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Best Dog Breeds for Canicross

Read time: 4 mins

11 Sep 2023

Canicross, a combination of "canine" and "cross country," is all about teamwork, enthusiasm, and adventure. Dogs, known for their love of outdoor activities, thrive in the excitement of canicross. They relish the opportunity to explore new terrains and keep pace with their human companions.

Do Dogs Enjoy Canicross?

The question that often arises is, "Do dogs enjoy canicross?" The answer, in most cases, is a resounding yes.

One of the key reasons why dogs enjoy canicross is because it caters to their natural instincts. Dogs are born runners, with a remarkable stamina that's perfect for long-distance running. Whether it's a spirited sprint or a leisurely jog, dogs revel in the thrill of the chase. Canicross provides an outlet for this energy, allowing them to channel it into a fun and engaging activity.

Moreover, the sense of companionship during canicross is something dogs cherish. They thrive on the connection and communication they have with their owners. Running together strengthens the bond, and dogs are quick to pick up on the cues and commands, enhancing their obedience and attentiveness.

We've seen countless happy dogs who not only enjoy canicross but also benefit from it both physically and mentally. It's essential, however, to consider individual preferences and abilities when introducing your dog to this sport. While most dogs take to canicross like ducks to water, it's crucial to assess if it's suitable for your furry friend.

Can All Dogs Do Canicross?

No, not all dogs are suited to canicross.

The allure of canicross is undeniable, but it's essential to recognise that not all dogs are built the same. Just as humans have varying levels of fitness and endurance, dogs too exhibit a wide range of physical abilities.

First and foremost, a dog's age and health should be taken into account. Puppies, for instance, have developing bones and joints, and subjecting them to strenuous exercise like canicross can be harmful. Older dogs may also have limitations due to age-related issues. It's advisable to consult with a veterinarian before embarking on any fitness journey with your dog, including canicross.

Another crucial factor is the breed and size of your dog. While canicross is an inclusive sport, some breeds are naturally better suited for it than others. Medium to large breeds with a lot of energy, such as Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and German Shepherds, often excel in canicross. Smaller breeds can also participate, but it's essential to tailor the intensity and duration of the activity to their size and stamina.

Temperament plays a significant role in determining if a dog is a good fit for canicross. Dogs that are naturally obedient, have a strong desire to work, and are eager to please tend to thrive in this sport. However, with patience and training, many dogs can learn to enjoy canicross, regardless of their initial temperament.

What Dogs are Best for Canicross?

Choosing the right dog for canicross is a crucial step in ensuring a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your four-legged companion. While many dogs can participate in canicross to some extent, certain breeds are naturally better suited for this high-energy sport. So, what dogs are best for canicross?

Siberian Husky

This breed was practically born for canicross. Siberian Huskies are known for their incredible endurance and love for running. With their strong build and thick double coat, they can handle various terrains and weather conditions.

Alaskan Malamute

Like the Husky, Alaskan Malamutes are built for the great outdoors. They are strong, sturdy, and have a natural inclination to pull. This makes them excellent canicross partners.

German Shepherd

Known for their intelligence and athleticism, German Shepherds excel in canicross. They are quick learners and can adapt well to this sport with proper training.

Border Collie

Border Collies are not just great herders; they are also fantastic runners. Their boundless energy and agility make them ideal canicross companions.


Pointers are known for their speed and endurance. They have a natural instinct to chase, which makes them enthusiastic canicross participants.

Belgian Malinois

Similar to German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent and agile. They thrive on challenges and excel in activities like canicross.

Labrador Retriever

Labs are not only friendly and loving but also have the stamina for canicross. They are versatile and can adapt to various running conditions.

It's important to note that while these breeds are well-suited for canicross, individual temperament and training also play a significant role. Any dog, regardless of breed, can enjoy canicross with the right preparation and patience.