Are you an avid jogger and wondering how to train your dog to run with you? You might be surprised to learn that training a dog to run with you isn’t that difficult with persistence, positive reinforcement, and the right gear.
In this article, we will explore running with dogs. Jogging with dog companions is a fun way to share your love of sport with your furry friends.
Are you ready to take your fitness routine to the next level while spending quality time with your furry friend? Running with your dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both you and your trusted best friend.
Not only does it provide an opportunity for exercise and bonding, but it also allows your canine companion to release their energy and fulfill their natural instincts.
Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting, this guide will provide you with valuable tips and insights on how to run with your dog effectively and safely - plus, we will cover the must-have dog running gear.
Get ready to hit the pavement together and embark on an exciting journey of fitness and adventure like never before by jogging with your dog!
How to Train Your Dog to Run With You
Whether you are trail running with dogs, jogging with dogs, or you want to go running casually, running with a dog is a remarkable adventure and easy to learn. Let’s examine how to teach a dog to run with you.
Training a dog to run with you can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion. The best dogs to go running with are always your closest sidekicks.
Here are seven steps to help you get started:
1. Build up Fitness Gradually
Your dog is probably more couch potato versus a winning athlete if you haven’t been running before you train your dog to run with you, you‘ll want to ensure your dog is in good health with a trip to the vet.
When training a dog to run with you, gradually build their endurance through regular walks and shorter runs. Start with short distances and a slower pace, then gradually increase both as your dog's fitness level improves.
Check out our dog exercise calculator to get an idea of how much activity your dog needs every day.
2. Train Basic Commands
Before running with your dog, make sure your furry friend has a solid foundation in basic commands such as "sit," "stay," and "come." These commands will help you maintain control and ensure a safe running experience.
3. Introduce a Proper Leash and Equipment
Choose a comfortable, well-fitting dog harness or collar that provides better control and minimizes strain on your dog's neck. Consider using a hands-free waist leash or a leash designed specifically for running.
4. Practice Leash Walking
When learning how to train your dog to run, begin by practicing leash walking in a controlled environment. Teach your dog to walk calmly by your side on a loose leash. Use positive reinforcement, reward good behaviour, and redirect any pulling tendencies.
If you plan to practice off-leash running, make sure you stick to trails and parks that allow for off-leash dogs. Check out Recall Training for Dogs for tips on teaching good off-leash behaviours.
5. Use Positive Reinforcement
Reward your dog with praise, treats, or playtime for good behaviour during training and runs. Reinforce the desired behaviour and create positive associations when focusing on how to train a dog to run with you.
6. Start with Short Runs
Start with shorter running sessions to familiarize your dog with the rhythm and pace of running. Take it slow when focusing on how to teach your dog to run with you. You can gradually increase the distance and speed as your dog becomes more comfortable.
7. Maintain a Consistent Routine
Consistency is key. Stick to a regular running schedule to establish a routine for your dog. Dogs thrive on consistency and repetition, so maintaining a consistent running schedule will help them adapt and enjoy the activity.
Remember, every dog is unique, and the training process may vary. Be patient, stay positive, and adapt your approach based on your dog's individual needs and abilities. Enjoy the adventure of running with your dog and celebrate the progress you make together.
Benefits of Running with Dogs
Whether trail running with dogs or taking a simple jog, there are many benefits to learning how to teach a dog to run with you.
Running with dogs offers a multitude of emotional benefits that go beyond just physical exercise.
Here are the top advantages of hitting the pavement with your four-legged companion:
- Opportunity to Bond: Training a dog to run with you creates a strong bond between you and your dog. You not only enjoy the opportunity of sharing an activity, but you also get to spend quality time together, which will only deepen the relationship and trust between you and your furry friend.
- Physical Fitness: You want your furry friend to live a long and healthy life. When you jog with a dog, it helps maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular health, increases endurance, and builds overall strength and stamina for both of you.
- Mental Stimulation: Running engages not only the body but also the mind. It provides mental stimulation for your dog and allows them to explore new environments, encounters exciting smells, see sights, and listen to different stimulating sounds. With dogs, engaging their senses leads to a happier and more fulfilled canine companion.
- Behavioural Improvement: Regular exercise through running can help reduce behavioural issues in dogs. It helps channel their energy positively, reducing destructive behaviours such as chewing, digging, or excessive barking. Running also helps alleviate anxiety, restlessness, and pent-up energy, resulting in a calmer and more contented pooch.
- Socialization Opportunities: Running with your dog opens doors to socialization opportunities. It provides chances for your dog to interact with other dogs, people, and the environment. Take Fido to the dog parks, on running trails, and even to organized marathon events that welcome canine companions.
