Dogs love to run. Whether they're big, small, poodle, or lab, chasing a ball around the yard is something almost every dog likes to do. But not all dogs can keep up with their master – and for a number of breeds, it's ill-advised to take your dog on a long run, even if you take it slow. When looking for a best friend who can double as a running partner, follow these seven rules.
1. Pick a Running Breed
If you pick the right breed, a dog can run with you for most of its life. But some dogs just won't be able to keep us – like an English Bulldog. Here's a short list of the best running dogs
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Pit Bull
- Jack Russel
- Golden Retriever
- Border Collies
2. Respect Your Dog's Age
A Shepherd will likely be able to run for the entirety of his life, but like any creature – humans included – he'll slow down in his old age. As your dog ages, cut down on their workout times, speed, and distance when out for a run.
3. Look for Signs of Fatigue
Many fit dogs are able to run up to 15 miles or more, but as an owner you should be able to determine what your dog can or can't do in terms of physical limitations. A dog will push themselves to the brink if they are having fun and there are not many signs of fatigue. If your dog excessively pants and drools, or becomes lethargic and refuses to run, then you should call it a day.
4. Ask Your Vet About Breed-Specific Health Concerns
Many breeds, like pure-bred Labradors, have long histories of joint problems. Ask your vet about preventative supplements, such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin, which can be administered to ensure a dog's joints can withstand the pounding on the pavement. If you're lucky enough to live near a beach then great. Just as running on sand is easier on the joints for humans, the same goes for our furry friends.
5. Take Breaks on the Run
When running be sure to stop every so often to give the dog some time to urinate and cool off. Additionally, be sure to bring some water to prevent the dog from becoming dehydrated. You can tell if a dog is dehydrated by pressing a finger to their gums. When you press, the pink color will turn to white, if the pink hue doesn't return within a second or two its time to stop running and give him some water.
6. A Tired Dog Is a Better Behaved Dog
Not only will running with your dog promote a healthier lifestyle, but it is a good way to stimulate/exhaust them because a tired dog is going to be a much better behaved dog.
7. Get a Hands-Free Leash
Many cities and states have leash laws when it comes to dogs, but running with a leash in your hands can be cumbersome. Try a hands-free, waist leash like the Ollydog Mt. Tam that will allow the run to be that much more enjoyable.