Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted this in General dog forums but I think I should have posted it here.


I'm trying to teach my Australian shepherd to pull me on ski's. Right now he's only done sleds and will only pull if people urge him on or he's pulling with a pack. He won't pull if you're behind him and tell him to go.

Me:"Hike, let's go, let's go, Hike."
Jet:*why should I?*
Me:"Because I WANT you to."
Jet: *So...why should I pull??*

So Jet's not a people pleaser in that making people happy makes him happy. He has to WANT to do it for himself, then nothing will stop him.

Things Jet likes:
People
Dogs
Food
Toys
Deer
If their in front of him he'll go, if their behind him he won't.

I first attempted to get Jet to pull with no one cajolling him from the side lines, just me in the back of the sled today. As expected he was like, *ummm why and where am I supposed to pull you? Right here is as nice a spot as any.* So I used a target of a frisbee with a treat in it and as long as he could see it he pulled. As soon as I set it out of site he just didn't try.
Running out of treats and trying not to have to get out of the sled to reset things I then just used the frisbee which he REALLY wanted to play with.
So I'd throw the frisbee, Jet would pull to get it, shake the prized frisbee around, I'd throw it again and we'd continue this for a while. Ending on a good note I took the frisbee and the sled and put them away, Jet still really wanted the frisbee which is why I stopped when I did. He only get's the frisbee when he pulls me and the sled making pulling a GREAT thing.

Some of my concerns though are that I may be stuck with a frisbee to my side, throwing it forward, taking it from Jet throwing it again, rinse and repeat forever.

I plan on phasing out the frisbee but does anyone have more ideas for making a dog want to pull forward and pulling in it's self being the reward?

I think I'm on the right track here but am open to more opinions and options.

Some other ideas I've thought of:
Having someone running in front with their own team of dogs.
Run with two dogs, I think though that I need to have a dog that really wants to pull and can run beside Jet and so Jet's in the front. That way he'll get used to leading instead of following maybe help build his confidence.
I want him to pull in a team but I also want him to pull solo, with me on my ski's, which I still have to find so if anyone has advic on good CX Ski's I'd appreciate the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
You will have to train your dog to be a lead dog. A leader gets in front, pulls hard, runs by distractions and follows commands. It is the same as mushing except you only need one dog. It takes some time to train a dog to be a leader but it is well worth the fun for you and your dog in the long run.
To train your dog to get in front and pull might take a really long time. Be patient and reward with praise. I like to walk with the dog in harness to train commands before I hook up to skis or scooter. It is often useful to have your dog drag an old tire or piece of cordwood while on a leash to get used to pulling weight. By far the fastest way to train is to run your dog with a dog that is already trained. Dogs learn profoundly faster from each other.
Do not expect too much from your dog too early. Make the lessons short and keep the milage short to be able to stay within your dog's limits. Don't work a tired dog. Watch that your dog stays a good weight. Feed a quality 30 / 20 food.
I am new to this forum. I would like to promote mushing sports for small teams. I like to scooter and bikejor with my dogs too. I feel strongly that dogs like to have jobs and dogs and humans have better lives when their dogs have jobs.
Go to my blog for much more about training your first leader to skijor
http://skijorbikejorcanicross.blogspot.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you I have added your blog to my favorite's!
So far we have been keeping the runs short and fun. Jet needs to lose some weight yet. We really have to encourage him to go.
I think your on to something with him learning from another dog. My friend has a girl that runs really well. Does where the dog run make a difference? Being in the lead or in the back?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
When I train a new dog I like to use a two dog single file lead. The novice dog is in the "wheel" position with a neckline connected to the gangline. If your dogs like each other then you can use a two dog side by side lead. A neckline is connected to the collars of each dog. The lead dog will teach the trainee through the neckline. Keep the lessons short because the lead dog might be pulling the trainee through the neckline. That is not much fun for the leader and the trainee. After one or two lessons with your dog hooked up to an experienced leader you dog should "get it".
I wrote this a few years ago for "Dog and Driver" magazine about different lines and making your own lines.

http://www.skijor.com/line_article.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
That was very helpful information! Thanks!

Do you have a recommendation for cross country boots and ski's?
Brand name, type, style?
I'm definetley a beginner and speed isn't a huge focus for me, yet.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top