Running With Your Pup?

SheGlows
SheGlows Posts: 520 Member
Hello all!

I've recently began to incorporate running into my exercise routine and my corgi pup, Horace, gives me the biggest, heart-liquefying look as I put my shoes on. To make it even worse, he peers at me through the fence as I walk away towards the road, forehead pressed against the wire, as if I'm never going to return and he'll never see me again! It's not even this bad when I leave for class every day.
I've been bringing little man along as of late. I love how motivating he is with his happy little face looking back at me, cheering me on, but we have difficulties sometimes.
My question is: What are some general tips for running with a leashed dog? For example, is there a way to prevent them from running around and tangling your legs in the leash? Or to keep them from stopping dead in their tracks to take a sniff break?
I understand sometimes it's just in Horace's nature to want to investigate that enticing scent on the side of the road, but any kinds of tips or tricks would be great:-)
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Replies

  • deannasueknutson
    deannasueknutson Posts: 38 Member
    I run with my puppy too! Red is always so full of energy that it helps to bring him along to wear it off. Red used to run from the side of the road to the other. It really didn't matter cause we run on country roads, but it was annoying. One thing I did was to keep Red on the left side of the road with me was to keep his leash on his right side. If he went to the right to much, the leash rubbed against his body and he didn't like that.

    For the randomly stopping with no warning, I have no clue what to do. Red is a hunting dog, so I think he'll always stop and sniff along the road.

    Hope things get better with your puppy. :-)
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,988 Member
    How old is your 'pup' you shouldn't run with them until they are around 18 months old due to possible damage to developing growing joints and bones. Also you should never run with a lead attached to a neck collar. As any sudden change of direction or accidental entanglement could cause neck damage. I have a specific harness I use for running with my lab. I have built the distances up very slowly. She'll now run 6 miles with me. It's a very slow process but also try and build up specific running commands. Mine now knows when I say 'we're running' she doesn't stop and sniff as that's running time.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,179 Member
    Ditto the don't run with a puppy advice. Most recommend waiting at least a year- 2 years depending on size and breed. Running with us is not the same as running on their own.
    While dogs generally have more energy it is a good ideal to build them up as well. This gives them time to adjust to running with us, toughen up their paw pads, etc.
    Keep an eye on paw pads, especially on warm days when pavement can be hot and in winter when salt may be on the ground.
    Avoid running at the hottest times of the day. Dogs can't cool themselves as easily as humans.

    As for running with them/leash issues, you need to train them on where you want them. Two of my dogs are trained to heel so we just use that command. You can let them run where you prefer, some prefer the dog to be out in front. I find that in the heel I can hold the leash with both hands and keep the dog beside me, there is not enough leash for them to dart around me.
    Use a command to let them know "it's time to run". Use the same command each time. We also have a "free" command that let's the dog know "ok you can sniff around". When running, if the dog stops to smell, do not stop. By stopping you are allowing the behaviour and the dog will continue to do it. I give a "no" and keep moving, pulling the dog along. That doesn't mean keep running at full speed and yank the dog, but it isn't stopping either, if you know what mean. It will take some time for the dog to catch on but keeping consistent, they will learn what is expected of them.
    As you spend more time running, you may pick up on signs your dog needs to go so you can give them a break. Or just stop occasionally to allow them to do their business. I get oldest dog to go before the run which is a lot easier bu my lab will always need to go regardless. If your route doesn't have a lot of garbage cans available like mine, I stash the poop bag somewhere and pick it up on the way back so I don't have to run the whole time with it.

    I don't do water on the run. My dogs are all breeds prone to bloat so I avoid it. Water is provided she. They get home (not ice cold).
  • micheleld73
    micheleld73 Posts: 920 Member
    I personally hate to run, but am motivated to help my dog release pent up energy at the beginning of the day. I started training her first by walks where I let her know when we needed to keeping moving and would later reward her with free time to be a dog (also be sure to consistently walk/run your dog on the same side). Just the mental focus of walking instead of investigating helps to work out that energy. Since we have incorporated running into our routine she knows her free time is when she hears the click of the retractable leash being released. I occasionally still have to remind her with a "let's go" while running but we've been doing this for years now, so she's pretty good with keeping up.
  • PapaverSomniferum
    PapaverSomniferum Posts: 2,677 Member
    above advice is all great!

    Plus, corgis tend to be energetic dogs, meant to run and chase, so your pup will probably LOVE running with you! Also may take a little extra training than some because of that herding-dog-chase instinct. Some herding dogs are heel nippers.

