Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best dog joring equipment helpful.
When the snow begins to fall and the temperature drops, try a new outdoor adventure with your dog and go winter DOG JORING!
Dog joring is skiing or snowboarding while being pulled by a canine. Any medium to large, active dog that loves to run will enjoy this activity and it’s a great way to bond with your favorite four-legged friend. If you have been thinking about dog joring, check out these tips and suggested dog joring equipment to get you started safely and quickly with all the right tools. Have fun!
Types of Winter Dog Joring
Ski Joring – Cross-country ski behind your dog while he pulls you. You are helping your dog by using your skiing skills and pushing off with your poles to give additional momentum.
SnowBoard Joring – Snowboard behind your dog while it pulls you. Since you are not assisting in this version it is important to do this on a flat, snowy surface that is not too hilly and for shorter periods of time.
Kick Sled Joring – You are on a small, light sled being pulled by your dog or dogs. This type of sled allows you to easily assist the dog by creating additional propulsion by pushing (kicking) with alternating legs/feet.
Dog Joring Tips
All three dog joring options require:
- A dog harness, a shock absorbing tow-line (leash) and a hands-free waist harness for the person. The bungee cord tow-line absorbs pulling shock, allowing dogs and owners to run without constantly yanking on each other
- Relatively flat trails with gentle hills because you want the dog to be constantly and consistently pulling. The dog should not get to far ahead or behind, you need to keep the movement fluid and continuous.
- When first starting try to keep your dog joring excursions under 15 minutes and then keep working up to longer tow duration based on what your dog can handle comfortably
- Before beginning dog joring your dog must be taught basic voice commands for stopping, turning, speeding up and slowing down. Commands should not be words that are used often in common conversation
Important dog joring voice commands:
- Whoa or Stop
- Gee- Go to the Right
- Haw – Go to the Left
Types of Dog Harnesses
Cross-Back or X-Back Harness
Specifically designed for typical sled dogs like Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes. This classic harness is designed with the straps ‘crossed’ on the dogs’ back ending at the tail. The tether is attached at the tail end. The x-shaped back strap design provides the optimal transmission of force and ideal distribution of the load on the body of the dog.
This harness must fit precisely since it cannot be adjusted. The neck opening should be relatively tight but not so tight that is choking or leaving a mark on the skin. The end piece of the harness should begin at the base of the tail and the side straps must be located within the costal arch (not behind it). The whole harness should not slip, it should move with your dog – even in curves. A great harness for kick sledjoring.
Perfect for the beginner dog jorer because there is more room for error because the harness can easily be adjusted. It is also a great tool to help inexperienced dogs find the right pulling direction. This harness is a great choice for long, lean dogs and dogs that do not have the typical sled dog shape
The H-Back Harness is easily identified by the H-shape of the back straps which removes all pressure of the back. In addition, its special shape allows unrestrained breathing while the dog is pulling load. This type of harness offers a nice balance between transmission of power and freedom of movement
Half Back Harness
The shorter Half Back harness is suited for small dogs or deep chested dogs. It looks just like a harness used for leashed walks but it is designed to pull some weight. This type harness is not recommended for kick sledding.
Wheel Dog Harness
This harness is perfect for kick sledding as it does not put any pressure on the dogs hind end.
Dog Joring Equipment
Everything you need to start dog joring in one complete, easy to use kit. Includes a dog harness, human hip belt, and tow-line. The Omnijore System is perfect for lighter pulling like skijoring and snowboard joring but not really suitable to pull a kick sled.
- DOG HARNESS: The pulling-specific design harness has four places to adjust sizes so the harness is very customizable no matter what size or shape dog you have. It also features reflective trim, which is perfect for nighttime dog joring and a light loop for attaching the Beacon Light (not included) if you need even more illumination
- TOW LINE: The shock-absorbing webbing minimizes bounce. The clip provides a secure connection. The color-coded ends make gearing up easy.
- HUMAN HIP BELT: The hip belt has a comfortable, load-dispersing design that allows for 180 degrees of tow direction. It features a quick tow-line release, removable leg loops, a water bottle holster, and two zippered pockets.
- The dog harness comes in three sizes
- The human belt comes is one size and fits waist sizes 27-48″
Another great kit that offers everything you need to get started with dog joring, in one, very convenient kit. Includes a high quality dog harness, bungee tow-line and a human hip belt. This very adjustable, comfortable harness will fit most dogs.
- DOG HARNESS: A fully adjustable harness with a top handle and a back D-ring; reflective trim; lightweight, and comfortably padded.
- TOW LINE: Constructed of a 1″ tubular webbing for durability ; easily adjusts to fit your needs; short bungee extends from 76″ to 100″; Long bungee extends from 108″ to 132”
- HUMAN HIP BELT: features quick-release strap to quickly and easily disconnect from your dog; lightweight and fully padded for comfort; has four pockets for storage and water bottle holder. This can also be used as a versatile day pack if you remove the leg straps.
This classic, heavy duty harness is perfect for sled-dog shaped dogs, breeds like Husky or Malamutes. Harnesses are not adjustable and must fit precisely so make sure you take all your dog’s measurements (twice)before ordering or contact Northern Howl directly to confirm you are ordering the correct size harness for your dog. This is a great harness for heavier pulling like kick sledding but will work well for all types of dog joring.
- Features breathable air-mesh padding to keep your dog comfortable.
- The harness is not adjustable but it won’t come loose when your dog starts pulling, which can happen with adjustable harnesses.
- Classic harness design offers optimal power transfer
- Features reflectors on the side of the harness
- Comes in Blue/Green, Red/Black and Green/Black
- This professional weight pulling dog harness will not let you down.
- You will need to buy human hip belt separately as this is the dog harness and bungee tow-line only
Half-harnesses are perfect for smaller dogs and dogs with deep chests. This is just the dog harness, so you will still need the tow-line and the hip belt to get started. Best for light-pulling activities.
- Features excellent padding and fits the dog comfortably.
- Harness is fully adjustable and ensures a proper fit and that the dog does not get loose.
- Bungee tow-line attachment on top AND bottom. Attach to the bottom so your dog can still use its nose if you are training your dog to track by scent.
- Reflective material on the harness allows for good visibility in the dark
Very adjustable harness will work on most dogs and dog breeds, especially dogs that don’t fit a typical X-Back harness. This is a great harness for anybody new to the sport. This is just the harness you will need to buy the tow-line and human belt harness separately to get started.
- A popular, best-selling dog harness
- Designed by a Norwegian company with input and product testing from World Champions.
- Adjustable fit insures that this harness will fit most dogs comfortably and correctly. Perfect for tough to fit dogs.Innovative design does not constrict dog’s lungs or airway, even while pulling as hard and fast as he can.
- Offers maximum freedom of motion and utilization of power in each stride.
- Side bungees allow for extra extension and protects your dog’s skeletal system
The human harness/belt is one of three items you need for fun, safe dog joring. The belt attaches to the human around their waist. Then a bungee tow-line is connected from the belt to the dog with an open hook so if needed, you can quickly and easily release the dog from its connection with you. Lastly the tow-line is attached to the dogs harness so it can pull you.
- This comfort belt is adjustable to fit all sizes.
- Perfect for beginners and professional dog jorers
- Evenly distributes the weight and does not ride up the waist
- Open hook to attach the Running Line insures easy release when needed.
- A small pocket on the back holds tools or essentials
- Sturdy construction with large buckles and wide Nylon webbing.
This is the element that connects your dog’s harness to your waist belt. The elastic bungee acts exactly like a shock absorber. It dampens the energy if the dog pulls or accelerates suddenly or there a need to stop abruptly. Protects both the person’s back and spine as well as the entire skeletal structure of the dog from injury.
- 8′ long strong and durable dog line expands to over 9′ length
- 1 inch wide tubular webbing with built-in extendable elastic
- Both ends have a high quality swivel snaps
- This bungee line is also available for two dogs. So if you want to drive a team, get the two-dog bungee tow-line.
This folding kick sled is so much fun! Small seat allows a child or your pack to be stowed in the seat while you stand behind and help kick the sled forward to assist your canine. Can be pulled by one dog or a team of dogs. It is recommended to use an X-Back harness and/or a Wheel Dog harness with a Kick Sled.
- Size: 43” L x 32” H x 18” W , Weighs approximately 18 lbs
- Made of solid maple wood with a Teflon band under the runners for a smooth ride.
- Incorporates a simple step brake system. Step your foot down to the ground to stop.
- Traditional rawhide weaving on the seat back of sled.
- Comes assembled
- Folds up so it can be easily stored in a closet when not in use
When you want a little more instruction and guidance for you and your pooch, pick up this informative book about everything you need to go skijoring with your dog. The authors; Mari Høe-Raitto and Carol Kaynor are both long-time dog mushers with tons of experience and knowledge to share. 2nd edition.
- This book is geared towards beginners but all enthusiasts can absolutely benefit from it.
- A popular and practical guide that covers equipment and how to teach a dog to pull properly
- Includes racing tips and how to train for competition,
- How to get children involved
- Summer dog joring activities like canicross and bikejoring.
- This is the perfect book if you don’t want to learn by trial and error and just want to know what to do.
Keep your dog’s paws protected with this easy to apply cream to keep his feet happy, injury-free and wanting to keep pulling all through the winter.
- Apply to paws to protect them from sand, hot pavement, ice and salt
- All natural 100-percent wax-based cream
- Perfect for mushing or dog joring
- Contains vitamin E to moisturize and help heal wounds
- Available in a variety of sizes
Have you ever participated in a winter dog joring activity? What type of dog joring do you do? Do you use any of the items and brands of dog joring equipment recommended above? Did you like them? Do you have tricks or tips to make winter dog joring more fun for you and your dog? We would love to hear your thoughts and comments