Sally the Skijoring Dog

German Shorthaired Pointer Enjoys Winter Sports

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Full of energy, and with a love for the outdoors, Sally, a 4–year–old German Shorthaired Pointer, loves to play in the snow.

“As long as she’s moving, she loves it,” said Sally’s owner Greg Spoelhof.

Which is why he and his wife, Allison, began skijoring with her when she was just a pup.

“Well Sally’s crazy,” admitted Greg. “Sally’s extremely high strung. Fun in the house sometimes – sometimes not so much fun in the house – because she’s got lots of energy.”

Right away, they knew she was a natural.

“We’re spoiled,” Greg said. “We’ve pretty much just took her out two or three times out at Snowflake, and by the 2nd or 3rd time, she just kind of figured it out and did it.”

Skijoring, derived from a Norwegian word that means ski driving, involves a person getting pulled on skis by either a dog, a horse, or a motor vehicle.

“I think you just have to be pretty attuned to your dog and to know if they’re feeling okay, if they’re feeling ready to run,” explained Allison Spoelhof, Sally’s skijoring partner.

For Sally, that feeling is mutual, as dogs are taught directional commands, learning to rely on the body language of their owners.

“I think she just feels the tension on the rope,” Allison said.

Running a 10K in the first annual Skijor Duluth, was the perfect way to harness Sally’s cabin fever.

“It’s just a really good time for both the skier and the dog. Everyone gets a workout, and a tired dog is a good dog,” Allison joked. 

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