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sled dog or draft horse driving - try it now....
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By Blake Cazier
From duluth MN
Mar 9, 2011

join us in northern MN just north of Duluth and drive sled dogs or draft horses - we have great snow, fun trails and climbers have always enjoyed the power and fun of our happy teams. learn more www.outdooredventures.org special rates and 50% of March proceeds will support youth climbing camp scholarships

some of the dogs my wife Steph ran in a race this year - you can run these dogs!
some of the dogs my wife Steph ran in a race this year - you can run these dogs!


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Mar 9, 2011
tanuki

Hi Blake.

Other than hearing about the Iditarod on the news and a post that I saw on Supertopo ( www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1398115 ), I am not very familiar with dog-sledding. Can you please tell me a little bit about how the dogs are treated on a daily basis, how long are their "careers" pulling sleds and what happens to the dogs when they "retire" from pulling sleds.

Thanks!


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By Blake Cazier
From duluth MN
Mar 9, 2011

today was our family day off and we ran ten dogs out around our 8 mile trail system. The dogs each day are fed a soup in the morning, they pull sleds, enjoy a treat and then are fed a high quality fat protein rich food and get a good nights rest. We have groups 3-5 days a week and run 2- 6 teams of up to 10 dogs on these days.

Our teams have been adopted from race kennels and they see thousands of youth, families and adults from early Dec to early April. We have a swimming program for conditioning in the summer and they free run around the yard in shifts and take turns digging, running, tearing down trees, and relaxing in a large fenced in area. Some of our older dogs are slowing down at 11 and 12 years - they will probably next winter retire and live in the house or where ever they are happiest. Our oldest dogs join us on hikes, greet visitors, act as reading partners, and 'rule the yard'. Two of our dogs died last fall at 15 - one was son of a dog that ran to the north pole and across Antarctica. In the fall usually early Sept, the dogs get into fall training and pull atvs for conditioning and team training.

For the first time since 1993, we may consider finding pet homes for a couple of our older or less enthusiastic teammates. A few dogs we adopted probably should have gone to a skijor or otherwise active person - not a busy working kennel.

Next year we plan to do a few more races and will probably make a race experience possible for a staff person or kennel regular.


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