Firstly, why run with your dog?
Canicross, the sport of running with your dog, has grown increasingly popular in recent years and is becoming more popular with health-conscious dog owners who recognise the benefits of running with your dog. Not only is it a great way to bond with your canine companion, but it’s also an excellent way to keep motivated to stay active and healthy. However, before you hit the trails with your dog, it’s essential to consider the importance of training in canicross.
What is the importance of training your dog to canicross?
Training your dog for canicross not only helps them become more physically fit and comfortable with running safely, but it also helps to establish good behaviors and creates a bond between you. Proper training is crucial to ensure the well-being of both you and your dog, as well as other trail users.
Why do you need to train your dog to canicross, why not just harness up and go?
One of the most important aspects of canicross training is building up your dog’s endurance. Just like with human runners, it’s essential to start slow and gradually increase the distance and intensity of your runs. This helps to prevent injury and build up your dog’s cardiovascular fitness.
It’s also important to work on your dog’s voice cues during training. Your dog should be able to follow basic cues, such as “go,” “steady / stop,” and “right” or “left”. This not only helps to keep your dog safe but also makes the running experience more enjoyable for both of you.
Another essential aspect of canicross training is teaching your dog to run and pull into a proper sports harness. A well-fitted harness will help to distribute the weight and pressure of pulling evenly, preventing injury and discomfort. It’s essential to choose a harness designed specifically for canicross, as traditional walking harnesses can cause chafing and discomfort during running.
Training your dog for canicross also helps to establish good behaviors and habits, such as staying on the trail and not chasing wildlife or other dogs. This not only helps to keep your dog safe but also ensures that you’re respecting the environment and other trail users.
Additional training concerns when canicrossing
In addition to physical training, it’s also important to consider the mental aspects of canicross. Running with your dog can be a great way to build trust and strengthen your bond, but it’s essential to be aware of your dog’s mental state. If your dog seems anxious or uncomfortable, it may be necessary to take a break or adjust your training approach.
Finally, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of canicross, such as overheating if your dog isn’t yet fit or highlighting any orthopedic issues that might be aggravated by an increase in exercise. Always bring plenty of water for both you and your dog, and be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and other health issues that can present with an increase in activity.
A final note on training with your dog for canicross
In conclusion, the importance of training in canicross cannot be overstated. Building up your dog’s endurance, response to voice cues, and good trail behaviour, helps to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. By taking the time to train properly, you can create a strong and healthy bond with your dog while enjoying the great outdoors.
We have a range of online training on our website – check them out in our Online Courses section here: https://www.k9trailtime.com/product-category/online-courses/