Canicross Coach

Providing the best training for you and your dog based on years of experience

We are highly qualified experts within the field of canicross

Our Story

So why have we come together to form Canicross Coach?

We both identified a need for a dog centred approach to canicross, where runners could be coached to improve their fitness, technique and understanding of the sport but where the needs of the dog are always put first. 

Where leaders are experienced themselves in the sport of canicross, who can promote good practice in canine welfare, and importantly can bring a fun approach to delivering planned sessions that focus on the goals of the individual with their family dog and ensure progression that matches the owner and canine companion together.  

Our aim is to build a strong network of Canicross Coaches across the UK, who share our ideals and promote our dog centred approach to the sessions.  

Our Values & Beliefs

Dog welfare is paramount at all times

All of our coaches are trained to conduct their sessions focusing on the dogs who are attending first and foremost, so if you have any specific requirements for your dog, these will be taken into consideration.

The emphasis in our sessions is fun

Whilst we want you to achieve fitness and running goals with your dog, we aim to make this as fun as possible along the way. We will never expect you to compromise on your enjoyment for the sake of a Personal Best time.

We aim to be inclusive in our approach

We understand that most people will have different requirements and be looking to achieve a variety of goals so our coaches are trained to adapt the sessions to cater for this and provide an inclusive environment for anyone to join in. 

Dawn Crook-Richards

Dawn Crook-Richards

Co-Founder & Canicross Coach Somerset & Mendips

Dawn Crook-Richards is well known in the Canicross community as the owner of CaniX, organising the oldest and largest National Championship in the UK alongside the CaniX Fur Nations.

She has competed in canicross for over 13 years, both in the UK and abroad, in addition to being a founder member of Canicross Somerset.

Moreover, she has 20 plus years of teaching experience, including adult education, with a special interest in Outdoor Education, where she holds NGB recognised qualifications.

She is also an approved LiRF from UK athletics, and is level 3 and 4 qualified in Sports Massage.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Co-Founder & Canicross Coach Brockworth & Birdlip

Emily Thomas runs K9 Trail Time,  known as the leading canicross retail business within the UK.

Emily founded the Cotswold Canicross group, organises the only UK Dog Triathlon with her Tri Dog team and is proud to be a representative for the British Sleddog Sports Federation, the National governing body for all dog powered sports. 

As a competitor herself for over 12 years in canicross, bikejor and dog scootering,  she brings with her an extensive knowledge of equipment and a passion for dog health and welfare. 

In addition to this Emily is qualified in Canine Hydrotherapy, giving her a solid understanding of canine physiology and musculoskeletal dynamic.

Emily is also an approved UK athletics LiRF and qualified in both Sports specific and canine First Aid.

Jo Browne

Jo Browne

Canicross Coach - Gloucestershire

Hi, I'm Jo and I'm the founder of Rather Be Canicrossing which is a social Canicross club serving Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and The Cotswolds.
I started Canicrossing in March 2018 with my golden retriever having never run before (used to make excuses to get out of PE type person). I was hooked but Teddy was never much of a puller. I rehomed a Cypriot black lab cross (Louis) and I reached all new levels of Canicross, I call Louis my personal trainer because he was so strong and driven, I didn't have a choice but to keep up with him and this pushed me to the fitness I have today. Fast forward to today and I have 4 canicross dogs, 1 Lucy (she will never canicross) and I foster for several charities specialising in "problem" dogs.
I love the bond Canicross has created for me and all my dogs. It keeps them in great shape and they sleep so much! It has helped calm down my black lab and given a huge amount of confidence to my very terrified pointer cross. I have attended several races with Louis the black lab, Teddy the golden retriever and Thalia the GSD mix but I'm not running for podium places, just for fun.
We love including everyone in our club, whether complete novice or advanced, reactive or over friendly, we welcome them all.We welcome all dogs with any issues too 😉
You can always contact Louis the Lab on Louis@ratherbecanicrossing.co.uk - he handles all our general admin
Hannah Reynolds

Hannah Reynolds

Canicross Coach - Gloucestershire

Hi I’m Hannah I’m 27 and I’m a run leader with ‘Rather be Canicrossing’ in Gloucestershire, I also run a local dog walking service called Active Animals and offer dog jogs as one of my services. I have canicrossed for 8 years after adopting a very lively border collie who needed a job to do!

