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How To Train A Winning Dog Sled Racing Team

Jan 19, 2008
Training a winning dog sled racer goes beyond endurance and strength. Just like a professional athlete, every facet of life from diet to housing needs to be fine-tuned to the goal of optimum health and athletic ability. Learn how to train a winning sled racing dog with these top tips from champion trainers.

1. Start with a good diet.

Again, just like a professional athlete, your champion dog needs a champion diet to win. Purchase high-protein food that's specially made for active canines. You also want to make sure that your dog has some good fats and omega fatty acids in his diet. Working dogs like Huskies and Malamutes burn a lot of energy, and health fats are an enduring fuel.

And remember, just as a professional athlete wouldn't cheat with cheeseburgers and milkshakes, don't jeopardize your dog's chances of winning with table scraps and extra treats.

2. Follow a regular training schedule.

Train your dogs regularly and consistently. Pick a time of day to do practice runs and stick with it. Your dog will get comfortable in the routine and be more willing, while looking forward to his daily run even if you aren't.

Another area where scheduling can be very important is when it comes to bathroom breaks. Train your dogs to only take breaks at specified times. If your dogs know that every two hours you will stop for a short break, they'll become adjusted to that routine and less likely to veer off at a key moment. Once you pick a break schedule, stick with it.

3. Keep your dogs and their housing hygienic.

Disease can spread fast on a sled team, so hygiene is of utmost importance. Wash your dog's regularly and make sure you provide them with clean and dry bedding. You also want to regularly clean their kennel thoroughly.

Regularly wash out their runs, individual kennels, feeding bowls, drinking areas and training gear.

4. Provide lots of water, especially in the summer.

Dogs need water. Working dogs need a lot of water. Make sure your animals have a good supply of clean drinking water. If you live in a climate that gets hot in the summer, be sure to up the supply during the warm months. Many working dogs are used to a colder climate and will need a lot of shade and water to survive the heat.

After a run, or during breaks on a long run, make sure your dog is well hydrated.

5. Don't let them be distracted by annoying pests.

Dogs and fleas have a way of finding each other. When a dog experiences flea bites on a routine basis, they can distract his focus and turn his attention to scratching relief. Flea and tick collars can be helpful, but if you notice your dog spending an inordinate amount of time digging, scratching and licking himself, visit a veteranarian for assistance.

6. Buy from a trusted breeder.

To avoid genetic diseases or health problems, be sure to purchase your racers from a trusted and referred breeder. For advice, ask your veterinarian or consult your local breed association.
About the Author
For information on practical dog necessities, please visit www.dog-necessities.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning issues that help you with dog care, such as dog training products, dog medical supplies, an electronic dog fence and much more.
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