Thursday, December 1, 2011

Skijoring with the Pooch

Besides snow, winter brings a bit of a hiccup to anyone's outdoor, dog-exercising agenda. While summer is packed with hiking and camping trips, cold temperatures and sparse daylight seem to put a damper on outside plans with the pooch. And while backcountry skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are three great options to give those peakwaggers a little fresh air and exercise, those who live away from the mountains have to get a bit more creative. That's where skijoring comes into play.

Since a dog, as we all know, naturally pulls on its leash when going for a walk, skijoring essentially takes that concept and applies it to cross-country skiing. By tying a dog (or two) to a harness, you can get a little cross-country skiing in while giving your dogs a few hours of exercise. And although the sport traditionally utilizes a Nordic center or cross-country skiing course, any large park, high school track or football field can be used, provided that it's covered by a good layer of snow.

So, for dog owners looking to mix up the usual running or walking routine, check out skijoring. We've tried it, and it's tons of fun. Just make sure your dog runs in a straight line; it's pretty easy to topple over if your pooch suddenly takes off.

(Photo courtesy of

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