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Ski touring with your dog

An honest blog about the pros and cons and what "type" of dog might be best

For everyone who loves skiing and also loves spending time outside with their dogs, ski touring is the perfect combination of those two, offering a thrilling adventure in a winter wonderland that you can enjoy with your best friend.

When considering taking a dog ski touring, it’s important to choose a companion that can handle the physical demands and environmental challenges. Dogs with a sturdy build, a thick and insulating coat, and moderate to high energy levels may be better suited for such adventures. Medium to large-sized dogs, such as some retrievers, huskies, and mixed breed dogs with these attributes tend to perform well in snowy conditions. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t take small dogs or dogs with thin coats out, it just means you may have to prepare differently with them! With my double-coated shepherd mix, I have taken her to areas while it’s close to freezing out with chest high powder and she excelled. With a single coat dog, they may need a jacket or two and paw protection. For a small dog, they may need all of that and to ride in a backpack for some or all of the tour. Another option is taking the latter two types of dogs on trails that are more packed down and require less trail to be broken.

Once you have decided if your dog can join you on your adventure and what they need, it’s also incredibly important to consider both the advantages and drawbacks before heading out into the snow.


  1. Enjoyment and Enrichment for your Dog: Dogs are known to revel in the outdoors, and a ski touring trip can be great for exercise and be a stimulating experience for them, giving them a chance to explore a novel environment!

  2. Companionship: This is the obvious one! Having your dog as your adventure buddy can enhance the overall experience, providing companionship and shared excitement to an already adrenaline filled activity

  3. Safety: For those who are nervous about venturing outdoors alone, a dog might be the perfect solution to giving you an extra sense of safety and security


  1. Safety Risks: Ski touring can involve hazardous terrain, and not all dogs are equipped to handle the challenges posed by steep slopes, cold temperatures, and changing weather conditions.

  2. Training Requirements: Proper training is crucial to ensure your dog’s safety and compliance on trail. Without sufficient training, your dog might pose a risk to itself and others

  3. Physical limitations: Certain dog breeds, especially those with thin coats, short legs or flat faces, may struggle to keep up with the demands of ski touring, leading to exhaustion or potential health issues.

Ultimately, the decision to take your dog ski touring should be made after careful consideration of their physical capabilities, training, and the specific challenges of the terrain, but you can always adapt the type of ski tour to the dog you have! ALWAYS prioritize your dog’s safety and well-being above the thrill of an adventure to ensure a memorable and secure experience for both of you.

Want to see more of Candy and Koda's adventures? Check them out on social media


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