Breeding Working Pets
Friends • Companions • Family
Our breeding program is very selective. We maintain a healthy number of capable working sled dogs for our touring company by only breeding when we need to. This means every spring we look a year ahead at the number of pack members retiring, this will tell us the number of litters we need to have - if any at all.
Although sled dogs are bred for the purpose of work, we feel it is best to breed “companion sled dogs”. We breed for disposition, build, genetic integrity, work ethic, warm coat, tough feet and of course, the desire to run and pull! Think of these dogs like marathon runners – they are bred for their endurance, quick speed and their incredible ability to adapt to all sorts of rugged terrain and weather.
How it works:
1. We select our very best sled dogs for our breeding program. Each female (dam) is given a male partner (sire) that has been carefully selected based on genetics. For example, we can breed for leadership skills, size, strength, raw power or all of them combined.
2. We try to breed our females in the springtime which allows the females to have their puppies in the summer when it’s warm and relatively quiet around the kennel. This also allows the puppies enough growing time before adjusting to their first winter.
3. Once there is a successful mating we monitor the female for signs of pregnancy. The gestation for a female canine is 63 days and during this time, we begin bringing "mumma" into our cabin for sleepovers and soon after we introduce the whelping box.
4. As we approach the due date, we allow the mom to start making her nest as she sees fit. We monitor her closely for signs of labour. Once the mom starts displaying signs of labour (panting, nesting, cleaning, and a drop in body temperature), we know that the she is getting close. Generally, we will start to see contractions after 24rs of the female's drop in body temperature.
5. When the whelping begins, we are there for the entire process of delivery to ensure mom is comfortable and doing well at all times. She has our full support in whatever she needs! We feed her vanilla ice cream, message her, bring her water bowl over so she can have a drink, help dry off her puppies and reassure her when she has a contraction.
6. Once all the puppies are delivered, we help mom and puppies to a clean blanket while we change over her bedding. The puppies monitored every hour to ensure they are staying warm enough and that they are all feeding from mom with ease.
7. Snuggle and hold the puppies - all the time!
Once the puppies open their eyes and ears (around 2 weeks old), we begin talking to them softly so they can start putting a face to the voices. We begin holding the little squirts and getting them use to human interaction so that they understand that we are their family. Once they start feeling more confident and begin to walk and play with each other (around 4 weeks old), we will introduce toys, allowing the puppies to develop normal social and playful behavior. Once our new additions are 6 weeks old they can finally receive their first set of vaccinations and deworming. From then on we begin their social development outside the kennel environment by taking them on daily walks. These free run walks are done with our older, retired sled dogs who help keep the youngsters in line. As they continue to grow, the puppies build muscle, confidence and healthy social behavior. These walks offer association to the sounds and smells such as grass, flowers, trees, rivers, wind, rain, wildlife, insects and other trail users which in turn grooms them for their future job.
Did you know that 80% of our sled dog pack are neutered or spayed?
This helps ensure their future health as they age!