Scott Hudson has been raising sled dogs for well over a decade and, over that time, has had to retire more than a few.
Once a dog reaches eight or nine years old, Hudson likes to send them to a good home.
“At that age they’re still relatively young enough to have years ahead of them as a pet: still active and in good shape,” Hudson, who owns Northern Lights Dog Sledding, told the Labradorian.
He currently has three dogs looking for new homes. Sisters Lucy and Smut , who came to Hudson from Makkovik, are almost nine. Lovey has just turned one, which is young for retirement, but Hudson said she's better tempered to be a pet: very playful and sweet.
All three dogs are affectionate, he said, something people do not expect from former sled dogs.
“People think they don’t like being touched or they aren’t friendly,” he said. “With the tourism business I do, these dogs are seeing new people all the time. They’re socialized better than your average dog.”
Hudson says his dogs have transitioned well from being sled dogs to pets, due to their temperament and training. He and his wife assist with the transition for the new owners.
Hudson said his local SPCA has been helping to find new homes for the dogs, but they have not had any luck placing the canine retirees yet. He recently sent a 10-year-old dog to a family in Halifax who have adopted a number of his dogs and helped him with finding homes.
Hudson said he knows that new owners are out there.
“The average family wants the cute little puppy,” he said. “I know the right people are out there that want an adult dog. We just have to find them.”