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It's Winter! Get Out!

Because of the cold winter in Quebec, we and doggie too, are less likely to do physical activities during this season. Moving is a natural need for both, man and dog. A dog lacking exercise sometimes causes anxiety. To motivate us, here are three winter sports that you can experiment with Fido. Those activities will allow you to exercise and build relationships with your companion.

 

Equipements

For these three sports proposals, your dog is connected, via a lanyard, either directly to you or to a trolling device. The lanyard, 2.5 m minimum to 3.5 m maximum, is expandable to avoid unpleasant blows for the dog and his master. The material used, ensures the comfort of the master, but especially that of the dog. To know all the various accessories necessary to carry out these activities, I suggest you go to http://mushhitech.com/v2009/catalogue_EN.pdf, the MUSH HIGH-TECH catalogue.

 

Canicross 

Courtesy www.lecharlevoisien.com

VHere is a discipline that is growing in popularity! The dog and his master, both of them, make a physical effort, either running or walking. Subsequently, for less athletic dogs, you can walk instead of running with your pet. The advantage of this discipline is that it can be practised on the road in the quiet streets of your village provided you respect the rules and road safety.

 

Skijoëring           

Courtesy thenoisyplume.com

 

The skijoring name comes from Swedish and Norwegian. These origins date back to 2500 BC. It is for those who prefer cross-country skiing and want to move with their dog (up to 3 dogs) or any other animal.

 

 

Snow Scooter

Gracieuseté heidietcie.files.wordpress.com

The scooter has the same function as a sled, but it is lighter. It can be pulled by one or two dogs and is led by a musher. The latter must assist his dog during the climbs, running his last scooter while keeping both hands on the latter.


Required conditions

In general, it is recommended that the dog be at least 18 months old to be harnessed. Moreover, the musher must be able to direct his “team”, scooter or others. The dog (s) should not be aggressive to each other or to humans. This is how often calm and affectionate dogs are found in these sports. All types of dogs can be hitched, but some are more comfortable than others. It is best to have a dog whose breed has an innate tendency to run and shoot. Here are a few:

  • American Bull Dog
  • Shepherd dogs
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Husky Alaskan
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Labrador
  • Malamutes
  • Pointers
  • Samoyeds
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Setters
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

In addition, if the dog refuses to run or slows down, the master must stop or slow down. It is strictly forbidden to force the dog to run by pulling it.

Of course, speed is more important for skijoring and scooter than with canicross. And these two previous activities require the approval of the authorities of cross-country skiing tracks to be able to practise them. It’s better to have your own circuit on a lake so as not to damage the existing cross-country ski trails. You can get information from the organization “Canine sports harnessed Quebec” (CSHQ) to know the places to practise this sport, to learn and participate in the days designed for members.

Good discovery and enjoy the winter!

 

@ Martine Lavallée B.A.A. and animal health technician

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