dropped down to 5°C degrees (41°F) in the afternoon. Fredrik hooked up Gem and Wilder while I ran our seniors, Leia and Thunder. As you can see in the pics, we left our helmets at home by mistake, but the rule is – ALWAYS wear a helmet when you go bikejoring!
Wilder teamed up with his Auntie Gem today. Wilder is nearly 20 months and Gemma is turning 7 years young next week. Time sure flies by fast!
Gem has a soft spot for her nephew and enjoys working with him…
…and Wilder continues to impress us with his focus and drive. He prefers to be up front at all times.
Also Leia and Thunder seem to be in fairly good shape after the summer…
…they leaned into their harnesses and gave me a fun ride on the bike!
Running on sand is FUN says Leia!
We let the dogs cool down in the sea before we turned around and headed back to the car.
Hope y’all are having a happy and active weekend!
Does your Malamute give kisses? Among our dogs there are some that do and some that don’t, and some who will grace us with a kiss only very rarely. And then we have a couple of dogs that go a bit overboard with the kissing and cleaning…watch Wilder and Hilary greet Fredrik after work – we call Wilder the “sponge cloth” as he has the quickest tongue in the west and if you are caught off guard he’ll give you a good face scrub and wash for free! 😉
Yesterday was Lyra’s 3rd birthday so we decided to dedicate the whole day to things that make Lyra happy. In the morning we trained agility in the garden with all dogs, but Lyra had some extra time on the course, and after that we went to the beach for some wild running in the sand with her buddy Wilder. In the evening we went to Skellefteå for a stroll around town, which provided plenty of new impressions on a Saturday night. Lyra is not a dog that tires easily but after yesterday’s mix of physical and mental exercise I think she was ready to call it a day when we drove home late at night. Happy B’day Lyra and to all her siblings in the UK!!
Sledog Dream Leaper, WTD, aka Lyra, at 3 years of age.
We trained agility in the morning when the weather was still cool.
Then we headed for the beach for some wild games by the seashore.
Wilder was lucky to be chosen as Lyra’s birthday date. As you can see, we all got a bit wet and muddy from playing in the waves. We stayed on the beach until the late afternoon. The beach is really our second home.
After supper we went into town and strolled around Skellefteå city centre with the “baldies”.
There’s plenty to do, see and smell in town, especially for our country bumpkin Mals 😉
After a long day filled with activities both Wilder and Lyra seemed quite content with their day. I think I even heard Lyra snore in her crate as we travelled home 🙂
Lyra had her pretty brown eyes examined yesterday with clear results! Congratulations to her breeders Nicola Singh and Stuart Winterton of Sledog Alaskan Malamutes & Greenland Dogs. We are lucky to have a certified ophthalmologist just 30 minutes away from home, which is quite a difference to when we lived in Lapland, and had to travel four hours to get to the nearest clinic. This was Lyra’s first exam but she sat on the table like a pro and the ophthalmologist got a good look into her eyes. I’m always surprised to see how well the dogs cope with having the lights turned off inside a small room while a stranger gazes into their eyes using a bright light. Maybe they are hypnotised into obedience?
We recently weighed and measured Lyra and she is 59 cm (23.2″) and weighs 32 kg (70.55 lb). That’s pretty much spot on what we guessed when she was a puppy 🙂
A perfect treat on a hot summer’s day is a FROZEN KONG with yummy things stuffed inside. A frozen Kong keeps our Mals busy for up to an hour, which is a decent amount of time for a treat. When the afternoon heat starts to get uncomfortable, we bring out the Kongs from the freezer and let our Mals enjoy themselves as they work on licking out the cool and tasty contents. You can use a wide variety of foods as filling, as long as it is something safe that your dog likes to eat. If you want to make it really simple, fill the Kong with fat-free Greek yoghurt and pop it in the freezer for a few hours and voilà! The party can begin!
Doggie Ice Cream
Mix the mashed banana with the peanut butter and honey, and then blend in the yogurt. Pour into a clean Kong, seal the openings with some peanut butter and place upright in a sandwich bag in the freezer overnight.
- 2 dl (1 cup) low-fat natural Greek Yogurt
- 1 mashed banana
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons natural honey
We use both red and black Kongs but if your Malamute is a heavy chewer the ultra-strong black version, the Kong Extreme, is the safest option. So far, none of our Mals have been able to chew a Kong Extreme into pieces. Make sure the Kong is the right size for your dog.
In the photo above is also a blue Kong Quest Starpod. This toy can also be stuffed with treats but is only suitable for very light chewers, or young puppies, and should only be used under close supervision and be removed as soon as your dog is done.
The Doggie Ice Cream is a favourite on hot summer days and even dogs who normally aren’t interested in chew toys will queue up for their “Kooling Kong”. Remember to carefully wash the Kong with hot water afterwards, and remove any bits in the bottom that your dog may have missed. You can pop the Kong in the dishwasher too.
Hilary carefully licks out the contents of her frozen Kong.
Peanut Butter & Carrot Kong
- Chop three carrots into small pieces.
- Stir the pieces into about 1dl (1/2 cup) of smooth peanut butter.
- Stuff a clean Kong with the mix, seal with some peanut butter and place upright in a sandwich bag in the freezer overnight, or at least for a few hours.
Another favourite among our Mals is the Peanut Butter & Carrot Kong. If your dog is completely new to Kong toys you can smear a little peanut butter on the ends, or place a thin chew stick inside the Kong with the end sticking out of the opening as an encouragement.
Peanut butter is great for sealing the open ends of the Kong and can be used with any recipe to fill in the gaps. The healthiest alternative for your dog (and for yourself) is an all-natural organic peanut butter without added salt, sugar or trans fats.
If your dog isn’t keen on carrots you can use a grated apple instead. Blueberries and banana, and your dog’s kibble, can be added too.
Lyra’s favourite is the Doggie Ice Cream with yogurt inside.
Mmmm this is yummy!
Hilary is looking for ways to get to the inside quicker!
♥ Thanks for the treat mom! ♥