Who else loves being outdoors? Our dogs of course! It seems a shame they aren’t always including in fresh air fitness fun. Well, it’s been our worst kept secret but your hairy training partners are more than welcome.
How do you combine poles, WALX equipment, leads and dogs?
We have been qualified and insured to include well behaved owners and their dogs on our Dog WALX for two years. We have picked up a few tips, through our own mistakes but also from the extra professional training undertaken. Janine is a qualified Canicross Instructor and has worked with most breeds. She has run with her own team; she has 4 lurchers and a Jack Russell cross.
What is CaniCross?
Canicross is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK at the moment, and is more common to see folks running with their dogs. Not everyone can or wants to run so we’ve made it all the more exciting by combining the Nordic WALX technique with the Canicross principles, plus our other fun WALX styles and have a separate session of just Nordic WALX with your dog.
When you start out, you might feel a bit like one of those sledding teams who have a pack of huskies pulling them through the snow. That’s because Canicross was developed from this sport, which is called skijoring. But instead of you sitting on a sled and putting your feet up, you’re walking or running alongside your dog the whole way, attached by a nice long, springy bungee line. If you can resist the urge to stretch and ping it around for the first 5 minutes, you’ll be up and moving swiftly in no time.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to be mega fit, or enjoy running to get a benefit out of this fantastic, friendly sport. Canicross is a very social activity, with lots of dog owners all getting together to exercise their dogs and themselves together. All you need to get started is a harness belt for yourself and your dog, connected with a long bungee line. Once you’re all strapped in, you and your dog will be connected without the need for a lead.
The bungey line helps prevent any nasty jarring movements if your dog tends to pull, which makes for a much more comfortable experience! With your hands free, you can work on your own posture and form, to stay injury free plus guide and control your dog ahead with voice commands and body language.
You are also hands free to use Nordic Walking poles and stride alongside them, getting a great all over body workout, thus turbo charging a dog walk and your canicross sport! Not sure how this look’s?
How Is CaniCross Better Than Normal Dog Walking?
‘But I walk my dog every day, why do I need Canicross’, we hear you cry!
However, a lot of dog owners struggle with letting their dog off the lead and getting some real exercise, whether it’s because they run after everything that moves or they can get a little aggressive or nervous with other dogs when they’re on their own.
Canicross allows you to give your dog some freedom to exercise, without the worries about letting them off the lead. Because your dog is attached to you by a bungey line (that is clipped to a belt on your waist), you always have your arms free instead of being pulled along by a traditional lead.
There is no set pace for you to stick to; instead you gauge how much you and your dog are comfortable doing. Canicross is a hugely exciting and addictive exercise for you and your dog, and perfect to easily allow socialising with other 2 and 4 legged friends.
The Nordic WALX element reduces the impact on your knees and body, boosts your speed and gives you a full body workout with little extra effort. You will find your posture and breathing improves, you will be lighter on your feet and able to move more swiftly and comfortably with your dog.
We do need to help you initially as it is tricky to get the poles, leads and hairy knees coordinated!
There is a Basic Pawdic WALX Induction talk which is essential as Janine explains the safety of using a dog harness, walking belt and bungee line for you and the dog. Plus, you must understand and agree to the etiquette and learn how to keep all the members and dogs safe. Pawdic Walking is our name for combining the Nordic walking technique whilst you are controlling your dog.
Whilst Canicross and Pawdic WALX is suitable for all ages and abilities, we do advise that your dog is over 12 months old, as younger dogs growth plates are still growing and forming, and this type of exercise can add stress that could cause problems a little later in life.
You will also need to make sure your dog is fully insured and you have checked with your vet if you think there would be any problems. Some paperwork is shared in advance so you are aware of our Code of Conduct and Etiquette.
Pawdic WALX or to put it in it’s technical term, Nordic walking Canicross or Canitrekking is unique to WALX With Sole.