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Kennel Tips - Training

Using the "Home" Command
When running the dogs at home, as I give each one their piece of liver after the run, I say "HOME" loudly. When racing, and you get 2/3 of the way through the trail, and you yell "Lets go HOME!" the dogs associate this with their liver treat.
Submitted by Allison Aldinger, Tatonka Farm, Minnesota

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Loose Drop Training
All summer I work with my dogs loose together almost everyday. I call them each by name and train them with a command for them ALL to come to me. This way at rest stops or even during hookup, I yell, "Pup pup!" They will all come running ready for their treats. This worked great last season and made traveling easier and hooking them up easier on my body instead of running to grab each dog!
Submitted by Linda Thompson, Yoop It Up Kennel

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"On Your House" Command
To teach this command you can use a natural behavior with most dogs. As you are in the dog yard/kennel area, watch the dogs and when you see them jump onto their house, say "Up", or "on your house". Praise the dog. Another way to train this command is to tap or hit the top of the house and encourage the dog to get on it. This command makes harnessing dogs easier on you and your back because you won't have to bend over. This command also makes feet checking, medication (pill) giving and general dog care easier.
Submitted by Jessica Tackett, Golden Trails Kennel, Wasilla,Alaska

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Pepper Deterrent to Chewing
They best thing I use to keep my Siberian from chewing a lot is put cayenne pepper on all the objects my dog likes to chew. She sneezes and won't go by their anymore.
Submitted by Jim Cogan, Illinois 7/20/00

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Pepper and Vinegar
One way to keep dogs from chewing holes in their houses and lines is to mix pepper and vinegar in a spay bottle. Spray the liquid on every chewable item.  The dogs don't like the taste or smell and it lasts for a while. A lot of dogs will learn to just stop chewing the horrible tasting houses and your doggy homes will last longer.
Submitted by Lorie, 12/1/00

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Protect those necklines!
One of my best team dogs gets so excited during hook-up that he will chew through a poly neckline in two bites. After trying mild punishment and still going through three necklines per week, I finally found a solution. I cut a short length of garden hose and run the neckline through it. Now I can continue to use mild correction to work on the problem behavior, and not go through so many necklines.
Submitted by Dale Walaszek, Kasilof, Alaska on 11/13/99

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Safety Lines
The most vulnerable part of your gangline is anyplace it's connected with metal:  carabiners, metal rings, quick links, panic snaps, etc. In addition to our regular bungee section between the gangline and the ATV/sled, we always bypass every connection with a poly safety line that goes from the back loop of the gangline to the most secure part of the ATV or sled (always bypassing the sled bridle). If some part of your regular hookup breaks or unhooks, you have a lifeline to your team--probably not the smoothest, straightest pull you'll ever see--but with a little luck you'll still be hooked to your team.

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Sled Anchor
The best snow hook we use to prevent losing our dogs on the trail besides a regular two prong snow hook is using a small mud anchor (boat anchor) as back up. The mud anchor won't pull through the snow like a snow hook, it'll anchor itself solidly if the dogs try to pull while you are walking back to the sled. We use the smallest one which is about 4-5 lbs. It'll even hold 20 dogs no problem. Works every time, sure beats walking back to town a few miles sometimes.
Submitted by Tony A. Weyiouanna Sr., Shishmaref, Alaska [3/31/02]

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Snowhook Line Holder
Tired of hooking up dogs by yourself when your lead dogs don't stand still? A snowhook with a leash or length of poly rope snapped to the gangline right behind the leaders works well in the winter. Just unhook it and run to the sled!  Never hook this line directly to the leaders or leader necklines and never forget to unhook it or you'll have serious problems.
Submitted by Laughing Husky Kennel, 10/3/01

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Year Around Training
After spring we will have summer (normally). Then most of us don't train the dogs. The only thing that some are doing is to let them run free. The free running is not bad, but not enough. You can compare it with the runners. In former times they didn't train in the winter time. But now the runners can't miss hard training in the winter, when they want to be one of the best. And the same thing will be with dogs in the future - you have to train in the summer. And so we take a watercan and a bowl with us on the training car. We give them all water every few miles - so you can train really long and with powerful dogs. The desire to go won’t be killed by the sun.
Submitted by Bachmann Brothers, Black Forest, Germany, 4/25/02

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