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Rules, Terms & Conditions and Child Protection Policy

Please check this page from time to time for updates:

CaniX is cross-country running with your dog for all breeds, any size, big or small. This can be done with collar and lead or for greater comfort for you and your dog and hands-free running, with a CaniX waist belt for you, CaniX line and CaniX harness for your dog. CaniX events cater for 1 or 2-dog teams and most races are over +/- 5km distance with a short course (+/- 2km) for the kids and adults who want to have-a-go. CaniX cater for all human ages young and old with races divided into 10 age classes (+ Have-a-go Class).

CaniX relay
The CaniX Relay is 3 laps of a short course (around 1km). You do not need a team to enter or be super fast — as we decide the teams and try to match abilities to even out the field and make for a more interesting race. Each team will be assigned a forth baton person to tag team members, so you stay with your dog at change-over. Enter as an individual on the day.

By completing an entry form to a CaniX UK event you confirm that:

Abridged version of rules (complete version below)

You, your dog(s), or your equipment must not impede the progress of another competitor at any time.

Please refer to the rules regarding equipment.

Use of a 'greyhound' type muzzle is permitted. If you are intending to use a muzzle please notify the race organisers or one of the race refs of your intention. NB No halti's, choke chains, non pull harnesses, flexi leads are permitted.

Penalties are awarded at the discretion of the Race Referees, depending on the circumstances of the incident. At least 2 Race Referees must agree the penalty. Head Race Referee has a deciding vote in cases of disagreement.

The following may take place at Race Referees discretion:

ADVICE (to help and assist in resolving a race incident)
WARNING (when advice has been ignored and a further race incident occurs)
TIME PENALTY (minimum 30 seconds and thereafter 30 second increments)
DISQUALIFIED (no time recorded for race)
DISQUALIFIED (for 2 or more races)
BAN (all Race Referees to be involved regarding the implementation of a ban)

Age groups and distances (human)
Age groups and distances (dogs)
Bitches in season
What equipment do I need?
Borrowing of dogs
Closing date and Pay-on-the-day
Hot weather
Event status, bad weather, cancellation, refunds and credits
Event photography
Your responsibilities
The course
Camping (selected venues only)
Race Referees
Child Protection Policy

Classes, distances and age groups (human)

CaniX 1-dog classes
Class Distance (*) Codes Age range (**) Championship
Veterans 5-7km (3 miles) VM + VF 50+ YES
Masters 5-7km (3 miles) MM + MF 40 to 49 YES
Male/Female 5-7km (3 miles) M + F 15 to 39 YES
Juniors 1-3km (1 mile) J (M+F combined) 11 to 14 YES (*3)
Cubs 1-3km (1 mile) C (M+F combined) 7 to 10 YES (*3)
CaniX 2-dog classes (*6)
Male/Female 5-7km (3 miles) XM + XF 17+ YES
CaniX relay
Relay 3x 1km R - NO
CaniX Have-a-go class, 1-dog or 2-dog
Have-a-go 1-3km (1 mile) H (M+F comb) 15+ (*4) NO (*5)
(*) Distance may not be exact due to the nature of forest trails.
(**) Age at 31 May at the end of the season.
(*3) All classes for under 15s will be awarded points towards the Championship and medals at the Championship prizegiving.
(*4) To run 2 dogs in Have-a-Go class or 'P Class' you need to be 17+.
(*5) Have-a-go class is timed in alphabetical order.
(*6) Although we do not advise it, you may run with more than 2 dogs if you do so regularly and are used to running with more than 2 dogs. The following also applies:
- the combined weight of all dogs must be under half the human's weight.
- all dogs must be connected by neck lines, you must ensure you do not impede other competitors on narrow trails and give-way to faster runners.
- it is your responsibility to inspect the trail and guage the conditions to ensure you are capable to run the course with more than 2 dogs.
- results for competitors with more than 2 dogs will be included in the 2-dog class.

As our race season ends in May, the class you compete in for the whole season is determined by your age at 31 May. For example, the classes you can enter, if on 31 May you are:

The following distance restrictions apply:

The 8 adult classes (VM / VF / MM / MF / M / F / XM / XF) and the two junior classes* (J/C) are officially timed with results and points awarded towards the CaniX UK National Championship. The Have-a-go class (H) for 15s and over is officially timed in alphabetical order but does not count towards the Championship. If you are over 15 and would like to compete in the CaniX Championship, please choose 5km when you enter.

