How to Get Started

Canicross with your dog is a great way to get fit.

Doing it safely and with the correct Canicross kit is important for you and your dog. Ensuring you can both go out enjoy the trails together.

Here are 5 easy steps to get you Canicrossing

Your Dog

Your dog must be 1 year to 18 months old before you start Canicrossing. It’s always a good idea to get your vet to check them out before you start too.

Any dog can Canicross, don’t be put off when people tell you small dogs can’t. Listen here to my Canicross Chat with Rachel Spencer and her Terrier Patch who she regularly Canicrosses with. All dogs run around so why not Canicross as long as they enjoy it. They might not help you as much as a big dog but you can still have fun and create a great bond which is so important.

Canicross harness for your dog

The aim of the Canicross harness for you and your dog is that it is comfortable. The Canicross harness is designed so that it doesn’t restrict the shoulder movement when your dog is running.

There are various types of Canicross harnesses for your dog, but if you are starting out there are some great starter kits to get you going. This DogFit starter kit is...

It’s important to ensure the harness fits your dog properly. You can find out more about measuring your dog here. Or book a taster session where we can fit your dog with a harness.

Canicross belt for you

Canicross is becoming more popular and there are lots of Canicross belts on the market. Running with a belt round your waist especially with a strong pulling dog will take the strain round your lower back, potentially causing you problems and not much control.

The Caincross harness sits around your pelvis usually with leg straps to keep it in place. Although not the most flattering you soon forget about it as you start running. The pull from you dog will be around your pelvis which is stronger than your back. Giving you more control especially with the bungee lead which attaches you to your dog and will help absorb any shock from your dog.

The DogFit Starter kit includes the human harness and lead too.

Taster session

If you are serious about Canicross and want to learn how to do it safely then a taster session is your next step.

During a taster session you will be able to try on different harness for your dog. A Canicross instructor will take your through the basic commands to get you going.

At Paws 4 Running we run hour long taster sessions for you to give Canicross a go. You can find out more here.

A taster session is a great way of seeing if Canicross is for you.

Getting fit

As with any new fitness regimes it’s important to take things slowly. You might be a runner already but your dog will need to gradually get use to the kit and build up their fitness too.

Not a runner? The same thing applies you need to build up slowly.

At Paws 4 Running we run C25K course during the Canicross season. A 6- week course which will take you from non-runner to running 5K in 6 weeks.

If you follow these 5 steps above to get you started you will soon be out enjoying the trails around you with your dog and maybe new Canicross friends! Getting the kit right for you and your dog is so important so take to find out what’s right for you and your dog.

WARNING – it’s addictive