Dog Sledding Can Solve Your Winter Care for Canines Woes

BY | December 04 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

Winter care for canines can be a tricky thing to tackle. Most of how we exercise our pooches rely on it being nice outside. Have you ever thought about having your dogs pull you around town on a sled? East Anchorage man Christopher Michael did a lot more than just think about it. He trained his

four adopted canine companions to mush all around town

, according to Alaska's NBC affiliate KTUU.Michael was once a dog handler but decided he wanted to train his own sled dog team. While he had the home and yard for it, he didn't have a truck capable of carrying the dogs and gear. So, rather than sledding through traditional trails, KTUU explained that he takes the dogs down snowy sidewalks for trips through town and to the local coffee shop, as well as local trails.Not only is Michael a fan of this arrangement, but he said the dogs love the opportunity to run as a team. The townspeople also enjoy this unique spectacle and many shoppers at the local Kaladi Brothers shop where Michael buys his coffee come out to meet the dogs regularly.Michael has loftier goals for his small sled dog team, hoping to get a complete pack and to ride farther someday, the news station explained. But for now, he likes riding into town and teaching locals about the importance of mushing and dog racing to Alaska and its early inhabitants.

What do you know about dog sledding?

When early Americans and Russians first visited Alaska,

using dogs for transportation was already a big part of culture

. Even early French colonists in Canada used dogs for transport when they arrived.The exact origins are unknown, but the practice likely started in Canada, Siberia or similar climates. While some speculate that dog sledding is thousands of years old, the community website for Two Rivers, Alaska, explained that the earliest archaeological evidence of dog harnesses and sledding traced back to between 1,000 and 1,600 A.D. in Canada.Dog sledding has been used for practical everyday movements, long trips and even races. It's an efficient way for people to travel, as the dogs can go for long periods and across regions that vehicles cannot traverse. Although some animal activists are critical of competitive dog sled racing, many defend it, and mushing is the official state sport of Alaska and has a proud history. It even made Balto a super star around the world.Whether you want to train your dog to mush or just help him prepare for cold weather, PetPlushas all the supplements and info you'll need to keep your dog in top shape.

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What is Skijoring and Why Should You Try It with Your Dog This Winter?

With the temperature constantly dropping, our outdoor activities tend to go on a back burner and all we want to do is curl up on a couch with a blanket and a cup oโ€™ Joe. But have you ever wondered who is it that gets most affected by such lethargy and loss of activity? You guessed it right. Itโ€™s your dog. Your furry companion might be getting more depressed with each passing day that he spends curled up idly in one corner of your electrically heated room. However, there are several winter activities that you and your dog can indulge in during those cold months, and shake off the sloth that has confined you within its unrelenting clutches. One such fun activity is skijoring.

What is Skijoring?

Skijoring is a winter sport that derives its name from a Norwegian word that literally translates to โ€˜sky drivingโ€™. In this sport, a person on the skis is pulled by his dog through a long rope that connects him to the latterโ€™s harness. You and your dog can enjoy this amazing cross country team sport by getting around a local trail, touring the country suburbs or gliding across the snow laden golf course in your town. Although, the sport might appear a bit too complicated for your little friend, you must understand that the pulling part is a natural attribute of all four legged animals. You will eventually be surprised as to how well your dog takes to the sport, and learns to work on your commands of turning or halting.

How is it beneficial for your dog?

Skijoring has been a popular sport for centuries in the snowy highlands of Scandinavia. The high energy activity has a series of major benefits for both you and your canine friend.

  • The running and pulling aspect of the sport pumps up the blood circulation in your dog and helps to improve his heart health.
  • In addition to this, running in snow helps keep your dog stay nimble and active even in sub-zero temperatures.
  • Indulging in a team sport such as skijoring is a great way of strengthening the bond with your dog and connecting at a deeper emotional level.
  • Outdoor activity such as skijoring for your dog is an effective way of eliminating the chances of him getting depressed or picking up cabin fever, especially during the cold winter months.
  • Skijoring is also helpful in various aspects of dog training such as making him respond to your navigational commands.So the next time, you wake up to a meter of snow on your front yard and your furry friend curled up in the blanket beside you, you know what to do!
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