This is Diego and he is the world's best running partner. He'll stalk me like a hawk when he sees me in my workout gear---he already knows what time it it! This dude NEVER complains. Never allows me to slow down--even when I'm tired. And he's always game for an extra mile or two. My family adopted him about 3 years ago from our local animal shelter and we've been running partners ever since.
My father-in-law was a dog trainer in the military. He kinda taught me everything that a know about anything to do with pups. It's #FitnessFriday and today I'm sharing the do's and don'ts for running with your dog:
- Don't let your dog lead- Train your dog to run beside you. Never in front and never pulling on the leash. You are the master and you lead.
- No harnesses or retractable leashes- According to the ASPCA can actually increase pulling from your dog---and cause you to get injured. Retractable leashes are unsafe for use on trails with other runners and cyclists who usually can’t see the line and get entangled or injured.
- Don't over-exhaust your dog- Your dog will run as long and as hard as you do. Remember dogs don't sweat, so don't push your dog too far too fast. They have to build endurance just like humans.
- Let your dog handle his/her business BEFORE you start running- No brainer here. Running with a loaded poop bag is torture. Having to stop at every tree, sign, bush is soooo painful. Give your dog time to get it all out---then start your run. A mile usually does the trick for Diego. Also try not to feed your pup right before a run. Eating too close to exercise time can make your dog's tummy ache.
- Command your dog to always sit at crosswalks, busy interactions, and stop signs- This allows you to safely check for motorist before you cross without worrying about your dog getting nervous about motorist.
- Travel doggie water, poop bags, and an animal first aid kit- No one wants to carry a 30lb dog home because he hurt his paw. Hydrate often and please don't be that loser that doesn't pick up your dog's business. Everyone hates that guy.
Do you run with your dog? What are your secrets?