We have had another busy year with presentations, training clinics, and of course our races that are geared for all levels. We also have some very exciting opportunities on the horizon. A huge thanks to all of you for making another successful season happen.
Please take a moment to check out some of the changes we have made to the website.
We have posted a new Skijor101 Power point presentation. (We plan to add more presentations).
We have also added some great information to the "member" area including creating the "MEMBER FORUM" in which to share a wealth of information for you and your dog. Some of the topics in the "Member Forum" are: Training, Equipment, Canine Health, Racing, Book and Video Resources, Improving your XC skiing, Feeding your Canine Companion, Traveling with Dogs, And much more !
If you are a current member, just log into the member area and check out the Member Forum. If you need to renew your membership in order to view the "Member Forum" that can easily be done here at:
Prior to entering any race you are responsible for reading and understanding race rules, policies, procedures, protocol and etiquette.
Skijorers are responsible for familiarity and knowledge of IFSS and ISDRA rules, policies and procedures as well as etiquette and protocol.
(IFSS is International Federation of Sleddog Sports and ISDRA is International Sled Dog Racing Association)
Skijorers are responsible for knowing the events rules, policies, and procedures.
Skijorers are responsible for safe contact-free passing (passing skills should be practiced extensively prior to entering a race).
Teams must be able to complete the race course in a reasonable time (a maximum finish time may be in place).
Each team will be assigned a start time and a chute time.
Each skijor team shall be at the immediate start area prior to their CHUTE time (Race may specify this time).
Skijorers should provide their own handler (generally 1 handler per dog).
Handlers must promptly exit the start area to make room for the next team.
Skijorers may use either skate or classic ski technique.
Dogs must be treated humanely at all times.
Dogs must be controlled and kept from other teams (before, during, and after event).
Loose dogs areNOT PERMITTEDat race site at ANY time (before, during, or after event).
Skijorer should not disconnect towline from the harness except to clear a tangle.
Skijorers are responsible for their dogs’ behavior (before, during, and after event).
Aggressive (or overly reactive) dogs are prohibited from the event.
Dogs may be handled by race staff during inspections, at the start area, or by trail help, so it is very important that your dog is well socialized (not fearful, anxious, or reactive).
Skijorers are responsible for limiting stress (Always be your dogs’ advocate).
Skijorers shall not block, impede or otherwise interfere with another skijorers’ progress at any time. (Interference)
Skijorers’ dog or dogs shall not interfere or impede another skijorers’ team at any time.
If you or your dog is not proficient in passing or being passed, you should train pass proficiency before entering a race (passing is discussed in detail further below).
Skijorer shall follow behind the dog on skis.
Skijorers (or others) may not pace the dog by ANY means.
All dogs must be sufficiently fit and conditioned to be able to complete the course.
Dogs must be vaccinated for Rabies and any other vaccinations specified by the Race Giving Organization. Have a copy of the dog's rabies vaccination certificate available for submission.
Race may require a pre-race vet check (inspection) and dog marking. (All dogs should be socialized to accept this handling)
Purebred entries must provide registration papers to be eligible as a purebred.
Sick dogs or those exposed to communicable disease are not permitted in the race.
ALL dog injuries MUST be reported immediately to the Race Marshal and Veterinarian immediately.
Aggressive dogs MUST be reported immediately to the Race Marshal.
All equipment must be in good working order.
All equipment (and dogs) must be available for inspection at any time. (before, during, and after the race)
Nordic skate or classic skis are allowed.
Hip Belt minimum width: IFSS= 2.75 inches(ISDRA= 3 inches)
Towline shall include a shock absorbersection. (No minimum or maximum amount of stretch in the shock absorber.
Towline length, as measured from skiers waist or belt buckle to the 1stsnap (closest dog), shall be within the specifications.(ISDRA specifications = 7 feet to 12 feet) (IFSS specifications= 2.5 to 3.5 meters which is 8' 2" to 11' 6").