(*) Competitors aged under 17 (C / J / M / F / H class), please note:

Age groups and distances (dogs)
Dogs must be at least one year old on the day of the race. Dogs under one year old are not able to compete. The following distance restrictions apply:

We advise you build your dogs distance up over several weeks/months. During training runs and hot weather (over 16°c) some breeds (ie those with short muzzles) may have difficulty cooling themselves. If your dog is overweight, unfit, not used to exercise, recovering from illness, of advancing years, or you have any doubt about your dogs ability, please consult your vet.

It is the owners responsibility to know their dogs ability to cope running in the heat/humidity and conditions on race day. If in doubt, you may drop your dog without being peanalised. Make sure you have a cool, safe place to leave your dog should this occur.

If entering a race with a distance over 7km, you must convince CaniX UK that your dog is fit enough to run.

CaniX UK reserve the right to refuse a dog on the start line if deemed unfit.

Bitches in season
If you have a bitch in season, please alert us and we will accomodate you with an individual start (if possible). At the event, keep well away from other dogs on-site and the start/finish area.

What equipment do I need?
If you already run with your dog, you are already doing CaniX – collar and lead are acceptable. No special equipment is needed, but for you and your dogs comfort – the following items are recommended:

The following items are NOT allowed:

Your line (whether a CaniX line or a lead) must not have a metal snap or loop on the handle – if released this can cause injury to dogs and by-standers. Together with waist belt (if worn) should be no longer than 2–2.5meters (6–8 feet).

If your equipment does not meet these rules, you may be turned away from the start line – if in doubt ask at registration.

Events are run on cross-country trails during the winter months. Hazards may include wet slippery surfaces including downhills, grass, mud, snow/ice, twigs/branches from tree fall, loose stones and gullies formed by water erosion – all of which may be hidden under thick blanket of leaves. Please be prepared for all of the above terrain.

Control of your dog is required. All must be able to handle their own dog/s without assistance from the point at which they join the queue at the start to finish.

The only brakes you have are your feet which can be precarious on loose gravel trails, wet grass or other surfaces where traction is not ideal. Remember that your footing will not be as solid when a dog is pulling you on downward slopes.

Borrowing of dogs
Although the swapping, lending and borrowing of dogs is not prohibited, as the events grow with more competitors, dogs and spectators, safety must be maintained. Anyone running a dog that is not owned by them must disclose this on their entry form. Ultimatly it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the person they are lending their dog to is able to read the dog’s signals in order to anticipate any problems before they happen and if a situation should occur they are capable of handling it. They must also be confident the dog is sound when approaching and being approached by other dogs. For the safety of the dog being lent out, the runner should also be made aware of the dogs limitations, signs that the dog may be having difficulties and have undertaken a number of training runs before entering a race. If there is any doubt that the runner is not capable or the dog could act unpredictably, the entry should not be submitted or withdrawn. If a situation occurs the owner of the dog will be held responsible.

Closing date
CaniX UK may close the entry prior to the advertised closing date if entry capacity is reached. If capacity is not reached, entries will remain open until 23:59 the Monday before the event (unless specified). We do not take entries on the day of the race.

Hot weather
If conditions/temperatures dictate the race may begin early for runners with dogs. In extreme cases we my shorten the course, and/or ask that all CaniX entrants run dogless. No refunds or transfers will be given in these circumstances. CaniX entrants will be given the option to run without their dog without effecting their Championship points at any time where they feel the temperature would affect the welfare of their dog.

Event status, bad weather, cancellation, refunds and credit
All competitors should check our Alerts for updates before setting off for the event. This will not only inform you the event is proceding as planned, but give you any new information we have right up until the morning of the race. We use Twitter to spread this information as it can be sent via text message from a mobile phone - forests generally have bad mobile signals and we cannot access the internet to send emails. Twitter will also send you a text the second we issue an update (if you choose this in your Twitter settings). if you do not have a Twitter account, these updates also appear on every page of our website on the left.

