Running with dog is a popular leisure activity for two- and four-legged friends. But is jogging good for dogs? Which dog can I run with and how long? How do I get my dog used to running? You can find out all this and more here.
Pros and cons of running with a dog
– Relationship with you is strengthened.
– Dog can work off his energy.
– More motivation for sport.
– Time out from everyday life together.
– Muscle development and mobility.
– Mindfulness is trained.
– Preparation and training.
– Often more planning necessary (less spontaneous).
– Adapting to the dog (making compromises).
– Being mindful and keeping an eye on the dog.
– Interruptions when dog stops or pulls (flow interrupted).
– Bring more equipment.
Which dogs are suitable for running?
If you want to exercise with your dog, he should be fully grown and healthy. As a rule, you can start exercising with your young dog from about one year of age. Puppies, seniors or sick dogs should “only” go for walks that you can make exciting.
Also, some breeds are more suitable than others. For example, dogs with long legs, long muzzles and athletic builds are more suitable than dogs with long backs, short legs, joint diseases and brachycephalic breeds.
Running must be fun for your dog. Just because he is suited to it doesn’t mean your dog will enjoy it. He may enjoy another sport more.
Is jogging good for dogs?
In principle, running is good for fit dogs. It’s best to have your dog checked out by a vet beforehand to see if endurance sports make sense for him. However, be careful not to overdo it and to adapt to your four-legged friend.
However, jogging is no substitute for a walk! It lacks the necessary time and peace and quiet to sniff, explore, play, etc.
What equipment do I need to run with a dog?
– A leash at least 2.5m long (ideally with shock absorption).
– Reflectors/lights for dusk and night runs.
– A belly strap if you want to have your hands free.
– Water, for longer distances.
– Treats to reward your dog or verbal praise.
– At least two poop bags.
How do I get my dog used to jogging?
Start slowly and increase gradually. Start with short laps and slowly increase the pace and distance. This way the dog can get used to it and build up his condition. Some dogs are good at running alongside, others need to get used to it. Praise your dog when it runs well alongside you.
Your four-legged friend should know signals such as “with me”, “go on” etc. so that walking together is relaxed. If your dog is not familiar with a chest harness, this must also be practised beforehand. Getting used to the chest harness.
How do I start running with my dog?
Let your pet do its business first. A good way to do this is during the warm-up phase, when you go for a walk to warm up the muscles. This minimises the risk of injury.
Then give your dog the signal “on me” and slowly pick up speed. It is important to find the ideal pace that works well for both of you.
How often can the dog run?
Take at least one day off between runs. This allows the body to regenerate.
What do I have to watch out for when jogging with a dog?
– Excessive demands: Adapt the run to your dog. If he shows signs of stress or exhaustion, please stop. Signals of this can be: heavy panting, stopping, limping, slowing down, pale mucous membranes, far-retracted lips, etc.
– Surface: Asphalt can get very hot in the summer and cause injuries to the paws, also road salt etc. can damage the paws. Choose a comfortable surface and check the paws for injuries. Soft surfaces, such as forest or field paths, are ideal to protect the joints.
– Food: No large meals should be eaten shortly before exercise to prevent stomach upset, nausea and circulatory problems.
– Temperature: If it is too hot or too cold outside, move the running session to another time of day and make sure your dog is comfortable.
– Pace: Your dog should run at a trot. If he has to gallop, you are going too fast.
– Encounters: If you encounter other dogs or people, please give them a wide berth. Walking quickly towards each other from the front is unfriendly behaviour for dogs and can lead to stress. If your dog has no possibility to avoid, he may start barking or jumping at oncoming dogs in order to get more distance.
How do I finish the run?
When you cool down, take it easy and go for a walk for a few minutes to come down. Keep an eye on your dog afterwards, as he can also get sore muscles. If your dog is acting strangely or is in pain, please see a vet.
Running with your dog is a great pastime. However, it requires planning and training to make it fun and healthy for your dog. With a little consideration, you and your dog will soon become great training partners. Have fun jogging.