Running With Your Dog
Exercise helps humans both physically and mentally, producing a chemical – referred to as endorphins – in our bodies. This triggers the receptors in our brain, which in turn makes us feel happy. Exercise can extend our lifespan, lower the risk of disease and help us to maintain a good healthy weight – and there’s no exception when it comes to our pets, too! Running with your dog will help them to live a long and happy life, it will strengthen your bond and be a great source of motivation.
Tips on how to train your dog to run with you
Exercising with your best friend is not only great fun and healthy for your dog but for you, too. So if you’ve recently toyed with the idea of running alongside your best pal, there are some things you must take into consideration.
Here are 10 tips, tricks and useful bits of advice, to ensure you both hit the ground running:
- If you have a Pug, Frenchie or Bulldog – stick to a jog
Dogs with a flat, wide skull are referred to as Brachycephalic dogs. What does this have to do with running? – well, these breeds of dogs tend to have short legs and trouble breathing, which doesn’t bode well, especially if you’re looking for a running partner. If you’re looking to exercise with your furry friend who is a pug, frenchie or bulldog, stick to a very light jog.
- Don’t run with your puppy until they’re at least 1 year old
Puppies’ bones are constantly developing, so to ensure you do not disrupt their bone growth with regular running, wait until they’re at least 12 months old. This doesn’t mean you can’t take them for nice long walks, only that you should take care and train them carefully, to maintain their health and prepare them for your future runs together.
- Understand which dogs are best suited to running
Greyhounds, Whippets, Dalmatians, German Shorthaired Pointers, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Border Collies and Huskies are top dogs who make ideal running partners.
- If they wear a lead, collar and harness – think about comfort and practicality
Regular, non-retractable leads are ideal for you and your running partner. When running with your dog, it’s important to stay side by side, this is a sign of loyalty, equality and a good friendship. A lead that extends can encourage your dog to always want to be in front, when running together and this is what you want to avoid. Also, make sure their collar isn’t one that tightens (such as a choke) and ensure their harness fits properly to keep your pet from chafing and feeling sore.
- Walk regularly before you go on runs
To ensure your dog is ready for the challenge, make sure you prepare them by taking them on regular walks. Help them get to a routine and slowly build up to a light jog and eventually, you’ll be running side by side.
- Pay attention to your dog’s signals – signs to look out for
Alert dogs with wagging tails, who are maintaining the same pace as you, are comfortably running. Dogs who are lagging behind and panting are trying to tell you that they’re tired. If you understand your dog and respond to their signals, you’ll create a strong bond and keep up the motivation for future outings.
- Bring treats – but only few and far between
After a some fun exercise, give your best friend a treat to say well done. Positive reinforcement will get them excited for the exercise and the treat later on!
- Vary your runs together
Like humans, dogs also need a good hours’ worth of exercise per day and, for some breeds, more. It’s always good to vary the types of exercise too – this could include playing fetch, tug of war, simple walks around the local area or a good run.
- Sticking to a routine will ensure they are well behaved
This isn’t to contradict point number 8; you can still change up the type of exercise you do but keeping to the same timetable, will ensure a well-behaved and happy dog.
- Take your furry friend to the vets for health checks
Before settling into an intense exercise routine with your dog, it’s important to get them checked over and to discuss the plans with your vet. It’s likely they will have some advice to ensure you can both enjoy your routine together, to the max!
During your dog’s board, our team will ensure that your best friend stays fit and active, as we always ensure they receive regular walks and our utmost care and attention. At Jaycliffe Pets we’re open 365 days a year, providing first-rate dog kennels, catteries, grooming and pet foods – so your pets always has a comfortable home away from home. To check our availability and book online, click here.