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Man (Tim) running with a dog at an event.

What is Canicross?

Canicross put simply is the sport  of running with your dog on a hands free harness.

This enables you to run much more naturally than you would holding on to a lead.

There are many benefits to running in a controlled manner for you and your dog some of which are:

For Humans, elevates mood, can help maintain muscle mass and bone density, builds self esteem, boosts immune system. 

For Dogs, provides mental stimulation, increases bond with owner, promotes healthy rest, helps reduce behavioural problems.

I offer 121 Tasters, 121 Improvers, and Workshops which will help you progress in the sport with your dog.



 

How old does my dog need to be to start running?

Your dog must be fully matured before they can take part in Canicross.  This is typically around the age of one year old, but may vary as dogs mature and grow at different speeds, 18 months or more for larger breeds, if you have any doubts please ask your vet. 

Can I Run with more than one dog?

Yes, it is possible to run with more than one dog.....and it's loads of fun.  In fact a lot of canicrossers run with a couple of dogs.  Though depending on their size, we would recommend that you initially start with one dog, just until you get the hang of it and are confident you could take on another dog.

I'd like to join a class but I'm worried about keeping up with everyone else?

Don't worry! We recognise that people start exercising with their dogs at different levels and abilities. The Instructor will run to the pace and speed of the slowest person. The classes are first and foremost about having fun - nobody is too slow.

What trainers should I wear for Canicross?

Canicross is basically cross country running with your dog, so the terrain could be uneven, wet, muddy or all three! You will need a suitable pair of trainers that provide good grip for these conditions. There are many off road - trail shoes on the market, with different tread for different conditions.  It would be worth popping into a good running shop for advice. Many runners have a different shoe for when it's particularly muddy (deeper tread) than normal trail shoes.  

Will my dog pull me over?

If you buy the correct kit and stick to good paths then it is very unlikely.  Even if if you have a strong pulling dog, the bungee and the fit of your harness should prevent any jarring and sudden dramatic movements.

 

However like any off-road running, there is always a risk of falling over but you can reduce the likelihood of doing so, by making sure you look ahead in front of you anticipating any obstacles and turns ahead.  Using instructional commands for your dog will also help you to mange your balance and speed.   

Can any breed of dog take part in Canicross?

As long as they are old enough and willing enough, then any dog can take part. We know people who run with Boston Terriers through to Rhodesian Ridgebacks! All dogs and people can potentially Canicross.

What clothes do I need?

Any clothing you wear should be lightweight and comfortable - ideally technical apparel because it wicks away moisture/sweat and dries quickly and is less bulky than cotton garments. A light rain jacket is always handy too!

What if my dog doesn't pull in the Canicross harness?

Whilst the majority of dogs will pull, it's not uncommon for some dogs not to be natural pullers initially.  But as soon as you put them in a pck with other pulling dogs they more often than not follow their lead.

What if my dog has behavioural issues or doesn't get on too well with other dogs?

The great thing about using the specially designed equipment for power walking or Canicross is that the dog is always attached to it's owner at all times which makes it a safer and controlled environment - much safer and much more enjoyable for both parties than a normal lead or off-lead walk.  When running with a group just make others aware that your dog needs plenty of space.  It may be worth tying a yellow ribbon to your dog's harness to signify they should not be approached.

What is the difference between Canicross and Canitrek?

Canicross is about using harnesses and commands enabling you to run cross country, however it is only suitable at certain temperatures. Canitrek uses the same harnesses and commands but as it's t a slower pace it's great for learning / teaching the commands and is a little more flexible temperature wise. Either exercise helps you save time by getting your dog out with you too. 

Benefits of Canicross

Benefits for you.

 

Elevates your mood

Improves concentration and alertness

Builds self esteem

Promotes good sleeping habits

Controls weight

Higher energy levels

Healthy heart and helps prevent high blood pressure

Preserves / increases bone mass

Builds and tones muscle

Boosts immune system

Benefits for your dog.

Provides mental stimulation

Builds confidence

Improves mood and wellbeing

Helps reduce behavioural problems

Increases bond with owner

Keeps weight down

Encourages healthy bones, joints and ligamnets

Tones muscle

Wards off disease

Promotes healthy rest

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