Running and biking

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Cani-cross is basically cross country running with dogs. It has developed from the origins of skijoring, where people ski with their dog pulling out in front of them.

Bikejoring is where a harnessed dog or team of dogs, attached to a towline, pull and run ahead of a cyclist. A special attachment is used on the bike to stop the line getting caught.

The Harnesses used are ones specifically designed for running and pulling, all of the pulling force is directed to the shoulders and chest (away from the neck) hugging the body without restricting lung capacity or leg movement. It is important that the harness is a good fit, I do have a selection of harnesses I can use but they may not be the perfect fit for your dog. I can assist in measuring your dog and supply a harness at a discounted rate.

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Bungee lines attach to the dogs harness and to the bike attachment or runners waist belt, these create a suspension system which absorbs light and heavy shocks.

Training: I will allow your dog to get used to the harness and pulling gradually as it can be very physically demanding on a dog who isn’t used to it. It is useful if your dog knows commands such as “go on” “left “right” and “stop” but this isn’t vital and dogs do get the hang of it quite quickly. By introducing a harness you are actively encouraging your dog to pull, by having different equipment.

Your dog will learn to associate a harness is for pulling where as a collar and lead is for walking to heel.

Benefits: Dogs work harder in harness and use different muscles than when free running. The immediate benefits are a tired dog, both mentally and physically, this of course depends on the dog – some dogs “bounce back” very quickly ! A longer term benefit is improved muscle tone this is especially good for improving movement on show dogs or keeping agility dogs fit during the winter. Regular biking or running should create a calmer happier dog.

It is important that your dog is fit and healthy before starting cani-cross or bikejoring, if you are in any doubt please consult your vet.

 

 

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