Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Who is Running Who? Tips for Running with Your Dog



I enjoy having a running partner who is always willing to run but my first concern is always my dog's safety and enjoyment. I am a running coach and a dog lover, here are my best tips for running with your four-legged friend.

1. Is Fido Fit Enough?


Remember the first time you hit the road for a run? You didn't do three miles on your first run out and neither should your dog. Just like a person, a dog needs to adapt to fitness. Start slow. Take your dog out for a half mile at first, build to a mile and then build from there. Try a walk/run regimen at first. If I am on a long run, I might take him for a three mile loop or two (he is conditioned for that) and drop him off at home while I continue my run.

2. Hot Paws


You have those fancy running shoes, your dog's paws don't have the rubber soles to protect from the heat. Before you run on the street in the scorching heat, place your bare skin on the cement. If it is too hot for you, it is probably too hot for him too. Dogs will need to be acclimated to running in the heat, just like you.

3. Hydrate Your Running Mate


Hydration is important for you and is just as important for your dog. I bring water for Ollie on our runs or I plan our runs past a park or school water fountain. If I see signs of exhaustion like panting excessively, I let him lie in the shade to recover. His safety is always more important than my run.

4. Be a Pooper Scooper


Don't be that person who lets your dog poop in the neighbor's yard. Be prepared with plastic bags and do the right thing...clean up after your running buddy.

5. Keep it Short and Sweet


Your dog probably doesn't need to run a half marathon. (Some dogs may be trained for it, but you certainly can't expect it right out of the gate.) Too many miles can cause too much stress on his body if he is not properly trained. Keep the runs with your dog short and sweet. A 30 minute run will give your dog a great workout without taxing his body too much.

6. Don't Come Unleashed

 

No matter how well behaved your dog is, please always run with a leash. There are too many unknown factors that can change the situation in a blink of an eye. Stay in control with a leash.

7. Protect Yourself: "Get Off the Couch!"

 

While it is hard to believe, not all dogs are as sweet and friendly as my Ollie.  I have had confrontations with stray or escaped dogs on my runs. Some have been aggressive, while some have obeyed my command to "go home." I read something funny on Facebook where a runner said that she would yell, "Get off the couch!" to unwelcome dogs on her runs. Apparently it worked.

Six legs are always better than two as long as you apply common sense and put your dog's safety and enjoyment first! Do you have any additional tips for running with your dog?




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Keep Running,

Lea

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photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

26 comments :

  1. I don't yet have a dog but I want to so bad and these tips are great things to keep in mind!

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  2. I enjoyed reading this and found the tips practical, funny, and helpful. Now, to get a dog!

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  3. Great tips. I love the advice you give to protect the dog's well-being. 'Get off the couch' is so funny. It must be a universal command in America. Visiting from UBC.

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  4. Tiger Lilly loves to walk, but she doesn't like to run. After about one block she just STOPS. All 60 pounds of her!

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  5. Four-legged running partners are the best! They make you remember what running is all about. My tip is to have fun with it. I hear from people all the time that just get frustrated running with their dogs...to realize they go about a block.

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  6. How funny - I wish I could run with Jaeden but he's 12 and mostly just lays down ;)

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  7. I wish I could run with my dog. She's a little small dog though (ten pounds) and she'd have a hard time keeping up. And she hates the heat.

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  8. During the summer, Fergus and I run as early in the morning as we can - between 5 and 6 - to beat the heat. Then he doesn't feel guilty for lazily lying down on the cold tile of an air conditioned house for the rest of the day! :)

    There is nothing that reminds me more about why I love running than taking a look at Fergus' big goofy smile while we are out on the road together, or to see how happy he is to run off and explore something or to jump into the water when we run through an off-leash park. He reminds me that running isn't always about beating your PB. It's about enjoying your surroundings.

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  9. Great tips! I'd love to start running with our Husky at some point, so these will help a lot when I do!

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  10. Great Tips! I live next to the Katy Trial in Dallas and me and my little puppers go walking all the time. On the trail they have added signs to remind people of dog safety tips especially during the summer!