IFSS & ISDRA require a "means" of release within skijorers’ arm reach. It may be a mechanical release, a soft release, a belt hook, or other type of release.
Harness shall be designed/intended for dog powered sports (a pulling harness).
Each dog shall wear a secure dog collar. (It shall be adjusted so that it cannot slip over the dogs head). Buckle collars or limited slip collars are suggested (avoid plastic buckle collars).
Collars, muzzles or harnesses capable of choking the dog are prohibited.
The towline must be attached to the dog's harness. (not to the collar)
Dogs may be harnessed in single file, side by side, or offset formation.
A belly band may be used.
Helmets are required for all youth skijorers. Helmets are allowed and recommended for adults.
Neckline is required in 2 dog skijor teams unless run in single file. (in which case the rear dog is necklined to the towline).
The Race Giving Organization (RGO) has the the right to restrict participation for just cause.
Park in the same parking spot each day, for hygiene and canine health, (think communicable diseases and illnesses).
Heat distances need not be identical, but the shortest trails shall be run first.Subsequent days’ heat distances shall not exceed 150% of the 1stdays length. (Per IFSS rules)
Shortest and longest possible trail distances for each heat and shall be indicated on the invitation.
CUMULATIVE TIME RACES: Dogs will be marked prior to the start of the 1st heat. The markings must be there on each subsequent day, (do not attempt to remove it). Only the dogs marked for a specific class may be used on any subsequent days’ class.
All teams should arrive at the start area at least 1 minute prior to the assigned chute time. (which is generally 1 minute before the assigned chute time)
Skijorers must provide their own handlers, (1 per dog) in order to maintain adequate control and minimize stress (your dogs’) in the start and finish areas. Handler should be someone that your dog knows and likes and someone that knows dogs. Handler should be advised to clear the immediate start and finish areas as soon as possible. At some races start help/chute help will hold the skijorer at the waist. Help may or not be provided by race staff. Bring help or exchange assistance from participants in other "classes"
The front tips of the skijorer’s skis must be behind the start line prior to the signal to start.
The skijorer’s race bib must be visible to race officials. Single panel bibs shall be worn in front and above the waist.
Skijorers must remain aware of teams nearby and keep control over their ski pole tips to avoid injury to dogs or skijorers. (Interference rules apply)
Skijorers are responsible for executing good passing (passing should not be first experienced at your first race).
A passing skijorer must execute a pass only when conditions are safe.
The skijorer should call “Trail” before attempting to pass.
Skijorer may pass on either side.
Both skijorers may say “on-by” but that is a very small part of passing. On-by is merely a word. The actions of both passing parties are paramount to successful passing. In the event of a protest for failure to facilitate a pass, the actions, or lack of actions, may determine the course of penal action.
The skijorer being passed should slow down (stop skating) and move inline behind their dog and move to the non-pass side of the trail.
The skijorer being passed should stop poling and hold their poles behind, low, parallel to the trail, and away from the passing team.
The skijorer being passed should be prepared to reel in line and hold the dogs’ harness to prevent any contact or interference with a passing team.
The passing skijorer should move to the off-pass side and should pole on the off-pass side and exercise extreme caution when poling in close proximity to all teams being passed.
The passing skijorer may request you to stop or to control your dog, the skijorer being passed must comply with the request (control your dog means keep the teams apart even it fit means reel in and hold your dog by the collar or harness)
A passed team cannot repass for 2 minutes or ½ mile except by mutual agreement of both skijorers. (No leapfrogging)
NOTE: You will both lose far less time and create much less stress, by concentrating on and ensuring successful passes, than you will with any tangles or leap frog sessions.
Repass rule does not apply in “No Right of Way” or “No Mans Land” zones.
Skijorers must maintain a minimum distance of 20 feet between his/her dog(s) and the skijorer in front. (No tailgating).
Skijorers must always exhibit care, good judgment, good sportsmanship, and fairness whenever passing occurs.
