Can Dogs Ice Skate?

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Introduction

With the Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing, a lot of households are tuning in to watch ice hockey. One of the key elements of ice hockey is skating. A favorite team is the Colorado Avalanche and coincidentally, their mascot is a dog. 

It’s funny to think of a dog ice skating! Dogs are good at so many physical activities, but could ice skating be one of them? Next time you’re lacing up, could your pooch go and have a good time? Maybe it depends on the dog.

Signs Your Dog Likes Skating

There isn’t a lot of information about dogs ice skating on the web, but we do know how a dog reacts if they are enjoying themselves. If your dog seems relaxed physically, they are probably very at ease. You need to look at their ears, mouth, and posture to see if they are actually relaxed. You might also notice them wagging their tail and even trying to run or jump. Even though your dog can’t tell you they like something verbally, chances are, you know your pup well enough to know if they are happy, scared, or sad. So, if they seem to be enjoying themselves, that’s a great start!

If your dog is scared, you shouldn’t try to push them to do anything they don’t want to do. Dogs can become unpredictable when they get scared, and you want to make sure they are completely safe. If your pup is scared, you might notice them cowering or backing away. They might tuck their tail between their legs, and start to bark aggressively or growl if they feel threatened. You might also notice them shaking or even trying to hide. No matter what they do, if they are showing you they are scared, stop immediately.

Body Language

Here are some signs you might notice if your dog is having a good time on the ice:
  • Jumping up
  • Wag tail
  • Ears up
  • Play bowing

Other Signs

Here are some signs your might notice if your dog is scared of the ice:
  • Cowering
  • Backing Away
  • Putting Tail Between Legs
  • Barking Aggressively
  • Growling
  • Shaking

History of Dogs and Ice Skating

Ice skating began around 1000 BCE in Scandinavia, according to Britannica. They actually made their skates from the bones of various animals. Metal skates came later, and in 1850, a man named E.W. Bushnell introduced the all-steel skate. After 1900, many improvements were added to the skate that have made it what it is today. 

Skating has taken several forms such as figure skating, speed skating, and ice hockey. Skating has been very popular for many, many years for both men and women. It’s also a large part of the winter Olympic games.

As for dogs ice skating, there really isn’t much information about it out there. There are, however, some cute videos of dogs trying to skate floating around the internet.

Science Behind Dogs Ice Skating

Scientifically speaking, dogs are good at many physical activities. They are fast runners, and different breeds have different talents that make them very good at certain kinds of activities. However, as mentioned, there is not much information about dogs ice skating. 

We do know that some dogs are better equipped to handle the cold based on their fur type, size, weight, and other factors. However, not much else is known about dogs actually ice skating. It is interesting to note that dogs’ paws do have a different kind of circulatory system that helps keep their paws from freezing. So, perhaps that would help them to glide across the ice - or maybe it wouldn't be strong enough to resist the cold.

Training Your Dog to Ice Skate

As for training your dog to ice skate, that’s a very tall order. It depends on their temperament. Some dogs may love sliding along on the ice while others really may not like it. With that being said, dogs are very intelligent and have been taught to do all kinds of tricks, so it wouldn’t be surprising if someone was able to train their pup to skate. 

As for tried and true methods, though, there aren’t many out there. Some dog owners have found that they can coax their dog to do just about anything with a treat. So, maybe taking your dog onto the ice with you and rewarding their behavior with treats might work - but the jury is still out if that would work or even be a safe idea.

Speaking of safety, before you try to teach your pup to do a triple axel, it’s important to look at the ice you’ll be skating on. You can fall through it if it’s too thin, and there are stories of pups falling through the ice and getting hurt or dying. So, while it might sound fun to try to take your dog ice skating, please be careful.

So, can dogs actually ice skate? Who knows - it really depends on your dog and if they want to glide gracefully around the ice. Whatever you do, just be sure to be safe and have fun.

Safety Tips for Ice Time with Dogs:

  • Check first to make sure the ice is safe to be on.
  • Do not drag your dog onto the ice.
  • Make sure your dog does not get moving too fast while out there, or they could be injured.

We Want to Hear About Your Dog Ice Skating!