If you own a dog and are into your fitness, jogging with your dog can be a match made in heaven. It seems the main problem people face is that their dog does not jog with them. It may refuse to jog, try to go in its own direction or bite the lead you are using. In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get your dog to jog with you.
Not only will these tips and tricks help you and your dog stay healthy, they will also help you bond with your dog during your jogging sessions.
How To Get Your Dog To Jog With You
Looking into how to make your dog a jogging partner for you can present a number of different ways to get your dog to jog with you. As with most things, it tends to be better to keep it as simple as possible.
The Health Of Your Dog
The first thing to do is make sure that your dog is healthy enough to jog with you. Take into account any injuries you are aware of in your dog no matter how small. Initially, your dog may be excited to get outside with their owner for a jog only for their injuries to start to show halfway through the jogging session.
Similar to humans, as your dog ages its ability to run or jog long distances will also gradually be reduced. Keep in mind that the effects of aging in humans that may take twenty years to show can take effect in as little as three years in your dog.
Hip dysplasia is a relatively common problem in larger dogs as they get older. This can severely affect their ability to run or jog even short distances. Intervertebral disc disease is another common problem that comes with ages in many long and short dog breeds such as dachshunds. Similar to his dysplasia, it usually severely effects your dog’s ability to run or jog. Although not as common, wobbler disease can affect very large dog breeds such as Great Danes.
The Breed Of Your Dog
When it comes to running or jogging, not all dogs have been created equally. The Brachycephalic breeds that have short stubby snouts usually have a much tougher time with running. They have a harder time breathing and keeping the pace while out on your jogs and this can lead to unneeded stress. Here are some of the most common Brachycephalic breeds:-
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Bull Mastiffs
- Chow Chows
Keep in mind that due to their shorter snouts, these dog breeds will also struggle to cool themselves down via panting. This often leads to overheating meaning they are not ideal breeds to jog in hotter climates.
Make Sure Your Dogs Equipment Fits
If you are planning on running with a dog leash or running with dog harness it is important that you ensure it fits correctly. It is also recommended that you run or jog using a high-quality dog harness rather than a collar. This is due to collars putting pressure on your dog’s throat and affecting their breathing while running.
Either way, you should be able to comfortably fit a finger between your dog’s skin and the harness or collar. This ensures the equipment will be comfortable enough for your dog to run in without undue friction.
Condition Your Dog
Most dog breeds will require a conditioning period to help them gradually gain the required endurance for jogging. The easiest way to do this is to either add short bursts of jogging to their walks but ensure they are initially no longer than one minute each.
Another strategy is to take your dog to an open field or beach and play fetch with it to get it used to jogging. It is important to note that some dog breeds are harder to play fetch with than others. Choosing the correct toy for your breed will also come into play when wanting to get your dog interested in playing. We recently published this article on how to get your dog to play with toys that may help with this.
It is important that you do not rush the conditioning process, especially if your dog is not used to running or jogging. Be sure to work at your dog’s pace to help reduce the risk of any injuries and let your dogs body adjust.
Teach Your Dog Running Ques
Although this is not necessary if your dog enjoys running, it can help if you have a stubborn dog. Approach this as you would with any other dog training. Use positive reinforcement and be patient for your dog to get used to the new system.
Some people choose to use a dog clicker as the ques while some people choose verbal commands. A single click on the dog clicker or the verbal command “time to run” can be used to get your dog ready to increase speed. A double-click on the dog clicker or the verbal command “time to walk” can be used to get your dog ready to reduce its speed.
This has proven useful if you run in a town or city where you need to stop jogging due to roads and other dangers. Many dog owners have found running with a treat pouch full of their dog’s favorite treats can help keep their dog interested in the run.
Plan For Distractions
This is without a doubt one of the most common problems we see in new dog runners. The world is a wonderful place for your dog full of distractions be it other dogs, random objects blowing in the wind or other people.
