When people think of canisports they predominantly think of “Huskies”, who are undoubtedly
ideal for these sports!
Many different breeds take part in canisports, however, and the bias towards traditional
sledding breeds is gradually fading as the sports become more inclusive.
Traditionally the spitz breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Greenland
dogs have been used. Alaskan Huskies, however, are basically crossbreeds that have
been honed into the most elite running dogs in the world.
More recently Pointers, German Pointers and their crosses (Greysthers, Scandinavian
Hounds) have become very popular due to their speed and stamina. These breeds had
been used in Scandinavia for skijor and pulka historically.
Morphology does play a part in the ability to run. Brachycephalic (short-muzzled)
dogs find breathing more difficult, especially in heat and breeds with some types
of dwarfism (such as Dachshunds) may have more difficulties spinally. Nothing should
prevent a dog for running for fun though; they just may not be the fastest dog in
It is very important to care for you canisports dog throughout their lives. Young
dogs should not be made to pull in canicross before 12 months old. With scootering
and bikejor this age rises to 18 months. The larger the breed, the longer it takes
for the body to mature, so this must also be taken into account.
Working a dog into their senior years is a great idea and will help their physical
health no end. Do make sure that you consider their advancing years though by taking
it more slowly and checking them over very carefully before and after a run.
There is a wealth of information out there so look at our links page. The following
books are also interesting: