By Vicki Girling

Canicross is a sport that involves trail running with your dog and is becoming hugely popular in the UK and the rest of the world. The dog wears a specially designed harness that allows them to move freely and pull in front of the owner, the owner wears a waist belt that connects to the dog via a bungee lead. The dog and owner must work as a team to negotiate the trails together while the dog runs in front. The sport originated as a way for mushers to keep their sled dogs fit during the summer months. In fact, some of the harnesses that the dogs wear during Canicross are the same as the ones that sled dogs wear while pulling sleds.

Dogs not only need to have a suitable amount of exercise but they also need adequate mental stimulation and Canicross is a brilliant way of supplying both as it is physically demanding and it requires focus from them and dogs love having a job to do, a 15 minute Canicross run is just as tiring as an hour of off lead running for them.

Benefits of Canicross

  • Your dog is attached to you so you do not have to worry about where they are or what they are doing – perfect for dogs that cannot be let off lead.
  • Suitable for any breed of dog no matter their size.
  • Great for weight loss and building strength and endurance in both you and your dog. Obesity is on the rise in dogs in the UK, Canicross will help to keep your dog fit and healthy

  • It is well known that running is good for your physical health and mental health – the same is true for dogs – they also experience the ‘runners high’ that you experience after a run.

  • A perfect way of exercising dogs that cannot be let off lead or are reactive on lead.

  • Canicross is perfect for high energy dogs, not only will it physically tire them out but it will be mentally enriching for them, which is equally important.

  • Build a strong bond with your dog as you work together as a team to negotiate the trails.

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