Running with a dog - tips and tricks?

Hi all,
Trying to get back into running regularly and want my dog (2 yr old lab cross) to join me but she is all over the place. I'm afraid she is going to trip me. Any tips to getting a dog on board with running right at your side and not crossing in front of you, trying to sniff things or chasing squirrels constantly?

Replies

  • ashley52601
    ashley52601 Posts: 42 Member
    Agree with the above comment about walking first. If your dog is not calm on a leash while walking, I would not even attempt running yet. My dog was calm/ controlled and still managed to trip me.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,227 Member
    My dog is a lab-Satan mix and she’s a nightmare - especially on a run. We tried 3 times. That nearly broke me. She’s marginally less awful walking. I think she’s just never going to be a running partner. I hope you have better luck since I don’t think I’m really offering anything helpful.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    edited October 2017
    Cani-X harness with a quick release, long lead and shock cord.

    That allows them to run far enough ahead to avoid tripping you, as well as giving you visibility. The harness is better for their biomechanics as well. It's similar to appropriate shoes for you in that respect.

    My boy only does up to about 10K with me but I've seen those used up to ultra distance.
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    If the dog doesn't walk/heel well on a leash, tugs, or is prone towards bolting after things, don't bother until you can train them with that first.

    When you do start running with them, remember that dogs need to gradually build up to distance too. Don't expect the poor mutt to pull off a 5K on day one. Remember, the dog won't tell you that it's hurt unless it's really bad and it will try to keep up with you regardless of whether or not it physically should/can.

    Also, don't run your dog on pavement. Grass or softer trail only.
  • FitGamerSmoak
    FitGamerSmoak Posts: 224 Member
    Ran with mine, the first 10-15 minutes as someone said has to be about them. Once they were able to do all that they were much better, and they got much better along the run the longer we went. They needed to tire out just a bit to listen and respond to me. I kept them on a short leash, 6 ft I believe and was able to wrap it around my wrist. plus I also used a splitter for them so one leash two dogs, and I carried the other with me for when we were done so they could be separate. it was much easier that way. They didn't trip each other and I didn't trip myself.

    Now though my one is a malamute and she is 11, she doesn't run with me anymore, but my mutt I plan on taking him out again next year when it's warm (he has no hair lol). Good luck!
  • NicoleM0987
    NicoleM0987 Posts: 2 Member
    edited October 2017
    Thank you for everyones insights. Weirdly she is good on a walk, it's like the running excites her and then she goes a little nuts and forgets her manners. I will try a shorter leash and letting her do her thing the first 15 minutes and see where we go from there. We are running forest or gravel trails and I'm only running 3-5 km right now and very slow, so I'm more worried about my own fitness than hers. I had a German Shepherd before who just seemed to "get it" and would run right by my side like a dream, I didn't really have to 'train' him....lol
  • Kollane
    Kollane Posts: 45 Member
    Canicross belt and harness. I personally love it when my dog is go-go-go and tries to tug me to run faster. It'd be boring if she stayed next to me. :D It shows me she enjoys being out as much as I do.
    I do have quite good voice control though, and she's trained to ignore distractions. We do obedience and rescue training, so she's not allowed to be completely out of control.
  • tishawj
    tishawj Posts: 374 Member
    I use a 6ft leash that has the option of being clipped around my waist and a halti (face halter for the dog...kind of like a horse halter). It keeps my 80lb doodle close and connected and if he gets a bit of track the halter turns his head towards me to re-focus. We trail run and he's pretty great. He's better running than walking.
  • 7lenny7
    7lenny7 Posts: 3,412 Member
    If she walks well on a leash but goes crazy when you run, slowly increase your speed from a walk to a brisk walk, to speed walking. If at any point she goes crazy, back down to the last successful speed and stay there for a while longer. Once she regularly does well at a race walk pace, SLOWLY increase your pace a bit and stay there until she's use to being in control at that pace, at which time you can gradually increase again, or if you sense she's about to go crazy, immediately slow down.

    Ideally for each speed increase you would slow down BEFORE she goes crazy. Hopefully after some time you'll be able to sense when that's about to happen.

    I'd stay at each pace about 3 or 4 sessions before trying to speed up. If she goes nuts, go back down for another 3 or 4 runs before trying the faster pace again.

    it will take a lot of time and patience but you will be rewarded with a wonderful running partner! I've run with my lab for two years now and he usually runs off-leash, to my left and slightly behind. He's stop to poop but other runners, dogs, bikes, squirrels hardly get even get a glance from him.

    Good luck!
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    If you have the option you might try wearing her out in an off-leash area and then going for your run. If she's mellow, she'll slow down.
  • Biker_SuzCO
    Biker_SuzCO Posts: 54 Member
    Try the gentle leader face harness or front clip harness. Very good control. Some dogs are just never going to learn not to pull on a regular flat collar and these harnesses should help a lot!
  • 7lenny7
    7lenny7 Posts: 3,412 Member
    My favorite collar for a pulling dog is a prong collar. They look evil, but they're far more gentle, yet effective, on a pulling dog than a regular collar. No choking with a prong collar.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,888 Member
    As an avid but dogless runner, I would say please don't use a retractable leash. I have seen many runners who had very little control over their dogs on retractable leashes.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    Try the gentle leader face harness or front clip harness. Very good control. Some dogs are just never going to learn not to pull on a regular flat collar and these harnesses should help a lot!

    Which is one of the reasons for recommending a Cani-X harness. Better for their biomechanics than either a halter or a collar.

    Mine allows his back to flex naturally as he's running and isn't going to strain his shoulders or neck. That said, I only run mine on trails, so nobody around much of the time. I don't race with him, although as upthread most of those I see racing are in proper harnesses.
  • hannat5017
    hannat5017 Posts: 44 Member
    7lenny7 wrote: »
    My favorite collar for a pulling dog is a prong collar. They look evil, but they're far more gentle, yet effective, on a pulling dog than a regular collar. No choking with a prong collar.

    If you go this route please just make sure it fits properly and isn't to tight or left on all the time. I'm an ex groomer and I seen a few times where the collar was poking through the dogs neck because it was to small for the dog. While I agree they can work and people use them successfully the image of them hurting the poor pups from human error makes me wary of them.