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Skiing and Snowshoeing with Your Dog

Powder, hard pack, drift, blizzard—whatever you call it, snow’s a fact of winter life in many parts of the country. It covers our favorite paths and can turn casual outings into endurance sports. What’s a pup and her person to do when it’s colder than a three-dog night?

Well, as it turns out, plenty. If you can walk, you can snowshoe  or cross-country ski, and if you’re even moderately skilled on those skis, you can skijor, too. The best part is, your dog can join you, and she doesn’t have to be a Husky to enjoy the experience. Aerobic, calorie-burning and low-impact, all three activities are pretty simple to learn. Except for skijoring—canine-assisted cross-country skiing—the pace is slow, and dogs are often happy to let you break a trail for them, especially if the snow is fresh and deep.

If you’re just starting, rental equipment is the way to go. That allows you to try a variety of brands and types to find out what suits you best before investing in your own. Your dog’s needs are even simpler: unless she’s a Malamute or another double-coated breed, she’ll need a jacket to keep her warm, and something to protect her feet—booties or a paw wax made for dogs—is a good idea. Skijoring requires a padded belt for you, an x-back harness for the pup and a towline to connect the two of you.

So, how much fun can you have with your dog in the snow? Enough to warm you both up nicely. Watch these action videos for some cool fun.

Snowshoe Video
Skijor Video

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By
Julia Kamysz Lane
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