We love including our furry friends on some of our Explorer WALX. There is a fabulous way you can walk with them hands free so you maintain balance and relax amongst the group and scenery, with our peace of mind solution.
One of the benefits of canicross is to be hands free and have perfect balance and posture as you move. Thus keeping you safe and injury free. You are also able to safely Nordic walk, run, power walk, or just socialise, with peace of mind. They are perfect for pawdic walking, canitrekking and canicrossing, which have so many rewarding benefits for the dog too.
Janine has five dogs of different weights, sizes and abilities. Some are reactive and will pull strongly, some have dreadful recall and refuse to come back whatever bribes are offered. Therefore, it is necessary to have the dogs in their harnesses and safely tethered to Janine so they can enjoy a peaceful dog walk with any incidents. But to hold all their leads, with a lot of energy and weight, would be a wrench on the arms and shoulder, and also affect balance and add strain in the wrong parts of the body such as the back.
Canicross waist belts come in different guises from a simple line that becomes a belt and lead in one to technical waist belts with fixed, adjustable leg straps that designed for comfort and to prevent any any back strain. It also allows you to have a strong and perfect posture for running or power walking. It takes the pulling away from the glutes and core. You are also able to brace and break should your dog start to speed up, a very useful technique to master when you are gathering speed such as going down a hill.
Janine favours the Non Stop Comfort Running Belt, as shown.
Her reasons are:
- Evenly distributes the weight and does not ride up the waist
- Helps protect the back
- It has a practical open hook to attach the Running Line and offers quick release
- Small pocket on the back, perfect for poo bags.
- The line should be connected to the hook by threading the line through the ring.This is perfect for working her pack sociably or whilst working as Canicross Instructor or Nordic Walking Instructor. It is light and comfortable.
However, not everyone needs anything quite so robust. If you have dog that walks without pulling, responsive to commands and is not to weighty, then the Ezydog waist belt is adequate and very popular with dog walkers. It is important to wear this across the hips and not the back. It will cause spinal discomfort and loss of balance if not worn correctly. Shown below in blue and worn by Gina.
Other key considerations are that all belts should be strong and fit securely around the waist or hip. A waist belt should fit neatly round your waist, with room for expansion if needed over heavier clothes. A hip belt should be secured with leg straps, this is advisable for faster runners with strong pulling dogs, as it allows the runners body to keep upright and the pull work from underneath the bum. You can read more from our partners at Dogfit.
We hold regular Basic Introduction to Dog WALX sessions so you can try the various harnesses and understand the code of conduct and etiquette for safer WALX for everyone. It is important that all dog owners attends one of these and their dog receives a Freedom Passport Rosette. This is a minimum requirement so that we satisfy our insurance policy plus our health and safety guidelines.