Jogging with dog: these 8 tips you should know
Are you thinking about going jogging with your dog? Or are you even planning to get a four-legged friend for endurance sports together?
A good decision: You'll have a highly motivated running partner at your side in wind and weather.
However, your companion's needs take precedence over your running goals! With our easy-to-implement pro tips, jogging will be fun for both of you.
Why dogs are the perfect training partners
Running is not always fun. Sometimes the inner pig wins. We are usually not at a loss for excuses: bad weather, bad sleep, bad timing...
It's a different story with a dog by your side. As soon as you put on your running shoes, your four-legged running partner runs excitedly to the door. He can hardly wait to jog with you through the woods and fields.
That is pure motivation!
Dogs love exercise. They enjoy spending time with you and they love being out in the fresh air. Most four-legged friends will accompany you on long distances without any problems after a certain training period. This is not only fun for the animals, it keeps them physically fit.
An added bonus: When you're out with your dog on a regular basis, you strengthen your bond.
However, not all breeds of dogs are suitable for endurance sports.
These dog breeds are not suitable for running
- One Pug, a Pekinese, a Bulldog or a Boxer you should not take with you for a jog. Through their shortened nose their breathing is more difficult: they do not get enough air when walking. Even walks at normal speed are often a strain for these dogs.
- Also for the short-legged Dachshund running is not an optimal activity. Their long body makes them vulnerable to Back problems. Short (!) distances at a leisurely pace are possible in good health.
- The large, cozy Saint Bernard are naturally sluggish. Because of their corpulence, they feel more comfortable taking quiet walks than jogging.
Ideal dogs for runners
Large, active dogs with long legs are best suited as running partners. It is important that your four-legged friend is healthy. Physically, there should be no restrictions.
Here applies: It's best to have a comprehensive health check at the vet before running!
The following dogs are suitable companions for endurance athletes:
- Australian Sheperds (Australian Shepherd Dogs)
- Border Collies
- Golden Retriever
- Greyhounds etc.
What requirements should my dog meet?
The most important question is whether your dog is suitable as a running partner. On the one hand it depends on the Dog breed an. On the other hand, the Age of your quadruped and his physical condition play an important role.
For How to Stop Puppies running is still too strenuous. This is true regardless of their breed. Wait to jog together until their muscles are fully developed and bone growth is complete.
So your four-legged personal trainer should be at least one year old.
A dog in its middle years is best suited as a companion. Is your four-legged friend overweight? Then you should take the training especially slowly.
With age, your dog's performance decreases. Make sure that you do not overload him with the length of the routes.
Dog Seniors often still like to move. But the training intensity, duration and distance should be adapted to the age and health of your pet. It is best to consult your veterinarian!
What is also important: your dog should know the basic commands and how to walk at heel with a leash.
When you should interrupt or even stop running
Keep an eye on your four-legged friend as he walks. Is he panting evenly? Is he enthusiastic about what he's doing? Then everything is fine.
His mucous membranes and tongue should have a pink color. However, if you notice that his tongue and gums look pale or possibly turn bluish, take a break. This also applies if your dog coughs, gets tired or shows signs of exhaustion.
If in doubt, stop the run and talk to your vet.
Preparation: These 7 precautions you should take
Running together on soft surfaces such as forest and field paths is ideal. It's easy on your joints, too! With luck, you'll be relatively alone. You're oxygenating, moving, and enjoying your togetherness. Wonderful!
In summer, the early morning hours or the later evening hours are ideal for sports activities. It should not be too hot.
You should still take a few preparatory steps for your dog before you go.
1. protection from ticks
Bushes and forest edges are Ticks-Hotspots. Remember to protect your four-legged friend from these parasites in good time. This will ensure that he does not bring home any unpleasant guests from your trip to the forest.
Your dog has white fur? Sunscreen prevents him from getting sunburned on unprotected skin areas like the ears. Apply a thin layer of sunscreen to these areas about 20 minutes before your run.