    I trained my dog on the leash and to heel hoping he'd run with me. Then I discovered that Saint Bernards don't run. If I pick up the pace, he sets his *kitten* down on the pavement and won't budge. Long hikes are gravy, though, and we'll walk all day sometimes.

    Leash training can't be spoken for enough. Basic obedience is key if you're going to spend a lot of time in public. You never know who or what you may encounter, and having the training to react properly will make life easier for your pup--and for you! So many times, while on our long hikes, unexpected events have happened (weirdos possibly on crack, hurt bikers on the trail, aggressive dogs, random wildlife, unruly children, a car accident...we've seen it all) and my dog has handled it with grace, having been taught, "sit", "stay", "leave it", and "heel", and having practiced those commands (and a couple cutesy tricks for friendly bystanders. nothing like a good "shake" or "play dead") in various situations.

    edit for hiking puppy pic:

    dbc0d01d16ae677fb97aaa4bc7f2b0bd2ad3.jpg
  • cavewoman15
    cavewoman15 Posts: 278 Member
    my partner and i have thought a lot about this and talked to a lot of people, read a lot, etc., so here is my lengthy response :)

    my dog finn runs with me - he motivates me and makes me feel safe (i live in a big city). plus he loves the exercise and he's a little crazy (rescue dog) so he likes the structure. my partner ran with Finn during half marathon training a few years ago (didn't get to the whole distance - read below) and now we are both running with Finn for an olympic distance triathlon (again, limited; read below). Finn is a great running partner!! Finn is about 7-8 years old (we adopted him and aren't sure), and a lab/hound mix. though our experience is mostly positive, there are several things to keep an eye on if you run your dog often.

    some dogs will stop when they are tired, but other dogs, like my Finn, would literally run until his legs fall off. therefore, i have to watch and make sure that he is doing okay - not limping or looking too tired. i'm a slow runner - about 11.5 minute miles, so he does fine with me, even at longer distances. yesterday we ran a 10k. he started slowing down during mile 4, and i almost stopped to check out his paw pads, but it turned out he just needed to poop. then he was fine! i run Finn about 10 miles a week, but we have built up to this pace over several months. my partner runs very fast and finn tends to get much more tired when he runs him, so they only run together once a week, never exceeding 6-7 miles at a time and/or 15 miles a week total (between the both of us). this is our general distance rule.

    the other thing to watch out for is his pads on longer distances. i usually let Finn run in the grass as much as possible. Finn trained for a half marathon a few years ago with my partner, and he did the great the whole time so we never worried about him. then after a 9 mile run one day, finn's pads were raw. it was the saddest thing, but he never whined or stopped running so we didn't know until he got home! that's when we put he mileage limits on him that we use now.

    we don't do water during the run (unless it's just really hot) but make sure i give him some right when we're done. i just fill my hand up in the fountain and he slops it up. i also do my best to run him in the morning or evening when it's not too hot - this works well for me too!

    for stopping, i always walk 3/4 of a mile before we start running, giving Finn time to do his business before we start. he is trained now to get it out of the way at the beginning. this almost always works. on a long run, he will sometimes have to stop to go to the bathroom again, and i just use it as a short rest. i run him on a gentle leader.

    IMHO -- i'm not a vet -- but keeping in mind that every dog is different, for short distances (under 5K) most dogs will probably be fine. for longer distances, build up to them like a human would, watch the paw pads, and make sure they get plenty of food/water. Finn lost weight while my partner and i are training for an olympic distance triathlon so now we just feed him more at each meal.

    have fun!!
  • GillianMcK
    GillianMcK Posts: 401 Member
    Hoping that when you say pup, you're still referring to a grown up dog and not an actually puppy??
    I don't like them running on the pavements, especially in the summer when the tarmac/concrete gets hot it can burn pads really quite badly. Bouze comes running with me when I'm heading up to the forest trails and I can be sure he'll have access to water every mile or so (even then if it's especially hot he stays home), he's a ridgeback so an endurance dog, he done my marathon training with me and we started off at the 5 mile long runs and worked up to a 20 mile long run, he's always off lead (get's put back on if we come across bikes/people with dogs on leads etc and then back off again).

