The lovely H (who handled for us at Wild Dog Derby 2012) was the first one to show me that sledding (dry-land or snow) isn't restricted to spitz breeds like huskies and malamutes. H (a fellow crazy dog lady!!!) started sledding when she had 2 springer spaniels, Fred and Sophie, using a kid's scooter, and home made harnesses. Apparently, this breed is used for sledding in the UK and other places, but when H first turned up to a SHCV training weekend, she was the only non-husky musher there.
After one of her dogs started getting arthritis, H started looking for another dog that she could run, but also one that was going to suit her and her family. Living in northern Victoria, a double coated dog bred for Arctic conditions was not going to be suitable. After quite a bit of research, H ended up rehoming a 12 month old German Short Haired Pointer, Knusprig Layer Cake, from Christine Cunningham, of Knusprig kennels, aka Milo.
Milo's first race was hilarious - he was confused and uncertain, while H was trying to encourage him to run in front of her and the scooter. So cute! But, he picked up the idea quickly, and these days, he and H place in the top 5. In 2012, H and Milo achieved third, fourth, fourth, second and fourth in the SHCV club races - if it wasn't a siberian husky club, H would have been a strong contender for a season ribbon, but instead, Milo is listed as NH (non-husky) and doesn't accumulate points at each race.
As a GSP, Milo has a great turn of speed and his long legs make him highly competitive compared to the huskies. His short coat helps him cope with hot summer temperature in northern Victoria - as far as any dog can! One of the big differences is the amount of food required by the big gun dogs. Compared to J's Siberian huskies, who eat a meagre 2 cups of kibble per day, Milo has to eat a couple of times a day to keep a healthy body weight. H says she can't imagine him trying to fit it all in in one sitting, he eats so much.
After elderly Fred passed away, H decided that she would get a second GSP rather than another springer. Little Flash came from Demorz kennel in 2012 and has the cute name Demorz Laws Ov Attraction. He and Milo are actually related; Flash's aunt is Milo's grandmother. (However, like Milo, Flash will be desexed soon, and H won't be breeding them herself.)
Hopefully in 2013, H will be able to run them both in 2 dog teams - she's even picked a name out - Cry Havoc, Sleddog Racing Team - and a motto:
Release the hounds!
In the meantime, H is experimenting with showing Milo - she and Milo are learning together how to do things like "stack". I have no idea what that means - I think that might almost be another blog!