Since then I have added three more dogs to my pack and now live with 4 very enthusiastic canicross dogs of all shapes and sizes! I am usually a quiet person who struggles with my mental health and get up and go however canicross and working with dogs has changed my life and helped me battle through some of my toughest times. I have a deep admiration for those that have anxiety and use canicross as a way of coping!  

At Rather Be Canicrossing we are an inclusive social group offering runs throughout Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds. The best way to contact us is Rather Be Canicrossing on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/212991636991472

We look forward to running with you soon.

Lisa Chapman

Lisa Chapman

Canicross Coach - Gloucestershire

Hi I'm Lisa Chapman, I have been Canicrossing with my Cocker Spaniel for the last three years and recently added a Springer Spaniel to our little pack who also canicrosses. We love getting out into the Cotswolds on the trails and running with friends.

I am a pack leader for the Rather Be Canicrossing club which covers Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds. I love introducing people to canicross and am passionate about the bond it brings between dogs and their humans.

You can find us on Facebook - Rather Be Canicrossing:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/212991636991472

We welcome all and try to ensure we have walks and runs that are suitable for adults and kids alike, as well as those who are able and less able.

Sabina Dunkling

Sabina Dunkling

Canicross Coach - South Wales, Wales, Cheshire

I am Sabina and I run a dog training business called K9 Connections and also a Greyhound rescue centre. I got into Canicross with my previous German Shepherd as did couch to 5k with him then discovered canicross, that was seven years ago and now I run with Dingo the Kelpie cross and have gone from not being a runner at all to competing regularly.

I've been training dogs and their humans for years in life skills and now is the time to introduce Canicross. I make sure training is fun, easy to follow, enjoyable and safe. A sense of humour and not being afraid to get muddy is a must if you want to train with me! I am all about the dogs and their well being and enjoyment comes first.  I really want to help people get into the sport I love- from cani hiking, first time runners and those getting into it a bit more.  I try and offer as much encouragement and support as I can, I don't care how fit you are or what kind of dog you have or even if you have a reactive dog, we can make sessions work for you and you both feel great afterwards.

We do 121 intro sessions, small intro groups, guided walks and runs and regular social runs for our members. I'm based in South Wales but regularly travel across Wales and Cheshire to deliver.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/k9canicrosscoach

email k9canicrosscoach@gmail.com 

Whatsapp / text 07544771978

Barb Morris

Barb Morris

Canicross Coach - Forest of Dean

Hello I'm Barb Morris of Dean Cani Coach

I began my Canicross journey in 2007,  after watching a Canix UK race. Having not run at all, I was inspired to get fitter and have more fun with my retired Greyhounds Siyah and Basil. I began racing at grassroots level then progressed to running and racing with our Beagles, Hamiltonstovare and German Shorthaired Pointer. It was lovely seeing the confidence of our rescue Beagles grow with canicrossing.

I am a Cinnamon Trust Volunteer dog walker for elderly people who can no longer exercise their pets. Having completed the Canicross Coach Course, I am excited to be part of the Team, training in a dog-focused manner to the Canicross Coach system. I am a Qualified U.K. Athletics Leader in Running Fitness.

Together with Julie Soloman, my fellow Dean Cani Coach, we are happy to offer training of One to One and very small groups of new canicrossers in a 0-5k style, progressing up to racing. We will provide training for suggested donations to our local Dog Rescue; Forest of Dean Dog Rescue, Registered Charity No. 1172913.

Sessions will be held in or around the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

Looking forward to meeting you... Its about the dogs!

