Postings by Ginger- M.I.A.

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Choosing the Right Dog > Tell me about sled dogs
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 12, '12 2:20pm PST 
yeah, Ginger was good when SUPERVISED off-leash. I took her for runs on the beach and hikes in the mountains many times. Unless a prey animal crossed her path, she was good about staying in sight and checking in with me once in a while. BUT, she was 10 years old when I adopted her, and probably mellowed a lot from her younger racing days.
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» There has since been 12 posts. Last posting by Mishka & Luna, Aug 18 5:38 am

Choosing the Right Dog > Tell me about sled dogs
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 12, '12 12:57pm PST 
Rocky, that is very cool you worked for a musher in Alaska! Maybe I should hit you up for contacts when I'm ready for my sled dog puppy in a few years! puppy

That is so true about "rest mode"- Ginger could curl up and sleep anywhere. She didn't waste a single calorie on pacing, jumping, barking, etc. if nothing was going on. My friends would say "Oh look- dog ball!" because she would curl up into a tiny furball. But if she thought I was going somewhere... game on!

They can get bored though... and a bored Alaskan is an escape artist. They usually cannot be trusted to stick around without very secure fencing. The kennel where I got Ginger from had lost several dogs over the years who either dug out or climbed over their fence, which was eight feet tall and buried a foot in the ground too. They had ONE dog (out of thirty) who could be let out off-leash and was trustworthy without supervision. And to my eternal shame, the reason I don't have Ginger anymore is that I didn't take her wanderlust seriously- I put her out in the yard, which was not fenced securely, so I could clean the kitchen without her underfoot. I knew she liked to roam (she had wandered before) but since she always came back in a reasonable amount of time, I figured she was fine. Nope. Never saw her again. I doubt she got lost (excellent sense of direction) and I doubt she was stolen (she didn't approach strangers, ever) I think something killed her. cry I feel more guilty about losing Ginger than anything else I've done.
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» There has since been 14 posts. Last posting by Mishka & Luna, Aug 18 5:38 am


Choosing the Right Dog > Tell me about sled dogs

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 12, '12 11:37am PST 
Ginger was a retired sled dog. Best dog in the world. smile Amazing sensitive, intuitive personality. I wouldn't say that Alaskan Huskies are Sibes crossed with other breeds... they have been their own separate thing for quite some time, and many have as much native Alaskan (village) dog as Siberian blood. The best sleddogs come from long established lines of racers, they are not recent crosses between AKC breeds. Like Rocky said though, they are very diverse in looks, and sprint race dogs are a whole different ballgame than endurance race dogs. Ginger was actually a Sprinter/Distance cross, though she took more after the distance type (which are a little smaller, a little thicker coat, more "Nordic" appearance.)

I am hoping my next dog will be another Alaskan Husky... I would love to train one in agility, I think they could really rock it, and there are so many things I love about this breed- their athletic beauty, intense drive, good health, longevity, sweet, sensitive personalities, I could go on and on... I think I would like to start with a pup though instead of a retiree this time around. Anyway, that's way off in the future, Bruno (who I usually post as) is plenty of dog for me right now.

I do think almost any healthy pet dog can be trained for ski- or bikejoring if you're just in it to have fun, not win races. So don't get a sledding breed just for this reason- they are not like other dogs in some ways, you need to be prepared for and WANT that, because this is a dog you have to live with full-time, dog sports are only a small amount of the total time you'll spend with one. Better make sure it's a good fit all around.
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» There has since been 19 posts. Last posting by Mishka & Luna, Aug 18 5:38 am


Behavior & Training > Will a dog run themselves to exhaustion/death?

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 26, '12 4:40pm PST 
Alaskan Huskies (racing sled dogs) can certainly run themselves to the point of exhaustion too. It's the musher's duty to make sure he/she isn't letting the dogs overdo it, because they will. The desire to runrunrunrun has been bred into them so strongly that it overrides common sense and even survival instincts. Sibes are little more sensible, but that makes them less competitive because they won't always push themselves as hard as Alaskans. (Though racing-line Sibes are faster and more drivey than pet/show line ones.)
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» There has since been 12 posts. Last posting by Dingo, Mar 29 6:42 pm


Sports & Agility > Biking Harness!

