Canicrossing with rescue dogs has always been something that we have actively encouraged at DogFit. We run with rescue dogs ourselves and have supported thousands of new owners to take up the sport.
It’s rewarding to see how transformational it can be, and wanted to share a few stories about running with rescue dogs and how it has changed their lives.
LEON & TAYLA
We donated some Canicross kit a while ago to Hermanus Animal Welfare Society. A number of the volunteers were able to take the dogs along to the local Canicross friendly event and exercise them there.
There was a dog Tayla at the rescue centre, who was so strong that volunteers were reluctant to take her for a walk during the week. However one volunteer, Leon Dube, absolutely loved Tayla, but was only able to get there at the weekends.
As you can imagine Tayla was very pleased to get out and run at that point. For Leon, being able to run in the DogFit Canicross kit meant they could run together in control and balance.
They ran a few times together at Hermanus 5K Parkrun and won in a fabulous time of 20:58 – a great achievement, especially as they had to start at the back. This was indeed a success story as Tayla then went on to be rehomed, thanks to the care of the rescue centre and the time Leon gave to exercise her.
MARIE & DIESEL
Another rescue dog to Canicross dog success story was with RSPCA Inspector Marie Hammerton, and Diesel.
Marie has been doing an amazing job taking rescue dogs along to the local Parkrun and had helped rehome over 20 dogs by running them there.
After reading about her great work, we got in contact as she had been running with just a lead and collar. It is not the most comfortable thing for either the runner or the dog, so we took along our Canicross equipment to show how much easier it is giving you better balance, control and hands-free running.
Marie arrived with Diesel, a lovely dog who had literally just arrived at the kennels the night before. He had lots of energy and raring to go, despite the heavy rain!
We ran through the kit with Marie and fitted Diesel with the correct size harness and started slowly at the back of the group. After the initial excitement at the start, Diesel settled into his stride and was a natural. We ran either side with our dogs and they all ran along happily together.
Here’s what Marie had to say about trying Canicross for the first time:
As part of our help with rescue dogs, we left Marie, with a Canicross kit and a selection of different harnesses, so that she can continue her amazing work.
It’s brilliant that most Parkrun venues allow dogs to take part with their owners (do check your local venue in advance). They have a few rules in place but welcome dogs if you follow their guidelines:
- Only one dog per runner
- Dogs must be on a short line (1.2m)
We’ve also written our own guidelines on running with your dog at a parkrun with helpful tips so you know what to expect. You can read it here.
If you are looking for Canicross Kit to start running at Parkrun, we have put together everything you need in our DogFit Canicross Starter kit, which you can find here.