Contact e-mail: barb@deancanicoach.co.uk

Julie Solomon

Julie Solomon

Canicross Coach - Forest of Dean

 

Hi , I am Julie Solomon one half of Dean Cani Coach

I started my canicross adventures in 2014 when my puppy trainer mentioned the local Forest of Dean group were holding an introduction session, with great trepidation and zero fitness I turned up with my old Jack Russel and we trotted about at the back enjoying seeing new parts of the countryside.

Within a year I was a regular with the shorter distance group, my fitness improved, I loved being in tune with my 12-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the social outings and exploring the local area was just the best feeling.

After completing the British Athletics Leader in Running Fitness Qualification in 2016, I started to share these experiences with others, helping absolute beginners to enjoy canicrossing too.

With the extra knowledge gained from the Cani Coach Course, me and Barb Morris are happy to offer structured training sessions, we are offering

  • One to One training
  • Use of our kit harnesses equipment
  • Groups for new starters
  • Training for those that want to progress up to racing

Classes will be small, we will be asking for donations to support our chosen charity, which is Forest of Dean Dog Rescue, Registered Charity No. 1172913.

Sessions will be held in or around the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire or local to me in Monmouth

Looking forward to meeting you and your dogs

Contact: julie@deancanicoach.co.uk

Janka Penthwell

Janka Penthwell

Canicross Coach - West Oxfordshire

 

My name is Janka Penthwell, I am 39 years old and the founder of Penthwell Dog Training. I stumbled upon Cani Cross in January 2014, when I was trying to find a way to get fit 6 months after my double lung transplant. Having been born with Cystic Fibrosis in the 80s, I never really did many sporty things as back then this wasn’t advised so I didn’t really know where to start.

Initially, I just walked my dog but soon wanted to challenge myself more and see what these shiny new lungs had in them – however, after years of being poorly and weak, my confidence was pretty low so I needed my furry buddy by my side (or, it turned out, up ahead!) – Cani Cross was the perfect sport to get involved in. I came to a Canix Event, met lost of amazing people and their dogs – and was hooked.

Working with dogs is my bread and butter so I know how important that bond between human and canine is. At Cani Cross you need to trust your dog and vice versa, you are both learning together and pushing yourselves – all whilst having the best time! It’s a great way for the pooches to burn off extra energy in a safe environment and if your buddy needs a bit more space – there is plenty!

I offer a lot of cani hikes as the majority of my clients are recovering from illness/injury or are working on their fitness levels and then build up to Cani Cross , I also offer 121 training sessions where you can try different kit to see what fits you and your pooch best, learn how to canicross safely with your dogs/s and practice your newly acquired skills on local runs. What I love about it? Helping others create and even stronger bond with their dogs, getting fit(ter), becoming more confident – all whilst having the best time out in the fresh air!

I am based in West Oxfordshire, please just give me a call on 07896 613 647 or email enquiries_penthwell@hotmail.com

Lindsey Collins

Lindsey Collins

Canicross Coach - North Yorkshire

 

Hi, I’m Lindsey. I am a Canicross Coach and Run Leader at North Yorkshire Canicross.
I first learned about Canicross in 2017 when I was looking for a way to exercise my energetic but arthritic spaniel, Charlie without him overexerting himself and causing lameness. Canicross enabled him to continue to burn off his energy in a controlled way and gave us the opportunity to share many wonderful hours and miles together. I had never been a runner before, but quickly became rather addicted to the sport and, while Charlie is no longer with us, I regularly Canicross and Cani-hike with my four current spaniels – Seth, Arthur, Stanley and Peter. We love to run in groups as well as on our own and have completed many trail races together, from 5K to ultramarathons.
One of the things I love most about canicross and cani-hike is the opportunity to build a bond with my dogs.

Being a Canicross Coach and a Run Leader enables me to support other people to build
that same bond with their dogs and achieve their goals together, whether that be to run a particular distance, achieve a particular time, or simply to have fun and explore the countryside together.

