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23 October 2023Dog sports

Starting harnessed dog sports!

Fall is upon us and that means the return of cooler temperatures and the perfect time to start harness sports with pitou!

But where to begin?!

If harness dog sports are new to you and your dog, we’d recommend you start your journey with canicross or a cani-walk or hike. This is the safest and least challenging way for your dog to learn the skills and new commands. But before you even set out on the trail let’s make sure you have all the gear and that it’s fit is adjusted appropriately to both your and your dog’s body.

To double check you have every piece of equipment you need use our module tool to confirm you’re not missing anything!

Once you’ve got everything in hand, the next step is to make sure everything fits and is adjusted properly. Did you know? We have a media library full of informative videos? They will help you both fit your gear to yourself and your dog making sure you and your dog start off on the trail in the safest and most comfortable way possible.

Now that you’ve got all your equipment sorted, it’s time to grab your dog and hit the trail! You may find in the beginning your dog does best when learning in a group setting. There are lots of clubs in communities coast to coast across Canada who would welcome you and your dog to join in group training and lessons. Learning in a club setting or with a coach or mentor is a great way for both you and your dog to gain knowledge and experience from others. Starting on your own? Set your dog up for success by starting on a clearly defined trail with low distractions. Start slowly and allow your dog time to build up their capacity. Harness dog sports ask not just for physical effort but also mental effort (commands to start and stop, directions like gee & haw to turn or “on by” to keep going). In the beginning as your dog is learning, less can often be more.

The most important thing to remember when you’re beginning is to keep it fun! Harness dog sports are an incredible way to get outside with your dogs and enjoy everything that nature has to offer in every season.

Check back soon, over the coming months our blog will be full of tips and tricks for helping you and your dogs be successful on the trail together!

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