6 December 2013

Dear Skijora: Trail Etiquette

Dear Skijora,

I am fairly new to skijoring. My dog and I have the basics down, and we are ready to head out on the trail, and be seen skijoring in public!

What do I need to know, so we don’t make fools out of ourselves?


The Nice Newbie


Dear Nice Newbie,

Skijora is proud of you and your dog for all your hard work!   The etiquette is pretty simple and straightforward for skijoring.  But it can take some training for humans to understand.    Good thing they all have a dog to guide them! 

Skijor on approved trails only.   Meaning obey “No Dog” signs and stay off of any trails that are groomed for classic skiing. 

Harness time is business time.   Many dogs, like myself, love to meet and make new friends, but skijoring time is business time.  Stay on your leash, and give other teams in harness space.  They have a job to do. 

The trail is not a bathroom.  Get in the habit of going to the bathroom before you come to the site.  Leaving your scent behind is interesting and exciting, and encourages other teams to do the same.   Pretty soon we all get carried away, and the trail is just a mess. We are here to work, so work, and take your bathroom break somewhere else.  Just remember to allow your human to pick it up.  They always feel so proud carrying around a little bag of treasure.  It makes them feel important!

Be a good passer.  This means letting your human think they are in charge of the pass.   They have fun calling out “Trail” to the other teams.   So let them, and only allow your human to pass once you see the other team is ready.    Shorten your gangline on the pass, so your human is not tempted to stop and socialize with the other team. 

Have fun out there!