One of the most important skills you can teach a long distance sled dog, is the art of resting. If they don't master this, they will never manage to complete a long distance race. The dogs can be the best runners in the world, however, if they don't manage to recuperate fast, it's game over.
Dogs get just as worn out as mushers, when they don't get the rest they need. It might work for a while, but once they hit the wall, there's no way back. Rest-training is therefor of great importance to both me and the dogs. It all comes down to not wasting energy on unnecessary activities. We shouldn't let ourselves get distracted or stressed when it's time to sleep, it usually ends in no to very little sleep.
On the trail I want full action when it's time to perform, and complete silence of both body and mind when recovering.
CHECK OUT: A Bulletproof Setup
It's important to have dogs that are used to various environments, different people and noice so that they can manage to push the off-button even in unfamiliar situations.
All professional mushers know that during a race, when the adrenaline is pumping, it's hard to slow down, sleeping is a skill that needs to be trained at.
LEARN MORE: DOG HEALTH
Me and my team is constantly training on the on-and-off switch, resting as well as eating, even if we're not tired or hungry. Rest-training has become a regular part of our training program, so that we can enter a race with the confidence that we will get through any challenges ahead.