Posted at: 03/26/2013 5:26 PM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 10:50 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

Stephanie Love spends a lot of time outdoors during the winter, much of it with four-legged companions like her Alaskan Husky-Greyhound mix, Panda.

"My husband, Blake Cazier, had a dog that he got for skijoring and that grew into a love of dog sledding," Stephanie said. "So one dog became nine, which became 16, which became a lot more."

Stephanie and Blake are sharing their love for skijoring with beginners. As part of their Positive Energy Outdoors education program, Stephanie teaches the basics of equipment and training.

"For huskies, the pulling instinct comes easy," Stephanie said. "But sometimes other dogs need a little bit of a carrot or some clarification from the owner." There's been a great interest in skijoring lately so it's been fun. We've seen lots and lots of people who bring their dogs and turn them into skijor companions."

The most important things are a proper harness and some cross country skiing skills.

"Having a good baseline of skiing ability is really important for skijoring," Stephanie said. "Working with your dog just walking is a way to get started and then add the skiing as you're comfortable."

Once you have the basics down, skijoring can be a pretty simple process.

"To get ready to go you just grab your dog, grab your belt, grab your skis and you're ready," Stephanie said. "It doesn't have to be complicated at all."

It's a true partnership, and not a bad way to pass the winter months.


For more on the Positive Energy Outdoors program, visit http://www.outdooredventures.org/