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 20, '12 4:25pm PST 
ya know, I'm not sure. All the pics of them in use seem to show them trapline-style. Maybe scratch that. I did find that musher Jodi Bailey used a side-pull harness of some kind in last year's Iditarod though. Not the pulka- will try to find out what it is.
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» There has since been 13 posts. Last posting by LuLu, Nov 20 8:17 am

Sports & Agility > Biking Harness!
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 20, '12 11:01am PST 
I dunno, I think for running neither Ruffwear harness looks ideal. I have never had the best luck with their products and find them way, way, overpriced as well. But that's just my opinion, of course...

The reason I don't think they look like great biking harnesses is that there is so much fabric and straps all over the place. And since all the straps are adjustable, the padding can slip around and might not stay where you want it. I bought the Palisades Pack for Ginger (which comes with the Webmaster) and I could not, for the life of me, make it fit right, even though I ordered the correct size for her height and weight. I ended up giving it away. The Doubleback looks even less appropriate for running- that giant piece of fabric on the belly is for sure going to chafe!

I think you'd be better off with something custom-made if you're going to shell out for a good harness, if you're sure he's full grown. Alpine Outfitters Urban Trail harness looks really good- you can get it with side D-rings for running along with a bike. Manmat's Pulka Harness also is designed specifically for side attachment without bunching or chafing. The Manmat Distance harness is very similar to the Urban Trail.

These are sledding harnesses, but they're all "shorty" versions where the attachment point is forward on the torso, not down by the hips like an X-back. The reason they're great for running is that they don't cover or restrict the shoulder.
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» There has since been 22 posts. Last posting by LuLu, Nov 20 8:17 am


Choosing the Right Dog > What breeds do you think he is?

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 13, '12 10:14pm PST 
Onyx- exactly so. I think I can identify an Alaskan Husky by sight, but unless I was in an area where they were common, I would think it coincidental- many random-bred dogs also resemble Alaskan Huskies.

To me, an Alaskan Husky is a purpose-bred sled dog descended from native Alaskan village dogs. It needs to have those two factors- was bred to work as a sled dog, and descends from actual Alaskan native dogs. So a pointer/Siberian cross is not an Alaskan Husky.

I do consider them a breed, not just a "type" because in the high echelons of sled racing, the dogs are fairly uniform in physical appearance and often closely related to each other, and pedigrees are tracked and analyzed as in any pure breed. They tend to have primitive markings (black/tan, wolf grey, fawn, or cream, with or without white markings) a short double coat, and a very lean, athletic body shape and pointy head. Smallish ears, can be pricked or floppy. Lots of pics of Alaskans at http://www.dogtec.com/ .

I'm still waffling about this little guy, though... looking through the adoptable dog listings for AC in Anchorage, they don't have ANY husky-type dogs listed. Anchorage is a pretty big city and most dogs there are pets (of typical pet breeds) not working dogs. So he's more likely a mix of common pet breeds. In contrast, Fairbanks has a TON of sled dogs in AC. The shelter volunteers even test the dogs in harness to find out if they're any good at it and seem experienced.
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» There has since been 23 posts. Last posting by Ace, Oct 16 2:46 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > What breeds do you think he is?

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 13, '12 2:20pm PST 
oh- Anchorage? Then I revise my guess. Alaskan Husky is actually quite a possibility. And they do come in fawn/red somewhat often, unlike Sibes. I'm having trouble digging up a good picture (googling "Alaskan Husky puppy" only gets me pics of blue-eyed Sibes... ugh) but it's not unlikely.

Funny thing is usually I'm telling people that their shelter dog is NOT an Alaskan, since purpose-bred sled dogs are only common in the far North- but when you're actually in Alaska, it makes sense!
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» There has since been 28 posts. Last posting by Ace, Oct 16 2:46 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > Information on Staghounds?

Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 9:33pm PST 
Well, she's not likely a purebred Greyhound, if she's a merle... as far I know, that gene is just not found in Greys.
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» There has since been 8 posts. Last posting by , Mar 12 3:48 pm

New to Dogster/Tips & Tricks > Hello from Michigan!
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 24, '12 7:24pm PST 
Awesome! Mushing is an under-represented sport here. I guess most of the mushers are out on the trails, not posting on the internet!

Welcome and I hope you enjoy the forums here, I'm definitely addicted. smile
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by MusherChic, Feb 27 9:52 am

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