How to get started in Canicross: A beginners guide

It is increasingly common to see people practicing sports with their dogs. This activity is called Canicross, and although it has only been practiced in Spain for about 20 years, it is a highly recognized discipline that is currently being practiced throughout Europe.

If you’re thinking of doing sports with your German Shepherds but don’t know where to start, canicross is a good exercise to start with. Read on to find out what canicross is and what to keep in mind to avoid injury to both you and your pet. Are you ready? Let’s go!!

Before you go further, check out How to Train a Dog to Protect Your Family


What is Canicross?

Canicross is a sporting discipline in which a person participates together with a dog, joined by means of a special harness. This sport consists of running in the company of your pet, who exercises at the same time as you and will motivate you not to stop.

It is practiced mainly on land, although it can also be done on grass or snow, requiring snowshoes or a special shoe to exercise in these last conditions.

This activity is ideal if you practice sports on a regular basis and your dog needs a great deal of daily physical activity. Also, as it’s outdoors, you don’t need to invest a lot of money; just get a special harness. If you also like to enjoy nature with your best friend, you’ll be enjoying both hobbies in one.

How do you get started in Canicross?

To get started in canicross with your German Shepherd, all you need is a special canicross harness, and, of course, your dog must have a high level of energy and activity and enjoy running, as well as the appropriate sports equipment for this type of sport.

Although it seems like a very simple activity, it is necessary to take into account a series of factors to be able to do it. Not all dogs can do canicross, and you can’t just run anywhere. Some of the requirements are:

  1. The dog must be over 1 year old and in good physical condition. In order for the dog to compete, it must have passed a prior veterinary check.
  2. Avoid running in crowded places or on roads.
  3. Do not run at high temperatures.
  4. Do not run with dogs that are too small or too big.
  5. Avoid exercising with brachycephalic dogs such as Boxers, Bulldogs, or Pugs.
  6. If the dog has behavioral problems, muzzle the dog.
  7. Most importantly, always be mindful of your dog’s health. If you feel that he is not feeling well during the activity, the best thing to do is to stop and rest or stop the exercise completely.

Is it possible to do Canicross with small dogs?

The aim of this canine sport is for you to exercise together with the dog while he pulls you by the leash, forcing you to keep running. Therefore, small dogs are not suitable for this activity, not only because they are not physically capable of pulling you but also because it can be too hard an exercise for them and more harmful than beneficial.

However, if you just want to run with your dog without him pulling you, you can do it without any problem with a small breed dog, as long as it is an activity that he also enjoys and you never force him to do it.

Is it possible to practice canicross with two dogs?

It is possible to practice canicross with two dogs; in fact, there are canicross harnesses with two leashes to carry out this practice.

In this case, you must be more careful, as two dogs pull more than one. However, if they tend to go at the same pace, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Read also>> How do you put a dog collar on a dog? Learn Here

Advantages of practicing Canicross with your dog

In addition to the main advantage of canicross, that of exercising and exercising your dog, there are other positive aspects of going for a run with your dog.

  1. Sharing activities with your dog creates a stronger bond between the two of you, which is evident in this sport. It’s also suitable for everyone, and you don’t need to be very physically strong; just go at your dog’s pace.
  2. The economic investment to carry out this type of activity is very low, so you can try it out and, if you are not convinced, stop practicing it without having to spend a lot of money.
  3. Perhaps your dog’s physical needs are a good excuse to force you to go out and do some sport yourself!

What do you need to go running with your dog?

As we just mentioned, the only thing you need to practice canicross is a specific canicross harness and sports equipment, such as running shoes. Bear in mind that the harnesses have to be specific for this type of activity, as normal harnesses can hurt you and do not have support for your back and waist, as well as reinforcements for the dog’s harness.

And, most important and essential, you need to have a pet that is willing to run alongside you. Remember to always be aware of your pet’s health and take a bottle of water for you and your pet. Let him do his business first, and then start running—no one will stop you!

If you want to try canicross, you can find many models of special harnesses for canicross on Amazon or use the option below. In addition, you will also find other necessary items such as water bottles and portable drinking fountains, as well as bags to collect your dog’s poop. Oh, and don’t forget to reward him with a chew treat or snack for being a good dog—he’ll want to run all the time!