From the moment an event goes into planning, costs start to be incured. Your entry fee is invested into the cost of staging the event - everything from barriers to signage, printing to safety pins, race numbers to marketing, land owner permissions/costs, public liability insurance, risk assessments and first aid cover not to mention time and admin 24/7. Organising any event requires a considerable amount of forward planning, risk and expense. The cancellation policy reflects this and is as follows:

Cancellation Policy
Competitors withdrawing from event
A credit will be issued as follows:
Notification dated 8 weeks (57 days) or more before the event 50% credit
Notification dated 4 weeks to 8 weeks (29 to 56 days) before the event 20% credit
Notification dated less than 4 weeks (28 days) before the event No credit
Notify CaniX UK in writing via email giving your full name and event you are withdrawing from. Date of withdrawal is the date of email. Telephone messages are not acceptable.

Race entries/camping are NOT transferable to any other person or any other event. The online entry system and race database is fully automated and any manual changes to the data held on the race database requires considerable time and cost in administration.

Credits must be used before the end of the season in which the credit was issued.
Event cancelled due to reasons beyond organisers control
If an event is cancelled, or mitigations implemented due to reasons beyond the organisers control, we regret that no entry fees can be refunded, credited or deferred to future events.  This is due to the amount of admin, organisation and cost that goes into each event prior to the actual event itself.

Since 2005 CaniX have run hundreds of events throughout the winter months and have only had to cancel three events due the venue being closed as a result of bad weather.
Event cancelled by organiser
if an event is cancelled by the organiser for reasons within it's control, a full refund will be issued.

Distance Selling Regulations
Merchandise orders are governed by the Distance Selling Regulations which allow every customer the right to cancel their merchandise order within 7 working days of placing the order. This cancellation right does not extend to race entries or membership.

Prizes and race mementos
Prizes and race mementos given to competitors on the day of the race cannot be made available to anyone who fails to turn up for the prizegiving, race, or who has withdrawn from the event.

CaniX UK or land owners cannot be held liable for damages or loss including accident or injury, to you/your dog, anyone accompanying you, your vehicle or your equipment.

It is advised that you/your dog should be checked out by a doctor/veterinarian before running. The organisers are not held responsible for any accident or injury sustained during the race. If in doubt, do not run.

If you have one dog between two runners and both wish to run, you may enter the same dog twice - once in the long course (VM/VF/MM/MF/M/F/XM/XF Classes) and once in the short course (in the Have-a-go Class for over 17s, or J/C Classes for under 17s).

All competitors must familiarise themselves with the course, hazzards and safety info detailed on this page and with specific course/venue info detailed on the information board at the event.

No prizes will be given before prizegiving or mailed after the event. If you are not present at prizegiving, your prize will be recyled.

Qualified First Aiders will be available on the day.

Event Photography
By entering and taking part in the event, you automatically consent (model release) to photographs of you being used in any promotion by CaniX and offered for resale. Any photograph taken by anyone at a CaniX event is the intellectual property of CaniX protected by a registered trademark. Any photographer offering photos of a CaniX event for purchase, OR FOR FREE (in both physical and digital formats) must have permission from CaniX in writing beforehand.

Photographs purchased of a CaniX event are for personal use only, and cannot be resold or offered for use for free (in whole, or part, or any manipulated version) or used for commercial purposes without the prior written permission from CaniX and the photographer for the use in question. Each subsequent use will require a new permission to be granted. The copyright ownership of all photos remains with the photographer. The purchase of a photo does not assign or transfer copyright ownership to the purchaser.

Your responsibilities
To help ensure the continued acceptance of the sport and the availability of trails that will accommodate dogs:

During the race:

CaniX UK have a permit to operate in the various venues and in the course of running the events have permission to promote, sell or endorse CaniX UK.

CaniX UK respectfully request that you do not bring flyers, brochures or display any posters/notices; display/sell goods or offer any services. Television crews, photographers, live radio, press and freelance journalists are invited by CaniX UK to promote CaniX UK. Any person undertaking any of these activities without an invitation or prior permission from CaniX UK will be in breach of venue byelaws and rules & regulations.

The race

Camping (at selected venues)
Camping is at your own risk. You are responsible for the health, welfare and actions of your party and your dog. Picking up after your dog is essential to ensure we are invited back.

Neither land owners or CaniX UK accept responsibility for damages or loss including accident or injury resulting from the use of the camping facilities to you/your dog, anyone accompanying you, your vehicle, caravan, tent or your equipment/belongings.

Camping with 'Unit price' is meant for families (2 adults plus #children under 17). If you have more than 2 people in your unit over 17, you need to pay for an additional unit, whether they are staying in one unit or not.

Anybody whose behaviour is considered unacceptable will be asked to leave.

