Adding a 2nd Dog
If you aren't at this point already, you will very likely be here soon!
Whether you are buying or borrowing a second dog, this post will focus on skijoring with a two dog team.
Dogs being pack animals, for the most part, enjoy the company of another dog. This is true when sleeping on the couch, digging holes in the yard or skijoring. With a well matched team, both dogs will pull equally and enjoy each others company while on the trail.
Here is a list of some things to think about before adding another member to your team.
Too much power.
Don't skijor with more dog weight than your own weight, is a general rule of thumb. If your dogs
outweigh you, it will be that much harder to control them while on skis. Or while you are on your butt being dragged down the trail, or off the trail after a deer.
Is your dog ready?
Are there any bad habits that you are still working on with your current dog? Adding skijor runs is not a good idea until you get those under control.
Running an extra dog will want to do everything a little more. Run a little more. Run a little faster. You will be able to go further, and faster.
You might also have to contend with different behaviours. Now that your dog is running in a pack, lose dogs or other teams might become more of a target. Or if those were issues already, your dogs might misdirect the aggression towards the running mate.
If you and your current dog have been skijoring for years, or even months, the fitness level of the dogs will vary. A good tip would be to run your first dog, get some of the energy off, then add the second dog to the run. Leave the second dog in the car, you don't to accidentally train any bad behaviours while you are taking some of the edge off the first dog.
If you and your dog are used to doing 10 k runs, slow it down, and start back at the start when you add the second dog. You want this to be fun!
A neckline will help keep both dogs focused, and going in the same direction around a tree, etc. Before you hook the dogs up together for a skijor, put them in harness, and neckline them, and spend some time walking around on trails, and doing dryland training. Offer praise when the dogs are doing what you want!
Two dogs is twice as much of everything! Twice as much poop, love, time and money.
Dogs who run together will be friends for life! Once you add a second dog, you won't be looking back, so what are you waiting for?