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Discover: What is canicross?

One of the most famous canine games of the moment

Veronica Morao
9 min read
Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Canicross practice

It is a sport that consists of running with a canine attached to the waist, with a belt and a line of force that is fixed with a carabiner. The firing line is associated with the canine harness, which must be explicitly intended for this sporting activity.

Conventional rope should not be used, since the effects of the two bodies must be padded with special equipment.

Canicross is present in European countries. This game discipline has a significantly longer practice. This activity can be practiced on paths, trails and forests.

Canicross history

Canicross was originally introduced to the world in Europe as a type of physical training for sled canines, or those engaged in mushing (sled racing) during late spring, when there is no snow.

It turned out to be very famous in the UK and later throughout Europe.

Some variants of the game are Bikejoring (with bicycles) and Skijoring (with skis).

Canicross's main event was held in the year 2000. It is therefore an extremely young game. This can be practiced at all levels, from beginners to the most advanced.

Best breeds for canicross

Specialists assure that at a fundamental level, any healthy canine over a year old is legitimate to try canicross, both in preparation and in competition, regardless of its size or breed.

However, the medium and large varieties, between 20 and 30 kilos, are the most recognized, since in this way the sprinter can take advantage of running dragged by the force of the dog.

However, it is known as best breeds to practice canicross:

  • Hunting dogs — large size: they combine resistance and speed.

  • Nordic dogs: Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamutes.

  • Airedale Terrier.

  • Fleet-Footed Fidos.

  • Jack Russell Terrier.

  • Hungarian shorthaired pointer

  • Border Collie.

  • Labrador retriever

The German Shepherd or the Belgian Shepherd also appear among the ideal breeds to practice canicross. Obviously, any mestizo can still be a great runner.

The really important thing is to find a dog that likes to run, that is stimulated by practice and that participates in the game, at the same time as the human sprinter.

In addition, you have to train it dynamically, as we would do with our own preparation, and feed it properly. Regular visits to the vet to check the well-being of the dog are also essential.

Unsuitable breeds

Brachycephalic (flat snout) canines should not perform activities that require as much endurance and strength as canicross.

They usually present respiratory problems and, consequently, difficulties in adjusting their internal heat level, as well as other inconveniences. Among these breeds are:

  • pugs

  • bulldog

  • Boxer shorts

On the other hand, Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, etc. They are not breeds for canicross, as they need to move a huge weight of body mass.

Race is not the secret

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Canicross activity in the mountains

The types of canines that participate in canicross rivalries are different, making it difficult to determine a specific breed of superior result. Actually, the way to get achievements in canicross is, like in most dog games, to have a good time.

An ultimate goal, far above results, should be for both the human and canine sprinter to participate in the activity and have an enjoyable time.

Do not forget that canicross aims to improve the connection between human and canine, strengthen their bond and make an fascinating association.

How do I know if my dog would practice canicross?

Any adult dog can start canicross. However, it is essential that before starting to try this sport a complete veterinary examination is carried out, in which the great strength of the canine is ensured, as well as the state of its pads, which must be inspected intermittently.

Advantages of canicross

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Canine resting after practice

This sport offers benefits for both the dog and its owner.

Cardiovascular framework: Canicross invigorates the cardiovascular system, so the heart, lungs and circulatory system will work better.

Better rest: At the end of the training day, the dog and the owner will return exhausted and exceptionally happy. The dog will be less anxious and both of you will get plenty of rest. Therefore, it is the best game for hyperactive dogs.

Improves the bond with the dog: Your dog will learn to pay attention to you. Canines like to have something to do, be compensated, and feel like they play an important role in the pack.

With the Canicross you will cover the need of the pet, that they are made to work, and you will reinforce the relationship you have with the dog.

Bones, tendons and joints : To have better physical condition, it is essential that both get in shape continuously. A delicate ground lessens the effect on bones, tendons and joints. It is brilliantly vital to be physically fit and stay away from injuries.

