Last weekend Brigid and I had the opportunity to handle (help out) for Rex and Krista Jones at the Mackinaw Mush, a sprint race in Mackinaw City, MI.
Rex and Krista just moved back to Michigan from Alaska, where they lived for a number of years. Rex has established a real high quality sled dog kennel, focusing on European sprint and skijor lines.
His dogs are awesome, he brought mostly "scandinavian" hounds with him many of which where out of Egil Ellis's famous dog "Mike". He let me run my dogs with a couple of these guys after the race events wrapped up on Saturday - great experience.
However, for me the highlight was getting to mess around with his "Vorstehs", which are essentially German Short haired Pointers (GSP) out of European sled dog lines. These dogs are bigger than the more typical sprint dogs used in N. America. These big dogs are solid muscle, much different than my lean and lanky huskies. Getting to work with these guys over the weekend, has been a real eye opening experience.
I'm really thinking that I'd want to try out a couple of these GSP's. These are the type of dogs most people who are competing successfully in 1-2 dog events are using (i.e. skijor and bikejor).
You can't really tell from the video, but I'm doing all I can to hold these two guys back with out falling over. One of these dogs easily has the strength of two of my guys...