/ Canicross

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girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
Just about to take my dog out for his first canicross run. We have tried a few times up and down the park at the back of our house and he thinks it is the best game ever! Going to head out on some trails for a short run today to see how we both get on.
Any other canicrossers on here? What hints and tips would you give me that I might not have got from reading up on it?
ceri - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Yes! Join a club if you can, helps if your dog is distracted and good to try equipment. Use suitable equipment: both for you and your dog (k9trailtime is a good place to start). Teach your dog left right and ideally a steady command if you plan going anywhere more adventurous that the park (being dragged off Higger Tor by a keen dog is fun to watch but less fun for the person attached)...
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to ceri:
Lol, we already have a slow command for walking down hills (he is a chaser so always on long lead which can build up momentum easily! Slow has been an essential command!). We are starting to vaguely get left and right, but he's not quite sure of them yet.

Maybe we will do club stuff eventually, but our dog has many issues! One of them is leash aggression, and this includes ant situation where he is restrained. So turning up in a car park where there are other dogs, he goes nuts even before the car door opens. I suspect he would be fine running with other dogs, but the pre run stage he would be hard work and then it takes him about a week (!) to properly drop his stress levels again. He is improving with this as we continue to work on it, but I think high energy at the meeting of running dogs is not going to help him just yet!
Post edited at 09:11
jkarran - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

My partner and (very occasionally) I run with our dog on a cani-cross belt, he loves it to begin with but unless he's let off the lead for chunks of the run so he can snuffle and change pace he gets bored and reluctant within a couple of miles. He pulls like a 6st meat tractor when he's over excited then weaves and gets underfoot once bored, it can be a bit brutal on the knees and back. I can at least steer him, he won't do left or right but 'this way' makes him change direction at random then repeating it makes him change tack if he got it wrong! I hope yours is slightly better behaved or trainable
jk
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to jkarran:

Ours loves nothing more than to run, but time will tell if he will go for as long while pulling us.

He loves to sniff, but never stops running to sniff if he is running off lead. Sadly we can only let him off lead in a few places due to chase habits (although this is improving, we are still a long way off letting him loose on hills), which is one big reason for the canicross. (Mainly cos I want to ski with him if we get good snow. He will chase us down hill, as we are interesting, but we would lose him on the uphill! We can get him to pull up and chase us down I hope.) I guess maybe regular sniffing stops might help him to stay focussed. Thanks for that thought.

Due to his many issues, we are having to train lots of things to a high level, so although he hasn't fully got left and right yet, I'm sure he will. He is a bright wee thing
jkarran - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Ours is daft as a brush so I'm pleased just to have a change direction command programmed in! He also has chasing-stuff issues so basically he can't be let off near livestock or anywhere he might follow birds off a cliff but he's ok in parks and woodland. We mostly take him from park to park or along the river to keep him interested in running, he loves chasing the squirrels and swimming as his treat for doing the boring bits.
jk
girlymonkey - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to girlymonkey:

Well he got it at points, and not so much at other points. I kept it short and basically just put cues to whatever he was doing. So when he pulled into the harness, even if only at walking pace, I encouraged and cued 'hike', and when he slowed or stopped I used the 'slow' and 'stop' commands. I let him stop to sniff if he wanted, but just cued it. Hopefully a few sessions like that and he will be understanding the commands and able to follow them.
It was interesting though that he wanted to stop and play with me a few times. We rehomed him a year ago and he never even looked at us when we were outside. His chase drive was huge and he never wanted to stick close to us. We have done so much work with him this year that now I am giving him the chance to keep running and pulling he misses playing with me. I am pleased that he wanted that interaction (and I let him have it with the stop cue. I am happy to carry a small tugger with me to do this during runs), and I guess it will be something I will need to plan into runs. If I cue the stop and play rather than him deciding then it should feel like a reward for the pulling, I think. Does that sound about right?

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