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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October Training

Training conditions have been perfect this October. Every SP Kennel dog -- except ChaCha (13 1/2 years), Bullet (12 1/2 years) and Nutmeg (10 1/2 years) -- are in harness on a planned weekly exercise schedule.

We have four manageable training teams right now. These teams are established mostly due to the ease of hooking up. In other words, the dogs in the rear of the yard: Driver, Iron, Amber, Clyde and Schmoe will be in the same team. The dogs in the front of the yard: Dutch, Scout, Boondocks, Lydia and Izzy will be in the same team. So, obviously this time of the year, our dogs are not differentiated into Varsity or JV teams. Experienced dogs, youngsters and "tweeners" are all still training together.

Since every dog -- young and old -- are training together, obviously they have different skills sets and abilities. The September and October SP Kennel exercise schedule is set up so that the least experienced dogs can succeed. This is accomplished by establishing an overall training schedule that very slowly increases in mileage and stays at a relatively slow speed. Not every dog learns at the same rate.

The reason that we do this 'conservative' approach is that we know who are "best dogs" were last season. Quito didn't win the Yukon Quest Golden Harness two years in a row on a fluke. So, she and her championship Yukon Quest teammates, Copper Basin 300 teammates or Iditarod teammates can do an Olympic caliber training regime from now until March. But, we don't know who are "best dogs" are going to be. This is crucial.

There is so much potential in every dog! We don't want any individual to 'slip through the cracks' of training. Training to win races doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't even happen in a year. It takes patience, time and a willingness to give your future "best dogs" a chance to prove themselves.


connie said...

As always, love your videos… Thanks for sharing!! Thanks Aliy and Allen, for sharing your awesome presentation Saturday at the Rookie Mushing Event. Enjoyed it very much.

Anonymous said...

Looking good.

Anonymous said...

Woof, woof, woof!!!

All's right with the world - snow in Alaska!

What a terrific video of what kind of training goes on ... and 4 squads - awesome!!!

Thank you so much for these clear explanations!!!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the updates! Hopefully "Chipper" will learn the tools to being a great sled dog this yr from her older and wiser partners. Happy Trails SPK!
Padee- Santa Rosa CA

Nessmuk said...

I really enjoyed that video and post!! So much goes into training the youngsters into future SPK "Rock Star" Sled Dogs! I tend to focus on the wheel dogs in the videos....from my understanding that position is one of the most demanding, plus it's easy to see on the video....but it seemed to me Nelson and Chipper we're doing a fine job in wheel...and Dutch in lead.....what a great experience for the youngster!! Wow....building a competitive team is a thoughtful process for sure!! Thanks for the insight.....glad to see the weather is cooperating!!

Cal OSME said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Charlene & Lisa
Erie, PA

marilyn cozzens said...

What a great video, so wonderful to see all the snow. Thanks for the great explanation of the training methods of SPK. What lucky dogs to have Aliy & Allen teaching them. Go SPK, & keep snowing in Alaska.

Linda Toth said...

Just 30 minutes away, but way more snow - nice to see I.V. on the line. I noticed Mac's gait was steady and Nelson's was like Nacho's. Puppet's was a little syncopated, and I could see her rear foot pads as she kicked it.

What determines when you put on booties for training and when you don't?

Anonymous said...

What fun for every single dog!!!

And the yearlings must be thrilled to get to run alongside their more accomplished yard mates!

Lourdes, VT said...

Refreshing and positive should be your motto guys!!! What a great video and what a great explanation of the training schedule for the dogs!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Jean Baptiste said...

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