Meet the new man in my life, he has gorgeous golden fur, does what I tell him to do, looks at me with adoring brown eyes, doesn’t answer back. And now he’s been co-opted as my running buddy. Meet Lucius or Mr L, our one-year-old rescue dog we adopted here in Paris. Mr L has been accompanying me on my runs, he’s an awesome and enthusiastic running buddy, so long as he can, every now and then, stop for a wee, poo or a sniff. If you have a dog that could make a canine running buddy, here are a few tips to get you started running with your dog.
1. Make sure your dog is capable of running
Not all breeds are built for running, be sensible, a chihuahua is probably not best cut out for running. If you’re not sure if your dog’s breed is up to coping with a run, talk to your vet.
2. Introduce your dog to running slowly
Don’t drag your canine running buddy out on a 10k on their first run with you. Build up slowly, and take your running cues from your dog, if your dog is tired stop and walk. With Mr L, we started with short runs to our local park and we have built up slowly to a 5K distance.
3. I let Mr L stop, sniff and check out other dogs
Our excursions out are just as much for Mr L as they are for me, so I do let him use his natural instincts to sniff lamp posts and say hello to other dogs when we are out.
4. Do remember to carry water for your dog as well as yourself
Running is thirsty work, your dog will welcome some hydration during a longer run, and especially when it’s hot.
5. Make sure you have a good strong leash and harness
With Mr L, I use a strong leather leash, hooked to a short length and this is attached to his harness. It helps me to stay in control of him. You can buy special dog running kits, take a peak here. I haven’t used these so I can’t offer any recommendations. The leash and harness work for us.
6. Mind your terrain
It goes without saying you need to be mindful of your dog’s paws so keep an eye out for dangerous objects when your running – broken glass and other sharp objects.
7. Dogs get sore too
Even though Mr L has a lot of energy and loves running, there are some days when he’s just not into having a run, and it’s more of walk, jog, run, walk kind of run. That’s OK. At least we’re out!
8. Stay in control
Don’t let your dog pull you. I run with Mr L at my side with a bit of slack in the leash. He needs to know I am in control.
9. Remember your poop bags
Always remember to scoop the poop!
10. And enjoy!
Running needs to be fun for both you and your dog!