- Stress Relief: Running is an excellent stress-relieving activity for both you and your dog. It releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, reducing stress levels and promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being.
- Motivation and Accountability: Having a running partner in the form of your dog can be incredibly motivating. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, and their enthusiasm and eagerness to go for a run will keep you constantly inspired.
- Fun and Adventure: Running with your dog injects an element of excitement and adventure into your exercise routine. Together you become a team exploring trails, parks, and neighbourhoods together.
Best Dogs to Run With
The best dog to jog with depends on several factors, including the dog's size, breed, energy level, and overall health. While many dogs can make great jogging companions, some breeds are naturally more inclined to enjoy running with you.
You might think that the best running dog companion is a greyhound, but other breeds also make great choices. What dogs are good for running with?
- Labrador Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Australian Shepherd
- Border Collie
Some small dogs like running too! Terriers, like Cairn Terriers, are often the best dogs for running. Ultimately, the best dog to run with is your furry buddy - regardless of breed.
Check out our list of the 40 best dog breeds, including the best breeds for hiking and adventures.
Running With Two Dogs vs. One Dog
So, if you want to learn how to teach your dog to jog with you? However, you own more than one dog and don’t want your other furry friend to feel left out. Why not run with both dogs?
As we covered earlier, how to train a dog to jog with you is not difficult and teaching two or more dogs is also a breeze with persistence.
The first step is to pick out sturdy leashes. Now if you are wondering how to run with your dog on a leash if there is more than one, don’t worry.
When jogging with two dogs, you’ll need a double leash coupler (also called a leash splitter) so you can keep the dogs attached to a single leash for easy control. Each leash should be long enough to give each dog their own space to run with you comfortably.
Shop our huge selection of dog leashes and collars in Canada, so you have the right gear at your disposal.
When running with more than one dog, begin with short, controlled runs to allow the dogs to adapt to running alongside each other. This will help them get accustomed to the routine and build their endurance gradually.
Increase the distance and intensity of the run as both dogs become more comfortable and confident. Always try to match each dog’s energy levels to keep pace.
Stop frequently for hydration breaks for you and your pooch. When you first start running with your dog, it’s going to take time and practice for you both to get into your groove, and this is even more true if you are running with more than one dog at a time.
Remember to consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns about running with your dogs,
Best Gear When Training a Dog to Run with You
When it comes to running with your dog, having the right gear can make the experience more enjoyable and safer for both of you.
Here are some top gear recommendations available at Homesalive.ca:
Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Leash: Look, No Hands!
The Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Leash is a hands-free multipurpose leash system allowing you to run comfortably while securely attached to your dog. The leash serves as a hand-free or regular leash. You can even hitch to a tree if necessary.
The adjustable length of the leash is 12 feet. Dog running doesn't have to be complicated. With the Ruffwear Hitch Hiker Leash, your pup enjoys the freedom of movement, so you can both enjoy a run together.
Ruffwear SwitchBak Dog Harness
The Ruffwear SwitchBak Dog Harness is designed for active dogs and provides stability and support during your runs.
It features a comfortable and adjustable design, allowing for a secure fit with five adjustable points to customize the fit and support ease of movement with two leash attachment points. The reflective trim provides excellent visibility for jogs with dogs in low light.
Ruffwear Trail Runner Running Belt
The Ruffwear Trail Runner Running Belt is a lightweight and comfortable belt holster that allows you to carry essentials while running with your dog.
Carry essentials such as poop bags, cellphones, or keys. The bag has reflective accents for added visibility. The running belt lets you and your pup enjoy a hands-free belt.
Canada Pooch Hot Pavement Boots
Protect your dog's paws from hot pavement or rough terrains with the Canada Pooch Hot Pavement Boots. These boots provide traction and prevent burns or injuries so you and your furry friend can enjoy worry-free trail running with dogs.
Canada Pooch Utility Handsfree Dog Walking Belt
The Canada Pooch Utility Handsfree Dog Walking Belt is designed for hands-free walking or running with your dog. It features multiple pockets for storing essentials and an adjustable belt for a comfortable fit.
The walking belt features an extra-strength carabiner for easy, hands-free walking - attach the leash and head out with your furry friend.
RC Pets Horizon Hip Pack
The RC Pets Horizon Hip Pack is versatile and can be worn around your waist or across your body. It offers storage space for treats, waste bags, and personal items, making it convenient for your runs.
With two mesh pockets, you can hold up to 280 ML of water for you and your furry friend. The hip pack has a convenient quick release so you can safely detach from your pup in the event of an emergency.
