Using dogs to pull started by pulling sleds as early as 2000 BC. It is believed that it originated in Siberia or North America. Sled Dogs have been used for many transportation means such as goods, reaching the South Pole, bringing supplies to soldiers in the field, ambulances and much more. It is only in the last few hundred years that our companions have become less busy due to modernization. Canicross is the modern way to keep our dogs busy, bringing the pull back in aid of getting of fit. Sled dogs are still used today in some rural communities, especially in areas of Alaska, Canada and throughout Greenland. They are also used for recreational purposes and racing events, such as Iditarod Trail and the Yukon Quest.
Canicross is the sport of cross country running with your dog. It originated in Europe as off-season training for the sledding community. It has become popular across the UK and Europe. There are other variants of the sport such as Bikejoring (Bike), Scootering (Scooter) and Skijoring (Skiing). All variants are off road. Gravel and hard surfaces should be avoided as much as possible and definitely not for long distances.
Canicross events are held across the UK and Europe. There are National and World Championship events held. Just like running, Canicross can be enjoyed from beginner to elite level.
Canicross has grown in popularity due to the many benefits it brings to both you and your dog. It engages both you and your dog mentally and physically, providing a healthy foundation.