A quick guide to getting started on your Canicross journey. We recommend starting running with dogs at a minimum age of 12-18 months. This can vary on breed size. This is to ensure growth plates have fully closed to prevent any future joint issues. We also recommend having a vet check to make sure the dog is physically sound to start running in a harness.
You will need a specially made harness for your dog this is designed specifically to aid pulling power. The harness is designed to allow free movement when pulling therefore not hampering the dogs pulling ability, leaving the limbs to move as they would do without a harness. We fit harnesses ourselves at our sessions to ensure a good fit. We can also offer advice on fitting if ordering from our website. A poor fitting harness can cause many problems the pull with not be in the correct place and it could impair shoulder movement. You will notice the difference how a dog moves when in a correct fitting harness. We use Sledwork harnesses for our strong pulling dogs.
For canicross we use Sledwork 1.7-meter bungee lines. These lines have bungee the full length of the line. This reduces the impact of any sudden jolts to you or your dog which you may incur when running. The bungee line attaches to the harness with a carabiner on one end the other looped end attaches to the running belt with a carabiner.
We wear specially designed running belts. These have been made to make the most of your dog’s pull and at the same time supporting your back. The lightweight Sledwork belt fits securely around your waist with leg loops to keep it in place. The belt is fully adjustable and comes in three sizes complete with a ring to attach the bungee line to. Apart from a dog and a decent pair of trail trainers this is all the equipment you’ll need to get started. We wear trail trainers because we run off road to protect our dogs’ joints from the impact of hard ground.
Running shoes/trainers are very personal so we can’t recommend what you get just make sure they are a good fit and have the right grips for the terrain you’ll be running on. A running store is the best place to go so you can get fitted properly.