No matter where you choose to jog with your dog there is a large chance there will be some form of distraction. Some people turn to the trusty dog clicker or verbal command and treat combo to keep their dogs attention. No matter what you choose, it is better to have a plan for when distractions arise rather than try to just wing it.
Remember Walk And Water Breaks
Many dog breeds are not suited to running or jogging for extended periods of time. Even a simple ten-minute jog can be taxing for some of the smaller or medium sized breeds. It is essential you remember to have walk breaks during your jogging sessions to help your dog catch its breath.
Another thing often overlooked is that dogs cool down in a completely different way to humans. They tend to rely on excessive panting and slight sweating via their paws to transfer heat away from their bodies. Proper hydration not only assists with this process but also helps keep your dog cool during the run.
It is highly recommended that you take some form of collapsible water bowl with your on your runs, especially if you are planning to run for extended periods of time. Try to stop for a water break at least once every 20 minutes. Some dog breeds will be able to run for longer periods of time so be sure to test and adjust this with your dog.
Always Clean Up After Your Dog
While out on your run your dog may need to do its business. Be a responsible dog owner and be prepared for this. There are various lightweight products on the market such as mutt mitts than you can take running with you to help with the cleanup.
Cleaning up after your dog helps keeps your community cleaner and also offers your dog a little break from the running. The vast majority of towns and cities have now implemented fining systems where you may be fined a fixed penalty if an official catches you not cleaning up after your dog. In our opinion, it’s just not worth the risk.
The Best Equipment To Go Jogging With Your Dog
Although it is not essential to have the best dog running gear on the market, the below more cost efficient items can help both you and your dog have a more enjoyable experience when out running.
The Best Dog Running Harness
When it comes to the best dog running harness, we always recommend the Ruffwear Adventure Harness. It is definitely one of the market leaders when it comes to anti-pull running harnesses for dogs and has built an avid user base. At the time of writing it has over 3800 positive reviews from dog owners on Amazon.
It is available in a number of different colors for those fashion conscious dog owners who love to jog as well as a number of different sizes to ensure there is something available for all dog breeds.
It is an excellent harness for dogs who pull when running or jogging as it will never restrict their airway. The chest and belly supports are heavily padded to reduce the chance of excessive friction or pain when in use. The harness has been designed to be as easy as possible to fit your dog. Simply slip it over your dogs head and then fasten or tighten the side buckles as required.
The Best Hands Free Dog Lead For Running
When it comes to the Best Dog Running Belt we always recommend the Tuff Mutt Hands-Free Dog Leash. It has quickly established itself as one a leading dog running leash with over 1150 positive reviews from dog owners on Amazon at the time of writing.
The belts easy glide technology sets it apart from the competition by being able to slide around the belt. This allows your dog to move easily, where it pleases when you are out running. The leash is 48 inches long allowing for plenty of room for your dog to run ahead or you if it chooses.
The dog leash has two built-in handles at two different locations. These have been strategically placed to allow you to quickly and easily get control of your dog if required. This allows you to get your dog away from danger or correct its running patch without losing your stride.
The belt also has a built-in bungee cord that allows the leash to extend up to 60 inches if required. This helps reduce any pulling tension on your dog as well as discourage your dog from pulling away from you.
The Benefits Of Running With Your Dog
Your Dog Is Always Motivated
Unlike you, there is a high chance that your dog is always up for getting out for a run. Over time, your dog will become used to these runs and expect them as part of its regular routine. This can help you stay motivated as your dog will pester you and try to get out for its run.
It goes without saying that both jogging and running offer a bunch of health benefits for both you and your dog. A healthy dog lives longer extending the amount of time you have with your four-legged friends.
A Chance For Bonding
Taking your dog for a jog can be an excellent bonding opportunity for you. It strengthens your relationship and is an easy way for you to increase the amount of time you spend with your dog. Although it should not be your primary reason for taking your dog out jogging, we know a few people who use it as a way to score points with their dog over their partner.
Depending on your dog breed, it can also act as a security guard while out running. There arnt many criminals who will try anything against a full set of teeth in a powerful set of jaws with four legs.