I have two GSP and I have always wanted to try skijoring with them. Im a little reluctant to try because of the ill effects it might have on their hunting. I don't want them to think that once we are out on a trail their job it to run down the trail instead of hunt. But it would be a great way to exercise them if it worked. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
how old are they?
If they are done growing & have a season or two of hunting under their belt it won't hurt them in the least. My weim will pull like crazy when on skates roller blades, or a kick sled. ( I can't ski worth a darn so I don' try )
She is not a huge fan of the harness when I pull it out but once we get out & going everything is good. However their is no comparison to when I pull out the orange collar & start loading the guns in the car. The excitment level shoots up. My neighbor had a GSP he would ski with competively & the same thing. It won't effect their hunting ability or manner as long as they have the normal drive to hunt. Pulling is just exericse & some of the shorthairs have the muscle build to do it well. With two I'm sure you could move along quite well.
Bird dogs and skijoring
I used to skijor race quite a bit with my Gordon Setter and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Trust me, it will do your dog no harm as far as hunting goes. Totally different set of "tools" and landscape. The key for the dog is the harness. In harness, he knows what his job is. My dogs would go ballistic (in a good way) every time they saw the harness. Just like they do when they see the shotgun.
Best part about it is that it is that when everybody else and their dogs are getting fat all winter, you are training yourself and your dog, and maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.
There was a great article in Pointing Dog Journal about 7 or 8 years ago about a guy in Michigan that raced with his setters and GSPs. It prompted me to want to send in pictures of all of the Alaskan racers that use GSP's and Labs, weimies and such. THere are actually a lot of active skijor racers that use gun dog breeds, especially GSP. And some of them are hard-core hunters.
My setter and Chesapeake sure know my expectations of them when in harness, and when out in the field hunting.
My take is: Go for it! It is a blast! And good for you and your dog!
Might want to look up the following organizations: North American Skijor and Ski-pulk Association, Interior Alaska Sled Dog Association. Good info on skijoring.
Got my acronyms wrong
Got my acronyms wrong. Try this website:
First link is for Fairbanks based club, second is for Anchorage.
Have fun with your gundog this winter!
My shorthairs have no problem telling the difference between ski jouring and hunting. It is great exercise for them and you.
My lab skijours with the wife, she LOVES to pull, she gets JUST as excited when my wife pulls out the harness as she does when i pull out the shotgun. Heck she has even run in a few dog team races with a musher friend of mine. she LOVES it, and it has had no ill effects on her hunting whatsoever.
Im going to give it a try. Now if we could just get some snow.