Comfortable spring temperatures entice us outside and awaken a desire for movement. Those who own a dog might like to take him along as a jogging companion. However, although both owner and dog have an urge to exercise, jogging together doesn’t always work so well. The experts from Maxi Zoo explain why it doesn’t work and how six or more legs can jog happily together.
On with the lead, get set, GO!
This hardly ever works. Either the dog wants to sniff around and stay in one place or he wants to run away from you and let off steam. In addition to this the sudden movements and tugging on the lead makes you quickly lose the desire to jog. If you leave your four-legged companion to run on his own you can’t just think about yourself when jogging, you also have to look around with an eye out for your dog and call him every now and then. While he is scampering around all over the place, his owner is already worn out…
Learning to jog together
Owner and dog have to get used to running together. For the dog this means learning to concentrate on running and obeying you. Therefore it is best to build up the training. This means jogging just a little bit during the first training sessions (1 – 2 minutes) then take the lead off and let him do what he wants. Do this for about half an hour, alternating between the two. While jogging keep your dog on the lead and keep his attention focused on you. In the free run phase allow him to explore and do his business. After the first few training days extend the jogging phase by a minute until you can run for an entire 30 minutes with your dog at your side.
Jogging with leads
Many dog joggers allow their four-legged friend a few minutes run around before they begin running. If the animal is used to this he will run along side on a mid-length lead or to heel. There are also special jogging leads which are fastened to your leg or around your waist. With this you have both hands free for rhythmical jogging. Make sure the lead has an integrated elastic strap to cushion sudden jerks. If your dog is to run to heel it will only work well if he understands your commands and remains on your right hand side.
- The dog is either too old or too young, another does not have enough stamina and a third can not be expected to go for on mile long runs. Very small breeds such as Yorkshire terriers and very large ones such as Newfoundlands or St. Bernards are not suitable as jogging partners. It’s best to ask a vet, whether your dog can jog with you and if so, for how long.
- Try not to jog on tarmac. Forrest paths are best for your dog’s paws and for the joints of both of you.
- Do not feed your dog directly before or after the run.
- Do not overestimate your run. You need enough breath to give your dog commands.
- Even your dog can get worn out. Keep him in sight and if necessary allow your pace to match his.
- Avoid the midday heat in summer and go running in the early mornings or evenings.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.