Training huskies on ice is associated with risks and sometimes too dangerous. Judging trail conditions is important to avoid injuries.

Good morning my dear huskies on the roof! God Morgon Ori och Luna. Good morning Wini and Raschka. Hyvä päivää Gonzo ja Simba. Good morning Max and Honda.

Good morning grey day

Another grey, rainy day is ahead of us. It’s mid-November and the temperatures are above zero degrees Celsius. The snow that was already here is gone in the woods and has turned to ice on driven roads and forest paths. A rare weather condition for the latitudes here in Swedish Lapland.

Training huskies on ice or play?

This means an awkward situation for my huskies on the rooftops. Because training the huskies on ice is associated with many risks and sometimes too dangerous. I take every possibility to run the dogs. However, there have not been more than a handful of training loops in the last three weeks. For today, as is so often the case, the only thing to do is play and cuddle.

I open all the kennel doors. The dogs happily jump out and play and romp around immediately. The inexhaustible energy of a husky builds up without training. I sit in the kennel for a long time and enjoy the closeness of my husky ​​family as much as they enjoy mine.

Autumn training cart

In autumn I train the dogs almost exclusively with an engine free four-wheeler. A kind of bicycle, but with four wheels. Two hand brakes and a foot brake help bring the team to a standstill under normal circumstances. My cart is designed for six dogs. But I drive all seven of them at the same time on un-iced trails. In unsafe conditions, I split up the group and do two laps.

The warm wind blows through my hair. Suddenly the thought strikes me that the ice might be disappearing by now. Due to the strong plus degrees and the incessant warm wind of the last few days, this may well be. Determined to take a closer look at the training laps, I go to my tiny house and put on my running clothes. Including study training shoes.

Husky trail by running

I check the entire training route while running. My driveway from the municipal road is almost free of ice. Except for a few places, including two curves, which are still completely icy. But I can steer the cart to the edge to keep two of the four wheels on the ice-free ground. However, the dogs would run on the ice. The two kilometres on the municipal road are problem-free because the commune supplies the route with sand.

Check of the first training loop

Now I turn into the first loop in the forest. These paths are driven by cars now and then in the pre-winter despite the snow. However, they are not sanded in the event of heat penetration. This creates bare ice on the surface. But as I expected, this ice armour has now partially dissolved. When I reach a sharp left curve, I get sceptical. Will I be able to steer the cart safely around this bend? Immediately afterwards I come to the bridge with the slight incline before a sharp right bend. And here? Will the training cart get past the ditch safely or will it slide into it?

Risks of training huskies on ice

The dangers of training the huskies on ice include injuries in the legs. Despite good claws, the dogs’ paws cannot grip the ice. The huskies can pull or even tear ligaments, tendons and muscles. Sprains or even fractures in the joints are possible. Likewise, the hips might be strained.

Check of the second training loop

Back on the community road, I decided to check my second loop around the peninsula. A wise decision since this stretch is ice-free. It is an open area and exposed to the actual strong winds. Of course, this speed up the melting process. Satisfied with what I’ve seen, I keep making my way home.

Back on my driveway, I see the tricky icy spots here again. Even if I can hold two cartwheels on a non-slip surface, there is a bit of a risk of driving all seven dogs at the same time. Due to the big pulling pressure of the huskies on the cart, I lose control much easier. Will this work well?

My decision back home

Nice to be back in the dog kennel. The pack is still playing and happy to see me. Again, I enjoy half an hour with my loved ones. Can I promise them training for the next day?

Yes, I’ll do it. We’ll run again tomorrow. But split them into three and four huskies on the wagon per lap. I need to keep the edges of the roads whenever there are the icy sections ahead. Additionally, I will drive them slowly across the ice patches, to avoid injuries by gliding around.   Then, snow is predicted for the coming weekend. Will the whole wait finally come to an end?

Happy and content husky family

Satisfied with the windy rainy day and my decision, I ask the dogs to go back to their kennels. Everyone finds their hut without me asking them individually. And they wait until I come, give them a last hug and close the door. 

In the coming post under the heading Simple Life with huskies, I will document a routine training. Stay tuned and look back here!