What is Canicross? 

Canicross is essentially running with your dog. It involves having a harness attached to the dog, a bungee lead with some ‘give’ which must be no longer than 2m and usually a waist harness on the runner. This allows dogs and owners to exercise and compete together as a team.

Is there any compulsory kit?

Yes, all competitors must run with their dogs wearing a suitable harness. We highly recommend a waist harness and bungee lead for the athlete too, but for those starting out dogs can be run on a static handheld lead. Owners must carry at least 3 poo bags too. Failure to pick up after your dog will result in disqualification.  

Can I run with any dog?

There are no specific breeds for canicross and any fit and healthy dog is welcome to take part. If a dog appears at all anxious or aggressive the Race Director reserves the right to refuse to allow you and your dog to compete. Dogs always take part at their owner’s risk, please see our ‘dogs’ info page for more detail.

Do I have to run with a dog to take part?

No, you are more than welcome to come along and run without a dog, however, you would appear in the results in the same way as those running with dogs. You would simply enter in the same way as you would with a dog. Family members are more than welcome to join in and simply run a 5 or 3 mile race.

How old does my dog have to be to take part?

To compete all dogs need to be at least 12 months old, for larger breeds we recommend waiting until they are 18 months. Puppies are welcome to come along for socialisation but they will need to have someone to look after them for the duration of the race. Dogs must not be left unattended.

What if my gorgeous girl is in season?

In that circumstance we would ask that you do not compete for the safety and comfort of all the other competitors and animals. You are still more than welcome to come and run without a dog.

Can I run with more than one dog?

This depends on the course. At Whinlatter, due to the nature of part of the course this is a no. At Dodd, the course is less technical and the answer is yes.

Are headphones and music permitted?

Sorry, this is a no too. In canicross events competitors need to be able to clearly hear what is going on around them.

What if it is too hot to run with my dog?

All of our events are in the forest in the North of England and starting at 9am. It is unlikely to be too hot for dogs to run, but if the temperature is above 20 degrees we would recommend leaving dogs at home and running without them.

Can my child run with a dog?

We are happy for anyone over 16 to take part and run with their dog. Anyone younger than this would be at the Race Director’s discretion.

Can my dog be off lead?

Dogs must be kept on leads at ALL times during an event UNLESS to do so would present a danger to the dog, the owner or any other competitor.