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Dog Facts

Winter Games – skijoring with dogs

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Skijoring is a winter sport where a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog (or dogs) or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring meaning ski driving.

Skijoring — in which your dog pulls you over the snow on skis — is a great winter variation on taking a walk. If your dog gets a bit carried away or you are a cautious skier, you can also cross-country ski with your dog running beside you.

One to three dogs are commonly used.

Many breeds of dog participate in skijoring. Athletic dogs such as Pointers, Setters and herding breeds take to skijoring with glee, as do the northern breeds, such as Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds; however, any large energetic dog is capable of enjoying this sport. Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, Labs and many cross-breeds are seen in harness. Pulling breeds work well also such as American Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American bull dogs, and mastiffs.

Running in deep snow is very strenuous, so reserve skijoring for dogs older than 2 years of age.

Some dogs get snowballs between the pads of their feet when they play in the snow. You can reduce this problem by trimming excess hair from the bottom of your dog’s feet and between his toes. You also can apply petroleum jelly or cooking spray liberally to the skin between his toes before going outside.