Outdoor dog specialists share their top three tips for running with your dog

Outdoor dog specialists share their top three tips for running with your dog

For Global Running Day (Wednesday 7th June), the outdoor dog specialists at Ruffwear have provided their top tips for running with your dog, as well as a running training plan that you can follow to learn how to run with your trail-blazing companion.

  1. Practice your set-up before running with it

Using a running set-up with your dog's lead and harness can be a bit unusual at first, so make sure you practice a couple of times before your first run. There are several options for how to set this up:

Hands-free: you can have your dog’s lead around your waist and clipped to the back of their harness, meaning you don’t need to hold their lead for the entire length of the run. This is great for being able to use your arms to keep up your momentum and allows you to have them at a distance suitable for both of you (depending on the length of the lead).

Holding the lead: if having a lead around your waist is uncomfortable and you find that your dog doesn’t respond well to direction, it may be helpful to hold their lead for the first couple of runs. You can assist your dog to stay by your side and help with directions  

  1. Golden rule - run your dog’s run

It’s really important to realise that running side by side or tied together might be unusual for some dogs, and it can take them a while to get used to it. Dogs also like to take regular pee and toilet breaks, as well as plenty of sniffs along the way, so it’s vital that you honour your dog’s behaviour when on a run together. 

Running your dog’s run also means learning your dog’s desire for running, as well as your own. Ruffwear encourages you to run together and take opportunities for your dog to rest, especially if you’re looking to increase mileage. Variety is a pro’s hack to keeping running enjoyable for both of you.

  1. Check for signs from your dog

Every dog is different, and not all will want to go for runs. It’s important to realise that’s okay! Does your dog join you at the door when you’re putting on your shoes, or do they lay in their bed and not want to get up? Do they move around fluidly or are they a bit stiff when they first stand up and take a few steps? If they lean towards the latter on either of those, then it might be time for a solo run for you and rest day for them. 

Ruffwear recommends not going out for runs with your dog until they are fully grown and developed, as running is a high-intensity exercise. Check with your vet for guidance on your dog’s specific needs.

A four-week training plan for running up to 5k with your dog

It can be daunting to know where to start or how to build up to runs with your dog, so Ruffwear has provided a 4-week training plan you can follow to build up to a 5-kilometre run with your four-legged friend. 

By planning in four days of exercise a week, you can gradually build both your own and your dog's stamina up to go for longer runs, and you can work out what works best for the both of you.

Outdoor activities with our dogs are rapidly rising in popularity 

Doing outdoor activities with our dogs is becoming hugely popular, especially as we come into summer. The hashtag #runningwithdogs has 10 million views and counting on TikTok, with users posting their runs and showing how increasingly popular running with our dogs is becoming. There have also been 3000 Google searches for ‘running with dogs’ in the last month as dog owners are searching on how to do it for themselves. 

Images courtesy of Ruffwear

Alessandra Pacelli

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