For many, the thought of attaching a dog to yourself with Canicross kit and then running can be daunting. Throughout the years that we’ve been taking Canicross classes and introducing people to the sport, this is the aspect that many are the most worried about. Which is why Canitrekking (or hands-free walking) is a great option.
It’s why we take it slowly and introduce the kit at the speed that each participant is comfortable with. For many dogs, this may well be the first time they have tried on a harness, so again, managing expectations is key. Though for the most part, many of the dogs we see are keen to get going.
The harness your dog wears is extremely comfortable, lightweight yet robust and non-restrictive. In fact, Canicross harnesses are designed to encourage your dog to pull into. Therefore, this is no ordinary dog walk, this is Canitrekking.
We very quickly get the dog walking out front and introducing some of the most basic commands to them. Throughout the whole experience, you are walking hands-free, with no strain on your lower back or your shoulders. Making comfort and safety a huge appeal to many who try it.
The methods and principles behind Canicross are trained throughout every Canitrek we take, helping to solidify training goals through command training alongside increasing the bond between you and your dog.
Canitrekking opens up so many options for many dogs as it offers safety, confidence and trust building all at a pace that works for them in a safe setting. Ensuring your dog is under control is another huge benefit to get trekking together. It opens up more spaces for you to explore whilst following the Countryside Code and keeping your dog, livestock and wildlife safe.
During the summer months, we can very often be found trekking our dogs as opposed to running them due to the increase in temperatures and humidity. There is no need to change the kit you use as the Canicross kit works perfectly when out trekking. Your dog is still experiencing a great workout (both mentally and physically) and best of all you are doing an activity together which is safe, controlled and increasing the amazing bond you have with you canine buddy. You will however want to make sure that you find shadier routes preferably with water sources along them as well as checking that you have water on board when the weather heats up.
Canitrekking is a fantastic way to introduce nervous/anxious/reactive dogs to social groups. Introducing the size of the group to suit your dogs needs, allowing them to keep a distance away from other dogs yet gradually be introduced to a pack can be so rewarding for them. Boosting their confidence at their own pace, whilst building trust in others is something we experience time again and is hugely rewarding for both us as trainers and their owners.
A great way to introduce both you and your dog to Canitrekking and to enable you to ensure you have the correct kit for you both would be to sign up to an introductory class run by Canicross trainers and coaches, who have plenty of kit for you to try on. It’s important you find the correct fitting kit as this will allow you to feel safe and secure whilst out on the trails. Our Certified Canicross Trainers can be found in various locations around the UK and beyond.