    Stick to the grass and the trails if you can, they don't have cushioned trainers on so I'm not a fan of them pounding the pavements.
  • 3dogsrunning
    3dogsrunning Posts: 27,179 Member
    Cavewoman brought up a really good point. My lab will have no problem telling you he is done (he is lying, he has tons of energy he just doesn't like to run, he wants to be able to stop and sniff but I still listen). My oldest Shepherd would go as far as fast as I would ask. I never really did find his limit, I wasn't doing too much distance then. And certainly not fast. I wore out before him. Now, I don't really run him.
  • IlithyaUK
    IlithyaUK Posts: 12
    Hello

    My miniature dachshund runs with me 2 days a week. He has separation anxiety so any place I can take him with me saves us both a lot of stress and on a plus side, ive noticed since he has been running with me, his anxiety seems to be reducing alot, all the bonus exercise must be tiring him out so he forgets his constant need to be with me.

    I have only started running so its the couch to 5k walk/run programme, the walking sections give him a chance for a sniff and a toilet break and during the run section I give him slack on his lead as he trots along side me so I know from the feel of the lead if he has slowed/stopped and I can put on the brakes for him.

    A plus point for me as a newbie is that running with him, helps me slow my pace, when im alone i tend to run to fast and tire myself out but he keeps me on a steady pace. As for tangling me up in his lead, I have always trained him to walk on the inside away from the road on pavements so he doesnt move from there when we run. I see no issue with dogs running on pavements, they may not have trainers on but they have big cushioned pads and as for hot pavements, I can't run in the heat lol so he certainly never does!
  • msully7
    msully7 Posts: 4 Member
    I run with my Jack Russel some times. Lots of energy there so he loves it. The first mile and a half or so he drags me along like I'm running too slow but then settles down. I recommend a harness and a regular leash (adjustable isn't as good). I try to only give him about 3 feet of lengthand keep him on my side. He's just so excited to be out and running he doesn't mind.

    Also, just some thoughts from reading some of the other comments. I live in the city so only really have pavement but I haven't seen any negative effects to him from running on it. He is only 15 lbs though so that may help him. I'll also let him run on the grass next to the sidewalk whenever he can though because I have read about the pavement effecting the paws. I just personally have not experienced it.

    As to stopping, I'm not sure how to stop it also. He has to pee and he likes to mark his territory. Also, I find that running must loosen up his bowels because he always needs to poop at least twice when we run so I always make sure to have bags on me. I just resign myself that he wants to stop. If I'm trying to improve my time on a run I just don't consider those days I run with him. It's still exercise and a workout no matter the time. It's ususally just a few seconds and seems to actually help him regain his energy.

    I do recommend it though. The dogs love it and it gives you an excuse to run.
  • Ahrena
    Ahrena Posts: 44 Member
    I have a collie who I always take running (up to 8 miles so far) she adores it. I run a fair bit off road so she has time to sniff about then. It's excellent motivation - she makes me feel very guilty if I skip a run!
  • IlithyaUK
    IlithyaUK Posts: 12
    I have a collie who I always take running (up to 8 miles so far) she adores it. I run a fair bit off road so she has time to sniff about then. It's excellent motivation - she makes me feel very guilty if I skip a run!

    Mine does this as well! I don't take him on a Wednesday as I like to see how hard I can push myself that day to increase my run time (since im doing the walk/run programme) and he gives me big sad eyes that he isn't coming! I probably won't take him once I can run for 30 mins non stop as he is only tiny being a miniature so that would probably be too much for him but while i'm working to get there, he is welcome :)
  • skippygirlsmom
    skippygirlsmom Posts: 4,433 Member
    Lots of great advice. We have a 3 year old Labradoodle and she loves to run with us. I very rarely take her but my 14 year daugther has been because I don't like her running by herself (the kid not the dog LOL). When I told the vet that I wanted to start her running with us (she was about 2) she stressed these things (many mentioned above). Be careful of the heat and her getting over heated she can't cool down like you. Watch the hot pavement, she said she sees so many dogs in summer who run with owners and their pads are burned. Watch her pads to make sure there are no cuts or that they are "smoothing" out. Let her run on the grass as much as possible. Use something like musher's secret to protect them (or follow the above advice and watch their pads). Water her, she needs water every few miles especially when it's so hot. Start off slow and work up on the mileage. Finally don't take her every day let her rest too. I do take her daily on my cool down walk and she loves it.

    As far as control, don't use a retractable leash it's too easy to get caught up. I use a standard leash and she is put in heel and will run next to me. She won't attempt to stop at every mail box if she's in heel, I do give her "free run" or I might walk a bit to let her smell and check things out. I do take her out in the yard before we go so she can her business there, nothing worse than carrying a "doggie bag" for 3 miles on your run.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,863 Member
    Hello all!

