FAQs - Canicross and Dogfit Classes

I'M WORRIED THAT MY DOG WON'T PULL IN THE CANICROSS HARNESS?

    Don’t worry. 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 pack with other pulling dogs they more often than not follow their lead. There are also a number of top tips to help a dog get used to pulling and your Dogfit instructor can share these with you.

     

    HOW OLD DOES MY DOG NEED TO BE TO START RUNNING?

      Your dog must be fully matured before they take part in running. This is typically around the age of one year old, but may vary as dogs mature and grow at different speeds. We would strongly recommend that you seek advice and guidance from your vet if in any doubt.

       

       

      CAN ANY BREED OF DOG TAKE PART IN CANICROSS, INCLUDING THE TINY ONES?

        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 do canicross. 

         

        WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BUY TO START POWER WALKING WITH MY DOG?

          All you need is a special walking line with built in waist belt for you and a suitable harness for your dog.  The beauty of the kit for power walking is that it allows you to walk hands free so it’s a much more comfortable and enjoyable way to walk with your dog compared to using an ordinary lead.  Click here for details of walking kit.

           

          WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BUY TO START CANICROSSING WITH MY DOG?

            As well as your regular running attire (including a good pair of off-road trainers), you only need three items to get started; a waist belt for you, a harness for your dog and a special bungee line. Click here for details of our special offer Canicross Starter Kit.

             

            WHAT TYPE OF CLASSES DO YOU PROVIDE?

              We offer classes and courses for all levels and abilities. We have ‘Couch to Canicross’ for complete beginners who don’t run and don’t canicross where over just a few weeks we’ll help you run your first ever 3km. We also cater for people who can already run but are looking for the social and new experience that canicross  brings, as well as a way to get fitter – we’ll show you the ropes and take you out for some lovely scenic runs.

               

              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. That’s why we have different classes to suit different abilities; from complete beginners through to more experienced runners. And even in our beginner classes, the instructor always runs to the pace and speed of the slowest person.

                Our classes are first and foremost about having fun – nobody is too slow! 

                 

                WHAT DISTANCE/HOW FAR DO YOU RUN IN YOUR CLASSES?

                  This will vary depending on whether you are a complete beginner when it comes to running, in which case we will build up from walking to jogging to running over a few weeks, or an intermediate runner, where, once you are accustomed to the kit, you will run for the majority of the class. Classes typically last for an hour but may vary depending on the Dogfit class you join and the courses the Instructor runs.

                   

                  WILL I FALL OVER A LOT WHEN I DO CANICROSS WITH MY DOG?

                    If you buy the correct kit and stick to good paths then it is very unlikely. Even if you have a particularly strong pulling dog, the special bungee line prevents any jarring and hence sudden, dramatic movements. 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 in front of you and anticipating any obstacles and turns ahead. Incorporating instructional commands also helps you to manage your balance or speed. Read about it here.

                     

                    CAN I JOIN A CLASS IF MY DOG HAS BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES OR DOESN'T GET ON TOO WELL WITH OTHER DOGS?

                      Generally speaking, yes you can. The great thing about using the specially designed equipment for power walking or canicross is that the dog is attached to its owner at all times which makes it a safe and controlled environment – much safer, and much more enjoyable for both parties, than a normal lead or off-lead walk.

                      If you also follow our ‘Guidelines’ then there is no reason why you and your dog can’t enjoy this sport just as much as anyone else. In fact, attending a group class and using instructional commands (whether it’s power walking or canicross) often helps socialise and give focus to a dog with issues, especially when combined with other forms of training.

                      We just ask owners to take responsibility for being in control of their dogs and inform their Dogfit Instructor if their dog needs space.

                        

                      MY DOG IS NOT WELL TRAINED. IS THAT IMPORTANT?

                        No, that's not a problem. In fact if you stick to the top tips given to you by Dogfit and our Certified Partners canicross can offer a safe environment to start training your dog through the use of commands which in turn gives your dog some focus. 

                         

                        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 have got the hang of it and are confident you could take on another dog. 

                         

                        CAN CHILDREN JOIN IN?

                        Children from the age of 11+ are welcome to attend but the following distance restrictions apply. 

                        • Age 11 to 14: 1 to 3km 
                        • Age 15 to 16: up to 7km
                        • Age 17 to 19: up to 10km

                        For safety reasons, it is compulsory for children under the age of 17 to be accompanied by an adult and they must only run with one dog.

                        We also strongly advise that for under 14s both child and adult are attached to the dog via two canicross lines. 

                         

                        I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND A CLASS IN MY AREA?

                          We are talking to new Instructors frequently so please keep checking our ‘Classes’ page. It’s also important that get feedback from our customers so please send us a quick email to ‘hello@dogfit.co.uk’ so we can prioritise your area when sourcing new Dogfit classes. 

                          >>CLOTHING AND KIT

                           

                          WHAT TYPE OF FOOTWEAR SHOULD I WEAR FOR CANICROSS OR POWER WALKING?

                            Canicross is basically cross country running with your dog, so the terrain could be uneven, wet or muddy. You will, therefore, need a suitable pair of trainers that provide a good grip for running in these conditions. There are many off-road running shoes in the market, with different treads for different conditions, so it’s worth popping into a good running shop for advice. Many runners have a different shoe for when it’s particularly muddy (ie more grip) than when it’s dry but a good 'all-rounder' off trial show is suffice for beginners.

                             

                            WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BUY TO START POWER WALKING WITH MY DOG?

                              All you need is a special walking line with built in waist belt for you and a suitable harness for your dog. See our Shop for more details. The beauty of the kit for power walking is that it allows you to walk hands free so it’s a much more comfortable and enjoyable way to walk with your dog compared to using an ordinary lead. 

                               

                              WHAT KIT DO I NEED TO BUY TO START CANICROSSING WITH MY DOG?

                                As well as your regular running attire (including a good pair of off-road trainers), you only need three items to get started; a waist belt for you, a harness for your dog and a special bungee line. See our feature on ‘Canicross Kit’ to find out more.

                                 

                                HOW DO I MEASURE MY DOG FOR A NON-STOP FREEMOTION HARNESS?

                                  We have provided instructions for measuring your dog for a canicross harness - see our guidelines and handy video here. The correct fit is important so do ensure your measurements are accurate. Double check to be on the safe side.

                                   

                                  HOW DO I MEASURE MY DOG FOR A ZERO DC HARNESS?

                                  We have provided instructions for measuring your dog for a canicross harness - see our guidelines and handy video here. The correct fit is important so do ensure your measurements are accurate. Double check to be on the safe side.

                                   

                                  ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS? 

                                  If you do need help with anything else then please do drop us a line and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

                                  Email us:  hello@dogfit.co.uk

                                  Tel: 01932 300345

                                   

                                   

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