Thursday, 21 February 2019

Overtaking Etiquette in Canicross

Lately I’ve seen several reports of dogs being lunged at, scared by or even bitten by other competitors dogs as they were overtaking. This kind of accident can dent a dog’s confidence and even put them off running or racing full stop.

Following some simple rules can ensure you don’t end up accidentally being the owner of *that* lunging dog.

Super slow canicrosser? You still might have to pass a hiker on the path, and there’s always the chance of head to head passing in a lap type race.

Roadrunner speedy? You have to negotiate other runners with/without dogs plus the general public.

When we’re out on the trails with our dogs, the chances are you will see other people or runners too.



Canicross race? Check the established etiquette for your race (some have specific phrases like “trail left/right” to use)

Human race that allows canicrossers? Or just sharing the trails on a run? Make sure you have a clear process and stick to it – many other runners/walkers will be unfamiliar with being passed by a dog + human team.


Hints and Tips for Overtaking

  • If you’re asked to start at the back of a race, give the other runners space and time to settle into their pace before trying to push through. Especially important if your dog tends to need an early toilet stop.
  • Watch your distance – keep your dog OFF the heels of other runners. It’s a lot like driving on a motorway, you need to know your stopping distance!
  • Beware if you use the full bungee lines like the non-stop that there’s a lot of stretch in them!
  • Look for a clear space for your overtake (whether its another runner or a walker) and shout ahead BEFORE your dog is alongside. I tend to use “Dog Passing Right/Left”.
  • Pull out with plenty of room, and only cut back in when you are well past (think driving with a trailer!)
  • Are you TOTALLY confident your dog won’t veer over or interfere with the person/dog you’re passing? Really sure? If you’re not, practice gathering in your line as you start to overtake.
  • If your dog struggles a lot consider teaching them to run by your side for overtaking, and make sure you are between them and the other person or dog.

Being overtaken?

  • Slow down a little if you can to get the process over as quickly as possible, or at least make sure your dog doesn’t speed up!
  • See above about gathering your dog in if there is ANY chance of them interfering, lunging out or just trying to make a new best friend!
  • If your dog finds it really hard to cope when being passed, teach them to stop and stay by your side on cue – much better to have a slower run time than an accident.


Next week I’ll talk more about training for and handling head to head passing.


Happy Running!

Morag and the beasties 

Dalby Canicross Race report from Nikki and Coco – the dog that doesn’t pull consistently…

What a little superstar Coco is!

Canicross race this morning at Dalby Forest and she was Little Miss Social Butterfly.

Consistent pulling, a massive huge improvement from the November race. I was so proud of her - so much that I nearly rang you!

My fitness let her down... I best step up a gear!! 





Webinar TONIGHT (recording available for a month if you buy now)

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy: Injury prevention in the active dog: warmups and cooldowns

https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/self-study/webinars

Save the Date 

for an adventure workshop in the North York Moors: Sunday 31st March (afternoon)

Introduction to Canicross workshop Sun 10 March



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