Although I had learned how to skijor by accident, it wasn’t the first time my childhood dogs pulled me. Baron was our families second shepherd and was full grown by the time I’d turned seven. He had been well trained, but it wasn’t long before he discovered the grab and go snatching of food from my little sister’s hand. I had looped my hand through his leash when my little sis’ came outside with her sandwich in hand. Playing with Baron behind our home I hadn’t seen her coming, but Baron had his eyes pinned on the sandwich dangling from her hand as she waddled, as toddlers do, towards us. I’d been busting out 360’s on my new Kmart skateboard when Baron jerked me forward. I kept my balance when the dog bolted with the skateboard in tow and me screaming stop, but it was over once he had the sandwich. My sister bawling and Baron swallowing in one gulp the boloney sandwich when the light bulb in the monkey mind went off -what if? I asked myself and ran inside for the package of Oscar Meyer Boloney. Tying some extra rope to the leash thinking I might carve some stellar turns on my skateboard I had the whole package of processed circle meat ready to frisbee out in front of the dog with me standing behind a top my skateboard. Leash wrapped around my wrist. So goes another dog tail experience of my youth which has led to branding myself as the self-proclaimed K9 Adventurer, and the foundation of DoggieTrek Fitness.
FROM TOTO TO RIN-TIN-TIN
The best answer to what type of dog is suited for any K9 adventure -A Tibetan Spaniel doesn’t have the stride nor does a Manchester Terrier weigh enough but a 35 – 45-pound high energy dog will start a doggie jig when they see the harness come out of the closet. Ideally, a dog weighing 65 pounds is preferred by professional racers that want to average more than 20 mph while you’ll be perfectly content topping out at 10 mph. Typically the sporting and herding breeds or an “American” mix of them will perceive skijoring as a call to duty. Some of the dryland mushing alternatives, like canicross, I’ve seen a Jack Russell with a human in tow, but my German Shepherds weigh no less than 50#’s before I’ll hook them up. The northern breeds your use to seeing like huskies, and malamutes instinctively pull, but I’ve found any dog you leash for the trail pulls. Especially if the dog has had limited exercise and the freedom of outdoor exposure, and have been able to get a number of dogs homes simply by taking them out for a quick ten mile ski, run, or bike before a new family comes to a shelter to visit a high energy dog, and always willing to instruct them in any K9 Adventuring Silent Sport.
CANICROSS SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT