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Who let the dogs out front…

Canicross is running cross-country with your dog.  The dog wears a specifically designed harness with a bungie line leash.  The leash is connected to you (with a waist belt or hip belt) and the momentum of your dog out front actually gives you some assistance while the bungie line helps absorb shock. Having your hands free helps you maintain a more natural running gate and your balance.

It is thought to have originated from folks who needed to keep their sled dogs fit in the summer seasons.  These days Canicross has a much wider audience with enthusiasts on all continents and many people even like to compete with it.  Canicross involves many different breeds of dogs.  As long as you and your dog love to run you may be suited to Canicross. Check out the internet to find other enthusiasts, clubs or take a look at the Canicross Qld facebook page.  Perhaps you caught a glimpse of it at the last Sled Dog Expo?

Canicross is a sport performed by people with varying levels of fitness and is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors with your dog.  People involved in the sport profess that having the dog out in front of you really helps motivate you to run more. Verbal cues are used for directions left & right and to speed up or slow down.

If considering participating in Canicross, check with your vet if the sport is suitable for your dog.  Dogs should be at least 12 months old before beginning any long-distance running training as their bodies are still developing.  Some breeds with shorter snouts may be limited in how far they should run due to a reduced breathing capacity and may not be suited to Canicross.  Just as with humans, a dog’s fitness should be built gradually, and distance running is suited to cooler weather.  With care and practice you can allow yourself and you dog to build your fitness condition while still having fun.  The person carries water for him/herself plus the dog’s water, bowl etc.

To check out a demonstration by world champion Tessa Philippaerts click on the link below…


Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)