So what is Canicross?
Canicross (aka Canine cross-country, Cani X) is simply off road running with your dog – many of you might already be doing this without even realising! The human in the team wears a waist belt with a bungee cord. This is attached to your dog who wears a padded harness. It is an awesome way of getting out and about and spending some quality time with your Fido and it gives you both a physical and mental workout as you learn to work as a team together.
What Do I need to get started?
No equipment is really needed to get started and you do not need to be super fit to get started. However, it is much more comfortable (and fun) for both you and Fido to wear a properly fitted running harness and waist belt, allowing you to harness your dog’s pulling power.
If you are first starting out it is also important to take it steady and consider your Fido’s fitness too. Go at their pace, give them plenty of breaks and water and then you can gradually increase the pace and distance covered. It is also important to note that dogs under one year of age should not be exposed to excessive exercise as growth plates in their legs are still growing and excessive stress can lead to later complications. It is also important to note that larger breeds take longer to fully develop so it is worth consulting your veterinarian before starting out.
A good place to take a look at is the Couch to 5k training plan which can be found below:
Canicross Dos and Don’ts
So you want to come along and join us on our adventures? Below are a few things to bear in mind when running to help make the journey enjoyable and safe for you and your Fido (Supplied by http://k9trailtime.wordpress.com/):
Teach your dog basic voice commands to turn and slow down for the safety of yourself and others you may meet on your canicross runs
Try to get a decent fitting harness for your dog as soon as possible, a waist belt for you and a bungee line are highly recommended but the harness is essential: http://www.k9trailtime.com/shop/canicross.html
Always build up slowly keeping it short and fun to begin with
Ensure your dogs has access to fresh water
Be considerate of others around you and the environment you run in
Push your dog or yourself beyond what is comfortable
Expect either yourself or your dog to be able to go straight out and run races or cover large distances, canicross is the same as other sports, you will need to train
Run your dog in a choke chain or any muzzle which restricts breathing
Feed your dog too close to a run, before or after
Expect other trail users to move out of your way, they might well do this but be aware that many may not!
Want to find out a little more about Canicross?
Here is a list of a few websites leading to more information for you to have a look at:
http://www.k9trailtime.com/ (Contact K9PA for a special discount if you decide to buy any kit)
If you would like to join us on our adventures then just drop us an email via the Contact Us page to get started J
Above all the most important part is that you and your Fido have fun and enjoy the experience -