Running cross country trail with your dog
Canicross is where you can build up to jogging or running with your dog or dogs. There is no rule about speed for this activity and there will be some very speedy runners and others who prefer to run/walk over a duration of either time or distance. No matter your fitness level, we can support you.
In canicross you can choose to focus on enjoying the outdoors with your dog, or you can try your hand at various 'races' and fun runs.
Running with your dog is great for building that connection with them and having fun, as well as giving you some focus time for your own fitness. Whether you want to build fitness in general, or if you have a goal that you are aiming for, we can help you out. With experience in running ultra marathons, marathons and shorter races, we have the knowledge and skills to help you plan your journey no matter where it takes you.
If you have goals to race and see how well you can do then we can support and advise you with this as well as we have raced at local, regional, national and international level and can give you honest information and guidance about what to expect and experience at these levels.
Our canicross class are planned and modified based upon the dogs who are in attendance and as such we can acccommodate reactive and nervous dogs as well as those who are not quite as fit as we might like. All kit can be loaned for classes free of charge and we encourage you to try different kit until you find what suits you.
What you need
A waist belt
A good fitting sport specific waist belt with adjustable straps is ideal, as it allows you to adjust the fit as you go and as you become more comfortable with jogging or running your dog. There are various types, but usually you will find that a good fitting belt with leg straps will help you feel secure and comfortable while running.
A bungee line can come in different lengths and these bring different benefits. A full length elastic line can absorb the jerk of the pull from a very strong dog, but it might mean your dog is very far away from you. Other lines can be shorter, meaning a stronger pull but better connection to the dog and you can get some with grab handles as well, which is ideal for longer hikes / runs where you might need to pull your dog in close.
Y front harness
A Y front harness ( nothing to do with pants!) features a V or Y shape at the front of the neck where the dog can lean into the pull and not have their airways restricted at all. The harness shouldn't come back any further than the last rib and should feel snug but not restrictive. We can loan kit and advise on the benefits of different harnesses in our sessions.
Appropriate footwear and clothing for trail work is essential. Your shoes should have good grip which can be beneficial for the muddy trails. The deeper the lug the wetter the mud! Some people prefer to get waterproof shoes, however despite them being great at keeping water out, they also keep water in when you go through puddles..so think wisely about the practicality of this when purchasing shoes for trail running.