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    What road/track surface is not good for training?

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    Torent

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2012-01-11

    What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by Torent on Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:18 pm

    Hi there,
    As i have only ever walked a dog on lead, or let them off to run in parks or bush, I really don't know what road surfaces are like on a dogs foot pads. If they are running and pulling, is the bitumen road surface unsuitable for dogs? What about rural dirt roads that sometimes have gravel in them?

    Any advice would be great. I don't want to hurt my dogs feet.

    thanks

    Kirsty
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    Rob

    Posts : 53
    Join date : 2009-11-24
    Location : Qld

    Re: What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by Rob on Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:54 pm

    Hi Kirsty,

    You should look around your area and see what the surface types are like in those areas that are suitable and safe to run and train your dog. Bitumen surfaces are not recommended, but some gravel surfaces can be just as damaging, and so where ever you choose to run you should be paying close attention to how your dog is responding on that surface. If possible try and vary the surface types the dog runs on, starting with softer surfaces until you and the dog gain some confidence and understanding and you are willing to try some more challenging or tougher surfaces. Never push the dog too hard or fast on a new surface until you observe how the dog responds to it and see if they are comfortable with it first. Only then should you extend the distance or run the dog with a bit more throttle.

    If you notice your dog starting to shorten its stride, carrying or leaning more weight to one side then stop and check the dogs pads. Check their pads after every run, or even during a run if unsure. Just dont stop too often or your dog will respond negatively to this as well. Check all 4 paws and look for blown toenails, bleeding, grazed, torn, cut or cracked pads. Pads can also be bruised from running on stoney or marbled surfaces. Check the webbing between the dogs toes, and around the nails also. A nail or pad infection may also cause a dog to run awkwardly so consider this as a possible reason the dog is running uncomfortably.

    If the injury is bad then dont try to continue running the dog. Carry some booties with you when you go out and use them if needed. It is good for the dog to get used to wearing them, and makes it easier when you do need to use them. Some dogs that are regularly prone to pad injuries regularly wear them even during training, just dont use them all the time as an alternative to good paw management. Use products like pad paint to toughen softer pads and Derisal or similar for keeping pads supple if needed.

    Some dogs are more susceptible to pad injuries than others. It could be in the breeding, due to the running style of the dog, or just the type of surfaces the dog is regularly run on. However it may also mask a more serious joint injury or other medical condition so a recurring problem needs veterinary consultation. If the dog does sustain paw injuries give it a chance to heal for as long as needed before going out again, then reintroduce the dog to softer tracks before moving on to other surfaces again.

    I have run dogs on grass, pine needles, beach sand, coarse sand, loamy tracks, coal ash, firm smooth gravel, marbled gravel, stoney gravel, even rocky gravel. Dont recommend the last 3 as suitable, but the dogs become accustomed to handle most surfaces if given the chance. Just take it steady to begin with and read the dogs attitude and reaction.
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    Torent

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2012-01-11

    Re: What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by Torent on Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:20 am

    Thanks Rob! The advice is much appreciated. I will definately avoid the bitumen, and luckily i live near the Murray River, so plenty of soft dirt tracks to practice on. Could be a little bumpy for me though!

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    Paddles

    Posts : 78
    Join date : 2009-12-10

    Re: What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by Paddles on Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:13 pm

    Hi Kirsty... where are you based? I'm in echuca if you want to come training....
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    Torent

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2012-01-11

    Re: What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by Torent on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:53 am

    Bit far from Echuca, though same river. I am in Corowa, near Albury/Wodonga. A training meeting would have been great. I am just starting out. My borrowed scooter arrived today so i can finally hook PJ up and see how she goes. Cant wait!
    Im not sure if there are any clubs near me. I sent an email to the Northern Rivers or Northern Victoria club (not sure of their name at the moment) which i think are based in Shepparton. they didn't answer though. might be busy.

    jcsledda

    Posts : 63
    Join date : 2010-01-21
    Age : 51
    Location : St Andrews, Victoria

    Re: What road/track surface is not good for training?

    Post by jcsledda on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:27 pm

    Hi Torent,

    Try contacting Evette Levett at the following email address. She is the president of the sleddog club you mention (which was formerly known as Undera)

    snowsteeds@hotmail.com

    If that doesnt work, let me know as I have another email addy you could try.

    With respect to your training. I assume you have a harness for PJ as well as a bungee line. Have you done any form of harness work with her as yet. If not, put her harness on, and attach the dog lead to the loop at the base of the harness and go for a wlk/run with her. This will give her the opportunity to feel the harness, and to lean into it. Then work up from their. Just keep in mind that a scooter behind her will be a strange experience so she may be a little spooked. If thats the case, try the walking I mentioned before but this time scuff your feet on the ground and make noises in the gravel behind her, just to de-sensitise. Also, when walking on lead do your command training so she knows what to do when you are out training - Gee/Right, Haw/Left, Hike up (for more speed), On By (for passing or to go past hazards). Keep the commands constant, but dont overuse them, as the respect and confidence ust be worked between the two of you. Once she is confident in you, she will do anything. And when it all clicks, its a real buzz. One other tip - dont be tempted to over scoot. Let PJ lean and work the harness, for if the line becomes slack (often due to over scooting) she may become over balanced and not feel confident to lean and hit the harness.

    Good luck, and welcome to our small community. I'm sure you'll have a ball and will soon be hooked.

    Justin Celentane
    Snowpaw Alaskan Malamutes
    St Andrews Vic 3761

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