The Perfect Running Partner
Some say there is no such ting as perfect. Most of the time I would agree. Except to when it comes to your pup running companion. There is nothing like jogging out and about with your four legged friend.
Before my dog got sick we used to run together around the neighborhood. We didn’t live in the safest of areas so my tough looking Australian Cattle Dog/Boxer added an element of safety to my exercise routine. Plus she was always excited and happy to go for a run.
She was always on the same schedule as me minus the occasional sniff off the beat and path.
One thing I always worried about was over doing the running for my dog. I found a lot of conflicting online information. Here is what I have learned from experts and personal experience.
Develop the Cardiovascular System conservatively
You wouldn’t run a marathon tomorrow if you hadn’t put in the prior time or training. That would be asking for an injury. Just like people, our pets need to build up stamina before running a 5k with us. I would start be running your sweet pup no more than 30 mins, twice a week. Make sure you space out your running days with plenty of rest in between. From there you can begin to add increments of 15 mins every couple of weeks.
Make sure you are not dragging your dog. If you pup is not beside you or in front you thats a good indicator you need readjust your pace. After all you are running PARTNERS. Respect your partner and their doggy needs. When I saw Kenai dropping back I knew it was time to head home.
Bring the energy level down
I haven’t met a dog who hates going for walks or playing outside. In fact, my dog Kenai used to do little happy dances whenever I grabbed her leash. If you know your dog is a spaz, it is important to make have her/him to sit down before heading out. Halfway through my run I would also make Kenai sit again while I stretched a few muscles out. I felt this helped remind and recenter my pup.
She doesn’t get along well with other dogs
Kenai was as sweet as could be to any human. She was a people dog for sure. Everybody loved her and she loved everyone. However, Kenai was very selective about other dogs. Some dogs she was cool with and other dogs she would get snippy and get obsessive. This made running difficult if we encountered another Fido along our route. Bring treats. Even if your dog is very friendly towards other canines it is important to have a plan. I’ve had a dog behaviorist tell me that prevention is the best method to avoiding doggy confrontations. If you know your dog is aggressive and can’t avoid other dogs, distract your pooch with a treat. Have your dog look away from the other animal and make eye contact. Once eye contact made reward with a treat.
Maybe your pup is actually a puppy. You might be wondering what age is ok to start running together. Vets say it is best to wait until dogs are done growing. For most breeds, this is around a year. However, for breeds like labs or a golden retrievers wait until they’re 1 and a half/two years old before you start taking them on any serious runs. This isn’t to say you can do some light running with them but make sure you keep the intensity low, distance short and provide lots of breaks.
Best of luck with you and your fury friend! Where is your favorite place to run with your dog? Do you have a favorite human/dog race you’d like to share? Please share below! :)