How can I encourage my dog to pull when Canicrossing?

Women in orange t shirt green leggings attached to her dog by a waist belt being pulled up a field Canicross

How can I encourage my dog to pull when canicrossing


Not all dogs pull out front to start with so this blog is full of tips and ideas to try and encourage your dog to Canicross.

Canicrossing is great for dogs that are anxious, prey driven, rescue dogs or one whose recall is not 100%.

Some dogs won’t have this instinct to pull and many people will free run with their dogs, which is great if you have great recall.

The advantage of Canicross is that you know your dog is safe and you as a runner can run hands free without changing your technique.

Tips to help you get our dog to pull when Canicrossing

The right kit

This is so important to ensure both you and your dog enjoy your run and stay safe and injury free as possible.

Your dog needs a Canicross harness which allows your dog to move freely in the shoulder area.

You need a Canicross belt which sits on your pelvis ensuring the pull from your dog is from the pelvis a strong part of your body.

You can find out more about the kit here from Dogfit and how to get started here.

Get someone to run out in front

If you are lucky enough to have a partner or family member who your dog knows and likes, then get them to run ahead (or on a bike will work too).

Get them to call your dog.  This can really work well and when they start pulling reinforce the action.

Swap dogs

If you are running with someone else and their dog then swap dogs so your dog runs after you.

In taster sessions I do this often encouraging the dog to run after their owner.


Once you get your dog pulling out in front, they need to know that it’s ok to pull.  So, using commands to reinforce is important.  Check out my blog on Canicross commands to find out more.

Run in a pack

I have lots of people saying to me that their dog won’t run with others or pull out in front.  As soon as the dogs get together in a pack run, they love it, I’ve seen it with the most anxious ones too.  Giving them time to say hi as soon as we start running, they just go for it.

Meet Ziggy

Ziggy was happy to run along side his mum when he was out playing and biting his lead. (he was excited to be out)

As soon as Ziggy joined the C25K course we were running, he got to know the other dogs and was soon pulling out in front trying to catch up with his new mates and be part of the pack.

If you don’t think your dog will pull out front when canicrossing then why not give these tips a go.

Want to find out more about canicrossing and the right kit to use?  Then why not book a taster session.