Ski trip with dog
Skiing or snowshoeing with a dog is a wonderful winter experience. It is important for you and your dog to have the right equipment for a most comfortable ride. In this article you can read more about the equipment you train for snowmobiling in the winter.
Snowmobiling for the pleasure of dog and owner
It is first and foremost a good hiking experience that is the goal, but before you set out on the ski track or on snow, there are some points you should think about depending on the age and size of the dog and which dog breed you have. Young dogs under the age of two should not pull heavy loads as the joints are developing. In addition, higher speeds with good glide on the skis will make the dog use energy to keep the speed. If the dog pulls you uphill a lot, it also uses a lot more energy than on a normal run or walk. Therefore, remember to bring water for the dog and take regular breaks. And it is always important to keep an eye on your dog and know the signals when he is a little tired and needs a break.
Ski trip with dog – choose the right equipment!
For a comfortable and safe ski trip, it is important to have the right and adapted equipment for the activity. Thin dogs with little fur need, for example, a good blanket and good paw socks. At warmer temperatures, ordinary snow socks can work, while at cold temperatures you can use fleece paw socks for dogs. If you have ridden a leash before, you probably know the types of harnesses and knitting needles, but for new dog owners it is important to read up on just this.
Seat harness for skiing and snowshoeing with a dog
There is a very important difference between a harness and a dog harness. Therefore, never use a collar or harness for lacing. A harness has a lower band that allows the harness to be pulled back towards you with equal force above and below the dog so that the dog gets the right load and open airways when it pulls. Here, different types of harnesses apply. The widely used Nomeselen is actually a tow harness developed for sledding with a dog, but many also use it for snowmobiling. We preferably recommend Adjustable Seat Harness for just snowshoeing as this provides a pull point on the dog midway between the middle of the back and the tail root and on to up to the waist of you who have the dog attached to the belly belt. The harness is padded around the neck and chest and the distributor pressure is good where it should be. Remember that a properly adapted harness should lie curled on its back when the dog is standing straight down, but lie flat on the dog when the dog lays its head down and is pulled. Then it has the right adaptation for free airways in activity!
Running elastic for skiing and snowshoeing with a dog
The strong driving elastics of 160 cm and 260 cm from Seleverkstedet have an elastic accordion effect at the top of the belt which dampens the jerks and provides even and good resistance. It is common for the elastic to “bottom” – ie to be stretched to the maximum at start-up. There are many dogs that love to pull, but it can be a bit jerky and a little side to side. With skis on your legs, it is good to have some control and therefore a solid riding elastic with elasticity will give a more comfortable ride for you and the dog when snowshoeing. The harness workshop has different types of riding knitwear of 160 cm and 260 cm. It is the longest that is best suited for snowshoeing as it gives the right distance to the dog when you have skis on your legs and you keep a little speed. But there are dog owners who have good control of the dog and want 160 cm in length. These are available in 6, 8 and 10mm thickness depending on how big your dog is. It is common for the elastic to “bottom” as you rush out from the start. Furthermore, the elastic should be pumped for a smooth and good flow.
Seat belts for use with dogs
Belly belt, dog seat belt, hiking bag or hip bag with fastening for driving elastic
The harness workshop has a hip bag with d-rings on the sides which in combination with Hanefot with quick-release provides a comfortable pressure point on the back / hip in the belt now that the dog is pulling. The hip bag is well padded and has 2 liters of space to bring some provisions for you and the dog as well as two bottle holders. If you want a good backpack of 25 or 40 liters, Fjellpulken has produced its Xpack backpacks with attachment to the sides for use with both sledges and dogs. Perfect for long-distance skiing.
Keep the dog warm in the winter
When the dog is running, it is rarely a problem for it to regulate the temperature, but during breaks and quieter parts it is advisable to use a dog blanket and have the option of a blanket or pad during the breaks. There is also a heat bag for dogs that is suitable for keeping dogs warm during breaks or if your dog is prone to freezing. These are also suitable for tent trips, or when you arrive at a cold cabin.
Protect dog paws and legs in winter
During snowfall, lumps of snow can settle between the paws of the dog, which hurts, and in cold, dry snowfall, crowding conditions can strain the paws. Whether you use it the whole trip or not, it is very nice to have potato socks and potato ointment in the bag. Especially later in the winter when stepping through the crust, cutting cuffs can be an advantage. Then you protect the dog’s legs from scratches and wounds. These also prevent the dog with a lot of fur from getting lumps of ice on its legs.
Use skis without a steel edge on a ski trip with a dog
By all means, you want to avoid injuries when snowshoeing with a dog. It is very risky to use skis with a steel edge when you have a dog with you. It takes very little to get cuts on both legs and paws when a ski tip with a steel edge hits the dog. When you stand deep in the woods or in the mountains, it is an awfully long way home with the dog on your back. Every year, dogs are reported with ugly wounds and have to sew at the vet. The main rule is – do not use skis with a steel edge when you snowboard or go skiing with your dog!
Safe in the ski track with dog
Always remember that the ski track is about good experiences – for you and others. Therefore, make sure you have control over your dog at all times. If it passes, hold on to the leash if your dog tends to search for other dogs or people. Some have well-trained dogs that take commands such as stop, in place, behind and preferably right – left also further. But in any case, make sure that you and your fellow human beings and dogs have good experiences on the trail! And one last tip – should the dog do away with itself in the middle of the ski track and you do not want to pick it up – use the ski pole to get it a little out to the edge!
First time skiing with a dog?
Let the dog get used to ski equipment. It can be a confusing and perhaps a little scary experience for the dog for the very first time. The stable tip is that you take it a little easy. Let the dog understand the distance and how you want it to walk. Feel free to let it smell on the equipment if you have something completely new it has not seen before. Calm up the right level of ambition for you and the dog is a good setting for a good skiing experience!
To-do list on a ski trip with a dog
- Seat belts
- Paw socks
- First aid equipment