Running with your pooch is a perfect way to get you and your dog in good shape. However, before you grab your dog’s leash and hit the road, there are some significant things that you should consider. To ensure that your puppy remains safe and you are happy, have a look at this list which outlines how you should get started and what you should do during your runs and even afterward. All this will ensure that you get the most fun and worry less while you are out on the trails running with puppies.
Begin at the right fitness level and age
Before you get started, consider if your puppy or dog can run with you. Extra-large dogs, small dogs, dogs with shorter snouts, as well as much older puppies and dogs may not make good running partners. We have listed those breed types that make great running buddies. If you consider your dog as an ideal buddy for athletic endeavors, then continue reading.
While the energy of a puppy may seem limitless, do not take a young puppy out to run with you. When you do that, the impact of running might harm the bone and joint development, and eventually lead to severe medical problems including fractures and early arthritis. Wait until the bone growth plates of your dogs are closed which happens between one to two years depending on the dog’s breed before you take them on long runs.
Moreover, you can ask a local vet the right time is to run with your specific dog. As soon as your pooch is done growing, then she is ready to begin strengthening up for long runs and walks.
In the meantime, you can try to socialize your pooch to people, dogs, as well as other animals and also train them to obey instructions so that switching to running on busier trails will be easy. Your puppy will meet a lot of new animals and people and also encounter lots of different distractions as you run out with him, so, ensure that you get your dog used to anything you may come across as an excellent way to encourage him for outings on the trails or in the park.
On the other hand, you don’t want to introduce your older puppy to new limits when it comes to running. Older dogs require lots of time to build stamina and need a little exercise anyway. Overstretching older puppies can lead to problems such as dysplasia, joint pain, stress on the vital organs and their heart, and other negative after-effects as well.
Again, speak to your local vet to know your older puppy running capabilities before you introduce him into a long run. You can also ask the vet about things like the right joint supplements to assist your aging dog to recover faster after the long runs.
Dog breeds that make good running partners
Besides being a man’s best friend, a healthy dog can make a loyal pet and a wonderful fitness companion. With all the playing, chasing, and walking you do together, keeping up with your puppy is an exercise in itself. According to a recent study printed by the Journal of Physical Activity and health, dog owners walk or run more than those without one, averaging four walks every week for around 160 minutes of healthful physical activity.
You will boost your fitness level by owning any dog, but those breeds with extra agility and stamina will keep you moving at all times. Whether you like to swim, run, play games or hike, these typical and ultra-active dog breeds will assist you to remain in shape.
The Siberian Husky breeds are serious athletes and can run over 400 miles in dog sled competitions. This breed grows up to approximately 60 pounds and has incredible endurance which keeps it going even through harsh conditions. Again, the breed’s training and the thick double coat makes it suitable when going for cold-weather sports, such as snowshoeing or country skiing.
Huskies are known to be independent by nature, and this means they can be quite stubborn especially when it comes to obeying commands.
Whether they are getting wet in the water or playing at the park, Labradors are constantly abounding with excitement for any activity they do. They are perfect companions for running, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Their energy and enthusiasm come from the desire to do what you love, and they love. Just like all other retrievers, Labradors are bred to catch games for hunters, and this means they have a natural ability to please and respond well to training.
Just like the Labradors, Golden Retrievers have the energy and enthusiasm to perform various outdoor activities and are also eager to please. Moderate jogging, hiking or swimming are all good for this breed. Again, you won’t have any problems getting a Golden Retriever to listen to you or obey commands. This breed is so intelligent that it lends pretty well to first-time dog owners without any experience in training dogs.
Golden Retriever running is pretty easy but also remember that it has a double coat so ensure that it doesn’t overheat during summer. However, if you are looking for the type of dog that will keep your body and mind moving on a daily basis, then a Golden Retriever is a no-brainer.
The other good breeds best suited for running include Dalmatian, Vizsla, and German shepherd. Primarily, any dog with good stamina and abundant energy can make an excellent running companion. However, short-nosed dogs such as Shih Tzu, Pug, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, Pekingese and the like should remain in your cheering section.
These breeds are anatomically compromised to withstand long distances and short-distance running as well. They cannot take in sufficient oxygen to accommodate any strenuous exercises and also overheat more quickly than other dogs.
How to teach your puppy to run with you
Running or jogging is both a form of exercise and a stress reliever, and when you allow your dog to join you, you will both enjoy the benefits of this therapeutic activity. Running is also an excellent way to give your dog a much-needed session of exercise or tire out your energetic puppy. But even if your pudgy pup is a runner by nature, running on dog leashes does not come easily. Here are several tips that’ll get your dog from your front door to a few miles.
Elementary training tips
You should ensure that your dog is healthy and ready for the strenuous exercise before you begin running with him. Dogs that are pretty young or too old may not have the capacity to handle your running program. As a general rule, dogs that are 18 months and younger should strictly stick to walking. The bones of your puppy are still growing up to eighteen months and introducing them to running can negatively impact the bones’ development for optimum long-term physical integrity.
However, walking with your younger puppy will help it develop a strong foundation for a running program in the future. For dogs that are older than 18 months, you can introduce them to running the same way you would start. If your puppy is new to this exercise, don’t begin with a long run. You can start slow and then build your distance together. Consistency with time is typically the best way.
Running distance tips
Begin with a ten-minute run, and you can then add 10 minutes more every week until you attain your desired distance or time. By building up your mileage gradually, you will allow the connective tissue and the muscles to adapt and also grow to the physical activity without any injuries. With time, your puppy will become accustomed to your pace. Keeping your pace can be frustrating when you are getting started because most of the dogs want to run faster than you can, and you might find yourself struggling to hold on to the dog running lead.
Other puppies might lag or appear distracted, which can make most dog owners think that their pet doesn’t like running. Either way, the dog doesn’t know what he should do. You’re supposed to teach your pup how to run. With time and a little patience, both of you will eventually be running at a good pace side by side.
Leash training tips
Puppies that walk well on the dog running leads will easily translate to running. However, a dog that keeps pulling can be extremely challenging. To make things easier for yourself, shorten the leash. If your dog has a long leash and you allow it to walk ahead of you continually, he will continue pulling. Instead, keep the dog leash short enough to keep your running companion by your side, two to three feet at most.
Training plan tips
There are many running plans over the internet that can assist you in building your pace and distance. You can check them out or even get started with something easier. Before you start, know your average mileage. You can mark the distance using your car or use a locally available track and then time your run at a more comfortable pace.
Start running your pup 10 minutes every day for a whole week, and then add ten minutes to your time in the following week. Train them every other day and continue this running process until you attain your desired time. Once you get to your projected time, ensure that you keep running with your pup.
It might take patience and time to get your dog ready, but with consistent practice and a little guidance you will end up with the best running companion you could ever get.