You might have noticed a lot of people running with their dogs attached to them when you are out walking your dogs lately.
This is Canicross and yes it is a sport.
Canicross is running with your dog over trials, using specific Canicross equipment.
Canicross originally came from Europe. It was sled dogs in the off season to keep the dogs active and fit.
It’s now become a sport in its own right.
What do you need?
To Canicross safely for you and you dog you need :
- Canicross harness for your dog, which is light weight and designed to keep the dogs shoulders free.
- Bungee lead, this attaches you to your dog and reduces the impact from the dog as it pulls.
- A human harness - this is like a climbing harness with two leg straps and the main part of the harness around your pelvis, which is the strong part of the body to take the pull of the dog.
To find out more about Canicross kit then check out this Podcast episode from the podcast Canicross Conversations - Everything you need to know about Canicross harnesses.
Canicross is a great way for you and your dog to get fit. You don’t have to be a runner to get going. You can train together and build up your fitness. Your dog might race around all the time, but building up harness fitness is as important as you building up your running fitness.
Think of your dog as your Pawsonal trainer. It will get you out of bed in the morning!
What dogs can Canicross?
All dogs can Canicross expect the Brachycephalic breeds due to breathing issues. E.g. French & English bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese.
Otherwise dogs of all shapes and sizes can Canicross. If you are unsure it’s always good to get your vet to check your dog out.
Your dog should be at least a year to eighteen months old before they start to Canicross, if in doubt get your vet to check them out.
Benefits of Canicross to your dog
We see all types of dogs Canicrossing, a lot of reactive, rescue and prey driven dogs that maybe can’t be let off the lead.
1. It’s great for socialising
2. For fitness
3. For reactive dogs
4. Dogs that like to do a job
5. Great for creating a bond with you and your dog.
Rosie the reactive & recuse dog
Rosie and her mum did a taster session with me last year. Normally I will take Pickle with me to help encourage the dogs to run.
I didn’t with Rosie as she was very reactive to other dogs.
Rosie’s mum has worked really hard with Rosie who is now Canicrossing regularly with the Paws 4 Running Social group. Whilst out Canicrossing Rosie is hardly reactive focusing on her work and enjoying running with her pals.
Benefits of Canicross to you.
Canicross whether you’re a runner is great for
1. Your fitness
2. Creating a bond with your dog
3. Exercising your dog if you are unable to let them off the lead.
Beware it’s addictive!
How to get going
If you’d like to give Canicross a go then why not book in a taster session where we take you through the basics, try out the kit and see if it’s for you. You can find out more about Paws 4 running here.