|Barked: Sun Oct 23, '05 11:54pm PST |
|Takiah, generally with that many dogs, mushers have handlers working with the dogs. Different mushers have different patterns, but some generally switch out different dogs every day so that they can learn how they run, their idosyncricies, etc. etc. There's one musher who lets his dogs in every night and rotates between dogs so that none of them are never inside. Also, when you run a certian team and train with them, you create an undescribeable bond that is one of the most amazing things I have ever had the luck to have.
Generally, serious distance mushers keep this many dogs so that they have a wide variety of dogs to choose from for breeding and running. Most smaller kennels that breed generally only have a few dogs that they breed, and this can create a smaller gene pool. Baiscally, if one dog has a tendency to sire dogs that are slightly aggressive, then after a while, the majority of the kennel will have dogs that are slightly aggressive. This can be a serious disadvantage when you're trying to win a race.
I do half-agree with you though. I have nothing against people keeping 75-100 sled dogs, but I myself would prefer to keep a small amount of dogs (probably 15-20 max) rather than a lot. Not only is it cheaper, you can tell faster if something is wrong with the dogs if you're picking up the poop yourself rather than having the handlers do it (you get to know what the dog's regular poop looks like, and when it's slightly different, you can tell if he ate something he shouldn't have or if he's sick).
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