- October 8, 2014
We have owned, raced and shown Siberian Huskies since 1984, and now only have 3 ageing Siberians that are no longer a matched team to race so I have taken to bikejoring them to keep them and me fit.
Rather than taking on another high maintenance Siberian I was looking into other dogs that are of a sporting nature. I was looking at the Trailhound Welfare website in 2012 and came across Mog a 2 year old that was being privately re-homed through the site. He had never raced, but had been in training to do search and rescue unfortunately he didn’t make the grade due to his recall. With the intense one to one training needed to become a search and rescue dog his owner decided to re-home him rather than have him sitting in a kennel while he put all his time in training another dog.
Mog settled into pack life very well, our dogs have a flap in the door and are free to wander in and out of the house at will. When the sun is out Mog will be stretched out on the decking sunning himself, but is in the house more often than not where as the Siberians prefer to be out in all weathers. In the evening after dinner the dogs have free run of the ground floor and it is every man for himself for a seat in front of the TV. Mog has claimed his spot on the sofa and will lie there all evening and is reluctant to move into the kitchen when its bed time.
Walking is a pleasure in comparison to the Siberians that pull your arm out, walking to heel around the streets until we reach the park where he takes full use of the flexi lead. When we put a harness on him he turns into a racing machine. The Siberians only know one thing that is to pull, Mog is like having two dogs rolled into one, a house pet and a race dog (Bikejor).
When we first took him into the forest with the Siberians he must have wondered what on earth was going on. When the Siberians are on the stakeout waiting to be harnessed they are so excited, screaming and howling to go. We stood him back so he could see what was going on for the first couple of times. I then hooked him in with one of the huskies and we set off on the bike. He was a little reluctant and was not up to the speed of the other dogs. After trying this over several days he wasn’t really progressing so I thought if he was ever going to get the hang of it there was only one thing to do. At the weekend when there would be several husky teams training I harnessed him up attached him to the bike and waited for a team to set off. As they turned the first corner he was released, it was a good job I was hanging on as he took off like a rocket, chasing the team that he had just seen going round the corner. So the next time out I set him off but not chasing and this time he ran the course just as we did when he was chasing, that was it, it was as if someone had flicked a switch, it had just clicked with him and now he is too fast to run with any of my huskies. It’s obvious he loves doing it and has even taken to howling like a husky whilst waiting for his turn. In anticipation I had entered a bikejor race local to us on the Windsor Crown Estate . This was a 2 day race but we only entered him for the Sunday as it was his first time and it was only the previous weekend he had run by himself for the first time. This was just over a 5k trail consisting of wide rides and very technical single mountain bike tracks weaving in and out of trees. I was very pleased with the way he ran and responded to all the turns without hesitation we even overtook two others finishing 2nd in class on the day.
The next race was in the Forest of Dean, 2 heats over 3.5k on woodland rides. After the Saturday’s heat we were in 3rd place. Sunday we had some time make up, so throwing caution to the wind and with MTB body armour on we went for it gaining a place and finishing 2nd . I have been so impressed with the way Mog has taken to bikejoring I’m pretty sure if we had taken on an inexperienced adult Siberian he would not have picked it up so quickly.