Beginners Guide To Canicross
If you are not too sure what Canicross is, then check out our section on ‘What Is Canicross?’
What Age Should My Dog Be?
The recommended age to start Canicrossing is between 12 months and 18 months. Small breeds can reach adulthood at around 9 months and large breeds up to 18 months. It is important to allow your puppy to grow. In the meantime you can slowly introduce canicross concepts such as hiking out in front and directional commands. Check out our canicross commands page for more information on directional work.
What Equipment Do I Need For Canicross?
A proper fitting canicross running belt will ensure the pull of the dog is distributed around the hips, not the lower back. The hips and glutes are a stronger part of your body, and the canicross belt ensures the pull is evenly distributed, and we can guarantee that you won’t be pulled off your feet! Our recommended belt the Non Stop Running Belt. We have tested many running belts and have found this belt to be the most efficient and of high quality. We also like the Neewa canicross belt, an ideal budget belt for those new to the sport.
The correct style and fit of harness is fundamental in the sport of canicross. The number one concern is safety and comfort for your dog whilst he/she is pulling. A cheap and poorly fitting harness can cause rubbing, restrict shoulder movement or put pressure on the airways. We use both Non Stop Freemotion and Dragrattan harnesses, but your choice will depend on the shape of your dog and how strong and consistent a puller they are. For every day use and for dogs that prefer to trot rather than pull, the Non Stop Line Harness is an excellent choice, both in price and durability.
The Bungee Line is the connects you and your dog and a good quality line is key for shock absorption. The standard canicross bungee line length is 2m, but we also offer 2.8m line for wheeled sports, and 1m Park Run lines for when you need to keep your dog in close. We love the Non Stop 2m running line which the whole length is bungee material. The Touring Bungee has a section of bungee and is great for canicross and every day walks alike.
Canicross classes and events are cross country terrain which can get very muddy and slippery in winter. Trail shoes are a must for any canicrosser. For muddy winter conditions we love the Inov-8 brand, but you can go for something cheaper with less aggressive grip for summer trail conditions. Finding the right trail shoe is important, our advice is try a few brands and listen to you body when you run, it knows best! If in doubt visit a shop for recommendations.
What To Wear
Wear comfortable sports clothes you can exercise in. In winter, wear layers you can strip off, and bring warm dry clothes (especially socks and shoes) for after your run. If you are going to a Canicross event it is vital to bring warm clothing and waterproofs. In summer, wear comfortable clothes that will keep you cool ,and always wear sun protection and a sun hat if you can.
Check out the videos below for fitting advice.
9 Reasons You Should Canicross
There are many reasons to canicross besides running. Click below to see the reasons we love canicross so much and why your dog will love you for it.
Check out our Canicross blog where you can find useful information on everything Canicross.
Finding A Club Near You
Finding a club near you is now the next stage. Use google by typing in the word Canicross and then your location. You can also try searching on facebook for pages that exist for clubs local to you.