Your dog needs a daily workout just as much as you do—which is why running with your dog is the perfect way to stay heart healthy! Whether you love exercising in your neighborhood or on the other side of town, we’ve got a great set of techniques to help you run with your pooch—easily and stress-free.
Teach Spot Who the Leader Is
Whether you’re walking with a pug or you’re sprinting with a Labrador, the first rule of thumb is make sure your dog knows who the leader is. If you let your dog lead, then you may have to deal with a dog that refuses to run more for more than five minutes—or even worse—a dog that can’t stop running!—and leads you on a wild goose chase.
Serious about getting exercise while bonding with your dog? Then your dog needs to know it isn’t his playtime. It’s running time! Start off running short distances in your neighborhood, and train him with a short lease. As he obeys your commands, lengthen the course and the areas in which you run.
Work Up Your Distance
Running with your dog serves two purposes: to get the both of you into shape, and to bond with your pet. But, running with your pooch won’t do much good if he’s stopping to sniff the ground or pee every three minutes. Working up your distance is very important, and here’s how to do it:
dog-1551708_640• Teach your dog polite commands. Whether you’re on an abandoned street or a dog-friendly hiking trail, you and your pooch will encounter other people (and dogs) along the way. Make your workout far less stressful by teaching him commands of politeness. For example, when another runner wants to get by you, move over to the side of the trail/road and give a gentle tug on his leash (letting him know you’re stopping to let others by).
• Get him into the routine (with an incentive!) Just like children who eat all of their vegetables in order to get their desert, dogs often behave better when they know there’s a reward at stake. Train your dog to understand (through repetition) that after your five-mile run, he gets to catch the Frisbee (or his favorite toy) at the dog park. Or, ‘reward’ him with his favorite treats.
When running with your dog in a busy area, always keep him on a leash. Spend a few weeks teaching him commands and reward him accordingly. Running with your dog will keep him happy, healthy and at the end of the day, worn out for a great night’s sleep!