Train Your Dog to Be Your Running Companion
Are you training for a 5K or marathon? Or do you just love the feeling of getting your blood pumping with a daily jog? No matter what motivates you, odds are you feel a bit lonely on your runs. It turns out you might have the perfect running companion right at home.
Running with your dog is not only a fun way to bond with your pet, but it’s also a great way to get Fido moving. For high-energy dogs, running is an effective way to tire them out each day. Better yet, it’s easier to stay motivated when you have a cute dog counting on you to run every day. However, before you get started, make sure you follow these tips below.
Do You Have the Right Breed of Dog?
First, you need to ensure your dog is physically able to keep up with you. While dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, some are more suited to running than others. Dogs that are ideal to be long-distance runners are generally larger, have long muzzles, and are in good health.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs with short muzzles like Bulldogs and Pugs shouldn’t run long distances. In addition, puppies or older dogs should avoid running. Before starting any new routine with your pet, visit your vet for a routine checkup.
Work on Training Skills
Next, as long as you’ve made sure you have a dog that’s healthy and prepared to start a training routine, it’s time to check your training skills. You want to make sure your dog has some basics mastered before you trust them on a run.
While you should always leash your dog safely, making sure they have strong recall skills and that they’re good on a leash are key. Dealing with a pulling dog on a leash can become dangerous if you’re running. For more training tips, visit mypetchild.com.
Start with Long Walks
Your dog needs to build up their tolerance and endurance before you hit the trails. Make sure they’re comfortable walking long distances safely and start slow. Your dog needs to be politely walking at your side with a slack leash before you speed things up.
Once you’ve determined your dog can safely walk with you, you can start jogging. Try to use a cue that it’s time to start running. You can say “move it” or “start running” so your dog learns it’s time to pick up the pace. Go slow when training and leave room for walking breaks.
Build Your Dog’s Endurance
Now that you’re starting with a slow jog, you’re well on your way to master running with your canine companion. His body needs to be worked up to a level where he can run alongside you for a while. Don’t get frustrated if your dog is sluggish or needs frequent breaks at first. Think about when you first started running. You probably needed to stop sometimes too!
Increase the portion of your time spent running and slowly decrease the portion spent walking. It will take a few weeks, but your dog should successfully build their endurance level so they can run long distances.
Start Training with Fido
You’re all ready to start training or just enjoying your runs with your dog. As long as you’re careful with training and you listen to your dog’s cues, you can feel confident in your new running buddy. Your furry friend will love running alongside you, and you might even discover this is something they’re great at.
Remember, your dog still needs to warm up and cool down just like you do. Also, take into consideration any extreme weather, and always bring plenty of water. Now that you know how to start running with man’s best friend, it’s time to hit the trails.