Disregard of any of the above may result in a ban from future events; championship points being revoked and a suspension/ban from the CaniX membership. In extreme cases a ban will be immediate and without warning. Refunds will not be issued if your actions result in any of the above.

CaniX UK reserve the right to amend these rules if circumstances dictate and apply retrospectivly should the need arise. Event entries or membership may be declined at the organisers discretion.

Race Referees

Race Referees are in place to mediate and assist competitors during a CaniX race should an incident occur. They are also assigned to judge and award appropriate actions/penalties as deemed necessary for complaints received regarding actions/behaviour during a CaniX race.

A CaniX race will be deemed to be active from arrival on site until departure.

Complaints are to be submitted to a member of the Race Referee Team within 60 mins of the completion of the race.

The Race Referees are voluntary and therefore any incident brought to them must be genuine that has spoilt your race or made the race dangerous. Before raising a complaint, please think seriously and make sure you have a valid issue, as this will take up the Race Referees time needlessly. Do not act immediately you cross the finish line, go back to your car, cool down and consider your incident; try approaching the other party first (we are all adults!). Only use the Race Referees as a last resort or if you consider the incident is cause for a safety concern at future races.

Only under exceptional circumstances ie dog/human bite, human aggression etc. will the 60 minute rule be waived whereby the Race Referees will discuss further and take the necessary action.

Contact the Race Referees via Race Referees will not repond to direct communication via private email, Facebook post/PM.

CaniX Race Referees (as of Aug 2023)

The Race Referees are made up of independent members of CaniX UK. These members are not directly associated with CaniX UK organisers and have been chosen for their impartial view of any incident.

If, following a penalty imposed against you, you seek reprisal on any individual or CaniX UK, the penalty will be increased. Reprisals include: disrupting CaniX events and/or intimidating individuals at CaniX events including intimidating individuals outside of CaniX events. This includes vengeful, aggressive, threatening or abusive behaviour; any inciteful derogatory comments in any form, ie Facebook or any social networking forums, private messaging, emails, etc. Should there be any ongoing legal disputes a ban will remain in force.

Any legal action will result in membership and entries automatically being suspended without notice, until the matter has been resolved.

CaniX UK Child Protection Policy


All sporting organisations which make provision for children and young people must ensure that:

Staff/volunteers are not trained to deal with situations of abuse or to decide if abuse has occurred.

Policy statement/aims

CaniX UK has a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in CaniX UK from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account. CaniX UK will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in CaniX UK through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by CaniX UK.

A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).

Policy aims

The aim of the CaniX UK Child Protection Policy is to promote good practice:

Promoting good practice

Child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation. It is important to understand these feelings and not allow them to interfere with your judgement about the appropriate action to take.

Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the sporting environment. Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with young people in order to harm them. A coach, instructor, teacher, official or volunteer will have regular contact with young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported following the guidelines in this document.

When a child enters a sporting activity having been subjected to child abuse outside the sporting environment, sport can play a crucial role in improving the child’s self-esteem. In such instances the organisers must work with the appropriate agencies to ensure the child receives the required support.

Good practice guidelines

All personnel should be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to promote childrens welfare and reduce the likelihood of allegations being made. The following are common sense examples of how to create a positive culture and climate.

Good practice means:

Practices to be avoided

The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable it should be with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick a child up at the end of a session:

Practices never to be sanctioned

The following should never be sanctioned. You should never:

NB It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or are disabled. These tasks should only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the runners involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is fully dependent on you, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if you are involved in any dressing or undressing of outer clothing, or where there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.

Incidents that must be reported/recorded

If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to the appropriate officer and record the incident. You should also ensure the parents of the child are informed:

Use of photographic/filming equipment at sporting events

There is evidence that some people have used sporting events as an opportunity to take inappropriate photographs or film footage of young and disabled sportspeople in vulnerable positions. Any concerns should to be reported to CaniX UK.

Videoing as a coaching aid: there is no intention to prevent the use of video equipment as a legitimate coaching aid. However, runners and their parents/carers should be made aware that this is part of the programme and their consent obtained, and such films should be stored safely.

