November 24 – The Mill – Avoiding Small Animals

On November 24th and 25th WoofDriver went free ranging the dogs and using the electric ATV. I prefer to use the electric ATV, because it doesn’t generate a lot of sound. That makes it easier to communicate with the dogs and also it doesn’t disturb the nature around me, so I can observe it in its original pristine condition. The electric ATV usually gives me about 6 to 15 miles, depending on the terrain, before after worry about recharging.

The Mill

On Tuesday we went to The Mill, which is a wooded area with a lot of hilly terrain. The land is about 85 acres which allows us to do about a 5 mile run before the area starts to get too familiar and repetitive for the dogs. I’ve noticed that once we start to do a lot of repetitive areas the dog start to lose attention. This area has a lot of streams that were able to run through and were also able to spot a lot of cool wildlife and plant life there.

Beautiful Cat can you see one eye is Blue and the other Brown?
Beautiful Cat can you see one eye is Blue and the other Brown?

This particular time we ran into the gentleman that lives at the property, and a couple of his cats. For the most part, Huskies and cats don’t mix well as the Huskies are very prey driven,  so when they see any small animals their instinct tells them to pursue. With that being said, I’m always on the lookout to try to prevent any confrontations if possible. However, it is not always possible, so for the times when I can’t avoid the confrontation it’s really good training for them to be with me when they find these small animals so I can reinforce their obedience training.

This particular time, it was really neat because the cat that we came in contact was a beautiful shade of white and he has the bicolor eye trait that is very common in Huskies. So when they encountered this cat the instinct may have entered their head that it was one of them (LOL)!

I always find it really amusing, when the WooFPAK sees another small animal, and they get in their ‘stare down mode’. With of course the understanding that they can’t go visit that animal they can only enjoy it from a safe distance.

Running the Dogs at a Steep Incline and Cooling Them Down

Another really cool thing about the Mill is that it has such a hilly terrain, some of these hills are particularly challenging. They have such a steep incline that it’s hard for the ATV to get up. But since it’s electric versus gas, it has a little bit more torque which allows it to be better at climbing these conditions.

For the dogs, it’s such AWESOME exercise. I can probably get going about 3 to 5 mph and the whole time there keeping up with me, sometimes they can even pass me. I feel like it works their muscles so well that it’s just further conditioning for a lot of the Dog cart work that we do, and it really helps their range and endurance. It’s my experience, since their four-legged animals they can climb this type of terrain a lot better than humans, as long as they can get good traction they can really work their way up the hills virtually regardless of how steep it is. Hill climbing opportunities for the Dogs is one of my favorite parts about going to The Mill.

Another really neat part about The Mill is that there’s a stream all throughout the property that I can drive through and the Dogs can constantly dip in and out of it. This gives them the opportunity to cool their paws almost anytime during our run. When they can cool down their paws (one of the main areas they emit heat form) it helps them overall cool down and gives them quicker recovery time and therefore more longevity for their run.

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