What is Skijoring?

Dog skijoring. Husky sled dog mushing. Winter sport championship competition.

After the canicross and the canirando in summer, discover Skijoring. The Scandinavian countries love it and cross-country ski enthusiasts will appreciate it. Beautiful walks in our magnificent mountains and cross-country skiing with your dog… Pleasure of the glide assured!

Skijoring… what is it ?

Discipline coming straight from the Scandinavian countries, joëring skiing is a traction sport, adapted to winter conditions and snow! Usually practiced with a horse, pony or traction dog, this sport has the particularity of not using a sled or a pulka.

In France, it is nicknamed “harnessed skiing”. You don’t need to be a mushers to fully enjoy this activity… But simply to have a dog to run with! This way, we open the snow sports to the largest number of people !

For which dogs ?

Sled dogs are not the only ones who can have fun in the snow… The majority of breeds and dogs are capable of it!

However, there are a few conditions that come into play when it comes to playing sports with your dog… It is preferable that he is over 1 year old and that his state of health allows him to make intense physical efforts.

The animal must be robust and athletic enough to be able to pull its master. Thus, for obvious reasons, dog sports are generally appreciated by large dogs such as: sled dogs, golden retrievers, labradors, or sheepdogs.

Get well equipped before the departure

In all the sports activities you practice with your dog, it is essential to adopt quality equipment to ensure the animal’s safety and comfort. For the Skijoring we advise you to opt for :

  • cross-country skis. Even if you are tempted to put on your touring or downhill skis, the edges can be very sharp and dangerous for your pet in case of an accident.
  • a harness adapted to the canicross or specially designed for Skijoring.
  • a lanyard to connect the master and his dog. The lanyard must measure between 2 and 3 meters in extension with shock absorber. It will be larger than a canicross lanyard, taking into account the size of the skis.
  • a traction belt with a space to put the energy bars and a water bottle. Be aware that your dog may suffer from stomach problems causing diarrhea if he ingests too much snow. So provide a bowl of water at room temperature after exercise.
  • a protective cream, used on the pads to fight against frostbite and cold.
  • shoes to protect the pads from snow.

Where to practice Skijoring ?

Skijoring, as its name suggests, is practiced in mountainous regions where snow covers the peaks. It is preferable to follow cross-country ski trails and groomed trails to ensure perfect gliding and constant effort.

Many associations offer the possibility for everyone to practice this sport with their dog in a recreational way. However, we come across more and more competitions that are very accessible without strict prerogatives.