Are you looking for a new activity to fully enjoy winter with your pup but don't really know what to do ? Skijoring could be the answer !
A little bit like bikejoring, skijoring is an activity that requires more experience from both the dog and the human. Indeed, staying upright on your skis while being pulled by a dog requires a minimum of technique and your dog will be confronted with a new pulling dynamic and the scary skis which can sometimes be intimidating.
Skijoring as seen in competition is practiced with skate skis, on wide and well-groomed tracks in order to be able to practice the skate skiing technique. How to skijor with your dog ? Well, before embarking on this adventure, we strongly suggest that you take some basic lessons in order to master this technique because the dog's pulling effect will probably make you spend more time lying down than standing on your skis !
Once the basics are acquired, the speeds reached can be quite impressive and it is obviously a joy for the dog to be able to hurtle down the snowy slopes at full stride. Skijoring as we have just described it still has certain constraints :
In short, it can be discouraging if you simply want to get out around the house at minimum cost !
Fortunately, there is another more accessible version of skijoring that just happens to be our favorite single-dog winter sport. Indeed, skijoring can also be practiced in backcountry when you do not have access to wide trails and have less experience in skiing (in this case, the technique is similar to cross-country skiing where the skis remain parallel). For this type of skijoring, we recommend the use of backcountry skis. These are short, wide and very light, which allows you to walk in powder while having excellent floatation on snow (better than snowshoes).
Honestly, walking through the undergrowth and making your own trail with your dog pulling in front is an amazing experience for those who love the outdoors and hiking.
Whatever the type of skijoring you wish to practice, you will need the same three essential pieces of equipment needed for canicross , but with a few nuances :
As you can see, the beauty of harness dog sports is that even a specific discipline can be practiced in different ways to meet your preferences. If ski isn't your cup fo tea, kicksledding may be a winter activity you want to try with your dog !