Playing sports with your dog: how to practice caniwalking?

In the canimarche, the dog and its handler are bound by an elastic line. (© FSLC)

More than just walking! Canimarche – or canirando if the distance is more than 10 km – includes pulling from the dog connected to his master by a harness.

So it’s a sporty walk: “The dog doesn’t have to stop sniffing left or right, the goal of the game is to walk at a steady pace”, introduces Christine Paulin, president of the commission. Canimarche at the Canine Sports and Leisure Federation (FSLC).

What are its benefits?

In fact, caniwalking allows you to stay in shape while taking your dog. If you practice at a club, so be it a great way to socialize. “The dogs have to meet other congeners, they are always happy to meet again. When we show them the equipment, they are all excited because they know they are having a great time.»

Practicing a sport with your four-legged friend also allows you to form a strong relationship with him. A real one moments of togetherness where “the couple is united in the effort. It is always a pleasure to go on an adventure with your dog, through the countryside and the forest trails. »

Is the canimarche accessible to all dogs?

Unlike canicross, which requires running, caniwalking does not require much effort. So it is intended for all dogs at least 15 months of age because the latter have already finished growing, especially when they are asked to haul.

In addition, walking is more suitable for some dogs. This is the case with boxers or bulldogs, who often have respiratory or heart problems: so they are not fit to run but are very good walkers.

For small dogs, they can participate in this activity but do not have to drag. Clubs are used to it adapt to the needs of the dog and the owner “We always consider each other’s limitations,” assures Christine Paulin. “On my team, there was a dwarf spitz that made his five kilometers without a problem. And yet we had a Chihuahua!»

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It is possible to practice caniwalking at any age. It all depends on the body and health of the dog, and of course on his desire. People come for the pleasure of their animal, not for the show.

Christine PaulinPresident of the Canimarche commission of the FSLC

What equipment to choose?

Traction harness for the dog, harness for the handler and an elastic line connecting the two, these are the equipment of caniwalkers.

The harness is a must adapt to the physiognomy of the dog and leave his shoulders. Also choose “a line that is not too high – about 1.50 m – otherwise it will easily fall to your feet if the dog does not pull”.

Regarding protective footwear, “why not if you are walking in the snow but if not, it is not necessary; dogs that are accustomed to walking have a natural strengthening of their pads. ” Beware of chestnut bugs though. It all depends on the sensitivity of the dogs but, in addition to the booties, there are liquid solutions that harden the pads.

And on walks, don’t forget to bring water or provide water points of course. There are even energy bars for dogs.

What to do in case of heat stroke?

Heat is the main concern of caniwalkers. “Dogs are quick to warm up so you have to be careful and avoid going out when it’s more than 25 °”.

To refresh your pet, “you can drink it, but a dog actually cools itself off. through his pads and inside the legs, where the skin is thinnest. So it needs to be wet, with a wet towel, for example, at the level of the abdomen and legs so that it can control its temperature. »

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