If we are teaching dog to run in front of us, why are we telling you that you need an “in close” command when running ? The reason we teach dogs to run alongside you is that when you are canicrossing/running with your dog, is that you may come across a steep or slippery hill. Now on wheels or a bike/scooter or rig, this wouldn’t be a problem, but on feet/running, you may not be able to sustain the speed and could fall or slip down the hill at great speed. Trust me, there is no elegant way to do this and although you mostly bounce, it does hurt and leave war wounds and pretty bruises.
We teach dogs in close to prevent you being dragged full pelt out of control down a hill and hurting your ankle or falling face first into the ground. The more momentum your dog gains in harness, the harder it is to slow them down, and if your feet can’t grip the ground to slow you down, you become out of control and your centre of gravity will pull your forward and over.
This is another multi use command to teach dogs who canicross, as you may well you “Heal” with your dog now.
So whether you use “in close , “close” , “heal” or “with me” we want the dog to learn that when we call the command, they run or walk alongside you and don’t pull out ahead.