We have some exciting news for all you Canicross lovers! We’ve teamed up with Emma Cook, Certified Canicross Trainer and Dog Sport Training Specialist at Paws4Sports based in North Yorkshire, who will be running our brand new Canicross blog to bring you oodles of useful information, tips and advice. So before you get stuck in, we thought an introduction from Emma would be a great place to start so you know a little bit more about her and her journey into the world of dog sports.
My passion for teaching dog sports to pet dogs and their owners is driven by my desire to enhance dog and owners lives together. I truly believe that participating in dog sport activities with your dog not only creates a unique bond and understanding between a dog and their owner, but also has a vast list of benefits to a dogs well-being, as well as our own.
I first started my career working with dogs in the rescue industry from 2014-2017. I started as a part-time volunteer here before moving into a full-time welfare role, where I was responsible for the dogs welfare and training, as well as assisting in their rehoming. This helped me gain invaluable knowledge and experience of different breeds and behaviours which formed the foundation blocks for where I am today. Working in dog rescue was where I was first introduced to the world of dog sports/activities. In the dog rescue environment, participating in activities is not only a great way for the dogs to have fun, give variety and help bond with their handlers and new potential adopters, but is also hugely effective for their mental stimulation and well-being during their time staying in the kennels. This is where dog sport activities and their benefits first peaked my interest and where my journey began.
After lots of learning, training, qualifications and hard work, In 2017 I went on to set up my own business, Paws4Sports, where I now specialise solely in teaching dog sport activities to pet dogs and their owners.
So, as my future blogs here will be all about Canicross, I thought this would be a good place to start! I first started Canicrossing back in 2016 and quickly fell in love with exploring the countryside together and working as a team with my dogs whilst keeping fit together. I regularly run with my 3 year old Collie X Husky Blue (Sadly my other dog Charlie who I started my Canicross journey with is now retired) and we Canicross distances varying anywhere from 3 mile-10 miles together and also try our paw here and there in the odd race too. In early 2018 I went on to qualify as a Certified Canicross Trainer to introduce other dog and owner teams safely to the sport and make it more accessible for others to get the support and guidance needed to have the confidence to get out running together. I offer Canicross support both in-person and online so that location isn’t a barrier to getting support to starting your Canicross journey together. I’m super passionate about encouraging more dog and owner teams to try Canicross together, particularly those like me who prefer running with their four-legged companion for extra motivation and enjoyment, even if they don’t see themselves as a natural runner. I’m a big believer that anyone can take part and enjoy Canicross and that it’s not about how far or fast you can run, but about how much fun you have along the way together! You can find out more about my Canicross training services by clicking HERE.
It’s not just Canicross I teach! In June 2019 I qualified as a Certified Mantrailing UK Instructor and brought the sport of Mantrailing to North Yorkshire, where at the time I was the first Mantrailing UK Instructor in the whole of Yorkshire! In 2020 I also qualified as a Mantrailing UK assessor, equipping me with the coaching and assessor skills to qualify Mantrailing teams through their Levels 1-3. I regularly Mantrail with my own dogs and attend numerous trailing workshops and advanced courses to continue to expand my knowledge and keep up to date with skills and technique. I am a member of the Mantrailing UK Instructor Guild which provides on-going support, training and troubleshooting advice with Head Instructor and operational Mantrailing dog handler, Lisa Gorenflo, as well as being part of a network of other experienced Mantrailing UK Instructors. Being a Guild member also provides the opportunity for me to regularly attend monthly online training webinars and discussions as part of my continued personal development. To find out more about my Mantrailing Training services click HERE.
After lots of hard work, training and studying, in 2020 I qualified as one of the first City & Guilds Scent Detection Handlers and Instructors with The UK College Of Scent Dogs which has enabled me to offer a new exciting dog sport to pet dogs and their owners. I’m also a proud UKCSD ambassador and as part of this, provides me with access to ongoing webinars, workshops and training opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills. Being an ambassador allows me to gain exclusive access to on-going troubleshooting advice and support from my mentors Dr Robert Hewings & Karen Hewings whom together have a wealth of experience in police search dog handling for both drugs and explosives, alongside a support network of other expert Scent Detection trainers. I’m also a qualified Blue Instructor and Level One Judge with World Scent Dog Association. To find out more about my Scent Detection Training click HERE.
In 2020 Paws4Sports also became a member of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter. Becoming a member of The UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter provides assurance to the public and other professional bodies that they’ve been checked, supported and monitored by a reputable accrediting member organisation. I’m really proud to display the UK Dog Behaviour & Training Charter symbol at Paws4Sports reflecting my ethical approach to dog training. The introduction of the charter is a big step forward to help ensure that dogs and their owners get the best possible support and training in such an unregulated industry.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more or train with me, please visit my website at www.paws4sportsyorkshire.com
Don’t forget to watch this space for more Canicross blogs crammed with useful information and tips!