Canicross, the perfect sport to do with your dog

Today we are talking about Canicross, an ideal activity for those who love to play sports with their dog . As you all know well, leaving the house with your four-legged friend, to walk, run or ride a bike, is a perfect way to keep fit and renew the emotional bond with your pet.

In short, it will benefit your health and that of your dog. You will reduce body weight, avoiding the dangers of obesity, improving the heart and respiratory system. Playing sports together lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels, improves physical endurance and strengthens muscles, bones and joints.

The  canicross does just this . Healthy body but also a mind that gets rid of stress and anxiety. A daily distraction that allows you to  find harmony and increase self-esteem, thus helping to release tension and disconnect from what can disturb your balance and that of your best friend.

Playing sports with your dog will help you immediately. Less stress, more physical health and mental balance. A perfect way to live better and happy, next to each other.

Obviously, there are many ways to play sports with your little dog . Canicross is a new training system that we have decided to present and illustrate to you with tips and tricks. So that you can put it into practice right away, indeed today!

What is Canicross?

Canicross is a sport that basically consists of a cross-country run with your dog . Logically there are standardized rules and parameters for the official practice of this sport. It is a fun and simple activity at the same time: this is why it is spreading rapidly all over the world. Imagine how nice it is to be able to play sports, outdoors, in the company of  your best friend .

At the international level, there already exists a European Federation ( European Canicross Federation ), the International Federation of Sleddog (IFSS), the European Sleddog Racing Association (ESDRA) and the World Sleddog Association (WSA). These are entities dedicated to the regulation of canicross and the creation of official championships.

In Italy, we have the Italian Canicross Federation, affiliated with CSEN and the Italian Musher Sleddog Sport Federation (FIMMS). With us, Canicross has been officially practiced since 2000 .

How is Canicross practiced?

For a correct practice of this sport, the dog must be tied to the owner’s waist by means of a belt and a rope that goes directly to the animal’s body. Generally, the races are organized in the summer on natural or artificial circuits. Even on the snow, it is included among the main winter sports and takes place using snowshoes (commonly called snowshoes ) instead of normal sneakers.

As for the equipment, if you want to do canicross, you will need the belt for you, the connecting rope and the harness for the animal, which is different from the classic walking one. There are two cushioning systems, one for the dog and the other for the man, to avoid jerking and to protect the runner’s spine.

If we talk about expenditure , the greatest investment must be made in the education and training of humans and dogs. The levels of training, strength, speed and endurance, must be proportionate. It is absolutely not recommended to participate in a canicross competition if you are not sufficiently trained, but this is also the beauty of this sport. You and your dog are bound not only by the lanyard but also by the obligation to  work as a team .

How to prepare for Canicross competitions?

Before starting any canicross competition, it is essential that man and dog, like real athletes, undergo a physical fitness  test to check for any impediments and to be able to carry out this sport in maximum safety:

You must never be in a hurry. Take your time and train with your pet gradually and steadily. Avoid over-straining your body and accept your limits, especially at the beginning of your canicross experience.

The ideal is to start with walks and competitions for beginners  lasting 15 to 20 minutes. In just a few weeks, your team will be able to cover ever greater distances. The increase in speed and intensity should be gradual, so as not to cause pain or muscle damage. In training , one of the keys is patience and perseverance. The risk is to get injured and throw all the preparation into the wind.

Another aspect to keep in mind before running with your dog is the condition of the weather . Dogs are more sensitive to heat, and very hot surfaces can cause paw burns. Therefore it is advisable to run on dirt or sand, avoiding asphalt . On these safer surfaces, the ideal temperature will be 20 degrees or less.

Can your dog do Canicross?

If you are wondering  if your dog is suitable for canicross , know that in reality there is no breed or dog that cannot participate in it. There are many factors that can preclude this activity …

In principle, all dogs can do canicross . Independent of race, gender or age. But you need to know how to understand and respect the limits of your pet, its physical capacity, health status and any physical ailments or ailments.

To officially compete in canicross, the dog must be at least one year old. The most suitable are specimens of medium-large size , weighing between 20 and 35 kg. The height and morphology of these breeds allow greater comfort and better use for the man who must be pulled by the belt worn at the waist.

The goal is obviously not to win . There is no need to paraphrase the famous motto of Pierre de Coubertin … Canicross is an excellent opportunity to be together with your four-legged friend, play sports together and live unforgettable experiences, outdoors and surrounded by many other people who, like you , they love nature and active life.

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