Spring may officially start on March 20th and in Calgary we seem to be enjoying a false spring right now. We’re being teased with spring like weather, but surely there is another big dump of snow to expect. Either way, it’s close. Perhaps in your corner of the world it’s already started.
Which leads to today’s topic, is spring a good time to get started canicross?
While I don’t think there is a bad time to start, kinda like the old joke, the best time to start was yesterday, the second best time is today.
But, often spring and fall are great times to get started in a mushing sport. And, canicross in particular.
Nice enough weather for you to be patient while teaching your dog something new. Cool enough they are unlikely to overheat.
While I have many personal failings, one certainly is a lack of patience when the cold weather hits. Patience to wait for my dog to do the right thing, while my legs slowly turn into icicles and the blood stops flowing to my hands…not my strongest suit.
But, nicer weather improves my patience…and makes training much more fun for my dogs. And, keeping training fun is pretty important when trying to teach our dogs something new.
That said, you don’t want to have your dog doing long hard miles in the blazing summer heat. So, getting started in the shoulder season, gives you a little more leeway if you want to go for a more strenuous run. This makes it a great time to introduce some bike or scooter training.
But what about canicross?
If you and your dog are totally new to mushing, canicross is a perfect place to start. You can introduce your dog to the commands at a slower pace – giving them the time to respond correctly.
Best of all, you can do it pretty much anywhere, anytime. Snowshoe, or grab a set of cleats if you still have snow on the ground. A pair of runners if the weather’s nice. Or enjoy (?) a sloppy round of mud-land mushing if the trails are still muddy…or stick to the pavement and let the trails dry out first.
I hope you and your dog give the great sport of canicross a try this spring. Get a jump start on the cues before the summer heat sets in; or get out and give skijoring or snowshoeing a try before the snow disappears.
And, once you’re hooked on this awesome sport, we’d love to see your team in the League earning Titles and crushing Challenges!