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  11. Thanks for mentioning the hot paws thing. Drives me nuts when I see dogs' with hot feet on pavement and concrete.

    And don't forget your pooch needs A DRINK too!

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  12. Great tips! Thanks!! My pup is only 8 months old and I am itching to take him running with me... I know he'll love it!

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  13. Great tips! Although, my little 7 lb pup can't keep up!

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  14. Thanks, great post. I walk with two dogs, one old, one young, so it can be a challenge to get everyone walking in the right direction at the same speed. They are both fairly well trained, but I do everything I can not to trip over one of them. I've tried a brace for two dogs, but it doesn't really work because the young one basically strangles the older one. I'm going to keep trying though, I know that a solution would be to leave old Ginger at home, but it would break her heart.

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  15. I've always secretly wanted to be one of those people who run with their dogs. Sadly, we have two miniature doxies who are just not made for any kind of running other than a few hundred feet. I think inside their heads they are really big dogs that can run because when they get the opportunity they look happier and prouder than any other time (okay... maybe that;s me and not them)

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  16. On our run this morning, Fergus and I thought of a couple of other tips - these ones to protect your pooch's joint health!

    - Give him supplements. Fergus takes Omega 3-6-9 and glucosamine/chondroiton so that his 3-year-old knees last a long time! (Probably longer than my 36-yr-old-knees!) He loves his supplement gel caps so much that I can get him to do tricks for them!

    - Where ever it is possible, have your furry friend run off concrete. Sidewalks often run alongside a patch of grass, as do most running and bike paths. I like to keep Fergus on the grass so that his joints have more cushion.

    And a couple more to keep poochie safe:

    - When we run alongside a busy street, I like to keep Fergus on the inside of me, so that I am the one closest to the traffic. That way, if he is startled by something, he won't jump into oncoming cars.

    - Bling him up with blinking lights whenever you run in the dark. During the winter months, I deck myself out in full on reflective clothing and a head lamp, and Fergus wears a reflective collar and a couple of bike lights, one on his leash and one on his collar, so that we can be seen in all conditions. Safety first!

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    1. wow! great tips! sounds like you need to write your own blog post on the subject! :) thanks for sharing!! :)

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  17. Great tips! And like Jay, I also run with Elijah on my left which is the inside. I prefer to be the one closest to the traffic so as to protect him in a way.

    Plus, in my neighborhood tha doesn't have sidewalks or lanes large enough for runners and bikers, I tend to stop and pull to the side when I see cars come speeding down the road. We don't get a whole lot of traffic so it's not too much of a hassle. But cars do speed through and they tend to freak Elijah out so I've found that I've gotten good response from him by stopping an making him sit in the grass out of the road until they pass by.

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  18. I have a lot of fun running with my Weimaraner. Lately, she's been doing my warm-up runs with me. Ollie's so cute!

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  19. Very nice when you are walking og jogging with your dog.

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  20. Any advice for an overweight (34 lbs!) pug who doesn't want to "get off the couch" at all even for a walk? ;D I guess I will have to stick with running with Ranger the Airedale!

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  21. Great tips! I always make sure that my doggy doesn't go too far. She gets so excited that it works her up so much I think we can't go as far sometimes :).

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  22. I would like to appreciate your work and would like to tell to my friends.
    Dog training advice

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  23. I switched my dogs to the Positively No-Pull Harness. The difference was unbelievable! I was completely sold on the first walk. Even my husband enjoys taking the dogs for their walks now. I have never used any other harnesses or leads, just a regular collar. I tried the bungee leashes and those were a nightmare. If you have a dog that tends to pull, think about giving it a try. I am pretty sure their is a 100% guarantee, so if it doesn't work, you can return it.

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    1. we switched Ollie to a harness too and it was a big help in controlling him, but I have found over time, that as he gets used to it, the harness is less effective. It still helps a lot, but he does not stay under control like he did when we first got it. I'll check out the Positively No-Pull. thanks!

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  24. They make you remember what running is all about. My tip is to have fun with it. I hear from people all the time that just get frustrated running with their dogs... Cairn Terrier Training

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