Canicross is the sport of cross country running with dogs. Originating in Europe as off-season training for the mushing (sledding) community, it has become popular as a stand-alone sport all over Europe. Canicross is closely related to Bikejoring, where participants cycle with their dog and skijoring, where participants ski rather than run.
Canicross can be run with one or two dogs, always attached to the runner. The runner typically wears a waist belt, the dog a harness, and the two are joined by a bungee cord or elastic line that reduces shock to both human and dog when the dog pulls.
Originally canicross dogs were of sledding or spitz types such as the husky or malamute but now all breeds have begun taking part including cross breeds, small terrier breeds to large breeds such as rottweilers and standard poodles. Not only can all breeds run but people of all ages and abilities can take part. Including children and the disabled such as the visually impaired. Some breeds are very well suited to not only running and pulling but running at steady pace over a long distance. It encourages people and their dogs to take part in outdoor activity and meet other like minded individuals.
For more information on canicross in Ireland, visit canicrossireland.com. Contact information is listed on this website and is a good place to find more information and to get details on how to get started!