I love running with my dog.
There’s no doubt about it, at least in my mind. But it’s actually a lot harder to run with your dog than you might think (or maybe not!) so for today’s quick tip I want to share a few things I’ve learned about dog/human running to make it an enjoyable experience for you AND your dog!
Things To Remember When You Run With Your Dog
- Dogs Don’t Sweat–This may seem like a no brainer, but as summer is approaching (and it’s already here in FL) you need to remember that dogs can’t handle the heat as well as we can. Especially if you’re running on roads/streets/sidewalk that just bake in the sun. If you’re going to take your dog with you on your run, make sure you’re getting out early or waiting until later in the evening.
- Leash Manners are Vital–If you have a hard time walking your dog because he or she is pulling too much, running can be very difficult! (Though my dog actually pulls worse on a walk than on a run, for whatever that’s worth) Before running with my dog regularly, I worked with her on the commands “straight”, “left”, and “right” to be able to give her cues as we are running. I’ve also added “hard” to a turn command, so she knows to go NOW, and “street/sidewalk” to let her know if I want her to switch surface while we are running.
- The Right Equipment–Retractable leashes are the devil! There, I said it! If you’re running with your dog, please invest in a simple 6′ (or so) leash so you can always keep the dog close and give yourself a better chance of staying under control of the dog if it gets distracted by a critter or another dog. Also, avoid harnesses (which have a tendency to make dogs want to pull) and the gentle leader/halti type devices that can cause a neck injury to your dog if it takes off of you.
- Clean Up After Your Dog–Pretty sure this is self-explanatory, but if your dog “does its business mid-run (which is a near certainty) pick up after it.
- Don’t Over Do It–Dogs will have a tendency to always want to keep going, and they can absolutely do too much and wind up with physical problems because of it. Remember that dogs are like us in that as our health/fitness improves, we are able to do more. So if you’re dog is new to running with you, start with only a mile or two at most, and gradually build over time to the desired distance.
Without a doubt, my dog is one of my favorite running partners in the world.
That said, I’ve had to learn some of these lessons the hard way. Thankfully, she’s always quick to forgive me when I’ve screwed up.
Hopefully, if you follow these tips and listen to some of the further explanations and examples by hitting play below, you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of safe miles with your dog for years to come!