As well as being a Canicross Coach, I also train dogs in Scentwork and soon I will be offering training in Canine Parkour. I have an extensive career in Adult Education. I am trained in Canine First Aid and Outdoor First Aid Emergency Incident Management.

At North Yorkshire Canicross, we offer one-to-one introduction sessions, small group canicross skills classes, social runs, adventure runs and adventure hikes. Sessions are adapted to meet the needs of those attending to ensure they are always safe and inclusive for all. We have a focus on fun and enjoyment above all else and we work with people and dogs of all abilities and fitness levels.

Sessions take place throughout North Yorkshire, including Thirsk, Helmsley, Guisborough, Richmond, Easingwold, Ripon, Wetherby and everywhere in between. We are blessed by copious beautiful countryside, views and forests as well. We go out whatever the weather - and we get all sorts of weather in Yorkshire!

You can contact us using the following:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/northyorkshirecanicross/
Email: northyorkshirecanicross@hotmail.co.uk
Website: https://northyorkshirecanicross.wordpress.com/

Julie Heyhoe-Kirkbride

Julie Heyhoe-Kirkbride

Canicross Coach - Staffordshire & Peak District

Hi, I'm Jules. I have always loved the outdoors and achieved my BSc degree in Outdoor Studies and Sport before becoming a primary school teacher in 2003. I started running in Autumn 2018 to keep up with my two very active children. I found it really tough but I persisted as it provided natural pain relief from fibromyalgia and hypermobility. It also improved my personal well-being and mental health.

In my first year of running, I took part in numerous events including the Potter's 'Alf Marathon and The Great North Run. A friend introduced me to canicross in July 2019 and I joined Staffordshire Canicross. I fell in love with the sport instantly! I soon became a run leader for them and have loved meeting like-minded people and introducing newcomers to the sport.

After running with Molly (Sprocker) for two years, Amber (cocker) joined us and soon took to running after never being walked on a lead or harness before. In September 2021 we fell in love with Waffle (foxhound/ beagle cross) at Dogs Unleashed where we met her with Foxhound Welfare UK so two became three and the dream team was formed. 

All three dogs have taken part in Canix events and have loved every second. I'm unlikely to win any races but I run purely for the fun of it. My biggest achievement to date is completing the Virtual London Marathon in October 2021 with my dogs who completed a third each but would have run the whole thing if I had let them.

I have found canicross a great way to form a close bond with all of my dogs and burn off some of their never-ending energy. I am now looking forward to my new adventure as a canicross coach for my business 'Nose and Paws Active Limited'.

I will be offering affordable small group and 1:1 canicross coaching as well as group cani-hike sessions (with kit available to borrow during sessions) in and around Staffordshire and the Peak District, open to all abilities and fitness levels. I look forward to meeting you and your dogs soon. 

You can find us at: 

https://www.noseandpawsactive.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/noseandpawsactivelimited/ 

https://www.instagram.com/noseandpawsactive/ 

https://twitter.com/noseandpaws.

Lucy Brook

Lucy Brook

Canicross Coach - East Lancashire & West Yorkshire

Hi, I'm Lucy and my introduction into canicross was driven by our first Husky Miya.
Historically, I have spent most of my youth fell running or cross country running around the Rossendale Valley and have raced at county level even though I have never considered myself a runner.
Most of my "training" centered around going out into the surrounding hills with the border collies running off lead by my side because I just loved being out with them running.  However, Miya, our first Siberian Husky, came along and suddenly changed that (Husky off lead around livestock was a big NO!).
I started out running with Miya attached to me around the waist by a long lead, but her pull was so strong, I needed something better.  Unfortunately,  during this time we lost our eldest collie Molly and another Husky found his way to us, my big ginger boy Lewis moved in at 12 months old.  He was huge, twice the strength of Miya and would have broken me in half if I ran him with a lead around my waist, so I began to research ways to run with both huskies more comfortably for all of us.
Thats when I stumbled across canicross equipment, Canix and the races they organised.  We got some kit, did a few runs and headed to an event with our tent, just for fun.  When we turned up to our first event, 7 years ago, with our 3 dogs we had absolutely no clue what to expect or that this sport would massively take over our lives!
As time moved on, our dog pack grew upto 5 dogs and we became more immersed in the sport and its community.  Over that period time, we set up Let Me Jog Your Dog, which is a pet service offering canicross to dog owners.
My initial involvement with Let Me Jog Your Dog was behind the scenes support,  social media, building a local community presence, customer enquiries and so on.  However, for the past two and a half years I have had to take more of a practical role as the business has grown.

