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Skijoring is a winter sport that combines cross-country skiing with driving a dog team. The term 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 the 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:

Gee: Turn right.

Come gee: Swing the team around 180 degrees to the right.

Haw: Turn left.

Come haw: Swing the team around 180 degrees to the left.

Hike: Go.

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.

Whoa: Stop.

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