Guidelines for joining a DogFit class
We recommend you wear a pair of trail shoes with a suitable grip and invest in a good rain jacket. If the weather is particularly warm, the welfare of the dogs always comes first, so we may either change the time/day of the class or reduce the pace of the class to avoid the risk of the dog overheating.
Your dog must be fully matured before they take part in canicross/running. This is typically around the age of one year old, but may vary as dogs mature and grow at different speeds. Do not feed your dog at least 1-2 hours before or after a class as this may predispose them to bloat which is particularly common for larger/deep-chested dogs. Seek advice from your vet if in any doubt.
Dogs must be attached to owners (via the bungee line) at all times.
Please inform your Dogfit Instructor when you sign up for a class (and before a class commences) if your dog has any issues or conditions they should be aware of. This is for the well-being of both your dog and other attendees.
Your Dogfit Instructor will introduce you to some commands that we encourage you to use during the class. This helps the dogs focus and makes your life easier.
Before the Class:
- Arrive in plenty of time for the class.
- Keep your dog in the car (well ventilated of course) until the session is ready to start as the dogs can get excited and quite vocal in anticipation of the class so this keeps them all calm - this is also out of respect to any residents and other visitors to the area.
- If you are unsure about the fit of your waist-belt or your dog’s harness, your Dogfit Instructor will be able to assist you.
4. Put on your waist-belt and fit the harness to your dog before getting him/her out of the car, so that all you have to do is clip your dog on before you start - many people prefer to fit the dog’s harness before they leave their house.
During the Class:
- Always follow the guidance of your Dogfit Instructor.
- The group will always run at the speed of the slowest runner. If for any reason you have concerns about yourself or your dog, notify your Dogfit Instructor at your earliest convenience.
- Keep a good distance from other participants so you are not running on top of one another - on wide paths it is often permissible to run alongside another runner but do ensure their dog is comfortable with this.
- If you need to overtake a fellow runner, make them aware and ask for permission to pass.
- On narrow tracks, always give way to on-coming people or vehicles (walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders etc) - please bring your dog to heel to allow safe passing.
- In instances where you approach other people or vehicles from behind, kindly call out and politely ask to pass - again, keep your dog close to your side when you pass.
- We will often regroup during a class (whether that’s for a refreshment, to wait for others to catch up, for a breather or to talk to one another in closer proximity) - in these situations always bring your dog under close control and give ample of space to the other dogs.
- Always clean up after your dog.
- Carry plenty of water for you and your dog should they need it (especially if exercising in warm conditions).
After the Class:
- Bring water for yourself and your dog for the end of session - but don’t let your dog drink too much too soon.
- Allow your dog plenty of time to cool down before putting them back into the car - some dogs may benefit from a walk around.
- In warm conditions always ensure your car is well ventilated and in cold conditions ensure the dogs are kept warm.
- On muddy days, a portable shower often comes in handy to hose your dog down - do ensure they are dried off thoroughly afterwards and kept warm.
- Don’t forget the dog treats for a job well done!