Canicross Equipment

By Emily Thomas

The Harness

If you are going to expect your dog to pull any weight when running, then it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog is in the most suitable harness which allows your dog the best range of movement to suit their shape and running style. Pressure put on the neck (a very sensitive area) with your dog pulling is something that should always be avoided, so ensuring their comfort and safety should be a top priority.

In general – if your dog is a strong puller choose a long or longer ‘style’ harness which distributes the pull along the length of the dogs’ body

In general – if your dog is a leisurely / occasional / non puller choose a shorter style harness so the harness sits no further than the mid back of your dog

Any harness which you chose for your dog should be checked in 5 specific areas to allow a full, free range of motion when the dog is running.

1. Neck – the harness should not cause any pressure on the throat of your dog and sit down near to the prominent breast bone on the front of your dogs’ neck

  1. Shoulder – the harness should leave the large shoulder bone (known as the scapula) free to swing forwards and backwards. This is incredibly important because the fore limbs of the dog take 60% of the dogs weight under normal loading and the shoulder has numerous muscles, ligaments and tendons which activate to allow your dog to move forward. If any of these muscles are restricted, an imbalance can occur, leading to problems further down the line for your dog.

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