What is Canicross?
Canicross is the exciting and fast growing sport of off-road running with your dog. It offers a fun, social and highly effective way for you and your dog to get fit. It is also the safest way to enjoy running with your dog – by using specially designed equipment that allows you to run hands free and for your dog to run comfortably and efficiently.
Canicross developed from the origins of skijoring, where people ski with their dog pulling out in front of them. The kit is very simple. The owner wears a waist belt, the dog wears a harness and you are attached to each other via a 2 metre bungee line. So, very little equipment is required to get started.
The bungee line helps prevent any nasty jarring when the dog pulls and so makes the experience much more comfortable. The idea is that you run together with your dog leading the way without the need to worry about your dog running off or chasing anything that moves! And if you are up for the challenge, you can run with more than one dog; depending on their size (and yours), two dogs are usually manageable.
The best thing of all about canicross is that you don’t have to be an experienced runner to enjoy the sport. It’s suited for people and dogs of all ages and abilities - though we do advise that your canine buddy is over 12 months of age (if not later) as growth plates in the legs especially are still forming and too much stress can lead to complications later in life. If in any doubt please seek guidance from your vet and we strongly suggest you take on board these top tips.
There is no set distance or pace to stick to, so you can gauge each run on how you feel and how much your dog can do comfortably. And there is no preferred breed - it’s not unusual to see people running with their little Terriers and Dachshunds as well Labs, Vizslas and Huskies.
We also offer Dogfit approved classes run by canicross trained experts so you can enjoy the sport in a social and fun environment. These range from complete beginner to intermediate sessions so there is something for everyone!
Check out why Coco enjoys canicross so much!