Monday, 13 May 2013

Little Boy Blue: one month on...

The Huskies Running Team
Spike has now been with us for 4 weeks, nearly a full month.  In that time he has changed considerably in physical form and his loving personality has become even more loving!

He continues to be very well behaved and also challenge authority of humans and boy huskies with great enthusiasm and tenacity.
Playing with the big boy huskies
He has a huge appetite, so much catching up to do I guess!  His body is responding well and getting stronger every day.  His body is also well coated with fur now, although the fur is not yet shiny and plush like a “normal” and well-nourished husky puppy.

He runs every day on collar and loose lead.  I run short distances with him at a very slow speed, but as he gets stronger he wants to run further and faster….

Teasing Krofti...
He runs in the morning with Krofti and in the evening I run him solo, just him and I and a chance to bond.  He does respond very well, but does not know left from right and doesn’t quite understand that he shouldn’t stop dead in the path of a running human.  He also has not yet learned not to cut in front of the running human!  Work to do there, but he is learning and I am very impressed with his determination when running down hills….

This week I decided to run him in harness with Kez.  Kez is exceptionally well-behaved with a brilliant work ethos, therefore it was best to run Spike with him rather than Kroi.  Kez also has a variety of paces and will run at the speed of the slowest person/ dog, with no pulling or resistance.  He has been trained to always run in front of me, but only pull on command, therefore his default mode is not to pull.

Little Spike happily allowed me to put on his harness and bounced around as soon as we went out the door.  Jumping on Kez and trying to bite his ears.  Kez completely ignored him and gently trotted up the track.  Spike soon stopped trying to jump on Kez and bounded along beside him with much enthusiasm!   He bounds as Kez trots, but I have noticed that his trotting ability is improving as his muscles and strength develop.

Look at him go!!
We were soon running along at a nice steady pace and I asked Kez to speed up to see if Spike would respond.  Bless him, he tried so hard but he just couldn’t keep up.  As soon as Kez realised this he slowed down and refused to go faster.  Any time Spike slowed down, Kez responded by slowing down and waiting for him to catch up.  We stopped frequently to make the run fun for Spike, although I think Kez found this bit rather frustrating.  When Kez is wearing a harness his work ethic kicks in.  This is why 99% of the time I run our Huskies on collars and leads - it allows them more freedom and time to have fun and I get to run naturally.  The difference is amazing – even Kroi does not pull when running with a collar and lead.
On our return journey Spike decided that running full speed downhill was a good idea, which was awesome to watch.  His enthusiasm was definitely infectious.

Running and fun makes a sleepy puppy..
After such a good trial during the week I decided that he could participate in my run on Sunday along Basingstoke Canal path.  31 miles in total, I was going to run it all, the huskies run little parts of it before the temperatures became too hot.  I will write about this adventure in a separate blog, but I am pleased to say that the little guy most definitely enjoyed his part in the Huskies Running team event!

 (photos thanks to tz runs and me)