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.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Olivia and Quito Updates

We have talked a lot about the SP Kennel Puppies but what about their Moms? How are they doing after whelping this Fall?

Olivia is 8 1/2 years old this winter. She had six puppies on September 23rd. She weaned them when they were 5 weeks old. Her milk completely dried and she was ready to train several days later. She still plays with her pups several times a week and is very 'motherly'.

Olivia started training in harness the end of October. Her first month of training was similar to SP Kennel’s first month of Fall Training with short, slow runs to slowly build up her strength and endurance. She was able to train in a small team this first month. The second month we gradually increased her mileage and speed. She was brought into training with the main team on their 'short mileage' days or was running in lead with the Yearling squad on their longer runs.

We believe that Olivia will be able to race the Two Rivers 100 or 200 on January 22nd. If she is healthy and happy after this race she will continue to slowly train up for the Iditarod. She needs a solid two more months of training and must stay healthy in order to make an Iditarod team. We believe that she can do it with out much difficulty. Currently, Olivia weighs exactly what she did this time last season at 44.2 pounds… and she looks GREAT!

Quito is 9 1/2 years old this winter. She had seven puppies on October 11th. She weaned her puppies at 5 1/2 weeks and started short runs several days later. Quito's milk did not drop low and therefore her body shape altered very little. She looked trim even while nursing! We kept her free running through out her pregnancy and while nursing pups. She was only sedentary and indoors for the initial week after the puppies birth. She still runs loose before and after runs now -- often jumping in the Play Pen with her puppies.

Quito's first month of training in harness was excellent. We had a small team: Quito, Mac, Chica and Chena who trained together regularly. Therefore, she had very consistant training miles. She never seemed winded or tired. The second month of her training we have slowly increased her mileage and speed. Currently, she has been in harness training for 6 weeks.

Quito is the main leader for the Yearling Team now. They are training for the Two Rivers 100 Race - two 50 miles legs separated by a significant rest. This race will start just shy of Quito being in training for 2 months. The Yearling Team is the perfect stepping stone for her to get in shape. The team is slower and lacks the intensity of the Main Team. She runs in lead and can set a pace that she is comfortable traveling. Quito will continue to train after this event and it is possible that she can become fit enough to race on the Iditarod Black Team. But… one race at a time!

Quito looks like a Rock Star and is a little over her ideal weight at at 47 pounds.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update on the mums. I am glad to hear they are doing well. Good Luck for the up and coming races.

Cindy Schaus said...

Two great all-around dogs for SPK....athletes, Moms, leaders and playmates. I really enjoy the bits of imformation you all pass along through this blog. It's also fun to know both of them enjoy playing with their pups. It is a busy place at SPKennel right now.

Nessmuk said...

Thanks for the updates on the Moms! The yearlings must learn so much from them with all that talent to pass on! Must be a whole different schedule of having puppies in the fall as oppsoed to the spring....for both the SPK Crew and the Moms. What amazing atheletes! Glad they are both back out in harness with the possibility of being in some races soon!

Cindy Eckhoff said...

Amazing girls!

Dawn E said...

Yeah for the mommas!

Maddy and Molly said...

Thanks for the blog. I really appreciate this. Love sled dogs and most anything relating to the "wilds of AK".

A-town's Becky said...

Fantastic news of both super MoMs.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks so very much for this detailed update on the Two Moms!!!

What a thrill for Chena to run with the Golden Harness leader of the pack, Quito!!! And what a wonderful lesson for a young dog who has already been in lead herself, albeit for a short race.

The 4-legged team members at SP Kennel are so fortunate to be part of your sled dog racing program, more impressed than ever with your program, sincerely,

P.S. Woof, woof, woof!!!

patricia lewis said...

Best wishes to the superstar moms, Olivia and Quito. Thanks a lot for the update. Nice to know they are doing very well.

Dee Van Leeuwen said...

Great learning that retirement remains an unlikely option for spirited Quito and Olivia, who do what they love most: RUN!

Gaye Morgan-Walton said...

These girls are both such awesome dogs. I know you will take care and not push them too hard but if they can get out and do what they love, that is xlnt. Late litters made it iffy I am sure but they are tough gals and determined and also healthy and well cared for. Love to them both and of course you guys! May the Doggie Deity watch over them. (Is there a patron saint of sled dogs??)

marilyn cozzens said...

Dittos to all comments for the "super moms". It is great they are back in training. Thanks so much for the update.

S. Clodfelter said...

These girls are the stars of your kennel! Thanks for the news.