Running with your dog
Fall is the BEST season to run with a four-legged partner, the weather being finally cool enough that overheating is not a major cause of concern anymore. You are ready to start running with your dog? Some pieces of advice here:
This might be easy enough if you are a newbie yourself with this running thing. If you are not, however, you need to put the brakes on your running shoes so that you do not do too much too soon with your dog.
Dogs are very enthusiastic and loyal partners: your dog could have the motivation to follow your pace for miles and miles, yet his body might not be geared to do so without getting hurt. Add the mileage gradually, so that you are able to run with your dog for many, many years to come. This is especially true if your dog is young and very active.
The right gear for some good fun
Body harnesses are the way to go for a comfortable run for your dog. Leashes on collar, or worse, choke collars, can get very unconfortable with all the jerking that can happen if you hold the leash in your hand while running.
You might also want to try the canicross way by buying a pulling body harness for your dog. This could be even more fun if you have a high-energy dog!
Here are some models you might want to look into:
Patience and training
So you start running, and your dog starts running AND pulling? This is normal. Dogs get very excited when they run, a little bit too much sometimes. You have to train your dog to run nicely on the leash, the same way you would teach your dog to walk with a loose leash.
There are no miracles, only training tips. You might want to read our blogpost about mastering a loose leash walk for some tips:
To avoid frustration on your end, make sure that you schedule some dog training time before you think about doing some hard training yourself.
Respect is important
Of course you want to push your limits, but you should not push your dog’s limits over the edge: it could be dangerous for his health!
Be ready to slow down the pace if you hear a lot of panting going on at the end of the leash, or if your dog starts to drag behind. He is not being a drag on purpose, he his just tired.
Some dogs are made for a lot of running…and some just aren’t. Dogs with short nose or short paws have an extra challenge, and their owners should be extra careful.
Food and water
How do you feel when you go running with your stomach full from a big meal? Exactly. Dogs feel the same. Worse: some dogs can die from a gastric torsion by exercising with a stomach full.
Always wait a few hours after a meal before going on a run with your dog. Or feed him when you are both back from a run.
Other important point: carry water if there are no drinking water sources on your itinerary. Dogs get thirsty too!
Have a great run!