Last night I went over to SP Kennel to visit with the Izzy x Supai offspring. They’re almost five weeks old now and are motoring all over the place! They go by names like “the Big Fat Boy” or “Tiny Black Girl” or “Shy Brown Girl” or… you get the picture. Aliy and Allen will make their first two picks, and then I’ll have a chance to select two puppies. I know a lot of breeders and mushers have specific personality traits or conformation that they’re looking for (and I should probably do the same), but my 5-year-old inner child comes out and says, “Oooo that puppy is cute!” And there you have it. While good conformation is important, I think it’s the heart of a sled dog that matters more, and there’s no way you can tell that at such a young age.
While I don’t have photos of Scarpa and Petzl, they’re sassy as ever. They’ve mastered the “sit” command, which I’ve found very useful. I had never taught sled dogs “sit,” but one day, my friend Mari at ATAO Kennel said she had taught every single one of her sled dogs how to sit. While sitting in a race isn’t particularly important, knowing “sit” is just one more way you can connect with a dog, and it’s a perfect way to get puppies to focus. At least for half a second. So thanks for the inspiration Mari- I now want every puppy to learn to sit! And Scarpa and Petzl are masters at it. Well, at least for five seconds :)