Look at all that snow!! It’s time to get outside and enjoy it with your dog. Dogs motivate us to get out and enjoy our trails, hills, and mountains. Try some new ways to adventure with your dog this winter.  Maybe you can try skijoring, kick sledding, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. 

Skijoring in Ridgway means some crazy fun with skiers being pulled by galloping horses. Skijoring, or ‘ski driving’ in Norweigan, can also mean skiing using your dogs to pull you along. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can do skijoring, if they are healthy and fit for the challenge. This crazy fun activity only requires cross-country ski gear, a skijoring belt, a harness for your dog, and a towline to connect you to your dog. To do this right, you will want to spend a good deal of time training your dog before you even get on your skis.  For example, you’ll have to teach your dog to pull against their harness, which is something we usually teach our dogs not to do! You will also want to teach them the very important “on-by” (or leave it) command, so they learn to pass distractions and continue pulling so you don’t have any pileups. If you plan to go skijoring with your dog, make sure dogs are allowed on the trails and check whether you must keep them leashed or not.

If you have a dog or two who love harness dog sports and are looking for a way to spend their energy, kicksledding is a great activity to enjoy. The principle of kicksledding is like dog sledding but with a smaller team of dogs. Kicksleds are two skis fixed with snow runners attached to a chair-like structure with a handlebar on top. Because of its weight and its design, the kicksled is ideal for one or two dogs. Kicksleds glide swiftly on ice or compacted snow for increased speed and great exercise. 

Cross-country skiing is another great way to enjoy the snow with your dog.  While cross-country skiing, your dog can run or walk beside or behind you off-leash if allowed on the trail you choose. Our boy, Roscoe, enjoys skiing with some of our wonderful volunteers.

For an easier and slower side of the winter sports spectrum try snowshoeing with your dog. Snowshoes can make your favorite trails more accessible during the powder months.

Whatever winter activity you choose make sure to make sure your dog has the proper gear to stay warm. Be respectful of people, pets, and wildlife by always keeping your dog under physical or voice control. 

Most of all, have fun!

Squeaky is a young, healthy, active, smart girl who would love to be an adventure partner. She loves playing in the snow. She had very little socialization before she arrived at Second Chance, so she will need continued training and trust-building by an experienced dog owner.

For thirty years, the Animal Resource Center and Shops of Second Chance Humane Society have been serving Ouray, San Miguel, and Montrose Counties. Our adoption hours are from Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can view our shelter pets and services online at www.secondchancehumane.org. Connecting Pets, People, and Community While Saving Lives.