Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Something furry this way came – the prey drive challenge

The trail feels good under your feet.

Your dog is pulling steadily out front, and that extra lift through the waist belt is spurring you on.

Dodging the overhanging branch.

Skipping over the roots and running smoothly down the path.

And then disaster strikes......

Whether it’s an errant squirrel on the tree next to you, or the grouse that flew up out of the bushes.

Maybe it was the sheep you hadn’t spotted by the side of the fence. Or the rabbit that just ran down the path in front of you.

Suddenly that steady running partner is trying to drag you off your feet. 

If you’re lucky, they’re pulling along the track. 

But usually your dog just dived off the path into the undergrowth, and is making a break for hunting freedom.

Canicross dogs generally like running. And they usually like chasing stuff too – even if that’s just another canicross team.

Which is great, until your running partner loses their brain to BUNNEEEEEEEES!!!

Our key strategy is to work hard on teaching our dogs a command to keep going past the distraction AND channelling all that frustrated prey drive energy into going forwards. 

The words you choose really don’t matter, the important bit is helping your dog understand that when in running kit, there’s no chance of chasing the prey. So running faster forwards is a better option.

Unexpected benefits include sprint finishes at most of the Hardmoors races (there’s nearly always sheep in the village at the end) – but it’s totally worth it!

I’m working hard on this with Laird (the Big Yin) right now, because as a pointer he does like to stop dead and well, point. This is almost as dangerous as just lunging after the prey.

If you want to get hands-on coaching to improve your teamwork, and teach your dog to ignore the bunnies on your runs, why not sign up for one of our workshops or the NEW October classes.  All the information is below!

Saturday 22nd September (York)
  • 10am Introduction to Canicross – dedicated individual kit fitting and checking, teaching the basic skills and learning to work as a team. Ideal for dogs 1 year and older, humans do not yet need to be running fast or far.
  • Book Intro Workshop
  • 2pm Improvers workshop – building your core skills, practicing race starts, passing on the trail and simple drills to build your fitness.
  • Book Improver Workshop

Weekly Canicross Classes (York, various locations)

Starting from 7pm Tuesday October 16th, a 10 week course designed to develop your canicross techniques, build on your teamwork and challenge you and your dog in a range of different environments.
  • Either book individual sessions OR
  • Book all 10 sessions and use this code COMMITEDCANI-X to get one session free!
Pre-requisites: Have completed an Introduction to Canicross workshop.  Participants who have not done so MUST book and attend for week 1

Book Canicross classes

Adventure Challenge

Saturday 13th October at the Yorkshire Cycle Hub (£120/person & up to 2 dogs)

  • 8.30am registration
  • Morning – Attend clinic with a max of 4 people, take a coffee break and then swop round
  • Navigation Clinic / Canicross Running Clinic
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon – Find and run the route with your team mate and collect the stamps! You’ll have a choice of two route lengths (short 4ish miles, long 8ish miles)
Book here:
Get Adventurous with Canicross

Happy Running

UltraCanicrosser, Firewalker, Clinical Animal Behaviourist

Local'ish races

Dalby Canicross  https://www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/events/tags/Dogs
Sunday 16th September

CaniX races http://www.canix.co.uk/index.shtml
Saturday, September 22  Hamsterley Forest CaniX
Sunday, September 23 Hamsterley Forest CaniX

K9 Karnage 5K  https://www.facebook.com/events/269959073829460/
Sunday 7th October

Saving Yorkshires Dogs 5k Tough Mutter – 5 k obstacle walk/run with option to take your dog. Not a canicross event but canicrossers are welcome.

Sunday 14th October, Camp Hill, Bedale.
Application - email julie.hart@sydrescue.org.uk

Dalby Canicross  https://www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/events/tags/Dogs

Sunday 28th October

*if you know of any more events please let us know and we'd be happy to promote them!

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