When the dogsledding season ends...
Training throughout the year
Our dogs are real athletes and they train throughout the year in order to keep their shape, of course, but most importantly for the joy of running in a pack.
Usually, it all starts in September when the dogs pull an ATV with the objective of developping and strengthening their muscles. As the season progresses and the temperatures go down, we increase the distances up to 30 km for each training session. The goal is to have 1 000 km of running done at the beginning of December.
When winter comes, 5 or 6 dogs can thus run, without difficulty and with great joy, up to 60 km a day, pulling a sleigh and its two passengers.
Training for races
The training for races differs a little bit. The fastest dogs are selected as early as the month of September and they become members of Team “A”. They will be trained at a little faster pace, for a little bit longer.
While regular riding dogs run at an average speed of 16 km/h, the race dogs run and trot at about 20 km/h and can keep this pace on very long distances (the goal is to cover 80 km in less than 4 hours).
Those dogs are integrated to the riding teams during winter, but two weeks before races, David pulls them out for long distance training sessions with a sleigh with no load.
Spring always arrives too early for us!
In the spring
We have to go to detraining mode, where we alternate between rides with the ATV and running free. During those free running sessions, David rides ahead of the the dogs on the ATV and plays rabbit with them! Some of the racing dogs can reach speeds of over 40 km/h, which makes these rides a true rallye!
In the summer
Finally, in summer, the dogs only run freely, up to a small stream where everyone has fun and swims cheerfully. We will have to wait for the colder temperatures of the August mornings before wecan make the dogs pull loads again.