Lessons

DogPoweredFun offers one hour individual canicross sessions for both you and your dog for $75.00. All sessions are individual and take place on Weston Trails or Lincoln Trails. Contact us to schedule a session.

Your session will include:

  • Harness fitting and lesson rental for your dog
  • Canicross belt fitting and lesson rental for yourself
  • Demonstration of canicross technique
  • Opportunity to canicross with a trained husky
  • An initial canicross lesson for your own dog
  • An introduction to basic canicross commands. These include “hike!” (go), “gee” (right), “haw” (left), “easy back” (run behind or next to me), “line out” (hold the line tight) and “leave it.”
  • Ongoing email access for questions or issues that arise.

Key Requirements:

  • For dogs:
    • Be between the ages of 1 and 10 with no serious aggression issues. Poorly socialized and/or shy dogs are welcome. Canicross is a wonderful way to help build a dog’s confidence and improve his sociability.
    • Be vaccinated against rabies
    • If your dog is male, he must be neutered. To dogs, intact males smell differently than neutered males and often cause trouble on the trail.
  • For humans:

Please bring:

  • For your dog:
    • A leash
    • A flat collar
    • Water and a bowl
    • Poop bags
    • Small, easy to handle treats!
  • For you:
    • Stable running shoes. Trail running shoes are best, but any running shoe (other than maximalist running shoes) will do.
    • Comfortable running clothes
    • Insect repellent
    • A matt or towel for stretching before and after class

 

Frequently asked questions about DogPoweredFun sessions

Can any dog to this?
Any dog that is at least one year of age can try canicross. Will all dogs be interested? No. Just like some humans love to run and some could not care less, dogs have their own preferences.

Dogs that tend to NOT do well include those who:

  • Have a very low prey drive (e.g. they see a bunny hop across the trail and easily ignore it)
  • Dogs that have never pulled on a leash or have been trained for years and years not to pull.
  • Are poorly conditioned.

Do I have to be a runner to try canicross?
Absolutely not. If you have good fitting harness and a somewhat motivated dog, running will be at least 25% easier. Canicross actually makes running more accessible to just about everybody.

Are DogPoweredFun classes fitness classes?
No, at this point classes are purely instructional. Your class will seem like a super fun, very easy exercise experience. Once we have enough canicross converts, DogPoweredFun will be offering weekly fitness runs.

What if my dog is not well trained? Can I still sign up for a class?
Yes, most of the commands for canicross will be new to your dog and do not require any prerequisite training. DogPoweredFun uses “positive reinforcement” training exclusively, so knowing what your dog finds rewarding (and bringing it with you for the lesson) will help tremendously.

What if my dog shows no interest in canicrossing? Will the class just be a total loss for us?
It is true that some dogs just won’t be that into it. I will try to motivate your dog by having you run with my (well-trained) husky. Granite. I will attempt to canicross with your dog behind you and Granite. Most dogs will chase their owner, especially if the owner is having fun with another dog. If after several tries this does not work, we may settle on having your dog run next to or behind you. You will still, however, have a great canicross experience. I am happy to “lend” Granite to you and I will run or bike behind you to help out with commands and any issues that might arise.

When will I be ready to canicross on my own?
This is a personal decision. If you feel that you need more guidance, are not ready to buy a belt and harness or just like the support, DogPoweredFun offers a 10% discount for a package of 3 lessons.

My dog is super energetic and strong. Won’t he pull me off my feet?
These dogs are typically awesome canicrossers. You are likely in store for lots of fun. The equipment I lend to clients really helps dampen shock and help you keep balance. Just be sure NOT to wear maximalist (e.g Hoka One One) running shoes. Ideally, your shoes should have a wider base with greater stability.

Will my class be cancelled due to poor weather conditions?
I will cancel the class if the trails are icy or too snowy or if the roads are not safe for driving. We will definitely run in the rain. If it is hot, I will move the lesson to a trail with access to a pond.

I have a tiny dog, but she is full of energy. Can she canicross?
Absolutely! Canicrossing with a small dog has advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage is that they are much easier to control. The disadvantage is that they cannot pull as hard and the runner must work harder.

I love this idea and think my dog would do great, but I just don’t like running and am prone to injury. Are there any other options for me?
YES! Some people prefer cani-hiking. Like canicross, cani-hiking is great exercise for you and your dog and is a wonderful dog-owner experience. For the cani-hiking class, we meet in Weston at Cat Rock (PDF) and hike a small ski hill. Cani-hiking is a wonderful alternative for those who do not like to or cannot run.

What about having my dog pull me on my mountain bike? Does DogPoweredFun offer lessons?
Bikejoring, or having your dog pull you on a mountain bike, is a ton of fun! We also love being pulled on a scooter, skis or a sled! After you are familiar and comfortable with canicross, you are welcome to take a lesson on a bike.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please email me at Meghan@dogpoweredfun.com.