What is Canicross?

Canicross originated when mushers wanted to continue to train their dogs in the off season. Since then, it has grown into a sport in its own right with participants ranging from elite athletes representing their country to local runners wanting to have fun with their dog. The equipment used closely resembles sled dog gear, but often with some adjustments to allow for the differences between pulling a sled in a dog team and running with a human.

RunningDog USA sells high quality equipment that is primarily European in origin and proudly used by a large number of international mushers and runners.

What do you need to get started?

We recommend a harness for your dog, a waistbelt for you and a bungee line to connect the two. We do not advocate running a dog on a collar as while canicrossing the dog is encouraged to run out in front and pull the handler along, Running on a collar while pulling could damage the delicate structures in the dog’s throat.

Equally, it’s so much easier to run a dog with your hands free that we always advise people to buy a waistbelt that fits them rather than trying to start canicross with the lead in the runner’s hand. Not only is the dog attached lower on the runner’s body, so the runner is less likely to be pulled over, but it also prevents the runner having to run lopsidedly with a lead in one hand and means the attachment to the dog applies a symmetrical pull to each side of the dog’s body.

Finally, we recommend joining the runner to the dog by a specialist line that has bungee incorporated into it. This minimises shock to either the dog or the handler when the team starts moving.