Give That Dog a Job

Our beloved sled dogs need a job. They are clever, motivated, energetic dogs who need something constructive to focus on and look forward to — just like their clever, motivated, energetic owners do. Giving your dogs a job gives you something that will strengthen the bond between you two. You won’t believe it until you try it.

There are many, many things you can do with your northern breed, whether he is registered or not. Without papers, you can NOT go in the conformation ring because the breed ring is for breed-able dogs and rescues are already altered (spayed/neutered).  [UPDATE: the UKC has an altered conformation class for spayed/neutered dogs.] However, that’s the limit. With your rescue dog you can dogsled or cart, even if it’s with a $70 Toys R Us scooter; you can obedience train if you want to go beyond a Beginner’s obedience class; you can get you Canine Good Citizen (CGC), a Temperament/Obedience test administered by the AKC, or a Temperament Test (TT) or Therapy Dog International (TDI); Malamutes & can get Working titles like sledding, weight pulling, and back packing; you can get many different titles on your dog.  Or you can just enjoy them while learning something new.

  • The sublime rapture of four dogs in a steady trot on a long downhill slope and the only sound is the runners sliding through the snow…
  • The thrill when your dog comes around in a finish and sits perfectly straight and true and looks up at you with a mile-wide grin because she KNOWS she did it right…
  • The sound of your breathing, yours and the dogs, as you sit on a rock and look out over some vista you hiked to…
  • The lunge and pull and sheer POWER as your dog moves the weight pull cart the first time…
  • A small child arms wrapped around your dog’s neck at the park….
  • The hand of the senior citizen as your dog lays his big head gently on her hospital bed and she tells you about the dogs she used to have…

Give your dogs a job. You will be rewarded a hundred times over.

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