How to Determine if your Dog is the Right Dog for Running

Some Breeds of Dogs are Great Running Companions

If you are a diehard runner or jogger and want the companionship of a dog when you
exercise, then some dogs will fit the bill nicley, especially if they are highly
energetic.

Dogs that like to run include Terriers, Vizslas, Weimaraners, and Rhodesian
Ridgebacks. Also, some mixed breeds are competent runners as well. Again, if they
exhibit a good deal of energy or are built for running, then you'll enjoy the times you
spend running with your pet.

Some Dogs Aren't Built for Running

Basically, if your dog has the capacity to walk a great distance, he's not going to have too much trouble running too. However, not every canine is built to run, so don't force the activity on such dogs as Bulldogs, Pugs, Rottweilers or Great Danes. That's because Bulldogs and Pugs have short, flat snouts which makes it harder for them to breathe while Rottweilers and Great Danes age faster than other dogs. Therefore, the exercise can be quite stressful on their joints.

Check your Dog's Health before your Run with Him

So, before you decide to take your dog out with you when you run, it's a good idea to speak to your veterinarian first to see if this kind of exercise is safe for your canine friend. After all, he may be considered too heavy to run or may have another health issue that prevents him from engaging in a running regimen. Even a new pup may not be a good candidate even though he may exude a good deal of energy. That's because a younger dog is still in the developmental stages of life. So, it may be better to walk with him or follow an exercise routine that combines walking with a few brief sprints.

Your Dog should Run at your Side - Not Pull Ahead of You on the Leash

If you do choose to run with your dog, you really won't have to train him if you already take him out for walks and he stays at your side when he is on the leash. He should never pull ahead of you while he is on the leash.

Starting Out

When beginning a running program then, you'll need to run at a slower pace until your dog can keep pace. For instance, if you generally run three miles each day, don't start off by thinking that your dog can match that mileage in the beginning. Better to jog at first so your canine companion can easily accompany you. Stay at this level and build on the distance and speed as your dog gains confidence.

Stop for Water Breaks every Half Mile

Therefore, stay cognizant about any cues that are communicated by your pet. If he is tending to slow or panting excessively, you should slow your pace and rest. Also, make sure that you supply both you and your dog with plenty of water. Stop every half mile to make sure your canine companion does not get overheated and that he is adequately hydrated.

Run with your Dog in the Early or Late Parts of the Day

Also, during the warmer times of year, choose the early or later parts of the day for running with your pet. Consider the type of terrain you are choosing to run on as well. Asphalt and concrete are not only hot, the surfaces can injure the paw pads of your pet. So, you may want to run on the grass or a dirt trail to reduce any impact and avoid injury.

Dogs that Run Longer Distances or for Longer Periods should be Between Two and Eight Years of Age

Generally, if you like running longer distances, dogs should fall in the age range of two to eight years. So, even if you have a dog over eight years old that exhibits a good deal of spunk, it's still better to limit his exercise to walking or playing in the park.