Something other than the typical ride: Canicross can be an option over daily rides. Of course, it is also important to take a comfortable walk and relax.

Every once in a while, it's great to break the daily practice. A 20-minute practice of Canicross will be enough for the owner and the dog to return home exhausted and satisfied.

Mentality: With work, your mentality, your self-confidence and your ability to concentrate will improve. Your dog will also feel much better and happier. A good state of mind is essential for a long and solid life.

Assuming you've never done much actual exercise or running with your pet, the main thing you should do is a clinical exam.

Consult your GP and your veterinarian if there is any explanation that advises against this action. This is the kind of thing that should always be done before going through extreme exercise. Both you and your canine need to do this move safely.

Achieving ideal wellness will take time and determination. It is vital to continually practice, extending time and power as your bodies react.

Within a long period of preparation, both of you will have results and will be excited to go for a run, deliver energy and have a good time together.

Preparation for the canine

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Start of the fence

When you have the canicross equipment and have taught your dog the fundamental commands and direction, you can start practicing alone in any assigned region.

It's wise to start with moderate daily practice and build up speed dynamically, based on your own and your little one's ability.

In case you want to participate in official canicross competitions, you should set yourself distance and time goals, and overcome them little by little to assess if you are a decent candidate for this extreme game.

Later on, you can consider joining a canicross or mushing club, to train with other people and take an interest in the different exercises they do (official or not).

Equipment needed to do canicross

The essential equipment for canicross consists of a belt for the person, a padded harness for the dog and a 2-meter elastic rope to both be connected and cushion the impact of jerks or unexpected changes.

- Harness

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Ideal harness for canicross practice

This should be easily adjusted. You should have the option to embed your fingers around the neck, chest, and mid-body. The dog's safety and comfort should be your first concern.

A cheap, poor quality harness will cause a poor fit that can cause abrasions, limited shoulder movement, or difficulty breathing.

Make sure it doesn't impede the canine's breathing or compress the rib cage.

Another important thing is the connection point of the strap. In mushing, it is a bit on the tail of the canine. In canicross, the connection to the rider is somewhat greater, so it must be a more limited bridle than ordinary suits.

The best way to check if it is the ideal is to go out and try it. In the event that you are breathing heavily, it means that something is compacting your breathing. Watch the development. In case it is shaking or the harness is hanging, maybe the adjustment between the harness and the chain are not correct.

- Strap

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Belt with strap for canicross

A quality chain is vital to absorb bumps and jolts well. You really should use a shock-retaining chain, to ingest it in case of hard or hard pulls. The versatility of the rope should hold them back so you and your canine don't suffer the effect.

The standard length of the Canicross is 2 meters. Assuming it is too long, it can trip you up or allow the dog to get out of the way.

In the event that it is excessively short, it will pull on the back of the canine and both will collide.

- Belt

A solid and safe hip strap or belt is essential to have the option to run without hands and absorb the force of the canine with serenity.

This belt must fit properly so that the canine's force is dispersed around the hips, securing your lower back. These belts are tied to the legs with a rope.

In this way, the runner's body is kept upright, and the force is dispersed between the buttocks and hips, which are the firmer parts of the body.

- Running shoes

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Special shoes for canicross

Trail running shoes, for example, those used in Spartan or mountain races, are really appropriate when running on rough terrain, as they adjust well to unsteady or unkempt landscape.

These prevent you from slipping, and also allow you to go all the slopes or run through an incline territory without injuring yourself. Good footwear, reasonable for the game you are playing, is vital at all times.

- Clothing

Discover: What is canicross? – What is it – WebMediums
Clothing to practice canicross

Be happy with running clothes. In the colder times of the year, pack layers that you can put on and take off effectively, including a waterproof layer. In summer, the outfit should be lighted.

Remember sun protection and a cap with a visor to secure your head.

It's smart to have a difference of clothing in the vehicle, including socks and shoes, so you can be nice and dry towards the end of the race.