Running With Dogs Do's and Don'ts
Running with dogs might seem straightforward, but it's best to be prepared and teach your dog to run with you the right way. Here are a few simple do's and don'ts for running with dogs:
Do: Start Slow
Even high-energy breeds need to build up their stamina and learn how to run with you safely. Practice short and steady jogs and work your way up to faster speeds and longer runs. This will help you recognize your dog's limits.
Don't: Assume All Dogs Can and Should Run
Not every dog is suited for running. Plenty of playful and energetic breeds may not be suited to running long distances. Dogs will short legs, dogs with health issues, and many giant and heavy breeds may struggle to run and could even injure themselves trying.
Here are a few breeds that may not be suited for running with you:
- Basset Hounds
It's also not recommended to run with puppies. While they are still growing, running can add additional stress to their hips and joints and could lead to injury.
Smaller dogs finish growing sooner, around 1 year, while bigger breeds will continue to grow past 18 months. Talk to your vet to find out when it's safe to start running with your pup.
Do: Set the Pace
You should be in control of your speed while running with dogs. If you let your dog guide your run, it will teach unwanted and unsafe behaviours. It's up to you to choose a pace that is neither too fast nor too slow.
Don't: Ignore the Signs
Your dog will show signs of tiring, overheating, and injury, so it's important that you keep an eye on your dog and watch for these signs. Some panting and drooling is normal, but your dog should show improvement when you take a break.
Be aware of your dog's speed too. If he starts to slow down or lag behind, it's a good time to take a break and hydrate.
Do: Check the Weather
Running is a great exercise for both you and your dog, but extreme temperatures can make running unsafe. If you take your dog running when it's hot and humid, they can dehydrate quickly. It's best to run at cooler times of day, like morning and evening.
At the same time, cold temperatures can be hazardous too. Your dog can suffer from frostbite without proper protective gear, like dog boots and a dog coat. Also, running on ice can lead to slips and falls that can cause serious injury.
Don't: Forget to Hydrate
Proper hydration is important for both you and your dog. Make sure you bring plenty of water and take breaks to hydrate frequently. Proper hydration will help to keep your dog cool even on a warm day.
Frequently Asked Questions About Running with Dogs
Can You Go Running with Big Dogs?
When running with big dogs, ensure the large animal is well-trained and responsive to the basic commands. Also, always use the proper equipment like a sturdy leash, harness, and collar.
Remember, although many big dogs may have more strength and endurance, rugged terrain can also affect the pet's joints, so you might opt for grass or softer surfaces. Running with big dogs is fun and not that much different than with small dogs.
Do Dogs Like Running?
You might be wondering, do dogs like running with you? Yes, many dogs enjoy running and find it to be a pleasurable activity. Running provides your furry friend with physical exercise, mental stimulation, and the opportunity to explore their surroundings. Dog running is a natural action. In fact, Canines are born athletes who enjoy burning pent-up energy in a good run beside their human companion.
What is the Best Dog to Jog With?
Some breeds are better suited to running and other high-energy activities. Labs, Vizslas, and Border Collies are a few dog breeds that enjoy running and require it to stay healthy and prevent bored behaviours.
What are the Best Leashes for Running with Dogs?
When it comes to choosing the best leash for running with dogs, there are a few options that offer convenience, control, and safety.
If you want to learn how to train a dog to jog with you, then you’ll need a proper leash. When choosing a leash, consider factors such as the size and strength of your dog, your running style, and the level of control you require.
- Hands-Free Leash: Worn around your waist or attached to an adjustable belt via a built-in leash attachment. It gives you freedom of movement.
- Bungee Leash: It's made of stretchable elastic that helps absorb any jerks or pulls to create a smoother running experience.
- Retractable Leashes: extend outward and feature a locking mechanism so you can control the leash’s length.
- Long Leash or Recall Leash: measures 10 to 30 feet and allows your dog to roam.
Should I Use a Harness When Running with Dogs?
Harnesses are an excellent tool for not only keeping your dog safe and close on a run, but they are also safer for your dog's neck. Collars can cause damage to your dog's neck it they stop abruptly or lunge. Harnesses can also act as a handle to assist your dog over rougher terrain.
How Far Can I Run with My Dog?
The distance you can run with your dog depends on various things, such as the dog's breed, age, health, fitness level and physical capabilities. Some dogs have greater endurance to cover long distances.
A high-energy dog breed can often run five miles or more once the animal has been carefully conditioned.
How to Run With a Dog That Pulls?
Running with a dog that pulls on the leash can be challenging, but with some training and techniques, you can improve their behaviour and make the running experience more enjoyable.
The first step is to focus on leash training. You might want to enroll your pooch in an obedience class. Also, consider investing in a no-pull harness or front clip harness, which discourages pulling.