CANICROSS

 

Canicross is now a recognised activity with the Kennel Club but still relatively new and exciting, it’s basically running whilst attached to your dog.

Your dog runs in a harness in front of you which is specially designed to allow them to pull you along whilst having free range of movement, this means that they can fully extend their legs without the material of the harness getting in the way. However, they can’t just wear any type of harness, as some harnesses like shoulder harnesses restrict the shoulder movement and doesn’t allow free range of movement.

Harnesses can range in price too but what is important to remember is that harnesses are a bit like running shoes, though they are the right size they might not be right for you! This means that some harnesses should in theory fit but when your dog runs in them they don’t appear to sit straight, or they rub.

The dogs are attached to you via a bungee line, which is then attached to a canicross belt. There are several types of these at various prices and are very person specific, it’s just what you find the most comfortable. 

canicross
canicross

How do you get into canicross? This is an easy one; you just go out, enjoy yourself and get on with it! If you go onto Facebook and type in the search bar your area and canicross you are likely to find a club near to you. If you can’t find one, then just search for Canicross Trailrunners and post your area on there because there will be people in your area, and new clubs are popping up all the time.

One of the benefits of getting in touch with a local club is the majority have lots of kit for you to try. This means you can try different running belts for you and different harnesses for your dog before spending a penny! It’s better to do this, as the equipment is not cheap!

There are also groups on Facebook where people sell old harnesses that either don’t fit anymore or are not wanted, but there aren’t many that go up for sale.  Always try before you buy.

I can’t really run I hear you say, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you can do this sport. It also doesn’t matter how big or small your dog is.  This is a sport that anyone can take part in.

Although it’s recommend that your dog is at least a year old before running in a harness so that they can fully develop their joints, but both of you will love it!

What about races?First off you don’t have to race, racing is something that some people enjoy and some people don’t. Your dog doesn’t have to be kennel club registered to take part in any of the canicross events currently available.  Races are put on by a variety of different clubs and groups, some are aimed at the monosports – so canicross, bikejor and scooter. Some are aimed more at the traditional sleddog sports, on rigs with anywhere up to eight dogs pulling them.

We have never been to a race where we haven’t felt welcomed, regardless of who is putting them on.

canicross

If you want more information on the sports then check out K9 Trail Time, they have an amazing blog with lots of information about the sports, harnesses and other equipment and they also sell it all!

They even do kits for beginners to make it cheaper starting out. They also have virtual runs, so you pay £10 to go out and run whatever distance you like (you decide the distance when ordering) and at the end of the month you are sent a medal for your achievement!

All the money goes to different charities raising an amazing amount of money every year!
                              

https://www.k9trailtime.com


Find your local club and learn more about the rules by visiting the Kennel Club website at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/activities