What is 'Canicross'?
Canicross is the sport of cross country running attached to your dog. Put simply, you run wearing a belt, your dog wears a harness and you are connected via a bungee lead. (See below for more detailed information on the equipment)
What do I need to start canicrossing?
Aside from the usual running kit, you will need a comfortable fitting harness for your dog, a waistbelt for you and a bungee lead to connect you both.
How old does my dog need to be?
Ideally you can start training voice commands such as 'left, right, steady and go-on' from an early age but you cannot race your dog until it is a year old. We would suggest you can begin short runs in harness from about 10 months old but if you are in any doubt about the physical or mental maturity of your dog, it is better to wait.
The dog harness is the most important piece of kit and will take the pressure of pulling away from your dogs throat, the idea is to give them a supportive harness they can lean into when they pull.
Every dog is an individual so finding the right harness is probably the hardest bit of getting your canicross equipment and there is now a wide range to choose from.
You can find lots of information online at www.k9trailtime.com and they also offer a free harness consultation and hold online sessions to help you decide what might suit your dog best
Belt & Bungee Line
Waist (or hip) belt
The waist belt will take any strain of your dog pulling away from your back, neck & shoulders. There are many different types to choose from but the main things to decide on are:
Do you want a lightweight belt or one with more padding?
Do you want leg straps or not? (Some are removable to make this choice easier)
Do you need a pocket?
The bungee lead is the shock absorbing element of your equipment and protects both you and your dog from the force of your dog pulling suddenly.
There are a few different styles and lengths which are suitable for canicross, the standard length of a canicross line however, is 2 metres when stretched.