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Learning to Run with your Dog | Canicross

For our March Walk & Talk we were joined by Clare Grierson, Founder of Muddy Mutleys and DogFit canicross instructor, and Jo Ashbridge passionate canicrosser organising meetups across London.

We discussed canicross as an activity, the ideal kit, cues and the range of benefits before heading out on a run with our dogs. It was the perfect way to start a Sunday morning! 

Clare has shared with us her top tips, along with answering questions on all things Canicross 

What is Canicross? 

It’s off road, hands free cross country running with your dog originating from dogsledding/ skijoring and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

  What Kit do I need and why?

A good well fitting harness for your dog that is designed for canicross

The correct length bungee lead to connect you and your dog which is designed to absorb any shock from the pull.

A well fitting waist belt for you – It is important that the running belt sits on the top of the hips rather than around the waist. 

How old should my dog be to start running?

As with any dog sport your dog should be 1 year of age but take in to account the size of the breed – It is also a good idea to seek advice from your vet before starting. 

Can any breed take part?

Yes, if the dog is old enough, healthy enough and willing enough

Why is this canicross a good idea?

It increases fitness and stamina along with being a bonding and training opportunity for both you and your dog

My dog is fearful of other dogs, would canicross be good for them?

If this is the case then Canicross is excellent as it increases confidence for both you and your dog. New experiences and positive associations

My dog cant be let off the lead
 
Then this gives your dog the perfect opportunity to run and enjoy running and to gain some of the benefits of being of the lead

 

For more information on Canicross visit the DOGFIT website and you can find out about your nearest social running group below.

 

 

Fetch and Follow Stories | Nina and Goldie

Nina May is a journalist, editor, writer and co-founder of Wunderdog magazine. The online journal, which is dedicated to the ‘good life with rescue dogs’ will be publishing their first printed issue this coming spring. Nina also welcomed Goldie into her life last year, a rescue street dog from Romania.

We spoke to Nina about the up and coming launch of the printed Wunderdog magazine and how her cheeky little sidekick can be found regularly making new friends in and around Hackney

Tell us about Goldie and how she came into your life

Goldie is a rescue dog from Romania. At around eight months old, she was found wandering the streets with a chain around her neck so tight it had grown into her skin because she was still growing. Romanian Rescue Appeal, a UK-based charity that operates three shelters in Romania, took her in and cared for her. I saw her on the charity’s website, around five months after my previous rescue dog had passed away. I was getting very dog-broody and it turned out to be very hard to adopt a dog from the UK. Of more than a dozen charities I contacted (either to volunteer or for a specific dog), RRA was one of only two that even replied. At the time, Goldie was going to be adopted by someone, but that lady changed her mind, so Goldie became available. It was fate.

 How does your Goldie fit into your general working day?

As a freelance writer and editor, I don’t have a routine. When I work in client's offices, I tend to leave Goldie with my lovely neighbour, who is a dog-sitter. Goldie just walks in there like it’s her second home and claims her spot on the couch. When I work from home, Goldie sleeps on an armchair next to my desk, and when it’s time to go out, she sulks like a proper teenager until I give in. In one of the offices where I freelance, dogs are allowed in, so Goldie comes occasionally. To be honest, though, she gets bored and is not a great fan of the hour-long commute. 

When you’re not working where do you and Goldie like to hang out?

Our normal park is Shoreditch, which has a great dog crowd. We also love London Fields. For outings slightly further afield, Victoria Park or Hampstead Heath are wonderful – the latter is my favourite park. As a street dog, Goldie is extremely good with other dogs and clearly craves the company of other pooches, so I try to get her as much playtime as possible. When we aren’t walking, I love taking Goldie to a tiny café near where we live, which has a big leather sofa. We go on a dog-date, and I sit with her on the sofa and we share a croissant. 

What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry them in?

Goldie is quite hairy, so to protect seats, I take a little dog blanket or a linen baby swaddle (don’t judge…). I try to be organised with a travel bowl and poo bags, which I stuff into my Fetch & Follow tote bag (the Drawn in Light edition). When we are out for longer, I take one of her Fetch & Follow coats, which she loves putting on, possibly because it’s not tight around the neck like a sweater. For the rain jacket with the zip underneath, Goldie actually lies on her back and waits until I zip her up.

What adventures do you and Goldie have planned for the rest of the year?

I am working on the first edition of my rescue-dog magazine Wunderdog, so I can’t think any further than the publication of that – hopefully in March. Last year, we went to Saunton in Devon, which was heavenly. The beach is completely dog-friendly, and the people there are so nice. I would love to go back there. 
I am still working out what Goldie’s favourite holiday would be: because she so loves playing with other dogs, I can’t imagine she would like a long road trip or countryside walks, where she has to be on a leash all the time. We went to the Isle of Skye last year, and she was not happy being on the leash, because of sheep, and few other dogs around. She was sulking for a week until we reached our last hotel, which had a resident collie for her to play with.

Slightly less adventurous, but I want to try agility and flyball with her – for fun, not for Crufts. She is smart and agile, so I think she would enjoy the challenge.

You can read more about Nina and Goldie's adventure together here
Along with following them on Instagram and Facebook
Picture Credits to George Baxter

 

Fetch and Follow | Walk and Talk | February

Here at Fetch and Follow a daily dog walk is an integral part of our routine come sun, rain and even snow (and it also happens to be our favourite part!). Having a dog opens a world of opportunity everyday with a new adventure every time you head out together. 

However we understand that at this time of year due to the weather, a post dog walk bath is often in order due to all the wet and muddy fun which has been had. With this in mind we are excited to announce that for our February walk (which will take place on Sunday 17th February) we will be joined by the talented groomer Serena from Lead the Walk , who will be on hand to give some expert tips on how to look after your dog furs during the winter months.

Lasting for one hour, dogs and their owners will get together for an intimate walk with each owner receiving a Fetch and Follow Doggie Bag themed to the walk (this month will include grooming essentials)

The walks are free to attend but spaces are limited so please click HERE to book your space
Fetch and Follow | Walk and Talk Series | February | Grooming
Sunday 17th February 2018
11am Victoria Park London
If you have any questions about our Fetch & Follow dog walks then please contact victoria@fetchandfollow.com