The Fan Hitch Volume 6, Number 3, June 2004

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: Who Are You and What Do Want?
Fan Mail
F.I.D.O.: Ludovic Pirani
Geronimo's Travels
The Breeding and Maintenance of Sledge Dogs: Part I
How We Met Tom
Dog Yard Tips
Setting a New Standard
In the News
Behavior Notebook: Qiniliq and Sunny
IMHO: Unnecessary Roughness

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
              Editor: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

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Dog Yard Tips

by Linda Fredericksen

Preventing Fence Fighting  Related Injuries
Unfortunately, fence fighting is a fact of life with some breeds. Some Inuit Dogs I know seem to relish this activity.  My kennel is configured with one very large pen, big enough to comfortably hold up to seven dogs, and three smaller pens with gates between each for different combinations of pens based on need. These needs consist of a separate place for dogs in heat, containment for rescue dogs, puppies, older dogs or just dogs in need of some alone time. When our first rescue dog arrived I didn't want to take a chance that a possible fence fight would result in someone getting hurt. I found the solution at the Wildlife Science Center north of Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota. The center keeps a number of wolves in high enclosures and, because it allows dogs in the facility and stages a number dog related activities, the center has prepared for the possibility of resident wolf-visitor dog interaction by fastening hardware cloth to the chain link using hog rings. 

Adja smiles from behind the hardware cloth reinforced fencing
                                                    Fredericksen photo

Hardware cloth comes in different heights and different mesh sizes. On the common walls between my pens, I mounted three-foot high material with half inch mesh. In one pen, I installed hardware cloth all the way up the six-foot wall. This material is easy to work with, as the tool needed to install the hog rings fits nicely in the holes. We have a number of young visitors to the dogs and I thought it would be easier and less stressful for me to have this hardware cloth in place. To keep little fingers out of the pens, I used three-foot high cloth with quarter inch square openings for the exterior of the entire kennel. I also have a house dog, a twelve-pound dachshund-poodle cross, and even though my management of the dogs is strict, I felt secure knowing that if the little guy ever found himself near the kennel, he would not be in danger.

Hog Rings and Hog Ring Plier
                 Fredericksen photo

What about gates? For this purpose I use a section of cattle fencing with 6x8-inch openings, made of wire so rigid that it must be cut with bolt cutters. To this I attach the hardware cloth. Then, using brass clips, I secure the entire panel to the gate with an overlap on each side. It stays nicely in place and I merely have to unclip the panel when I want to open the gates to combine pens.

Providing Summertime Shade
When I turned our very large garden into a dog kennel, I was faced with the challenge of providing shade for the dogs. A friend, the owner of Black Ice Dog Sledding Equipment, offered me the following solution: I special ordered an 85% shade landscape cloth from a local landscaping supply company. The measurements and design were to my specifications. I had the company put a sleeve at one end of the rectangle and grommets every twelve inches on the other three sides. I used nylon rope through the grommets to attach the cloth to the top rail of the kennel fencing. Once cut, the ends of nylon rope must be carefully burned to prevent fraying so it can easily pass through the grommets and the sleeve. I fed a long piece of nylon rope through the sleeve. Then I tied one end to the top rail and secured and tightened the other end by means of a rope ratchet, which allows me to maintain tension on the line.

Rope ratchets secure sides     Fredericksen photo

The shade cloth manufacturer would not make a triangular shape for a sunny corner of the kennel, so I just had them make a square with no sleeve. I folded it over to make the triangle. I secured it the same way except the rope went through two grommets due to the fold.

Examples of corner and full width shade cloth
                                   Fredericksen photo

Environmental Enrichment
I discovered that my dogs loved the dog walk (wooden ramps with a level section in the middle) part of the course at agility class, so I had ones custom made for their enjoyment in each kennel. I have two sizes based on kennel size.  There are nooks and crannies where they can hide and ramps on both sides and that long flat area on top where several dogs can sun bathe.

Custom Dog Walk unit       Fredericksen photo

Cooling Off 
I used to set up flimsy plastic kiddie pools in the exercise yard like many dog people do, but got fed up with having to replace them every year. Freeland Industries (PO Box 59, Portage WI 53901 Phone: 608 742-2189, 1-800 444-2189) makes heavy duty "Poly Tuf"™ stock tanks in a variety of sizes that double as great doggie pools. These are often available at farm supply stores. I put one in every pen because the dogs liked them so much. The oval shaped tubs are 14" high by 31" wide by 52" long, and hold 60 gallons. The only required maintenance with the tubs is the constant changing of water to avoid algae build up. I know there are chemicals to prevent this but I don't like the idea of chemicals in the dog pens. Every few days I scrub out the tub with a metal pad.

Isis cools her heels       Fredericksen photo

Have a safe, shady, enriched and cool summer!

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