10 Tips to Run With Your Dog

Running is a great form of exercise and an enjoyable way to get outside and explore! While running can be fun alone, it is always better with a four-legged friend by your side. But before you can take your dog on adventures, here are a few tips on preparing your pup for the great outdoors.

Make sure they are the right breed and ageAlthough any dog enjoys exercise and play, some are simply not built for running. Dogs with short muzzles, such as pugs and bulldogs, cannot breathe well enough to run for long distances. Puppies are also not good distance runners due to their still-developing bones. Make sure your dog has the right temperament and would enjoy strenuous workouts. 

Get the right gear. A harness leash is ideal for running, and there are even hands-free leashes that you can buy to prevent tripping. While running, it’s important to keep both you and your dog hydrated! So bring a collapsible water bowl or a water bottle that your running buddy can drink out of.  

Start slow. According to the AKC website, it is important to start slow when training your dog to run with you. Ensure that your dog will behave themselves with you at a walking pace and then slowly increase speed. A dog that tugs or gets distracted could be a danger to both of you at running speeds.

Build endurance. Just like humans, dogs need to slowly build muscle in order to go on long runs. Start with a short run around the block first, the increase a little every day to get your dog in shape.

Be encouraging! Your dog loves positive reinforcement! Let them know what a great job they’re doing by providing treats and encouragement throughout the run. 

Keep your dog to one side. The treats will come in handy when training your furry friend to run to one side. Always offer it on the side that you want them to run on and your dog should understand quickly!

Use verbal cues to control pace. An easy way to control pace is through verbal cues. Saying phrases like “let’s go” or “slow down” when changing pace will prevent you from tugging on the leash to control pace.  

Pay attention to weather conditions. Dogs can’t regulate heat as well as humans, and some breeds are not able to withstand the cold temperatures either. Knowing what the weather is like outside and what your dog can handle is crucial for a great running experience. Your dog will enjoy the workout so much more if they are running in comfortable weather! 

Warm up and cool down your dog. Dogs need to stretch their freshly-worked muscles, so a cool down walk is important to keep your dog healthy and in great shape.

Have fun! Once your dog is conditioned and ready, make running a fun experience! Take your dog to new places so they can experience the great outdoors and run on a new trail every time you go out.