Backpacking trials are a new dog sport being offered in Australia, as part of the sled dog range of sports. There has been one trial offered in Victoria so far this year, and this weekend saw two trials run in NSW by the Alaskan Malamute Club of NSW.
For the first level, and in order to earn the Working Pack Dog (WPD) title, dogs must hike with their handlers a total of 64 km over a minimum of two trips, which can be broken up over several hikes of at least 16 km in length. Hikes are over natural terrain (often including hills!), and dogs must carry 30% of their body weight in specially designed dog backpacks.
Shell and Squiggle (Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Diamond Dansut (AI) CCD RA JD HT ET JC FM) took part in this trial, with a still rather sick Shell hiking her on Saturday and (sensibly) friend Les taking the lead for Sunday's trial. Squiggle has been training up for the event, gradually increasing her distance and weight, to ensure she was in peak condition for the trial, and easily earned her first two qualifications for her WPD title.
She really is a very versatile Lappie!!