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Published on May 18th 2022

The do’s and don’ts of running with your dog

There a many reason you might want to start running with your dog;

  • To improve you and your dogs general health and wellbeing.
  • To tire your dog out. Running with your dog is a great way to release a dogs built up energy and stop them getting zoomies.
  • To increase weight loss (for the both of you)
  • To improve the bond between you a your dog.

Whether you have an adult dog or just a little pup, there are many things you can do to make your running with your dog more enjoyable and gain more confidence.

Getting started

Some dogs are naturally active and will love running while others hate getting off the sofa. Don’t wake your dog up one day and ask them to run a marathon with you when they have had no experience running before. That is not how it works. It’s best to start off slow and short and gradually increase length and speed.

How to run with different breeds of dogs despite their differences in size, shape and personality?

First and foremost, before leaving your house in your yoga pants and your sports vest, make sure you dog is healthy enough to run. Some breeds don’t naturally make a great fit for a distance running partner, pugs and frenchie’s to name a few often struggle breathing when they are just stood still while husky’s and hound’s will make a great fit. Use your common sense with this one!

Make sure it’s not too hot for your dog to run anywhere upto 15 degrees celsius is ideal for running with a dog. Any hotter and they’ll likely be uncomfortable and lose concentration.

You’ll also want a suitable lead and harness to start running with your dog. Keep your dog nice and close to start with. A short 4 foot lead is ideal with a ruffwear harness.

Running with your dog for the first time.

On your first run, your dog will be asking themselves a lot of questions and you might find that they lose concentration very easily. It is quite often for dogs to get excited the first time out and sprint aimlessly in all directions. It is best to start very slow, more like a fast paced walk than a jog and gradually increase speed and length. It should be barely noticeable to your dog that you have increased the speed from a standard walk on your first time out. Every time you’re out, take it up another notch. This works the same for length, your first jog should be around 1.2 x the length of your standard walk and you can increase this distance the next time you’re out depending on their performance.

You don’t want to over-exert your dog on its first run as this can cause stress in your dog. If he is not used to being active, he may become short-tempered and stressed. Keep things nice and easy to start with. Just like you’d like your dog to keep at your pace, you need to keep at theirs to start with.

Getting confidence running with your dog

Okay, so your dog is a pretty competent runner now and you’re looking to take things up to the next level. If your dog is running next to you at all times and not pulling on the lead, it’s time to try taking them off. You’ll want to do this somewhere safe, away from cars and any distractions.

Caring for your dog after a run

Even though you may both enjoy running, your dog needs time to rest after a workout. Ensure your dog’s water bowl is full and has a cool place to rest. Don’t try and cuddle them or pet them as they may need to some space to cool down and revive themselves.