Registration has opened for our Hone Your Skills training group

use the contact us form to register.

Member Log In




Getting Started

Dog Powered Sports are a wonderful way for you to spend time with your canine pal and stay active and fit at the same time.

Dog Driving or Dog Powered Sports are broken down into two categories-Winter Sports and Dryland Sports.

Winter Dog Powered Sports include SKIJORING and MUSHING (dog sledding) (also includes Nordic events Pulka and combined event)


Training techniques are the same for Winter Sports and Dryland Sports.


Spending time with your dog becomes a sport when you and your dog work as a team.

The word skijor is derived from the Norwegian word hundekjoring. Hundekjoring translates directly to mean "dog driving". The "Jor" means to drive, so whether ski-joring, bike-joring, or other "joring", the "JOR" equates to the "PULL".

In all dog powered sports your dog is PULLING, rather than just running or being with you.

So Skijoring is more than loose leash skiing or ski-wyd (skiing With Your Dog) basically "If the line aint tight, you aint joring."


Most dogs 35 pounds and up are able to participate in dog powered sports and be a viable part of the team. Even smaller dogs are often trained and participate in dog powered sports and while they do pull, they require their human partner to do a little more of the physical work than a larger dog does.

Not all dogs have an instinct to pull. Many do, some need too be taught, once taught most dogs love it. All breeds are trainable. Just bear in mind some dogs 'get it' quicker than others even within breeds. Remember any new activity uses new muscles and your dog will use his/her muscles in a different way than if they are just running. For your dogs sake, start small and incrementally ease into it and build your dogs confidence as well as increasing fitness level.


Most people are able to participate in one type of dog powered sport or another. If you have health issues you should consult your physician before beginning any athletic endeavor. Remember to start slow and work your way up to more strenuous activity or longer distances. You will be able to get in shape along with your dog. Core exercises also help to make you strong, develop your muscles and provide you with good balance.  Being able to cross country ski competently, (including being able to stop) as well as controlling and directing your dog make the sport both enjoyable and safe for everyone.

Equipment, commands, etiquette, training tips, and techniques are covered in our power point presentation. Additional information is in our files section of the Midwest Skijorers Facebook group.

Prior to attending any of our clinics, please view our Skijor101 presentation as well as a RACING 101 presentation at the  "Training Information" page (in PDF format).

What to look for in a skijor training:

Some articles lead one to believe the training is almost an "instant download".  Many of the books and articles are based on the 10-15 generation race-bred husky-hound and as such very little time is spent on teaching the dog to pull and transitioning from a Velcro-to-your-side dog to an out-and-in-front leader.

Getting a 15 generation race-bred husky-hound to pull and run is usually pretty easy and most anyone should get "ok performance" without much time investment in training. Now If you want GREAT performance from even a race bred dog it will require an investment in quality training and conditioning.

Training a race bred hound is significantly different than teaching a Lab, Schnauzer, Poodle, Border Collie, Boxer, or other non-racing dog to pull and run out front. With the many different instincts, drives, temperaments, and needs; the canned-one-size-fits-all training approach can leave dogs frustrated.

You should seek out training that strives to train "the dog in front of you" in a systematic incremental progression, rather than stressful immersion or "flooding" your dog with excessive tasks and stimulus.

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? ...Wait.. What or who the heck told you chase might result in pull ? What do they say to do to correct the dependency that has been created?
  • 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 ?
  • Does your dog stay focused, stay in front and pull the whole race (whatever the distance). If not, do you know if it is due to maturity, training, conditioning, nutrition, health, genetics, or a combination thereof.
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.
Our classes are kept small in order to provide you with specialized one-on-one training. The small class size is also much less stressful for your dog.
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.


For more information on training classes please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


For more detailed and in-depth discussion on all things "jor-ing", please log onto to the "Member Forum" in the member area of this website. (the "forum" is only accessible to paid Midwest Skijorers Club members)