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Dog Activities
Calling all Skijorers!

Skijoring is a winter sport in which one or more dogs pull a skier thereby combining cross-country skiing with dog mushing. This fast growing sport originated in Norway, allowing dog and owner to exercise together while enjoying the great outdoors. Imagine the exhilaration of gliding along with man?s best friend on a cold, clear, sunshiny day.

Skijoring requires only minimal equipment, such as cross-country skis, boots and poles as well as an attachment system between you and the dog. The attachment system usually consists of a harness for the dog, a harness for the skier and a towline, the latter frequently consisting of a combination of rope and bungee cord.

Any breed of dog, which is comfortable outside in the winter, can be used for skijoring. Traditionally, Northern breeds such as Malamutes are used; however, there is no reason not to use any enthusiastic dog that weighs over 30 pounds.

Before starting out, there are a number of safety and other basic tips that are essential reading. These may be found at:
Workshops or Clinics
Kindling Klassic 101-A
AMHL Malamute Saloon, Havelock ON
Skijoring and sledding workshops for all levels of experience and novices.
(Check our AMHL Events page)
Working Skijoring Program

The Working Skijoring Dog title maybe obtained by an individual dog or as part of a team of two/three dogs:

-sprint racing
-distance racing
-a combination of race miles and excursion miles
-a team may consist of different breeds
-the dog does not have to run on the same team each time;
-a team may use a pulk

Sprint or Distance Racing:

The dog must accumulate a minimum of 25 race miles and must have completed the course in all races considered.

-the races may be any class
-each heat may count as a race as long as the it fulfils the above requirements
-races must be under ISDRA or AMHL rules
-all events must be certified by a race official or an impartial witness

If sprint racing, the dog must finish (without disqualification or being timed out) in at least three different races in which there are at least three teams competing.

The team must complete the race at an acceptable speed under normal conditions
-for sprint class 9 mph
-for distance races 7 mph

Under extreme conditions, a slower average speed will qualify. Slower speeds will also be acceptable if the team completes the race in the top 30% of the competition.

The class in which the dog is running will determine required minimum distances:

-sprint racing – minimum of 3 miles required
-Distance racing – minimum distance of 20 miles per day. One race of 25 miles will be considered as having fulfilled the requirements.


The dog must accumulate a minimum of 40 excursion miles at a minimum distance of 10 miles per excursion. An impartial witness must sign the form to verify proof of distance traveled and dog or dogs competing. One or two 10 mile or longer races may count toward the required total of 40 excursion miles.

click here to obtain the appropriate application form.
Excellent Dog Excellent Program:

The Working Dog Excellent program was designed to test a dog's working ability in as natural a situation as possible in order to ascertain his willingness to work in difficult situations over a period of time. These accomplishments should reflect endurance, attitude and training above and beyond that of the average working dog. The program administrator has the right to reject any applications, which do not reflect the spirit of the program. WD certification is not a prerequisite in order to apply for a WDX certificate

If the event is a race, rules shall be ISDRA.

Dogs may run on any size team and need not run on the same team for each event. Total mileage for all applicants shall be 100 miles. Races must be a minimum of 25 continuous miles or two or more heats of at least 15 miles where the applicants have completed at least two consecutive heats.
AMHL WDX - form application...

It is the responsibility of dog owners to make sure that their dogs are sufficiently trained and conditioned and that they pose no hazard to the health or welfare of themselves or other dogs and people participating in the event. Any dog or team proven a hazard to other participants at an event will be disqualified from certification. Any driver/handler who displays poor sportsmanship or abuses his dogs will be disqualified from certification. 

It is the responsibility of the dog owner to obtain and mail all the necessary documents, signatures and otherwise complete all requirements to get their dogs certified by the HELP League. 
For more information about our Working Dog Program, contact


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