Why attend a canicross class?
To those experienced in Canicross I might seem baffling as to why you might choose to attend a class teaching Canicross skills, so this weeks blog is to chat about why attending a class can be beneficial to all.
Firstly, Canicross can come across as extremely intimidating from the outside! When you see people who are very fast and very good it can be scary, and it can also seem unreal that you might be able to achieve this synchronicity with your dog. The kit used in Canicross can seem very complicated initially the sizing, types, and were to purchase it all can be a minefield! Where to run? When to run? How to actually run with your dog? Over coming the fear of falling, being dragged, not being able to stop a large powerful dog, these are all very real concerns I hear day after day when talking to those new to the activity!
So, with all the above, why should you attend a class? Well, attending a class can help you break into the canicross world! A good leader can help you learn that canicrossers are generally a very friendly, warm, welcoming open bunch of humans who love nothing more than to run the trails and chat about dogs.
Classes done correctly will help you learn the basic skills and etiquette needed to run safely in social groups. Knowing how to run the trails safely with your dog, means everyone, canicross and others on the trail are kept safe, no one wants to accidently clothesline an innocent bystander.
Kit! Most leaders will have kit bags, stuffed full of kit. This means you can test out all the lines, belts and harnesses they have to see what works best and feels the most comfortable for you! It took me 9 belts to find the one that felt the best on me.
Confidence, a good leader will help you build up your confidence helping you find your feet on the trails. We can give you all the tips and tricks we have to counteract reactivity, prey drives, over excitement/over threshold, and more. Generally leaders have worked with dozens of dogs, and most of us will have other canine qualifications under our belts.
Pushing you outside of your comfort zone, I am well known for picking tricky terrain, and putting in surprise hill work. However there is a reason for this! If you can run a technical route, even slowly, but with a reasonable degree of skill and confidence. You are going to NAIL a flatter route! Each week those hills get a tiny bit easier, and your confidence grows.
Classes vary in ability level, but I have seen canicrossers out there who haven't yet cracked a sub 30 5k, but who's dog handling skills far out class those who are running at sub 20 speeds. Canicross doesn't have to be balls to the walls competitive, sub 20 5ks and races, there is such a thing as social 'hobby' running. Canicross is extremely social, with a great community spirit.
To top this off, not only are you supporting a small business, you are also getting to meet other like minded people of a similar ability level to yourself. You can support and help each other grow in skill level, and have something in common!