Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer lessons?
Why is the dog in front?
Do I have to go fast?
Are harness dog sports new? How are they regulated?
Running isn't my thing...
I'm not really in shape/My dog isn't really in shape can we still participate?
My dog can be reactive or dog selective. Can we still join?
What are the annual club fees?
Yes. Everyone who joins starts with an introductory session. We'll teach you and your dog the basics of the sport and our club's trail etiquette. This is to ensure the safety of all our club members - human and canine and to encourage respectful use of public trails. We offer these sessions one-on-one so we can adapt the session to the needs and experiences of you and your dog. We also organize lessons and training sessions as a club to introduce specific disciplines or work on specific technical skills together.
Harness dog sports are all about working together with your dog - creating a bond that allows you to achieve your goals as a team. The human "drives" or directs and the dog pulls.The line between you and your dog is your connection point and your communication line. Every time you lose tension, you lose communication. Sort of like when you're listening to someone explain something on the phone and then the call drops all of a sudden - now you're distracted by everything else around you and you're no longer engaged with the person you were talking to. Having your dog run in front of you improves your communication and ability to work together, but it's also safer because it allows you to observe how your dog moves and react more effectively to external issues. Plus, pulling keeps your dog mentally as well as physically engaged throughout his run.
Nope. Not at all. These sports can be enjoyed at a walking pace or a sprint. How you and your dog choose to participate is up to you!
Harness dog sports are actually practiced all over the world, though they are still growing in Canada! We have a small, but vibrant community in the maritimes and are steadily growing. Club DogRunnin is actually part of something much bigger! We are a Member club of the Maritime Association of Harness Dog Sports (MAHDS) and adhere to the MAHDS Code of Conduct. MAHDS is the regional division and official representative of the Canadian Association of Harness Dog Sports (CAHDS) in the maritimes. CAHDS is the national association for harness dog sports in Canada and a member of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports. You can find more information on these organizations at the links below!
You definitely don't have to be a runner to enjoy harness dog sports! Our Club practices all kinds of different harness dog sports (check out our home page for a list of different small team sports we participate in)! There are also lots of non-competitive options like cani-hiking and snowshoeing which are fun and appropriate ways to enjoy some time together with your dog! We recommend if you're new to harness dog sports, you start with an intro lesson on foot. Typically this is easier and safer for both you and your dog and you can take most courses at a walk or a run - it's your choice! Once your dog is comfortable pulling and you're working together as a team, you can start introducing your dog to other gear if you prefer wheeled or other sports like bikejor, skijor, kicksled, or scooter!
Yes! Harness dog sports create a great bond between human and dog and that often translates into an incredible form of motivation and confidence. You don't need to be a "serious athlete" to join us - you just have to want to work together with your dog! We are here to support you and help you get started. Send us a message and we'll help you come up with a plan to make sure your entry into harness dog sports is a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog and if you wish to expand your capacity we can help you safely do that together over time.
Yes you can. Lots of dogs, not just those who are dog selective or reactive have no interest in interacting with others while they are running in harness. For the safety of everyone participating we actually ask that dogs do not engage with each other or play while in harness. If you feel your dog requires extra space, we ask that you put a yellow ribbon on their harness or line to communicate your request for additional space from everyone else. If you so choose, a basket muzzle can be worn while participating as well.
We are very fortunate to have extremely low club fees! Fundraisers like events and sponsorships help us keep fees low. The one on one introduction session is $35.00 which includes your membership for your first year. Annual renewal fees are $25 per person. Club fees must be paid to participate in our programs and activities.