What is Cani-VTT? How to practice bike-joring?


Canine traction sport, the Cani-VTT is initially a training sport intended for sled dogs during periods of inactivity. It is now practiced by owners wishing to share with their dog an intensive physical activity and knows more and more followers. Let’s discover this sport, whose strengths are indisputable, and see which equipment is essential, the precautions to be taken and which dog can practice this sport.

The advantages of Cani-VTT

This sport which is also called bike-joring has strengths on many levels. It allows:

  • To force the master to get involved to meet the needs of his little companion,
  • It is up to the master as well as the dog to provide constant physical effort and therefore to exert himself,
  • To do real endurance work,
  • To break away from a sedentary lifestyle and boredom,
  • To avoid behavioral disorders in dogs or to remedy them when the animal presents this type of problem,
  • To improve the dog’s obedience level,
  • To establish a strong relationship and a real bond between the owner and his animal.

This sport in its own right requires efforts and a good dose of will, which may discourage some practitioners at first. However, doing it regularly is a real commitment and when you begin to perceive all the benefits, both for yourself and your dog, you gain motivation.

Equipment needed to practice Cani-VTT or Bike-joring

Apart from the budget to spend on the purchase of a bike, it is not necessary to spend an astronomical sum to afford the rest of the equipment essential to the practice of this dog pulling sport, to know :

  • traction harness system, which must allow excellent distribution of the traction force: between 40 and 60 €. Note that it should only be used for the practice of Bike-jörking and not for the small daily walk during which the dog should especially not be encouraged to tow his master.
  • stroke line, kind of leash with shock absorber, any other type of leash being to be avoided so as not to injure the dog by force of jerks: from 15 to 25 €.
  • horizontal bar, a safety element for both humans and animals, which connects the draft line to the bicycle: between 60 and 90 €.

Some specialty stores sell the Cani-VTT complete kit including harness, leash, and bar. Its price is around 140 €.

As for the bike, it can be a classic model for beginners, but if you have to practice this sport regularly, it is highly preferable to invest in a good mountain bike therefore able to brave all types of terrain. Do not hesitate to get information from a specialist for help when choosing one bike perfectly suited to Bike-jöring.

Precautions to be taken when practicing Cani-VTT

To practice dog-drawn race in all safety, the following good principles must be observed.

  • Check before leaving if the weather is not likely to be disturbed in the following half-hour.
  • Always carry a small first-aid kit which should at least contain disinfectant, bandages. You have to slip in products for the dog but also for his master.
  • Don’t forget the cell phone because you never know …
  • Protect the pads of the dog sometimes put to the test with a specific care cream or an ointment and if you practice Cani-VTT in snowy weather, it is better to equip your companion with dog slippers.
  • The teacher must remember to protect himself in the event of a fall. The minimum requirement is to wear a helmet and gloves.
  • Choose the right type of path/terrain. We prefer clay. Beware of very stony paths and asphalt as well as heavily hilly terrain because this increases the risks either for the animal or for the owner.
  • Hydrate your dog well before departure.
  • Always start a Cani-VTT session with a warm-up.
  • On return, the dog must be rewarded for the efforts made and it is more important to give him a drink (including during the session by the way).
  • Wait at least 40 minutes before giving your animal a normal food ration.

Pay attention to the Cani-VTT practice in summer as soon as the mercury exceeds 25 ° C, the season is not very favorable for practitioners on all fours. The dog can only regulate his body temperature by panting. It is, therefore, necessary to be able to offer him the possibility of a refresh and of hydrate during the course. In this case, it is wise to choose an area where you can take breaks near a stream, for example, a pond. However, this activity is not practiced in scorching temperatures.

What type of dog can practice Cani-VTT?

The sled dogs, the working dogs, the herding dogs as well as hunting dogs are made for Cani-VTT. Indeed, it is not enough for a canine to be a real ball of energy to make him practice Bike-jöring. This intense sport is aimed at large dogs and medium-breed dogs. It is, therefore, better to find another activity for those of small size but also for the giant breeds: the former, even if some are ultra lively, enduring, and voluntary, do not have sufficient strength to tow their master. As for the latter, they may be very tall, muscular, and sturdy, they may experience some difficulty in providing intensive efforts over time.

It is better for the Cani-VTT to wait until his dog is old enough 10 to 12 months. Note, however, that the development of some canines is completed as early as 8 or 9 months. To be sure, owners are recommended to seek advice from the veterinarian, which is much wiser.

Finally, do not force your little companion to provide intensive efforts overnight. So we go quietly at the beginning to make sure that this type of activity brings a real pleasure to his animal. It will start to slow down and sniff around the area as soon as it has enough. You have to be patient and step up physical activity gradually, starting with 3 or 4 kilometers to be able later to reach 12, 15 km or more without generating neither injuries, nor weariness, nor disgust.


About Savi

Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

View all posts by Savi →

Leave a Reply