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Swettenham sledging dogs celebrate the birth of Greenland puppies

PUBLISHED: 08:32 16 March 2012 | UPDATED: 04:07 10 February 2013

The puppies Photo by Sara Walker

The puppies Photo by Sara Walker

Three new and very cute Greenland puppies have been born to the Swettenham sledging dogs

2012 marks the start of a new adventure for Suzanne and Toby Young of Swettenham. One of their sled dogs, Tundra, has given birth to a litter of puppies, believed to be the first Greenland dogs born in Cheshire. The breed is extremely rare in the UK, with only a few litters born each year.

The new additions girls Orca and Maia, and male pup Malik will grow up to take their place in the Youngs dog sled team. Toby, who has travelled to the North Pole by dog sled, trains his dogs himself, and takes them to Norway where he runs adventure sledding holidays and camping expeditions for tourists.

One of the toughest breeds of dog in the world, the puppies will live outside from four weeks old, as soon as they can safely climb in and out of their sleeping box. Suzanne said: Although they may look cute and fluffy, their thick, dense coats are designed to keep them warm at extremely cold temperatures. As Greenland dogs have a rigid pack hierarchy, living outside with the other dogs will teach the youngsters how to fit into the pack.

The puppies will start their harness training at around 10 months old, and be fully-fledged team members by 12 months old. As the dogs are used with tourists, its important they have good social skills, so well be attending conventional puppy socialisation classes, said Toby, who also owns the puppies father, Keiko. However, we wont be teaching them to walk on a lead at first these dogs need to learn that theyre allowed to pull!

Theyre a great addition to the team. Family units tend to have a more harmonious working relationship. In Greenland, its common to have three or even four generations of dogs working together, and Im looking forward to working with our new arrivals next winter.

For more information about the dogs and dog sledding holidays visit www.kavanaghyoung.com

The print version of this article appeared in the April 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

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