1 December 2013

Dear Skijora: Running Sideways

Dear Skijora,


This is my second season skijoring with my dog.  We have been biking and canicrossing all summer.  When we went back to the x-back harness for skijoring, my dog has started to run sideways!  What gives?


The Sideways Skijorer

Dear Sideways,
This is called crabbing.  Relax, you don't have crabs.  You just have crabbing.  Crabbing is when a pulls with the backend out at an outward angle.  
There can be a number of things that cause this.  Crabbing can be a sign of      discomfort or that your dog is tired.  It can also be that your dog wants to go faster, and fall into a rhythm that is better suited for her.      
Left alone, on a long run, your crabbing dog will become sore.  
So you have some options.  Some skijorers try increasing their speed.    People running multiple dogs,  switch the side the dog is running on.  Many people find success with switching to a different harness.  Consider running your dog in a shorter harness, which will take the pressure off of her hips, like the distance harness from Howling Dog Alaska
Happy Trails!
Love Skijora