Confidence and Canicross – why running with your dog needn’t be a daunting prospect.

Posted by Gail Walker, 16th May 2022

Curious about Canicross but a little daunted by the prospect of having to run with your dog pulling out in front? Well, DogFit Trainer, Lara Trewin, has some wise words to hopefully reassure you that this fast growing sport is the greatest fun and, with the right support, very safe!


Woman Canicrossing with her Spaniel along a paved path

By the very nature of the set up within the sport, ie. the dog being attached to you whilst pulling out front, it can seem a daunting experience for many who don’t see past that.

Initial comments such as…

“My dog would have me over in minutes!”

“I can’t imagine my dog doing this!”

“My dog would be stopping and sniffing every 5 seconds!”

“I can only imagine what would happen if mine saw a duck/squirrel/pheasant, etc!”

…are part of the dialogue and we can help to debunk these myths for you.

Although at its most basic level, Canicross can look like you’d be taking your life into your own hands by attaching a dog to you that can weigh anything from 5kg – 45 kg, would it surprise you to hear that thankfully it’s not like that at all AND there are ways in which you are supported and equipment that you wear that ensure you are not going to be dragged down the trails screaming for your dog to stop?!

Woman in running clothes Canicrossing with her dog

As a DogFit Certified Canicross Trainer there are specific techniques we teach, commands we share, and equipment we use that ensure everyone is safe, comfortable and at very little risk of doing any harm to themselves or their dogs.

It can take a certain level of confidence to start a new sport, especially running. Add a dog to the mix and we can talk ourselves out of trying it before we’ve even given ourselves a chance to learn more about it. You may have a strong pulling dog, a reactive dog or a high prey driven dog and are worried about the level of control you have when out together.

That’s where a helping hand comes in…
☑️ get the right kit
☑️ get the basic commands nailed
☑️ get someone to show you the ropes

Woman Canicrossing with her Border Collie along a canal

Over my 4+ years as a DogFit Trainer, I work alongside all the other DogFit Trainers helping build the confidence of many newcomers to the sport. Large dogs and small dogs, rescue dogs and reactive dogs, runners and non-runners alike all trying something new but in a very social, safe and fun way.

Confidence is a huge part of people taking a step into a new sport. Being informed and supported to make the start of your journey a positive one is so important. No pressure, no expectations other than to have fun and get the most out of the experience whatever the final result is. My main priority when I’m running a Canicross Couch to 5k session or Taster Session is to ensure I give the appropriate amount of instruction to ensure that person is comfortable and safe whilst experiencing the very best of this awesome sport for the first time.

A Woman in a blue jacket Canicrossing with her two Cockapoos

There are no barriers to entering this sport with your dog, so what’s stopping you? Our DogFit Trainers cover many parts of the UK, so do take a look at the classes page or we have an online, self-paced Canicross Couch to 5k programme that takes you through a structured 8 week programme to get you out there getting fitter with your dog.

If you need help with kit, especially choosing the best harness for your dog, we have a straight forward harness consultation form on our website.


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