Lancashire Life - - WALK -

Cani­cross is one of the fastest grow­ing sports and it has

ar­rived in the Lake Dis­trict. Irene Roth­ery re­ports

Five dogs of vary­ing breeds and sizes emerge from a van. The ‘Joggy Doggy’ logo em­bla­zoned on the side of the ve­hi­cle gives a clue as to what is to hap­pen next. Enzo, Foggy, Billy, Dolly and Jayke, tails wag­ging, are ea­ger to get started on their afternoon run. Jayke, the small­est and liveli­est, gives a bark of ex­cite­ment and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally leads the way.

These keen canines are ready to take part in a cani­cross run with Alexia and Julie Tay­lor who run the West Cum­bria branch of Joggy Doggy. They are joined by Michelle Shut­tle­worth, an en­thu­si­as­tic ath­lete and part of their team.

Alexia ex­plains: ‘We of­fer dog walk­ing, from gen­tle strolls to fast-paced runs, within a 15 mile ra­dius of Cock­er­mouth. Cani­cross, a pop­u­lar op­tion, is the sport of run­ning with your dog where the dog runs ahead while at­tached via a bungee line and a waist belt. The bungee line ab­sorbs the shock for both hu­man and dog, if needed.’

Alexia, Julie and Michelle, who are based in St Bees, ac­knowl­edge that when it comes to find­ing run­ning routes they are spoilt for choice with truly ex­cep­tional places on their doorstep. ‘We run on many dif­fer­ent types of ter­rain; fells, beaches, quiet cy­cle tracks and forests where the dogs al­ways have access to shade and wa­ter. Wa­ter is a favourite with most dogs so we often visit the lo­cal lakes, al­though French bull­dogs and pugs like to avoid pud­dles which isn’t al­ways easy around here!’

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