Failure to facilitate an efficient pass will be grounds for a protest and consequences up to and including disqualification. (It is your responsibility to read, know, and follow the passing rules and etiquette)
Failure to control your dog (before, during, and after the event) is grounds for a protest and consequences up to and including disqualification.
All skijorers shall cooperate with others in order to have successful contact-free and interference-free passing.
Timing ends when the nose of the lead dog crosses the finish line. (exception is chip timing)
Keep the finish area free of congestion.(Do not stop and socialize at the finish line, others are coming in behind you and you can be cited for interference). You, your dog and your handlers should proceed to your car or a authorized pre-designated finishers area to care for your dog. (cool down, rest, praise, water, treats, massage inspect) Your dog will experience much less stress at the car than at the finish area).
Only race officials and race authorized persons should be in the immediate finish area. Spectators will be near the finish are and should be managed by crowd control measures.
Personal dog handlers are welcome at the finish area but must stay clear of all finishing team traffic. Handlers should be position so as not to distract or interfere with other teams finishing.
Obviously everyone (skijorers, handlers, spectators, etc) is prohibited from distracting any and all timing officials.
Skijorers and their dogs shall exit the finish area promptly. The handlers should assist in promptly clearing all teams out of the finish area (includes completely clearing the exit corridor). This is an interference issue. It also to remove your dog from the stress of the finish area and encourages participants to administer prompt dog care and praise to their well deserving partner.
Skijorers and their handlers are highly encouraged to help others get to and from start and finish areas.
Upon finishing your heat, the skijorers’ concern is your dogs care. (check feet, massage, feed, water, etc)
Water or feeding of dogs shall only be done at skijorers’ respective vehicles orRGOapproved and designated areas (this is both an interference and an anti-doping issue).
Dogs shall not be brought back to the start or finish areas at any time.
Any protests shall be presented verbally to the Race Marshal immediately after the heat of the incident or infraction.
Any protests shall be followed up with a written report (preferably using Race Protest Form) to the Race Marshal with in 1 hour after the heat of the incident or infraction. Protest form is available online, should be available at race site (from the race marshal) If no protest form is available submit details in writing on available paper.
A protest jury meeting may be held to gather and assess information from parties involved, any witnesses, trail cameras and trail reports and if necessary impose penal measures.
OFFICIAL TIMES: Times are not official until any and all protests, incident reports, anti-doping results are addressed, investigated, and resolved.
Awards should not be presented until after times are declared "Official".
The Midwest Skijorers Club is your go to source for all dog powered sports training and problem solving.
Does your dog lose focus on the trail?
Does your dog lack enthusiasm when the harness comes out?
Does your dog have a slack tug line when you are skiing? Would you prefer to be in the Snug Tug Club?
Does your dog stop and sniff things on the trail ?
Does your dog visit with other dogs on the trail rather than staying focused and passing them?
Are you wondering, aside from saying a command how do train your dog a command
Is your dog chase dependent ? What to do about it?
Are you wondering, aside from saying on-by and hoping and praying, how are you going to ensure interference free passing.
Are you wondering how you know if your dog is ready for a race? What race? Why ?
We teach you how to solve these and many other issues. Join us for a training session and we will turn your frustrating runs into enjoyable outings for you and your pet. Classes are kept small in order to provide you with specialized one-on-one training.
If you are new to dog powered sports join us for a beginner training session (we provide the gear for the day). This is a great way to see if the Dryland and Skijoring sports venues are of interest to you and your canine pal.
Bring your dog and we will teach YOU how to teach YOUR dog using positive training method with certified dogpower sports trainers. Learn in a relaxed, friendly and fun atmosphere. No gimmicks, no sales pitch, just honest information.
After your initial class you may join us for our practice group "HONE YOUR SKILLS" sessions where you will get together with others of your same experience level for fun and training tips.
Prior to attending any of our clinics, please view our