Canicross is a mashup of the words “canine” and “cross country” and is a team sport consisting of a person and dog who run together. Typically the person wears a waist belt, the dog a specifically designed harness, and the two are joined by an elastic line that reduces shock to both the person and dog when the dog pulls. More traditional collar and leashes are also appropriate for those who are just starting out. This is an activity that can be enjoyed by all levels and abilities. For those who take the sport more seriously, a true canicross setup will increase a runner’s speed due to the pulling action of their dog.
Canicross originated in Europe as one way for sled dogs to train in the off-season and has evolved into a stand-alone sport. Competitions started around the early 2000’s and have attracted competitors and hobbyists of all levels. Canicross clubs, organizations, and federations have helped to develop the sport, some with the goal of reaching the Olympic level. Canicross is already sanctioned by organizations that are officially recognized by some National Olympic Committees.
In the United States, Canicross (aka caniXC or caniX) is relatively unheard of. It is more prevalent in cooler climate areas where sled dog and mushing sports already exist but is slowly becoming more known. Canicross USA is here to help promote the sport throughout the US.
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