Running With Dogs

Four years ago this month, this dude came into my life.

My partner and I accidentally adopted a rescue dog. I say accidentally as we weren’t planning on falling in love with this tiny, scruffy terrier at Calican Rescue’s charity barbecue. After we found a new apartment (as we were living in a not so dog friendly one, JeffBridges came home with us.

We quickly learned that our little mutt was high energy- a mini-nuclear explosion in furball form. We should have been more prepared, seeing as the rescue founders regaled us with tales of him attempting to jump fences while en route to Canada. To harness our pupper’s energy, we decided to bring him along on our runs.

Our pup is more of sprinter than a long distance runner. He struggles with pacing (just like his mom) and wants to gallop at full tilt. We are slowly learning to meet in the middle – I am picking up the pace a bit and he is learning that his four legs are far speedier than my two will ever be.

After four years of running with my dog, I have come up with my four favourite tips to help you and your dog

Invest in a running leash
This handy device has changed the game for both me and my dog. It clips easily around my waist – leaving my hands free for water. I never need to worry about letting go of the leash and having my dog trot off on his own. It leaves him with enough slack to run ahead of me (as he typically does).

Run prepared
Bring enough water for the both of you. Bring a pop up bowl for your pup if needed. My dog will lap water out of my hand, so this isn’t a necessity for me. Bring poop bags – I typically bring 2 or 3 with me. You don’t want to be that person that doesn’t pick up after your pooch cause you only brought one bag, but you also don’t want to be carrying around a bag of turds on your run either.

Be patient
When I head out with my dog, I know that it will never be my speediest time. My dog will inevitably want to pee on everything, take at least two poops, bark at other dogs, sniff everything in site, and be curious about the mailman. I typically take him out on my easier runs. I think the time we spend pounding pavement together and seeing his smiling face when we pick up the pace is more important than any personal record.

Ease your dog into running
This is by far the biggest tip I can give you. My pup is getting better at pacing, but I swear he would gallop at full tilt until he collapsed if given the chance. We take rest breaks – to drink some water and hang out in the shade on hot days. I give him breaks to sniff and pee. Start out with a couple of kilometres and see how your furry friend fares. My dog could easily run more than 5k, but I don’t want to push him.

Do you run with your dog? Please share any of your tips with me.

Also, please share pictures of your pup (post em below), so I can squee about how adorable their little faces are.

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