Frequently asked Questions

I am interested in learning how to skijor. How can your club help me?

(For questions and answers regarding dog sledding scroll down)

Q: Does Mush Larose offer skijoring classes?

A: Mush Larose is a group of recreational dog owners who come out and practice sledding and/or skijor together, or separately. Mush Larose does not have any formal educational program, therefore does not offer formal individual or group classes.

It does happen time to time that a member will organize a clinic or group course as exceptional event. If such is offered we will have it posted on the Mush Larose website home page.

You may be interested in meeting with some of our members in club events or through social media. Most adepts of harness sports are passionate and willing to share time to help others get started.

Q: How can I meet skijoring and harness dog adepts to help me get started?

A: Most adepts of harness sports are passionate and willing to share time to help others get started. The best way to meet us and flood us with all your questions is to come meet during club events (announced in our event schedule). We can talk dogs and harness sport all day.

An other way to get in touch with skijoring adepts is through social media. Join the skidogs.ca group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/skidogs.ca/ , post your interest to meet other skijorers and ask all your questions. Most of us started skijoring by joining more experienced skijorers on there outings.

An other option offered by the club is to meet up with sledding practice group that is run out of the Cornwall area every second weekend throughout the season. You can come out to one of the training days for free, to get an idea of what it is all about, try out equipment, and perhaps to link up with a mentor for you and your dog. All you need to bring is a record of current vaccinations for your dog, and your enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is not an organized training session for beginners, but the organizers will help your dog get started and pretty much everyone is friendly and happy to share what they know about the sport. This is a dog sledding group but they can still give you much information that will be transferable to skijoring.

To attend these practices regularly, or to use the Mush Larose trails at Larose Forest, you must become a member ($50 per season) to cover your share of the grooming, site rental and insurance costs. If you decide that the training days are too far away for regular attendance, they are sometimes held at the Larose Forest location. Either way, you will likely learn enough to be very useful in getting started on the first day out. There is a schedule on the MushLarose.ca website under “training division/training schedule”. Do check back for last minute changes as weather conditions can be difficult, and locations sometimes change. Please feel free to contact info@mushlarose.ca to ask more about it.

I’m willing to give it a try on my own do you have any tips?

A: We sure do! See our basic primer on sledding and skijor : http://mushlarose.ca/tips-for-training-recreational-sled-dogs/

Remember you can also join the skidogs.ca group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/skidogs.ca/ and ask all your questions. You can expect much guidance to start from there.

Q: Does Mush Larose offer ski lessons?

A: The first part of learning to skijor is learning to skate-ski with confidence. We don’t offer classes in this, but there are many organizations that offer skate-skiing classes in the Ottawa area so pick one that is convenient for you. You can do traditional cross-country with a more complacent dog, but in either case, you should be a confident skier for your’s and your dog’s safety.

Q: Does Mush Larose rent skis or harnesses?

A: No, we do not. Mush Larose is a group of recreational dog owners who come out and practice sledding and/or skijor together, or separately.
See our suppliers page for dog equipement http://mushlarose.ca/suppliers/

You may also be interested in meeting with members in club events or through social media. Many adepts have spare equipment which they would be happy to let you try and would be pleased to graciously offer you guidance to suit up your dog.

Q: I would like to learn about dog sledding with my own dog. How can your club help?

A: There is a practice group for sledding that is run out of the Cornwall area every second weekend throughout the season. You can come out to one of the training days for free, to get an idea of what it is all about, try out equipment, and perhaps to link up with a mentor for you and your dog. All you need to bring is a record of current vaccinations for your dog, and your enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is not an organized training session for beginners, but the organizers will help your dog get started and pretty much everyone is friendly and happy to share what they know about the sport.

To attend these practices regularly, or to use the Mush Larose trails at Larose Forest, you must become a member ($50 per season) to cover your share of the grooming, site rental and insurance costs. If you decide that the training days are too far away for regular attendance, they are sometimes held at the Larose Forest location. Either way, you will likely learn enough to be very useful in getting started on the first day out. There is a schedule on the MushLarose.ca website under “training division/training schedule”. Do check back for last minute changes as weather conditions can be difficult, and locations sometimes change. Please feel free to contact info@mushlarose.ca to ask more about it.

Basic primer on sledding and skijor : http://mushlarose.ca/tips-for-training-recreational-sled-dogs/

Q: Are the Larose Forest mushing trails open for recreational use on weekends?

A: The trails are available daily for club members from Nov 15 until the snow melts in the spring. For insurance purposes, and to share in the grooming expense the township requires that all trail users be Mush Larose members in good standing. Membership options can be found on http://mushlarose.ca/membership.

Trail reports about the current conditions are at http://mushlarose.ca/category/trailreport. There are posts when the trails are groomed (approx once per week depending on conditions); and comments by members, who post their experience when they return home, so that others can know what expect between groomings. Weather being what it is around here, the trails are sometimes hard or icy. Depending on your skill level, and type of equipment, this could be a significant concern, so watch for comments about trail difficulties.

Make sure to bring a map if you are new to the trails:http://mushlarose.ca/larose-forest-trail. It’s a big forest, so important to know where you are. The dog trails are groomed flat 6-8 feet wide and signed. There is a small “P” in a circle on strategic signs to help guide you back to the parking lot. Please be sure not to use the cross country ski trails (the ones with parallel tracks groomed at one side). Mountain bike trails also cross our trails, but are much more narrow and unsafe for us, so stay on the wide trails, but keep your eyes open for cross traffic.

The only time the trails are not available is when there is an event in progress. Event notices are emailed to members, posted on Facebook and on the website at http://mushlarose.ca/events. At those time trails may be available in a more limited way, or not. It should say in the event posting on the website, but if you are unsure email info@mushlarose.ca.

Q: I’d don’t own a dog, but I would like to try dog sledding. Where can I do that?

A: Mush Larose is a group of recreational dog owners who come out and practice sledding and/or skijor together, or separately. We do not currently have a member who is insured to give rides. We recommend that you Google “Dog Sled Rides” and choose from the many providers that are available within a few hours drive.

Note: it is very expensive to maintain dog teams, and to insure a ride giving business, so you should expect it not to be inexpensive.

Sometimes the township offers a Larose Forest Day. Our club often offers rides to kids from 5-14 years of age at this event, with a small fee for charity. Check with the Larose Forest webpage for upcoming events.

Q: I’d love to have a dog sledding event at my local winter fair. What do I need?

A: Dog sled and skijor races require insurance, preparation, and at minimum 5 km groomed trail. If you can provide these things, we would be happy to help you to plan one. Contact info@mushlarose.ca

Q: Does my dog need to be a Husky to participate?

A: Pretty much any reasonably-sized dog can participate in skijor or dog sledding. If your dog has way too much energy and loves to pull, it’s likely a good candidate. Non-northern breed dogs may require boots and/or coats, but are still quite capable of playing the game.

It does require quite a bit of commitment on your part though. As with any sport, there is a lot for you to learn. The dogs should be trained and worked up gradually to be able to run longer distances, and care should be taken in higher temperatures or difficult conditions to respect the safety of yourself and your dog(s).

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