Exercise makes you thirsty. It's best to take a water bottle to strap on. You can find variants with an integrated silicone cup in stores. Your four-legged friend can sip from it during a break in the run. In this way, you can refresh yourselves from time to time along the way.
At dusk, there is a risk of being overlooked while running. Equip yourself and your four-legged companion with reflectors. For this there are Glow-in-the-Dark Chest Harnesses and leashes. They have reflectors that charge in the sun and glow in the dark.
A Headlamp makes sure you see what's in front of you.
6. for emergency
To be able to react quickly in the event of an accident, you should have a First aid kit and carry your cell phone. Be sure to save the number of your family veterinarian and the veterinary clinic.
7. feces bag
Dispose of your four-legged friend's droppings. Dispose of the Bag properly and do not throw them into nature (they do not rot).
Jogging equipment: Why a chest harness is better
For jogging are suitable padded chest harness and a special jogging leash better for your dog than a collar with "normal" leash.
There is a simple reason for this: Jerky tearing, such as when changing direction, can cause compression of the cervical spine.
A jogging leash is lang and elastic. It gives your dog more freedom of movement. This avoids injuries.
Also positive: You attach the leash comfortably to your waist belt. This allows you to keep your hands free while running. In addition, you can store your water bottle, tissues and other small items in this belt or attach to it.
Your dog follows you to the letter? It may be possible to let him run without a leash from time to time. Be sure to observe the regulations that apply in your state!
Go running: 8 tips for you and your dog
That's how it starts with the joint training:
1. do not start immediately after eating
After feeding, you should wait at least two hours before you leave for a run. Your dog needs this time to digest the food. This will reduce the risk of gastric distress, which can be life-threatening. That's why you should also be sparing with treats on the road.
2. warm up
Before you start training, you should warm up. This prevents injuries. Not only your muscles, but also those of your four-legged friend need time to adjust to the upcoming effort. For example, you can repeat the commands "sit", "down" and "give paw" with your dog.
3. check chest harness and leash
Check one last time that your dog's chest harness fits snugly. Check that the leash is securely fastened from the harness to your belly strap. Fill up your water bottle. Remember your first aid kit, tissues and cell phone.
4. choose short, simple routes
Keep the stretches short the first time. Ten minutes is a good time for beginners. Choose paths that are as wide as possible and easy routes so you can walk side by side. Your dog may want to stop and sniff now and then. He knows this from your walks.
Just put in a few minutes of walking in between, run in place, or use the time to stretch.
5. adapt to the fitness level of the dog
How fast and how far your dog runs depends on his fitness level and his "trotting speed". It's best to adapt to him. Is your dog slim and eager to run, but untrained? Then gradually increase the length of your run together.
6. react patiently when mistakes are made
It is important not to overtax your four-legged friend. It takes a little time for you to get used to each other. Praise your dog when he does something well. Mistakes are not so important. The more fun he has, the better the running together will work out. Be patient with your companion and enjoy your time together.
7. take breaks
Don't forget the breaks. Especially in summer, you should plan drinking breaks in shady places and give your four-legged friend some rest every now and then. Fresh water sources are ideal to refill the bottle immediately.
8. do not forget paw care
Asphalt and gravel roads with pointed Pebbles are not an optimal surface for dogs. In the Summer heat there is a risk that your dog will burn his paws on the street. Check your dog's paws after the run.
If it gets sore, you should apply a nourishing cream or deer tallow ointment. You can massage it before, during and after training.
If you go through the winter with your dog Road salt If you are running, the subsequent paw care is also a must: Wash the paws in lukewarm water. Also remember the areas between the toes. Be sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards!
My conclusion & closing
Running with a dog is a lot of fun if you take it slow. The fun of the movement should be in the foreground.
Do you like to go jogging with your dog or do you plan to do so? Then we would like to know your experience and opinion. Feel free to write it in the comments below.