It was an overcast and grey day when we met up with Kylie and her ‘wolf dogs’ at the Darlington heritage trail. To step back a bit, Kylie won a competition through the Riverton Rossmoyne Veterinary Clinic and part of that prize included a photo shoot with us! Luckily for us, this meant we got to meet Kylie, her friend Ally and of course her two gorgeous dogs, Runa and Balto. Runa is only 18-months-old and is a Malamute x German Shepherd, whilst Balto is a Tamaskan dog. The Tamaskan dog is a breed in the making, meant to be a wolf a like, but with a temperament more suited to workability than breeds such as the Saarloos and Czech Wolfdog. There are currently only around 700 of them WORLDWIDE!
Balto was born in Feb 2012 in England and was imported to Australia in Nov, getting out of quarantine in December. Kylie and Balto have tried their hand at dryland sledding, lure coursing, (backyard) agility and scent detection. He knows 15+ tricks (inc bow, pray, beg, play dead), and is in the middle of learning several more.
Runa is a malamute shepherd mix. Kylie picked her up on Anzac Day 2015 after dawn service. She doesn’t know as many tricks as Balto just yet (only 6 or so).
Her best friend is Kylie’s younger cat poet- he’s always walking around the house with a wet coat because she’s been playing gentle bitey face with him. Ru is Kylie’s go to dog for training demonstrations and for working around unsure and reactive dogs.
During our shoot, Runa and Balto were mostly off lead and were incredibly responsive to Kylie’s voice commands, even managing to completely ignore a random horse and rider who passed by! We chose the Darlington Heritage Trail because there are a variety of different backdrops to use, including a fabulous bridge and large boulders. Being such well-trained dogs meant that we could utilise all of these interesting spaces.
I shot these photos with my Canon 5D Mk3 and my Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens. All natural light. Shutter speed for the still portrait shots was around 320 and fstop of 4 or 4.5. ISO ranged from 100-250 depending on the changing light conditions.
Action shots were captured with a minimum shutter speed of 1000 to avoid motion blur.
At the completion of the “dry” shots, it was time for the dogs to run amok in the stream which ended the 1.5 hours on a wonderful high, for both dogs and humans alike 🙂