What is Canicross?

A few weeks ago Facebook recommended an event it thought I might be interested in, due to my constant liking of dog related pages! It was for the Sled Dog Expo run by Sled Dog Racing Queensland. Whenever I run with our dogs and watch Ruby in particular, I always comment on what a good sled dog she would be! Aside from the fact that she does not have the same endurance level as me, she loves to run and as soon as you give her the “Let’s go” command, she is away! Holly loves to run too and I reckon she could easily run 10-15k with me, and not even look tired!

So I started to look into the Sled Dog Racing and realised that it doesn’t just take place in snowy environments and isn’t just with a sled! It originated in Europe but seems to be getting more and more popular over here which is great for us and our dogs!

Canicross is the sport of cross-country running with your dog, using special equipment to make it safer and more comfortable for you and your dog. The dog wears a harness that allows free motion of the limbs and doesn’t restrict their breathing. The runner wears a waist belt which looks a bit like a climbing harness as it also goes around the legs to help lift you up and forward from the hips and take the strain off your back when the dog pulls. Between the runner and the dog is a bungee line to help soften the jolts from abrupt stopping and changes of direction over tricky terrain. I was amazed to find out that there are races around the Brisbane area for Canicross and can’t wait to get our equipment and give it a go! We love to run in the trails and so do the dogs but it’s hard holding a lead and you feel like you can’t run properly. Hopefully with all the correct equipment, we will all enjoy it a bit more!

And if running or sledding isn’t your thing, you can also do it with a mountain bike, a scooter or skiis, anything that allows your dog to pull you along!

To find out more, visit the Sled Dog Racing Queensland website www.sdrq.org.au or come to the Gold Coast Sled Dog Expo on March 7th or the Brisbane Sled Dog Expo on March 28th. I will also be there doing free dog massage, as I am sure these athletic dogs will be happy to have some help with their recovery!

Picture credit: Kirby Reaves, Reflections of Rogue Photography