COVID-19 Safety Update by Explore Minnesota

You’ll Have ‘Snow’ Much Fun Learning This Sport

It can be a struggle to stay active in the winter, even our dogs might put on an extra pound or two. Minneapolis Northwest has the solution!

Skijoring is the perfect way for you and your dog to get outside and take advantage of our beautiful winters!Man skijoring with two huskies

If you already participate in Nordic skiing or dogsledding sports, you might be familiar with skijoring. If not, it’s pretty simple. You start with your Nordic skis, a comfortable harness for your dog, arctic grade bungees and leashes, and a belt or harness for yourself to attach you to your dog. Then, with some guidance and training, your dog will pull you over the snow! Don’t be fooled into thinking your dog does all the work (but they will love being able to get outdoors and run off all of their energy)! You’ll get plenty of exercise with skijoring.


Skijoring is a great way to not only exercise, but to build a really strong bond between you and your dog. One way to get started with this, and to make your time on the trails infinitely easier, is to teach your dog some basic commands:

• Whoa = Stop
• Hike or Let’s go
• Easy = Slow down
• Gee (pronounced Jee) = Right
• Haw = Left
• On-By = Keep going/ignore whatever they are being distracted by
• Line-Out = Your dog is hooked up to their harness and attached to the line. This instructs them to wait for you and your next command (and not follow you around tangling up their line). 

Once your dog has the hang of things, start practicing with your skijoring gear and hit a trail! Elm Creek Park Reserve in Minneapolis Northwest has 4.3 miles of trails for you and your dog to practice and enjoy skijoring! Just remember that regardless of your level of expertise and fitness, your dog will need to start out slow and build up their stamina. Start with a mile and work your way up until you can start participating in those 10-mile events!


Now that you’ve fallen in love with skijoring, keep you and your dog in shape for it all year long with off season training. How? Try these:

• Canicross

• Bikejouring
• Scootering
• Nordic Walking 


You just have to bring your dog and skis; the rest will be provided! If you’d like Minneapolis Northwest Tourism to help you plan a skijoring trip, we’d love to connect you with everything you’ll need!