Canicross Alberta: A Guide to Running with Your Dog in the Canadian Wilderness

Canicross, a sport where a runner and their dog work together as a team, is gaining popularity in Alberta. The sport involves running with a dog that is harnessed and attached to the runner via a bungee cord. The dog pulls the runner, allowing them to cover more ground at a faster pace than they would be able to on their own.

Central Alberta Dog Running (CADR) is a group that organizes canicross events in Alberta. The group hosts spring dryland events at Heritage Ranch, Alberta, where participants can enjoy the scenic trails while running with their dogs. CADR also offers an introduction to canicross program, which includes an introductory video and in-person group training with the runner and their dog.

Canicross Canada is another group that offers canicross training and equipment for purchase or rental. The group has plans to start a second canicross group in Kelowna, BC, and offers monthly sessions year-round at different locations. Canicross equipment is available for purchase to members at a 10% discount of the regular price, and a limited supply of rental equipment is also available.

What is Canicross?

Canicross is a sport that involves running with your dog. The dog wears a harness and is attached to the runner via a bungee cord and a waist belt. The goal of canicross is for the dog to pull the runner, allowing them to cover more ground at a faster pace than they would be able to on their own.

Canicross is a great way to exercise with your dog and build a stronger bond with them. It is also a popular sport in its own right, with competitions and races held all over the world.

To participate in canicross, you will need some basic equipment. This includes a harness for your dog, a waist belt for yourself, and a bungee cord to connect the two. There are many different types of harnesses and belts available, so it’s important to choose ones that are comfortable and fit well.

Training is also an important part of canicross. Your dog will need to learn basic commands such as “go” and “slow down,” as well as how to pull and stay focused on the trail. It’s important to start slow and gradually increase the distance and speed of your runs to avoid injury.

Overall, canicross is a fun and rewarding sport that both you and your dog can enjoy together. Whether you’re looking to compete or just get some exercise, canicross is a great way to stay active and spend time with your furry friend.

Getting Started with Canicross in Alberta

Are you ready to get started with canicross in Alberta? This exciting sport involves running with your dog while they pull you along. It’s a great way to exercise, bond with your furry friend, and engage in a fun and challenging activity.

To get started, you’ll need to register for a canicross event or join a local club. Check out the schedule of upcoming events or group training sessions in your area to find one that works for you. Many events offer a fun run option for beginners, so don’t be intimidated if you’re new to the sport.

Before you hit the trails, it’s important to learn proper canicross techniques and invest in the right gear. A canicross belt and hands-free leash are essential for keeping your dog safely and comfortably attached to you while you run. Make sure to also invest in a high-quality dog harness that’s designed for canicross and fits your dog properly.

During your training, focus on body language and communication with your dog. Use verbal cues and hand signals to stop/start, speed up, and pass others on the trail. Pay attention to your dog’s body language to ensure they’re comfortable and enjoying the run.

If you run into any issues with gear or technique, don’t hesitate to troubleshoot and make adjustments. Canicross is a fun and challenging activity that requires practice and patience. With a solid learning plan and commitment to training, you and your dog can enjoy the many benefits of running together in Alberta’s beautiful outdoors.

Equipment for Canicross

Canicross is a fun and exciting activity that requires some specific equipment to ensure the safety and comfort of both the dog and the human. Here are some essential pieces of equipment you will need to get started with Canicross:

Fitted Running Harness

A fitted running harness is a key piece of equipment for your dog. It should be snug and fit securely to ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe while running. The harness should be designed specifically for canicross, and there are many options available on the market. Some popular brands include Non-stop Dogwear, Hurtta, and Ruffwear.

Bungee Line

A bungee line, also known as a canicross bungee line or dog bungee line, is used to connect the dog to the human. It absorbs impacts when the dog pulls, protecting your dog’s joints and your back. The length of the bungee line should be short enough to keep the dog relatively close for better control. The multisports bungee line is perfect for canicross because of its length and durability.

Canicross Kit

A canicross kit includes all the necessary equipment for both the dog and the human. It typically includes a fitted running harness, a bungee line, and a waist belt with a bungee cord that attaches to the dog’s harness. This kit is an excellent option for those who are just starting with canicross and want to ensure that they have all the necessary equipment.

Dog Breeds

Canicross is an activity that can be enjoyed by many different dog breeds. However, it is essential to consider the breed’s size, fitness level, and age before starting. Some breeds that are well-suited for canicross include Eurohounds, Huskies, and other breeds that were bred for pulling.


Canicross is a great way to stay fit and active with your dog. However, it is essential to ensure that both you and your dog are fit enough to participate. It is recommended that both you and your dog undergo a physical examination before starting canicross to ensure that you are both healthy enough to participate.

Age Requirement

There is no specific age requirement for canicross. However, it is recommended that dogs be at least one year old before starting. This is to ensure that their joints are fully developed and can handle the strain of running.

Calgary and Canitrail

Calgary is a great place to participate in canicross, with many trails and parks available for running with your dog. Canitrail is also a popular activity in Calgary, which involves running with your dog on trails and in nature.


When looking for canicross equipment, it is important to be aware of ads that make exaggerated or false claims. It is always best to do your research and read reviews before purchasing any equipment.

Hydration and Nutrition for Canicross

Hydration and nutrition are crucial for both you and your dog during a canicross session. Proper hydration ensures that your dog’s body can regulate temperature, transport nutrients, and support their digestion system. It also helps to prevent dehydration, which can be very serious for dogs.

When it comes to hydration, make sure your dog has access to water before, during, and after the run. Carry water and a collapsible bowl with you on the trail to ensure your dog can drink whenever they need to. If you’re planning a longer run, consider bringing a hydration pack for yourself and a portable water filter to refill your dog’s water supply.

In terms of nutrition, it’s important to feed your dog a balanced diet that includes the right nutrients to support their active lifestyle. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s specific nutritional needs and consider adding supplements if necessary.

During a canicross session, it’s best to feed your dog a small meal several hours before the run to allow for digestion. Avoid feeding your dog right before the run, as this can cause gastrointestinal distress. After the run, offer your dog a small snack to help replenish their energy.

If you’re planning a longer canicross session or hike, consider bringing snacks for both you and your dog. High-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and jerky can help keep you both fueled and energized. Just be sure to choose snacks that are appropriate for your dog’s dietary needs and avoid feeding them anything that could be harmful, like chocolate or grapes.

Overall, proper hydration and nutrition are essential for a successful canicross session. By taking the time to prepare and plan ahead, you can help ensure that both you and your dog have a safe and enjoyable experience on the trail.

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