Is your daily running starting to feel like a chore? Why not add a best friend to the mix. Running with your dog is fun – not just for you but for your furry pal too.
Whether you need the motivation to up the pace, or your fellow runners are yapping more than the neighbour’s Pekingese, running with your dog can be great for your focus and training.
Your fitness is at an all-time high, but is Fido up for it too?
Some breeds are better suited to the role of running partner. Toy and giant breeds, like Chihuahuas and Mastiffs, will fare better on a brisk walk. Viszlas, German shepherds, Retrievers, Dalmatians and terriers will enjoy longer, faster periods of exercise and are better suited to running.
A mature skeleton is the greatest concern. To be safe most breeds are physically fit and ready to run with you by the time they are a year and a half. Get a check-up to make sure that your pet is ready before running with your dog.
Give Buster some time to catch up
Ease your friend into running. Running with your dog can be tricky in that knowing where his or her limits are is not all that easy – it is not like you can just ask! If your dog seems to be getting out of breath, wants to stop, or needs to sit down, it is struggling a little. Give it time, but your furry pal will get fit quickly.
Work on synchronising your pace
First and foremost make sure that your dog is leash trained and socialised – you will not want your buddy to constantly be rearing to defend you or yanking you out of pace. Work on maintaining an even pace in the beginning so that your dog can learn to match your stride.
Once you two have synched, the ideal when running with your dog is a loose leash. This way you expend less energy trying to control and guide your dog, and your pet can sniff and move as he or she needs to.
Keep Coco’s needs in mind too
The most important thing to remember when running with your dog is that dogs have very similar bodily needs during exercise to their human master. Remember to bring water for both of you – preferably with a bowl for your mutt. Dog treats can help with training your dog to maintain good behaviour during a run.
Another important consideration is poop bags – there is nothing worse than enjoying a run, focussing on you pace, and coming to a halt when your foot goes “squish”.