If you have a dog, you have the perfect way to get fit. Running is a popular option, but can be difficult to get right. Dogs just don’t understand that you need to have a clear path so you don’t trip up! You need to be able to train your dog to make the most of your running. Here are six tips to get running with your dog just right.
Make Sure Your Dog Is Healthy Enough
You wouldn’t take up strenuous exercise without checking with your doctor first, right? Well, the same applies for dogs. You need to make sure the vet clears him for this type of exercise.
Running around the garden is one thing, but running up and down the hills in your local park or around your cross country routes is another.
Is Your Dog Old/Young Enough?
Older dogs are not going to want to run that far. Think about your bones and muscles when you get older. If your dog has been running with people for a while, that’s fine! But don’t start right now.
Likewise, starting when he’s just a year old or less isn’t generally a good idea. He wants to play and he hasn’t developed the muscles yet.
Is He the Right Breed?
Not all breeds are suitable for running. Certain breeds will run circles around you because that was what they were inherently developed for. Some breeds are also more prone to hip problems, which can make running extremely difficult and could even shorten the lifespan of your dog.
Check to find out if your breed of dog is right for running with. If you’re looking for a dog you can specifically run with, find out more about breeds before you buy.
Teach Commands Early
Your dog needs to learn simple commands when you’re out running. This will prevent issues when it comes to running after another dog, or when he finds sticks and other items that he wants to play with.
Teach the commands as early as possible, and stick to the garden for your initial tests.
Build Up to the Park
Build the trips out up slowly. You can’t jump straight into 10 mile runs. Your dog needs to build up the stamina, just like you. Your dog also needs to build up the understanding of your commands.
Start in the garden, just running around in circles. Then move into the park for the shorter runs. After a while, you will be able to move onto the long distance options, and even some cross country routes.
Invest in a Good Lead
Leads are essential. They keep your dog safe, help you control him and prevent the public getting annoyed at you. You want a good lead, which usually means an investment.
Look for one that you can use for normal walks, so your dog easily gets used to it and comes to enjoy wearing it. This usually involves the ability to retract and hold close to you depending on the use.