Further business development occurred due to an increased interest within the local community learning about canicross so we started to offer a canicross taster sessions.  The focus of a taster session with us is the fundamental basics, the equipment needed, basic dog handling and the impact on human while running attached to their dogs.
The canicross coach course was a natural progression from this and would be a way to offer continuous progressive support to people following on from the taster sessions to build further from basic skills and commands, maintaining the primary focus being about the dog and joint well being.

 

WhatsApp/text - 07927768929
Amy Whiteside

Amy Whiteside

Canicross Coach - East Lancashire & West Yorkshire

Hi! I'm Amy, a co-founder of Let Me Jog Your Dog, based in Rossendale, East Lancashire. We offer a canicross service to the owners of local dogs along with 1 to 1 Canicross Taster Sessions and we are soon to launch Coached Canicross Classes for all levels of experience.

I've been canicrossing since 2014.  I started out with my 2 dog team, Miya (husky) and Rosie (border collie), and dove straight in to racing with 2 dogs. Since 2015 I have maintaining 1st or 2nd place in one of the UK largest and longest running canicross championships, CaniX for 5 consecutive years.
Being lucky enough to live in a semi-rural area of Lancashire I have taken advantage of our local farm tracks, bridleways and footpaths for training runs on varied terrain and gradients, which has no doubt given me the edge over some of my competitors.
Our antics haven't gone unnoticed by the locals who think it's a great way to exercise active dogs around fields of livestock.
So much so that the local animal rescue contacted us in the hope that we could help a young husky/collie cross through the mental and physical outlet of canicross to fit into a new home. This was the spark of inspiration which lead me to the set up of Let Me Jog Your Dog, offering a canicross service to local dog owners who's dogs would benefit from a good run.
Starting in 2017, the buisness really took off and I quickly realised that the canicross set-up (1 dog continually tethered to a handler) appealed to owners of dogs who aren't suited to group situations. To help me deal with the high demand for this service my partner Lucy joined me on a part-time basis in 2019.
The feedback received from owners regarding the improvement of behaviour around the home and while out on the lead ignited my interest in dog behaviour and a desire to understand why canicross has been such a benefit to these otherwise unruly dogs. So I enrolled onto a level 5 diploma in dog behaviour to learn about how we can utilise canicross in a more purposeful way to positively change behaviour.
Our longterm dedication to the sport and desire to help owners and their dogs benefit from canicross has been recognised and supported by the greater canicross community and so we have been invited to be K9 Trail Time Ambassidors with the intention to help owners find the right canicross equipment to suit their dogs running style.
In early 2020 we launched our 1 to 1 Canicross Taster Sessions after some of our jogging clients expressed an interest in canicrossing with their dogs themselves. The aim of the session is to introduce dog owners to the benefits of canicross, suitable equipment and useful cues to use with the dog while running.
Having the Canicross Coach Certification is the perfect course to help build on from the Taster Sessions. We will be launching coached classes for all levels of running experience with a dog centred and fun approach to training.
WhatsApp/text - 07710493750
Louise Forde

Louise Forde

Canicross Coach - Coventry & Warwickshire

Hi, I’m Louise (or Lou). I am a Canicross Coach for Coventry and surrounding areas. With my fiancée I run a dog walking business called Carnie Walks, with a focus on providing services for active dogs. We specialise in longer walks than other companies in our area, and also offer running as an option for our more active clients.

