How to go canicross with your dog?

How to go canicross with your dog?

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The canicross is a great way to share your passion for running with your dog.

Very popular, it is practiced for conversation, spending time with your animal, or during competition.

However, this endurance sport requires preliminary preparation and specific equipment. In addition, the canicross not suitable for all breeds of dog.

Here are some tips for getting started canicross with his dog in good conditions.

Do canicross with his dog, what is it?

The canicross(or canicourse) is not limited to a simple run. In fact, master and dog form an all-terrain pair that encourages each other and makes a common effort over a course of around ten kilometers (4 to 9 kilometers for competitions). This is why the handler and the dog must have complete confidence in each other to exceed their limits.

  • For this activity, the dog is connected to its owner by a 1.50 m elasticated lanyard fitted with a carabiner at both ends. One of the carabiners is attached to the canicross of the master while the other is attached to the animal's harness.
  • The master does not pull the dog. This one must run for pleasure.
  • Positioned in front of his master, the dog sets the pace for the race by exerting a slight pull.

To master this sport demanding, progressive preparation and specific equipment are essential.

What equipment to run with your dog?

  • A sports harness for the dog suitable for traction. Indeed, this device makes it possible to control the animal without strangling it. Moreover, choke, semi-choke or spike collars are prohibited for the practice of canicross.
  • An elastic lanyard of 1.50 m also called line of line.
  • A special belt canicross and comfortable running shoes for the master.

The little trick 💡

  • A tanning lotion (Solipat brand for example) to harden the horn of the dog's pads.
  • Vaseline to soften and moisturize the dog's overworked pads after the race.
  • Treats to reinforce good behavior.

How to start the canicross with his dog ?

To make your dog want to run with you, you have to take it step by step.

  • First, equip your dog and put on your equipment.
  • Second, give your dog some freedom to relieve himself and be more relaxed.
  • Third, walk quietly. Automatically, the dog will stand in front of you, then speed up your pace.
  • Praise and reward your dog, if he stands in front of you.
  • When your dog understands the principle, start running slowly and then faster. You should feel a slight pull.

Gradually increase the speed and length of the course.

With which dogs to avoid the canicross?

A prior visit to the veterinarian is important before embarking on the adventure of canicross.

  • Indeed, dogs with a heart murmur, breathing problems (brachycephalic breed) or joint problems (osteoarthritis, dysplasia or fragility of the cruciate ligaments) cannot do canicross.
  • In addition, it is necessary to wait until the dog reaches 1 year old to start this sport without risking harm to the health of his joints. If you plan on running with him, teach him rappelling, kicking, walking right and left during that first year. And get him used to the harness.
  • Finally, category 1 dogs are not allowed in canicross competitions.

Working dogs (Malinois, Labrador, Golden, etc.), Jack Russel and Sheepdogs (Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, etc.) are great for running with their owners.

Smart advice

Do not give your dog any food or drink before exercise and wait two hours after your canicross session to give him his meal. Otherwise, your dog is at risk for a twisting or turning of his stomach. This pathology is very serious, even fatal for your companion.


Video: 2016 Canberra Sled Dog Classic. Lunas 1st heat and bikejoring race! (August 2022).