Running/Jogging with Your Dog
Get out there with your dog! We all know that dogs need exercise, but most people underestimate the amount of exercise many dogs need and underestimate the value in a well-exercised dog. A vast majority of behavior issues stem from a lack of exercise and while there are many ways to exercise your dog, for this discussion, we will focus on running/jogging with your dog.
As a runner myself, I know how hard it is to find the time and the motivation to run on some days…the last thing you need is for an inexperienced, wild dog along to ruin your run once you are out there. But, look at the big picture. Usually after just a few “training runs,” your dog will understand what your expectations are and can transform into a great running partner. And just think of the time you’ll save by killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. You won’t have to take the time to walk your dog in addition to running by yourself. So, here are some quick tips…
• Be Selfish! Take on the attitude that this is your run and it’s a privilege for your dog to come with you. So many of us get hung up on the fact that the dog wants to stop and sniff or pee on everything. Well, my answer to that is, too bad. Give your dog an opportunity to relieve himself at the beginning of the run and then again at the end, or middle. Other than that, the dog is only stopping because you are allowing him to.
• Position Decide what side of you your dog will run on and stick with it. It’s not only a hassle to have to switch the leash around every time your dog changes sides, but it’s dangerous as well.
• No Socializing Your dog may want to stop and say hi to every dog he sees, but he’ll figure out real quick that when you are running, he is not socializing. Just keep going as you pass other dogs. Often times it helps to cross the street to make the passing a little easier.
• Appropriate collars/harness You may decide to use something that gives you more control than you need for a regular walk with your dog. I have found that the gentle leaders, although take a while for the dog to get used to, provide the absolute most control when jogging with your dog. They do need to be fit properly.
The bottom line is this. You and your dog need exercise…doesn’t it make sense to do it together??? So, take the time to work with your dog on becoming a great running partner. I promise, you will notice an overall improvement in his behavior and it will be well worth it! Check out “Fido’s Forum” at http://www.unleashdogtraining.com/ to get more tips on running with your dog and to add some of your own experiences.
Unleashed Dog Training provides dog training/behavior services in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Cameron Park and the Greater Sacramento Area.