29 May COULD THIS BE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD?
Yes, walking Husky puppies in the Norwegian woods is considered a real job. ‘Puppy walkers’ exist, and their job description includes taking four-legged fluff balls out daily to ensure they grow up big and strong. It is even more important, when the puppies are being groomed to become racing sled dogs. A stringent walking regime preps the small clumsy pups for the real world, and if the walkers have done their job properly, the puppies can join the larger dogs on sled training as young as 6 months. The length of the walks have to gradually increase, much the same as long distance marathon runner training.
Walkers try and spot qualities in the small puppies that give them an idea of who will have the most potential. Qualities such as problem solving and concentration are golden. If the dogs eventually get chosen to be on a race team, they might have to run up to 16 hours in one leg, with only short food stops in between. In professional races like the famous Finnmarksløpet, the dogs will cover a distance of 1100 km over 6-8 days, so the physical conditioning of the team is incredibly important.
A dog team can consist of up to 14 dogs with two lead dogs running in the front of the team. The lead dogs have to be mentally tough and be able to keep a consistent running pace. The musher usually wants to have more than two lead dogs, so they can interchange them during the race.
Could puppy walking be the best job in the world? Well we were lucky enough to try if for a few weeks in Alta, Norway, and this is what that looked like.
For more of our Husky shots, check out our Instagram account, @PixelPaws.