I'm thinking when the weather breaks (I live in Phoenix, and the temps have been in the one teens, no kidding!) that I'll move from my treadmill to outside with my dog. Does anyone else have a fave canine running mate? Do you have a hands free leash to suggest? Any dog friendly running suggestions?
I've never tried a hands-free leash--I run/ran with two dogs and eventually a stroller as well... But I found that once they were trained the leash wasn't an issue for me. I kept it mostly loose and didn't have to deal with any unexpected pulling since I had a hand on things. (I now have one older dog and a newer puppy, so having a handle on the leash will help with any pulling puppy might do once she starts running with me in earnest.)
As with people, be sure to increase mileage slowly. My older dog (who now prefers to take leisurely walks) ran as far as 9-10 miles with me, but we started out with 1-2 miles and worked our way up to big miles...especially once we moved to Hawaii where weather was a little warmer! If your dog is pretty well trained for walking (listens to you, doesn't try to run off or chase other dogs, people, etc.,) you should have an easy transition to running. If not, might help to bring treats with you at the start! My previous dog was a bit over-enthusiastic when meeting up with other dogs, and treats helped to keep him focused on the straight-ahead job. It was much easier to tote the treats once I started running with the stroller, though. Not sure how I would've handled that if I had to hold them the whole way!
A vet once told me that if the dog falls behind and/or you have to pull it to keep it with you, that's a sign that the dog doesn't want to run anymore or can't run, and it's time to slow down or stop. I had a tough time with that as my older dog slowed down--I was getting frustrated and forgetful that she may not want to run as far. Probably a good thing to remember with a new-to-running dog, as well. Avid runners may not always take notice of a dog's need to slow down, or a dog who doesn't like to run. We tend to get caught up in our own miles.
Not sure if that's these are the kind of suggestions you're looking for, but I absolutely LOVED running with my dogs! When the older dog was younger and we had another partner for her, I actually did a lot of races with them both. Better to find smaller races where they don't have no-dog policies, but as long as you are considerate of your fellow runners, it's a lot of fun!! My old gal is getting too old, and puppy isn't quite old enough to really log miles (and I'm hampered by a huge baby bump for one more month anyway), but once puppy and I are cleared for running, I'll be back on the roads (er, sidewalks) logging miles with my 4-legged partner. It's the best!! Good luck!
Yes, I have a German Shorthaired Pointer and have run with her for the last 2 1/2 years. Here is the freeleash that I use as well as a cooling vest for the summer (I live in FL so temp is not in the one teens but the humidity will kill you). http://www.gundogco.com/collections/running-dog Best advice I can give is take it slow. RunnersWorld.com has a lot of good articles about running with your dog.
My GSP is extremely energetic and would sprint the first 1/4 if I'd let her (we really need to explain to her "pacing") but she is also still going after ten mile trail runs. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other specific questions. I learned the hard way through two and a half years of running with my dog
There are some great suggestions here. I actually started running 2 years ago to give my dog more exercise, so we have learned together! I also suggest you get that you get a hands free leash. I do not remember the brand, but I got it at REI. (I do not see it on their website right now.) I did not start with a hands free leash, and hurt my back from the akward movement.
My dog could not keep up over a long distance at first, but now he can do lapos around me. I got a backpack for him, and added small hand weights to it. (We have worked up to a total of 6lbs.) It really helps to tire him out, and now when we go on long hikes he can easily cary his own gear. (Water, food, toys, etc...)
I have a German Shorthaired Pointer/Lab mix. We run with a Stunt Puppy hands-free lead which we both appreciate. It just took a while to get her to run steadily next to me without correction. My last dog was a Springer Spaniel who worked his was up to 16 miles at a time. As stated previously, train them like you would train yourself: start slow and short, building gradually. They cannot tell you when they hurt or what is too far. They will run to please you. A side note for those in the northern climates: you can buy wax for their paws to keep snow off in the winter.