I started canicrossing in 2017, with my lurcher Chloe. She was crazy and walks just weren’t cutting it to tire her out. I was told she needed a job to help stimulate her, and then someone suggested we try canicross. It was fantastic, she really enjoyed herself and as she continued to enjoy it, I began to enjoy seeing her develop. It really helped strengthen our bond and give us something fun to do together and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Last year we rescued a second lurcher who had a bad start in life and needed lots of training, focus and an active home. So we felt we were perfect for that. His canicross journey has only been going a year but he has come a long way in that time.

Over the past 4 years I have competed in several Canicross Midlands, Cani X and SBR events. We have never been the quickest and haven’t really won anything, but we just love the races and the social and fun aspect created around them.

Discovering canicross has really helped my mental health. Getting Chloe was the first step to getting me out the house and giving me something to do when I wasn’t at work. And discovering canicross has helped get us outdoors even more and helped my overall health as well as my mental health. It helps create a real bond between you and your dog, whilst keeping you both fit and active. My biggest achievement to date was last year during lockdowns, Chloe and I were out most mornings running and walking and set ourselves a mileage goal we managed to complete over 1000kms running and just under 1000km walking throughout the year. 

I would love to share my experiences and enjoyment for canicross with others. Over the years I have mainly worked in retail and customer service, but have always loved teaching people new things. In one of my jobs, I used to teach people about wine and host educational tasting events. Before that, I was a mountain sports manager and educated people in camping and hiking equipment. So educating others has always been a big part of my life.

From 2022 I will be offering beginners coaching classes with small groups, Improvers classes and 1:1 canicross coaching sessions. As well as Cani – hiking classes. (All of which kit will be available to use/try on the session) These will be in and around the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Mostly areas near Eastern Green, Meriden, Fillongley and surrounding areas. Classes will be suitable for all abilities and fitness levels. Never run before? -  don’t worry, I never had before I attended my first class.

I’m really looking forward to meeting you all and your dogs and sharing my experiences and joy of canicross and dogs.

To find out more and to contact me please use the following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carniewalks

Email: carniewalks@gmail.com (put the subject canicross)

Website: https://www. carniewalks.co.uk/canicross

WhatsApp/Text: 07813216562

Lizz Fleming

Lizz Fleming

Canicross Coach - Coventry & Warwickshire

Hi, I am Lizz, I am based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. I run a dog care business and have plenty of experience with dogs of all shapes and sizes. I started running in 2015 and soon after discovered canicross when a friend told me to take my boy along. I went to see Emily fairly early to get him sorted and she has been my go-to kit person ever since. I got hooked and founded Canicross Coventry & Warwickshire in 2016  as I struggled to find social and training runs I could get to, that fitted with my work hours.

My boy Bailey started my canicross journey when he was 8 and retired when he was 11. I am so lucky to have a fairly endless choice of dogs to run with as I run with client dogs, so he was able to step down happily. Sadly he passed away Jan 2020, and while I didn't want another, due to the world going crazy, we welcomed our pup to the family last year. He has just turned 1 but is very immature so there is no rush to get him running in harness yet.

Before a knee injury, I was running regular social runs, always with the emphasis on having fun, being safe and educating on dog behaviour, where needed. I am hoping to start again this year. I fell out of love with competing after two seasons, but, in my own way enjoy the social side of racing so can often be found at Midlands races marshalling.

I am currently on the Canicross Midlands committee and I have been sending people to Emily for years as well as having a fairly substantial kit collection myself. Roles within the Committee - Canine Welfare Officer - Newcomer Contact.

Everyone who knows me knows I put a massive emphasis on canicross manners, etiquette and the welfare of any dogs under my supervision. I have always worked with animals and have been running my own dog care business for nearly 10 years, so my whole life really does revolve around the welfare and needs of other peoples dogs.

I really enjoy helping people and LOVE talking all things dog so if you ever need help or have any questions, grab me for a chat! 

I am happy for people to get in touch with me via facebook, messenger or just calling 07999 534703. Always happy to talk dogs.