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Skijoring, anyone?

Many people grumble when they see the first snowflakes starting to fall—but not people who enjoy skijoring! Waking up in the morning, they dash to the window to see if there is enough snow to hook up the dogs. Dogs? That's right—dogs!

Skijoring comes from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning "ski driving." In Norway, dog-powered sports are commonplace, but this sport has now spread to many other countries, Canada included.

The cross-country skier wears a skijoring harness (a wide belt) that attaches to a rope (a tug line), and a dog or dogs wear a dogsledding harness. One skier and one or two dogs work together to slice through the winter countryside.

Skijorers "speak" to their dogs using a number of commands. Here are just a few:

come gee:
swing the team around 180 degrees to the right
come haw:
swing the team around 180 degrees to the left
turn right
turn left
line out:
the lead dog should tighten the tug line
on by:
go straight past the obstacle
straight on:
go straight ahead instead of taking the fork in the trail

So stop grumbling and start skijoring—it's a great way to enjoy a winter day!

Try out our quiz Let's go skijoring!