This is a blog post from Frankie, the office dog
Yo yo, whaddup my dogz & bitches!
Golly, sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a blog post. Nic’s been hogging the blog.
Today I am going to tell you all about Cani Cross which is the sport of running with your human!
Nic and I went on a beginner Cani Cross session in Kent this morning with some other dogs and humans (they had all been a few times before) and I had such an amazing time that I feel sure your day will not be complete until you’ve heard about it.
So, turn round and round and round in your bed, lie down, sigh, and have a read.
I love running. And I love Nic! So why not combine the two and take Nic for a nice run. That’s what Cani Cross allows you to do – take your human for a lovely run. You can even do Cani Cross races, but I’m not sure Nic is fast enough for that just yet.
A nice lady named Jenny at Joggy Doggy taught Nic and I how to run together. We met up with her, and with the crew BARKIS (and Nadia), MONTY (and Rob), FRENCHIE (and Claire), JASPER (and Bella) and TILLY (who is actually Jenny’s dog but was running with a different human today whilst Jenny and Sam taught us what to do). Here we are:
Basically, right, you put a special harness on your human (it is called a belt) and then you pop your own Cani Cross harness on and clip your human in via the single line (it’s like a lead but a special one).
Then you go for a run! The great thing about it is that your human doesn’t have to hold on to you: they let go, and you run out to the end of the line, and you just run and run and run. It doesn’t really matter if your human can’t run as fast as you (which they probably can’t), because they are securely attached to you via the line and their belt. The belt is a nice wide comfy one which means you can steadily pull them along in a very natural movement.
Nic wasn’t very good at running but she hasn’t really done much running in a long time. I was way better! I helped her out and made it much easier for her, especially up the hills and through the splashy mud!
We learned all sorts of things today, including how the human tells you to go (or go faster), how the human tells you to turn left or right, slow down and stop. We learned what to do when passing another dog/human combo (useful if you’re in a race, or running where there are other dogs).
Frankie’s top tips for doing Cani Cross with your human
– make sure your human is securely attached to you via their belt and line
– encourage your human to warm up properly first with some walking, drills and mobility (you can have a lie down during that bit)
– bear in mind that your human can’t run as fast as you can, so you’ll need to adapt
– give your human lots of encouragement during the run so they keep going (I find smiling and wagging my tail works)
– make sure your human drinks water after your run
– don’t let your human eat too quickly after running (let their HR return to normal first)
– praise your human lots afterwards with cuddles so they know that Cani Cross is a good thing to do
And do you know what? I stopped for one poo, and I picked up one stick when we all stopped for a photo, but that was it. It’s mad! Normally on a regular walk, I stop all the time for wees, I pick up about 20 sticks and generally just ramble about.
Cani Cross really focused my mind! All I wanted to do was run, and keep up with the gang, and pull Nic properly so she would say “good boy” and “isn’t this fun Frankie?” and stuff.
I can’t really tell you guys too much about it, because Nic is writing it all up for an article in Women’s Running magazine, but I would really encourage you to give it a go with your human. Even humans who don’t like running love Cani Cross! Here are some of the comments from the humans I met today:
“I hate running, but I love running with my dog”
“If it wasn’t for Cani Cross I wouldn’t run at all”
“I can run much faster and for longer when I’m running with the dog”
“Cani Cross running improves your regular running pace and technique”
The dogs had plenty to say, too, but I can’t really share all our secrets.
What I will tell you though is that most of the crew I met today are rescues, like me. One of them (MONTY) has a mega-tragic story, and normal socialisation/puppy classes just didn’t work for him, he got way too stressed and hated it. But he loves Cani Cross, and he finds it really easy to be around other dogs and humans now since he’s been doing it! He even finds that its helped him in the rest of his life, too, he doesn’t get sad or stressed any more. (That’s him to my right in this pic)
If you want to know anything specific about Cani Cross, how to find a local group, how to maybe do a Cani Cross race with your human, or anything else, hit me up with a comment and I’ll get Nic to type out my reply.
Thanks for reading!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.