What is dog skijoring?
Dog Skijoring is a sport where one to three dogs pull a cross-country skier. The skier supplies power with poles and skis, and the dogs add additional strength by pulling and running. Harnesses and a rope connect the skier to the dogs. The dogs are prompted by a passion for running and respond to the handler's voice for guidance.
What breeds can participate?
A variety of different breeds compete in skijoring. The only requirement is a passion to race down a path and pull, which is inherent in most dogs. The skier can produce the power required to travel, enabling any enthusiastic dog the capacity to enjoy the sport.
How long is the course?
The sport is followed competitively and recreationally, both for long and short distance travel. Most races are between five and 20 kilometers.
Are there competitions?
Many countries that have abundant snow in winter hold Skijoring competitions. In the United States and Canada, dog skijoring competitions are frequently included with sled dog races, where skijoring is just one event category that occurs during the daily activities.
Are there organizations that sanction skijoring and where can I get started?
Many local clubs offer skijoring classes at their organized events. Although some races are unsanctioned and held under the sole guidance of a local club, many races fall under one of three international organizations:
- International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA)
- International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS)
- European Sled Dog Racing Association (ESDRA)
What equipment is needed?
You will need the following equipment to get started:
- Waist belt
- Dog harness
- Skier’s harness
- Standard ski equipment
- Neckline to tie together more than one dog
- Dog boots for exercising on icy or rough terrain
Should my dog skijor?
If your dog is athletic, loves to run, is a leash puller, and is over 35 pounds, you might consider skijor training for your dog..