WELCOME EVERYONE! This group is for people interested in trying out skijoring and possibly getting into skijoring with their dog(s). Or maybe you already have experience and you're someone that can share your knowledge with the rest of us!
Skijoring is basically when you as the skijorer (driver) are on skis (usually classic cross-country type skis or maybe sporty skate skis once you really get into it) get hooked up to your dog with a line. Your dog wears a special dog harness and you wear a special hip & leg belt and the two are connected by a bungee-type line. A really great thing about skijoring compared to the more well-known sport of dog-sledding is you can skijor with just one dog (although you could use more than one). Most skijoring books say that as long as your dog is over 30 pounds and likes to pull, you've got potential! (Please note, that means 30 pounds as an adult...puppies shouldn't be pulling; you can start skijoring command training at 6 months, but shouldn't be pulling full weight until about 18 months, depending on the breed/adult size of the dog.)
You can teach your dog the basics of the pulling game in just a couple of hours. (The Edmonton & Area Canine Kicksledders Meetup Group has pulling clinics, and the kicksleds are great to use when teaching your dog. Or feel free to ask for the steps to teach your dog to pull.) After that, if you can already XC ski, at least the basics, you are ready to come out!
The more training your dog has, especially in obedience, the easier it will be to teach them to really help you, and go where/how you would like (slow/easy, fast/hike, left/haw, right/gee, on-by etc), even with distractions. But the great thing about dogs pulling, is that they like it! Even high energy, hard to focus dogs will settle down, just for a chance to play this game. And it really is nice to have them tired even for just a little while!! And it's also pretty fun - gliding down (or whizzing down!) a trail, just by giving your dog commands:)
This group is just meant as a way for people to get together to learn about skijoring with dogs, to share suggestions on motivating and training dogs for skijoring commands, to motivate new dogs to pull (by 'chasing' other skijorers on the trail), to suggest locations for outings, to car-pool to skijor trails farther away, and possibly organize an event(s) to bring a trainer to our local area.
Oh, and one more thing - there's tons of options for off-season activities: scooter-joring, bike-joring, etc, to teach and maintain command training over the summer, so don't think it's too late in the winter season to get into it - it easily carries over to summer! In fact, summer is the perfect time to teach that "easy" command before you need it next time you encounter ice!
Please note, the site settings are such that ANYONE can post discussions, or meetups, so please feel free to suggest and participate! If you see a meetup listed, and would like more information, please post comments, questions and requests, or stop by to talk to us when we are out. We would love to share what we have found out so far!
Notes on trail etiquette:
Please note that as we are still a fairly unknown sport, our actions have a direct, major impact on how skijorers are perceived by the general public, and consequently how favourably we will be considered for future trail sharing initiatives.
The City of Edmonton by-laws allow dogs on leash on most trails (unless otherwise posted). Skijoring is considered acceptable for this. Our dogs must be under control at all times, and we have to be considerate and share the trail. We must avoid damaging the track set. And it goes without saying, I hope, that we must clean up after our dogs. Finally, please be friendly and share what is fun about our sport!!
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|About Edmonton and Area Skijoring Enthusiasts Club||December 25, 2015 10:19 AM||Katrina S.|