Recruitment and training of staff and volunteers

CaniX UK recognises that anyone may have the potential to abuse children in some way and that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children. Preselection checks must included the following:

Interview and induction

All employees (and volunteers) will be required to undergo an interview carried out to acceptable protocol and recommendations. All employees and volunteers should receive an induction, during which:


In addition to preselection checks, the safeguarding process includes training after recruitment to help staff and volunteers to:

CaniX UK requires:

Responding to allegations or suspicions

It is not the responsibility of anyone working in CaniX UK, in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide whether or not child abuse has taken place. However there is a responsibility to act on any concerns by reporting these to the appropriate officer or the appropriate authorities.

CaniX UK will assure all staff/volunteers that it will fully support and protect anyone, who in good faith reports his or her concern that a colleague is, or may be, abusing a child.

Where there is a complaint against a member of staff there may be three types of investigation:

The results of the police and child protection investigation may well influence and inform the disciplinary investigation, but all available information will be used to reach a decision.

Reporting concerns about poor practice

If, following consideration, the allegation is clearly about poor practice the designated CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will deal with it as a misconduct issue.

If the allegation is about poor practice by the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, or if the matter has been handled inadequately and concerns remain, it should be reported to the CaniX UK Race Referees who will decide how to deal with the allegation and whether or not to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

Reporting concerns about suspected abuse

Any suspicion that a child has been abused by either a member of staff or a volunteer should be reported to the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, who will take such steps as considered necessary to ensure the safety of the child in question and any other child who may be at risk.

The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will refer the allegation to the social services department who may involve the police.

The parents or carers of the child will be contacted as soon as possible following advice from the social services department.

If the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer is the subject of the suspicion/allegation, the report must be made to the CaniX UK Race Referees who will refer the allegation to Social Services.

If you are concerned about a child and unable to contact the designated person, please call the NSPCC 24-hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000.


Every effort should be made to ensure that confidentiality is maintained for all concerned. Information should be handled and disseminated on a need to know basis only. This includes the following people:

Seek social services advice on who should approach the alleged abuser (or parents if the alleged abuser is a child).

Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with data protection laws (e.g. that information is accurate, regularly updated, relevant and secure).

Enquiries and further action

Internal enquiries and possible suspension

The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will make an immediate decision about whether any individual accused of abuse should be temporarily suspended pending further police and social services inquiries.

Irrespective of the findings of the social services or police inquiries the CaniX UK Race Referees will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled.

This may be a difficult decision; particularly where there is insufficient evidence to uphold any action by the police. In such cases, the CaniX UK Race Referees must reach a decision based upon the available information which could suggest that on a balance of probability, it is more likely than not that the allegation is true. The welfare of the child should remain of paramount importance throughout.

Support to deal with the aftermath of abuse

Consideration should be given to the kind of support that children, parents and members of staff may need. Use of helplines, support groups and open meetings will maintain an open culture and help the healing process.

The British Association for Counselling Directory is available from The British Association for Counselling, 1 Regent Place, Rugby CV21 2PJ, Tel: 01788 550899, Fax: 01788 562189, E-mail:, Internet: .

Consideration should be given to what kind of support may be appropriate for the alleged perpetrator.

Allegations of previous abuse

Allegations of abuse may be made some time after the event (e.g. by an adult who was abused as a child or by a member of staff who is still currently working with children).

Where such an allegation is made, CaniX UK will follow the procedures as detailed above and report the matter to the social services or the police. This is because other children, either within or outside sport, may be at risk from this person. Anyone who has a previous criminal conviction for offences related to abuse is automatically excluded from working with children. This is reinforced by the details of the Protection of Children Act 1999.


If bullying is suspected, the same procedure should be followed as set out in 'Responding to suspicions or allegations' above.

Action to help the victim and prevent bullying in sport:

Action towards the bully(ies):

Reporting concerns outside the immediate sporting environment (e.g. a parent or carer)

Report your concerns to the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer, who should contact social services or the police as soon as possible.

If the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer is not available, the person being told of or discovering the abuse should contact social services or the police immediately.

Social Services and the CaniX UK Child Protection Officer will decide how to involve the parents/carers.

The CaniX UK Child Protection Officer should also report the incident to the CaniX UK Race Referees. The CaniX UK Race Referees should ascertain whether or not the person/s involved in the incident play a role in CaniX UK and act accordingly.

Maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis only.

Providing information to police or social services

Information about suspected abuse must be accurate and a detailed record should always be made at the time of the disclosure/concern. It should include the following:

If you have any concerns about a child call the NSPCC 24-hour Helpline on 0808 800 5000 for immediate advice

Help for children and young people

Help for adults concerned about a child