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Wednesday 05 September 2018

Running with your Dog – the benefits of using canicross equipment

It is a well-known fact that dogs love to run, so if you share that love, the natural instinct is to grab the lead and start running together. However, using a lead to keep your dog close to you when running or jogging is not ideal. The constant pulling can be uncomfortable for your arm and shoulder and can also cause strain to your dog’s neck.

Canicross equipment is specifically designed to help you to run safely and effectively alongside your dog, benefitting both of you and ensuring lots of fun in the process! Canicross is an enjoyable, sociable sport that is growing in popularity in the UK. It’s a great way to keep fit for you and your dog and and using the correct equipment enables you both to run effectively.

  • Hands Free – Your dog is attached to you via a bungee line that connects securely to a canicross waistbelt. This allows you to run hands free, use your arms and concentrate on your route and surrounding terrain. The line has an elasticated section to reduce the impact of any shock or jolts.
  • Comfort and balance – The canicross waistbelt sits on your hips and helps avoid any strain or pull on your back. It lets you use your core strength to help regulate speed, stay balanced and maintain a sensible running position.
  • Dog-friendly – A well designed and properly fitted canicross harness sits comfortably on your dog without obstructing his airways. Your dog can enjoy running with you without being pulled from the collar! Harnesses are normally padded and designed to sit on the correct pulling points for your dog without rubbing.
  • Training and bonding – Running with canicross equipment lets you focus fully on your dog’s comfort and needs, working in harmony with verbal commands such as “left” “right” “forward” “with me/heel”. This helps build confidence and trust between you both.
  • Run anywhere! – When you have got your dog running securely with you, you can confidently run in places that might otherwise be inaccessible or where you might need to curtail your dog’s activities and keep him under closer control, e.g. during a busy race event with lots of fellow runners around you.

Your dog must be fully matured before starting canicross - typically around the age of one year old, but this may vary across different breeds. Dogs mature and gain strength and agility at different speeds, so we strongly recommend seeking advice and guidance from your vet if you are in any doubt.

At DogFit, our passion is about encouraging and supporting people and their dogs to keep fit together in a fun, safe and social way. If you are interested in running with your dog and have any questions about getting started or purchasing kit, please get in touch with us at:

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