Look for us in the November 2006 issue of Vermont Sports. The article, 0 to 25 in 5 seconds, Skijoring: The Drag Racing of Cross-Country Skiing, is written by Red Goodman and can be found here.
There is also a follow-up article on dryland mushing, What The Heck Is That Dog Pulling?, published in the April 2007 issue of Vermont Sports here.
Atii Sled Dogs is featured in the February 2006 edition of the George Lucas Education Foundation online magazine Edutopia, in an article entitled "Powder Play." (Yes, "that" George Lucas, the filmmaker of Star Wars fame. Another "space" and "sled dog" connection.) Read the article online or as a pdf.
Please see our Update page for important changes about our dog sled offerings for this summer-fall-winter.
If not being told to “heel,” does your dog try to pull your arm off when walking on a leash? If so, your dog may have potential for skijoring. Skijoring lessons are available year round for humans and your dog(s). Learn from trainers & dogs with many years of experience. (20+ years skijoring for the humans.)
Try this fast-growing Nordic sport of either skating-style or classical style cross-country skiing with your dog(s) pulling you as you ski behind them. After introductory training on easy terrain, you and your dog will soon be following us while we play follow the leader and skijor with one or two of our dogs.
Skills & Gear
We’ll supply the special skijoring gear, which is available for purchase if you wish, but you will need to provide your own warm outdoor clothing. Dress in layers for the cold weather. Bring your own x-country skis, boots, & poles—or rent them locally from our wonderful sponsors Blueberry Lake Cross-Country Center or Clearwater Sports. (Other great local shops rent as well.)
We do not permit metal edge skis at our lessons—for the safety of all the dogs.
We recommend talking to your vet first to let her/him know you'd like to have your dog work in harness and try skijoring. Even though the dog will be pulling from the chest, their hips and back are very much involved so must be healthy. (Some breeds are genetically prone to hip dysplasia, a degenerative disease.) Skijoring dogs are athletes so injuries are possible, such as shoulder and leg sprains or cuts to the paw pads. Your dog should have "good feet."
Your dog can be either a purebred member of any number of breeds or a mixed breed “mutt.”
To work with us and our dogs, your dog must be up-to-date on all vaccinations for rabies, DHLPP, and Bordetella (kennel cough), and have a negative test for heartworm. Please bring a copy of your rabies and vaccination certificates or fax it to us in advance with your reservation form.
Ideally, your dog should instinctively like to pull and want to be running ahead of you—but we can work with you and your dog and evaluate for that trait.
A Inquiry/Reservation Form is here.
If you cancel less than 7 days before your lesson the full deposit will be forfeited if we cannot rebook that time with another client.
If Atii Sled Dogs needs to cancel due to trail conditions or any other reason, your full deposit will be refunded. If possible, your booking will be rescheduled for a mutually convenient date during this winter season.
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This page last updated Dec. 12, 2007.