I love my dog and I love cross country skiing – so why not combining the two and ski with my dog? Nera absolutely loves the snow; she is happy and crazy when we go to the mountains. In the winter I tend to run a bit less and use that time to go cross country skiing. I’m not that good at it, but I love it. So here are my recommendations for a great and fun experience cross country skiing with your dog !
Where to go?
Usually it is not allowed for dogs to go on the usual cross country skiing tracks. There are special tracks for dogs so you must check in advance where you can and cannot do. It is bad etiquette to bring your dog where you are not allowed; some people might be scared of dogs, they can also damage the slopes, and create chaos when overtaking or when being overtaken – so please be very cautious when taking your dog skiing and stay on the designated tracks.
In La Givrine, there are 15km of tracks for dogs – more than enough ! In some other resorts like Leysin it’s even up to 50km. Go online on the Romandie Ski de Fond website, select your area or resort and you will find all the necessary info including maps and distances available.
What do you need?
To be honest you really don’t need much – but for a safe and fun experience I would recommend investing in good quality products. Not only you will have a much nicer experience, but your dog will be able to run freely and also have a great time !
Here is a little list of what I have when skiing with Nera
- Running harness (for Nera)
- Bungee leash (2.8m)
- Running belt (for me)
You could also buy some booties if it’s very cold or if you go for a long time. We usually never go more than 1h which is ok; always start slowly!
Don’t forget to bring snacks, poop bags and water. You and your dog will be hungry and thirsty, skiing is tiring !
I found a company called Non-Stop Dogwear, a Norwegian company specialized in dog accessories. Norway has huge experience in dog sledging for mushers and their huskies, and they used that experience to create amazing products for running and cross-country skiing, also called Skijöring.
Where to buy?
First of all I want to say that I am NOT sponsored by this brand and that this post is NOT a paid partnership. I am simply a very satisfied customer and want to share my tips with you !
You can buy directly on the Non-Stop Dogwear at www.nonstopdogwear.com
- Harness and belt : from Athletic Dog (https://athleticdog.ch)
- Leash : from Tier Pfoten (https://www.tierpfoten.ch)
I cannot recommend enough their products ! Non-Stop Dogwear also has a very cool podcast and brilliant videos on YouTube
Skiing or skijöring with your dog should just be about fun – yes some people compte – but I would say most of us just want to go out for fun. So don’t expect to beat records, especially if you are a seasoned and fast skier. I would first try running before you go skiing and see how your dog is adapting to the bungee leash and harness.
I would definitely advise to have a REGA membership. If you have an accident in the middle of nowhere that is not accessible for an ambulance, the rescue service will be done by helicopter and this is very expensive ! Please read my other blog about the REGA to find out more. Always err on the side of caution when going outside in the wild!
We are having so much fun when we go to the mountains, it’s such a joy to see her happy and spending all that energy! So why not give it a try and let me know how you get on, enjoy !
Thierry’s top tips
- Start slowly and build up the distance
- Don’t worry about pace or speed
- Invest in the right equipment for you and your dog
- Always bring snacks, poop bags and water!
- Encourage your dog
- Have a REGA membership
- Be very very patient !