You’re ready to give this whole canicross (running with your dog) thing a try, but how do you actually attach the dog to you?
The attachment part is pretty easy to solve – a successful shopping trip online is all that takes. But, before we get into the running harness (for you) let’s touch on why you need one:
- Protect your back from damage from your hard pulling dog
- Transfers your dog’s pulling power into your stride
- Stops your dog from leaving you behind (very important)
Alright, with that out of the way let’s get you hooked up and running in your new canicross waist belt.
The first thing you need to decide is if you’re ready to invest in equipment, or just want to give the sport a try.
If you just want to try the sport and see if it’s right for you and your dog – we suggest using a regular old 6’ walking leash. Grab two leashes and your dog’s harness. Clip one leash around your waist, using the second leash to attach your dog to the leash clipped around your waist. That’s it!
This equipment is going to be hard on your body (and your dog’s) over time. But it’s an inexpensive way to try the sport out.
If you’ve tried the above, or just know you’re ready to commit to quality equipment that will ensure both you and your dog enjoy the experience – it’s time to invest in a canicross belt…don’t worry it won’t break the bank.
So, let’s talk belts…
There are a few different styles, but you’ll want to look for a belt that has:
- Wide belt at the back – to spread the pulling pressure
- Leg straps – to help anchor the belt low on your back…to avoid back injuries
- Adjustable straps – a belt with adjustable waist and leg straps will make it easier to get in and out of, no matter how many layers you’re wearing
- Connection point – to connect your dog’s bungee line to you
- Quick-release buckle – if you plan to race in the future, most organizations require that it have a quick-release feature (buckle or hook) that will allow you to release your dog’s bungee leash in the event of an emergency or accident
Most specialty mushing suppliers will carry a canicross belt that will work for you, they may also be referred to as a skijoring or race belt. If you’re not sure where to find your new canicross belt – check out our Suppliers Guide (no affiliate links – we just like these suppliers) for a company in your area.
It’s time to use the Equipment Suppliers Guide referenced above, or visit your local mushing supplier and pick up a belt of your own.
See you on the trail!