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Old 10-22-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
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Default Anyone ski-jor with their dog?

Last winter I started cross country skiing to replace biking in the winter. I wanted to take Frodo with me instead of leaving him at home while I was having all these fun outings. The only real challenge is that I'm really bad at skiing because I lack confidence and I'm afraid to fall
Toward the end of the season last year I became somewhat more comfortable with it and got some basic ski-jor equipment and attached myself to Frodo and went at it. We went to an open area instead of trails, and putting my husband out front with the treat bag. We got Frodo to start pulling after he overcame his obsession with barking at the skis.
I found that it was a lot more effort than I thought, probably because I'm such a bad skier. The effort between me and my dog was about 50/50. he seemed to like it very much. I haven't learned the "right" was to do it, with commands and going a specific direction that I chose. We just followed the husband through open fields.
There are probably videos on how to do this, and I will eventually have my trainer work with me even though she doesn't ski. Just curious to see if anyone on this forum does this.

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Old 10-22-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Well it sure does sound like fun! I have never done anything like that. Truth is my knickname is "grace." You should see me on roller skates. I am on the floor more than up. Skiing would be out of the question for me. I hope someone else on this forum has some suggestions for you. I have actually never heard of ski-jor before. Of course now I have to google it....

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Old 10-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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If you want to see something insane, on one of the Warren Miller ski movies people are doing ski-jor in Leadville, Colorado, with horses! I'm actually not sure if I have the spelling right. Another thing to mention is that many of the trails, should I ever become more proficient at it, don't allow dogs. I'm trying to find one in day-trip proximity to southern Michigan. In Bemidji Minnesota, which is at least a day and a half's drive from here, there are competitions. I've seen videos of people skijoring with 2 dogs. I had to start doing some winter sports to learn how to tolerate losing my biking season and not being very depressed about it.

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Wow! Now I really need to check it out. Do you belong to a gym? Maybe you can do some indoor running in a gym for the winter.

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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WHAT IS SKIJORING?

ski·jor·ing (sk jôr ng, -jr-) n. [modif. of Norw skikjøring, fr. ski + kjøring driving]: a winter sport in which a person wearing skis is drawn over snow by one or more dogs.


WINTER EXCITEMENT


Skijoring is an exhilarating and fast growing winter sport which combines cross country skiing and dog mushing. Originating in Scandinavia and literally meaning "ski-driving" in Norwegian, skijoring allows a dog and owner to exercise together while enjoying the outdoors. Imagine yourself on a beautiful winter's day gliding behind your canine best friend on a tree lined trail. MINIMAL EQUIPMENT


Part of skijoring's beauty lies in its simplicity and minimal equipment requirements. Besides basic cross country ski gear, only three items are necessary to skijor: a harness for your dog; a skijoring belt for your waist; and a towline that connects you to your dog. For skijorers in warmer climates (or off season use), these three pieces of equipment also function well for roller skiing, inline skating, scootering or bikejoring with your dog.

POODLES TO POINTERS

Virtually any breed dog can learn to skijor. Northern breeds like Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes and Siberian Huskies have traditionally been used for skijoring due to their instinctive will to pull, but any dog that loves to run is a good skijoring candidate. For example, the German Short-Haired Pointer is very popular in Europe, and recently a team of Pointer crosses won the sprint mushing world championships. If your dog is energetic and 30 pounds or greater, chances are she'll make a great skijor dog.
CANINE ECSTASY


Dogs love to skijor. They enjoy the exercise, meeting other dogs, outdoor scents, occasional wildlife encountered and of course companionship with their owners. From a dog's perspective, skijoring is as much fun as a walk times ten. If your dog jumps up and down when the leash comes out, just wait until she discovers what the harness foretells! FROM RECREATION TO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS


Skijoring has something for everyone, and can be broken down into five general categories: Recreational Skijoring, Skijor Sprint Racing, Skijor Distance Racing, Backwoods Skijoring and Pulka, or Nordic-style dog mushing. (Technically speaking, Pulka is not a category of skijoring, but rather a separate class of sport.) Each category provides unique challenges and rewards for its participants, but one theme resonates throughout - skijorers love their dogs and enjoy spending time with them outdoors. RECREATIONAL SKIJORING


Recreational skijorers comprise the largest segment of the sport. They typically own one dog - the family pet - and allocate one or two days a week to skijor. If there's a skijor club in their area, they might attend a preseason seminar and participate in a fun run or two during the winter season. With recreational skijoring the emphasis is on fun, fitness and camaraderie between dog and owner. Interestingly enough, many recreational skijorers learn to ski so they can skijor with their dog! SKIJOR SPRINT RACING


Do you enjoy the rides at Six Flags or Busch Gardens? If so, Skijor Sprint Racing is for you. Reaching speeds close to 30 mph out of the starting chute, top sprint skijorers can average over 20 mph during a five mile race. They race on ultra light skate skis in skin suits and have up to three race-bred dogs harnessed to them at once. Just watching the frenzied, adrenaline charged dogs at the start is exciting; imagine what it's like being tied to them! Sprint skijorers' dogs are impeccably cared for and carefully trained.

SKIJOR DISTANCE RACING

Skijorers in this category race distances generally of 20 miles or greater, and sometimes as long as 320 miles in the Alaskan Iditasport. Skijor distance racing includes the romanticism of racing sled dogs in the wilderness combined with endurance conditioning for skijorer and dog team alike. Distance skijorers must plan carefully, know their dogs intimately, especially concerning nutritional requirements, and take needed supplies and survival gear with them on the trail. A working knowledge of winter survival is of paramount importance before attempting any distance event.
BACKWOODS SKIJORING


If you enjoy winter camping, then you'll find skijoring with your dog in the backwoods even more rewarding. Backwoods skijorers are drawn to the beauty and solitude of nature, and often skijor on ungroomed trails far from urban development. Equipment for this type of skijoring is unique, with wider, classical style back-country skis and poles being the norm. Furthermore, if overnight excursions are planned, the use of a small sled, or pulk, is recommended for carrying gear. Any breed of dog has the potential to backwoods skijor well, but larger breeds such as the Malamute tend to be most popular for their pulling strength and work ethic. Like distance skijoring, a thorough knowledge of winter survival is necessary before heading into the woods.
PULKA

Pulka driving, also known as Nordic-style dog mushing, involves skijoring with a small sled (pulk) attached between skijorer and dog. Since the pulk is the most efficient option for carrying supplies over a distance - as opposed to a backpack - backwoods skijorers and distance racers frequently include pulks in their equipment repertoire. In Scandinavia pulka driving is very popular, including racing, and children are often given rides in pulks specifically designed to carry them. Pulks can be pulled by a skijorer instead of a dog by attaching longer shafts to the pulk, which then connect to a modified skijoring belt. Pulka driving, like skijoring, has a world championship organized by the International Federation of Sled-dog Sports.
"Skijor Now, your source for skijoring, canicross and bikejoring equipment and information"

Ok FrodoMom, this looks like a ton of fun!

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #6
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Seen a few people doing it up here. There should be a club or group in Michigan somewhere that can learn from.

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:47 AM   #7
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Well, it looks like a ton of fun to me. I could see me now doing this with Harley. I'd be flat out on my butt, and he would be dragging me through the woods, loving every minute of it.

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Old 10-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #8
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You might want to have a read of these older threads:

Skijoring anyone?

Urban Mushing

Personally, I get enough entertainment (and I probaby provide it to my neighbors as well) just trying to walk Chessie down icy NY streets!
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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Personally, I get enough entertainment (and I probaby provide it to my neighbors as well) just trying to walk Chessie down icy NY streets!
My Saturday laugh JGLI! I am not for one walking my dogs on the ice. When it gets that bad out, my back yard will have to do. My workout is shoveling the snow from the back deck and steps.

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Old 10-23-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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There needs to be some pictures on this thread.

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