    I've recently began to incorporate running into my exercise routine and my corgi pup, Horace, gives me the biggest, heart-liquefying look as I put my shoes on. To make it even worse, he peers at me through the fence as I walk away towards the road, forehead pressed against the wire, as if I'm never going to return and he'll never see me again! It's not even this bad when I leave for class every day.
    I've been bringing little man along as of late. I love how motivating he is with his happy little face looking back at me, cheering me on, but we have difficulties sometimes.
    My question is: What are some general tips for running with a leashed dog? For example, is there a way to prevent them from running around and tangling your legs in the leash? Or to keep them from stopping dead in their tracks to take a sniff break?
    I understand sometimes it's just in Horace's nature to want to investigate that enticing scent on the side of the road, but any kinds of tips or tricks would be great:-)

    To answer your questions...

    1) is there a way to prevent them from running around and tangling your legs in the leash?
    A - Keep the leash short and train your dog to run beside you.

    2) Or to keep them from stopping dead in their tracks to take a sniff break?
    A - Train your dog to know you're his "master" and he will run beside you.

    I'm not sure if you see a theme. But - a properly trained dog will always walk/run beside you (not in front of or behind). He needs to know what your boundaries are. If you don't mind him doing these things while you walk, ok. But You can train him to know that when you're running specifically, it is not time for messing around.
  • SheGlows
    SheGlows Posts: 520 Member
    Thank you everyone for the awesome responses! I'm loving the advice. I probably should've clarified a few things, though, to prevent worry:

    When I say "little man" and my "puppy," I'm using them endearingly. He's not much of a puppy anymore (oh, how they grow so fast), as my profile picture with Horace is old now. He's full-size, which is still small since he's a corgi, but he's sturdy nonetheless.

    We go running at five AM to make sure that it isn't too hot for his tootsies. I'm not running large distances yet, but when we work our way up I'll definitely watch his paws to make sure they're not raw or anything. I'll also look into harnesses, I'm always worried about hurting him if I don't notice he's stopped in time. Thank you for that! The walking for a while before the run to get his "sniff time" out of his system is also a great idea. Thank you guys again for all of the wonderful replies!

    ETA: I like to take him off-leash usually (we live in the boonies so usually there's no risk of cars, but if they're in front of me I can see them from far away) but I've been wearing headphones so I don't want to risk not hearing a car coming. I'll nix the headphones and just take him off leash for now until absolutely necessary.
  • WonkaCat
    WonkaCat Posts: 42
    There are also dog strollers which you can get for anywhere from $50-90, which are perfect for smaller dogs. :smile:
  • Leanbean65
    Leanbean65 Posts: 176 Member
    Check out this from Runner's World http://www.runnersworld.com/motivation/running-with-dogs
    Also check with your dogs vet to make sure he is good to go. I run/jog with my 2 terriers, occasional we get caught up in leashes but they've learned that runs and walks are two different things and go into a different mode when running.
    I just attach the leashes to my gear belt, one on each side;)
    That said I only do 5-6 km about 3 times a week and not in super hot weather.
  • Hi,
    I have a bichon and try to jog with her along side and it can get quite stressful because of the lead! you can get dog waist leads that tie around your waist instead of having to hold it, with a lead that you can have on a certain length so they wont get tangled up! it's only possible to do so with a slow enough speed with small dogs which is my problem!
  • MysteriousMerlin
    MysteriousMerlin Posts: 2,270 Member
    I have a very hyper female Boston who's also a little gun shy, this helps calm her down a bit and stay focused on our walks

    http://www.petsmart.com/supplies-training/harnesses/comfy-control-harness-dog-harness-and-leash-zid36-12394/cat-36-catid-100082?_t=pfm=search

    It's really easy to put on, she just steps into it, I slid it up, velcro it, then snap it close. I don't have to worry about closing the snap on her hair or skin either, as the snap is on top of the velcro closure.
  • DaboGirlNB
    DaboGirlNB Posts: 17 Member
    I LOVE my running leash sold by Irondoggy.com - it clips around your waist, is somewhat of a "bungee cord", very sturdy and has handles for when you need to hold on to them. I run with 2 dogs (one on either side) and the leash has been a lifesaver - helps keep everyone in place and my arms from being pulled out of their sockets if a squirrel runs by (which is often).

    Also, as mentioned above, training is key, as is a good harness.