The word canicross is a combination of the words canine and cross-country. The sport originated as a way to keep sled dogs fit during the off season. It grew in popularity in Europe and competitions began to spring up all over the continent. It is still very popular in Europe, especially the UK, and is beginning to spread across the Atlantic to North America.
In the United States there are many races around the country where dogs and their handlers compete as a team to cross the finish line first. The races vary in distance from 1 to 100 miles, but the 5k (3.1 miles) is the most popular. Canicross can be run with one or two dogs attached, by leash, to a belt worn by the handler. The goal is to have the dog or dogs run in front of the handler pulling him or her along. This allows a faster pace and longer stride than could be achieved running alone.
Canicross can be done by people of all ages and dogs of all breeds. It is a great way for canine and human to stay in shape, enjoy the outdoors, and strengthen their bond. There are only a few things you will need to get started.
There is more gear that can be used to make things easier, but isn’t necessary to get started.
If you are already a runner, but leave your dog at home, give your dog time to catch up to your fitness level. This will happen quickly for most healthy adult dogs, but always remember not to push them too hard. If you have any questions regarding whether or not your dog is healthy enough to be your running partner, consult your veterinarian. It will, likely, only take a quick check up and viewing your dogs medical records to get the go ahead. If you aren’t a runner, but think having your dog make the journey with you could be enough motivation to get started, you probably wont have to worry too much about your dogs fitness level. It is likely that he or she will be capable of keeping up with you.
Whatever the fitness level of you or your dog, always remember to stay hydrated and keep an eye out for signs of stress. Canicross is a very rewarding sport, so turn that daily walk into a daily run and you will both fell better and look better.
Never Run Alone
Always Run Happy