If you carry a water bottle for yourself, I have found it helpful if you can teach your dog to take squirts from the water bottle also. If you can tip your dog's muzzle upward and pull up the lip on the side nearest to you, then simply squirt the water into the side of her mouth. She will lap it up. Keep the squirts brief so it's comfortable for her to drink and swallow. No need to bring a separate water bottle for your dog this way since it doesn't have to touch her mouth. Another thing I taught my standard poodle is to put her paws up onto a water fountain at the park and lap the water as I run it. (Try to avoid this while others are playing at the park though. Some have expressed their displeasure at having to drink from the fountain after a dog.)
Cjefrun also mentioned the paw wax for the northern climates. I also like the Muttluks dog boots in snow, especially for breeds with longer hair. Train them to wear the boots on shorter walks first (try not to laugh too much at their funny walking when they're first on :). Eventually they will be excited for the boots to come out since it means they're going for a walk - a good life reward, no treat needed.
An additional note that puppies under age 1 (or giant breeds under age 2) shouldn't be made to run. Since their joints are still growing, it is possible to damage the joints by compelled running/jumping. It's ok if the pup is initiating the running/playing but we should not be having them come along with us on our longer jaunts. Check with your vet on this one if you have questions.
I have a German Shorthaired Pointer (she may be mixed with something else). She trained with me last fall for a marathon. I live in Phoenix, and I took her all the way to 18 miles. I think she could have run more (these dogs are energetic), but I put the cap at 18 for her. She built her miles the same way I did mine... going with me on almost all my training runs. I use a leash with her. In the beginning she'd get over eager when she saw other dogs, but she soon learned that running was serious business, and we don't stop for other dogs/people. I would start with one dog at a time and work up. I've seen people have a hard time with more than one in the beginning (leashes crossing, dogs not knowing which side to run on, etc. = disaster). Good luck and happy running!
Thanks so much for your response. I have a beagle/rottweiler mix that I'm starting out with. I still feel like it's a bit warm for her, hell it's warm for me if I try outdoors off the treadmill. I can easily see myself having trouble with multiple dogs, esp my dogs. Since I'm still pretty slow, I think my dachshund (he's standard, not the miniature) who is super energetic could easily keep up and that would wear him out. He tends to want to entertain himself if he gets too bored, never a good idea.
I think I'm going to have to break out the gentle leader for my beagle mix for starting. Just the few times I've taken her out, she gets overexcited and starts playing Nanook of the North, my new sled dog. Not exactly helpful when I'm trying to keep my feet pointed forward and staying in alignment.
I have a beagle/rottweiler mix (she's about 45 lbs) that I walk/run with. We're both still getting started, and she's good about shade seeking (like instantly, enough to yank my arm out as she plops into a shady spot) when she's getting slightly warm. She's a good companion. I also have a smaller terrier mix that could use some excess energy burned up. I also have a standard dachshund who could easily keep up with me at this point. I have two chihuahuas who are good for days when I'm going for a walk, and no running at all.
I have a 2 year old dalmation (he's about 55lbs). I am a 49 year old female. We ran our first 5k together it was for an animal shelter. I haven't been good about training and being prepared for this race with him.. I knew he would have no problem runnin it. This race included people with dogs and without. The people with dogs started in the back of the pack. The race began with a challenging hill the gun went off and of course what did my dog want to do sprint up hill and pass everyone. Not being in the best of shape when we made it up the hill I was tired and he was just getting warmed up. We ended the race in 32:56 and that was with a couple of bathroom breaks for the dog. I know I have to work with him on pacing any ideas to work with him? Also I know when I run I shouldn't be near the grass and then he hopfully won't have to go to the bathroom.
I've started C25K today with my 4 year old springer spaniel. W1D1 went well, although I let him off the lead once I started jogging my 60 sec bursts, on the way back he was happier on the lead & walked calmly next to me. I'm training for the London Moonwalk in May 2013. I did it this year but it took me way too long.....so more traning & I hope to complete this midnight marathon in a lot less time :-)
Hoping he will run comfortably next to me on the lead once he gets used to my patterns.