What Happens When You Add Dogs to a Cross-Country race? Canicross!
You may have heard of skijoring. It's a human/canine team sport that's a step down from dogsledding and involves a dog pulling a human on cross country skis.
Canicross takes it one step simpler. It's just a human with a special belt and a dog equipped with a harness and a bungee-sprung connector.
All you have to do is run. And well, train the dog -- just a bit.
The dog has to learn to run while keeping the connecting leash tight. Canicross enthusiasts also teach their dogs directional commands for left, right and forward.
Doesn't sound like a lot for those of us already conditioned to teaching our dogs complex cues. And it fits right in to today's interest in performance-supporting, human and canine conditioning.
The video in this post was taken at a canicross event in Czechoslovakia. It would be a fun (and healthy) trend if it catches on in the United States.
Cost of entry to the sport is pretty inexpensive. The entire cost of equipment is pretty similar to entry fees for one agility trial. An online source called Canadog appears to have everything you'll need.
The sport would also be great for people not involved in agility, such as owners of high energy dogs who need lots of exercise.
Now, I wonder how this would all work with a Papillon? If you've tried canicross with a toy breed dog, please share your experience in the comments!