My workouts have been different the last couple weeks. Life and work have been abnormally busy. Buckling down for a super intense strength workout has been hard to prepare for mentally. I’ve still been working out daily, just getting my fitness on in a different way. Lots of my workouts have been walks with Barkley, followed by light or body weight strength. Or sometimes none at all.
My favorite workouts the last couple weeks have been early morning runs with Barkley. I’ve been trying to go distraction free a little bit, ditching my polar and head phones at home. Still using GPS, because I’m a science nerd and I like to have some numbers. 🙂 It’s easy for me to run without music with Barkley because he tends to keep me entertained.
Most of our runs aren’t too far, and are followed by 1-2 miles of walking. Since this is most of what I’ve been doing lately, I decided to share a few tips for getting started and running with your pup!
- Use a leash/collar that gives you control of your dog. The first leash we ever used was the gentle leader. That didn’t work at all for him. The prong collar seems to work pretty well, he doesn’t pull as much, and doesn’t try to knock it off like the gentle leader. I’d suggest trying a couple to see what works best. I’ve heard gentle leader work wonders for some, and harnesses to work great for others.
- Start slow. Just like you, your dog won’t be able to run for miles the first time he or she is out to run. Start with a mile or less and work your way up from there. If he or she starts falling behind before your run is over, or is panting heavier than normal, slow down to a walk.
- It helps to know characteristics of their breed, whether they are generally fast or slow runners.
- You can also wear out their paws if they run too far before they are ready for it on sidewalks.
- Bring water if needed. I have never run more than 4-5 miles with Barkley, and he seems to do great up to that point. If I ran any farther or it was mid-summer, I would bring along some water for him.
- Beware of hot side walks or rocks. I try to avoid all rough patches of road so B doesn’t get a cut on his paws. I don’t ever run him mid-afternoon or early evening in Texas in the summer. Side walks are way too hot and will burn his little paws!
- Carry treats to train your dog not to want to play (or fight) with other dogs while you’re running. We learned this from watching The Dog Whisperer and are trying to put this in action. When you approach another dog and owner coming down the side walk, distract them by having them look at you with a treat if they pass the other dog on the sidewalk without barking/pulling/jumping/getting a freaky mohawk. Eventually, your dog can be trained to pass other dogs on the sidewalk with ease. This tends to be more of a problem while we’re walking, not running, though.
- Be prepared for bathroom breaks. No home owner likes to see evidence that you passed through the area!
- Be consistent. When waiting for cars to cross the street, Barkley is trained to sit down. That way he won’t be as tempted to pull us into the middle of the road. He is also now trained to run across the street, which was unintentional training! Even when we’re on walks, he wants to dart across the street because that’s what he’s used to. Something to think about!